August 27, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Many still write about the weather which is why we won’t, except…

"Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." Whether Charles D. Warner said it first and then had his words lifted by Mark Twain is a debate that we will avoid. However, we will do something about the weather. Nothing. The weather still is big news on many U.S. front pages — floods and heat — but we will say no more about the subject, with one exception.

Let’s start with the exception. When Hurricane Dean was threatening Texas and nearby areas, the story was whooped-up by many dailies. We noted at the time — but did not report — that one newspaper downplayed the threat. Today, that daily, The Monitor, in McAllen, Texas, leads with “Dean brings flood of bills,” adding that “Gov. Perry stands by his spending of millions to prepare the state for a storm that never arrived.” Three cheers for being right.

For many dailies this morning the big story is the contretemps between some U.S. senators who want him fired and Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki of Iraq, who says that his critics should stop looking at his country as “one of their villages.” The MidEast edition of Stars and Stripes, which primarily serves a military audience, banners the story with the head ”Al-Maliki lashes out at senators,” adding that “Iraqi prime minister rails against his critics, singling out Democrats Clinton and Levin.” Treatment was similar in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, The Roanoke Times in Virginia, the St. Joseph News-Press in Missouri, the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle in Cheyenne, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock and other dailies.

For other editors, it really was dealer’s choice. The Hartford Courant in Connecticut and The Washington Post both lead with the $20,000 bonus for signing up with the Army while the Gazette-Times in Corvallis, Ore., where such things may matter more than where you live, the lead story is the new look for the $100 bill. Not far away, The Register-Guard in Eugene leads with “Wildfires reach site of ancient Olympics” in Greece but our winner for the day is the wildfire story in The Christian Science Monitor in Boston, with the all-cap head “WHY IS GREECE ON FIRE?” Why, indeed.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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