July 13, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Washington clashes over Iraq:Mixed report card; push to pull out

The battle over Iraq marched onto today’s front pages.

Some newspapers stressed news of mixed progress in Iraq. “Little gain, much failure seen in Iraq,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said. “White House study only finds progress on 8 of 18 Iraqi goals,” the Ottawa (Canada) Citizen said. The Hartford (Conn.) Courant broke out the assessment of benchmarks, reaction and details. Other newspapers highlighted a House vote to pull most U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by April 1.

In Seattle, readers got both sides of the story. “Bush: Iraq war is ‘ugly,’ but give it 2 months,” The Seattle Times said. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer: “House defies Bush, OKs exit.”

President Bush released the progress report on troop buildup in Iraq at a Thursday morning press conference. “Bush to Congress: Don’t meddle in war,” the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram said. The San Diego Union-Tribune said: “Bush chides Congress on Iraq policy.” In other newspapers, including The Washington Post, photos of the president conveyed the same message. The Chicago Tribune pulled a telling quote and used it as the caption for a picture of a resolute Bush: “Everybody wants to be loved. Just sometimes the decisions you make and the consequences don’t enable you to be loved.”

Today’s headlines: “An exam walks into a bar…,” The Oregonian in Portland began. It was, in fact, no joke. Coasters with sobering brain teasers about alcohol are being distributed to Oregon pubs and taverns. And in McAllen, Texas, The Monitor’s headline was: “Home Groan,” a reference to a slumping housing market and its impact on construction.

Queen for the day: “There she still is: Miss N.J.,” The Philadelphia Inquirer said about Amy Polumbo, who will keep her crown as Miss New Jersey despite making public “unlady-like” photos of herself. The summertime mini-scandal has gotten wide play on radio, TV and the Internet. The Burlington County Times in Willingboro, N.J., printed a large photo of the Garden State queen and inset into its package one of the photos that caused all the fuss.

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy, a former newspaper Page One editor, is director/diversity programs.

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