July 27, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

From Wall Street to space fleet, woes and worries fill the front page

It was a bad day, pure and simple.

Worries over credit and the housing market sent the stock market tumbling more than 300 points on Thursday. The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., pictured an exasperated New York Stock Exchange trader with the headline: “Doesn’t anyone here feel like buying?”

“Bad Day,” declared FLORDIA TODAY in Melbourne, which devoted much of its page to woes at NASA after reports of astronauts flying under the influence, computer sabotage and embezzlement. The Houston Chronicle printed three stories under the header “New troubles for NASA.”

News came from Washington that the FBI director contradicted Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ testimony to Congress about a warrantless wiretapping program, and conflict continued over documents and testimony about the firing of federal prosecutors.  “Prosecutor probe explodes into three-alarm political blaze,” The Lewiston (Idaho) Tribune said. “Democrats call for special prosecutor,” The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post said in its lead headline.

A photo of NFL quarterback Michael Vick facing a crowd of animal-rights protesters as he arrived at court topped the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch. The Atlanta Falcon pleaded not guilty to dogfighting charges, said the newspaper, which published an artist’s drawing of the accused in court.

The Vick case also was big news for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which juggled two other significant stories: a city councilman in trouble over his foundation and the return to Georgia by “the world’s most famous tuberculosis patient.”

Who was having a good day?

The drop in the Dow was partly attributed to a softening housing market. But in Charlotte, N.C., there’s a boom in high-rise condos, and The Observer pictured and graphed the news. Ford posted a second-quarter profit, prompting the Detroit Free Press to print a “Surprise” at the top of its page.“Hope and caution,” it added.

There’s always hope as a new sports season begins. “‘Last year is over’ theme for team’s new campaign,” said The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., where the New Orleans Saints have started training camp.

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

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