September 4, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

There always will be an editor who doesn’t always mean it

Yesterday was an American holiday but one of our far-flung correspondents suggested that we look at the front page of his local newspaper. We were able to do so because our Newseum colleagues post front pages from around the world every day. The newspaper led with the story of North Korea accepting a deal to end nuclear development. The headline on the daily’s lead story said it all and more — “N. Korea agrees to drop nukes” — a headline that reminded us of newspapers of August 1945 when we “dropped nukes,” then called atom bombs, on Japan. In the interest of keeping double entendres within the family, we will not list the name of the newspaper, but we will post a copy on our wall.

That was yesterday and this is today and the surprise visit of President Bush to Iraq and what he said there made Page One headlines in the U.S. as well as in other countries interested in what’s next for the war-torn nation and the congressional debate.

The Anniston (Ala.) Star has a photo under the headline “In Iraq, Bush sets tone for hearings in Congress,” while The Herald in Monterey, Calif., touts “Secret Bush visit to Iraq.” The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post banners “Bush visits Iraq, troops” and illustrates it with a big photo of Bush chatting with a large group of soldiers. For the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune, it was “Surprise visit to Iraq for Bush,” while The Times in Shreveport, La., has a photo and three words: “Bush visits Iraq.” The Star Tribune in Minneapolis reports what some have been pushing: “Bush: Troop reductions possible.”

In the Middle East, Alwaqt in Bahrain, An-Nahar in Beirut, Lebanon, and Olay in Bursa, Turkey, have words we cannot understand in alphabets we cannot read but with Page One photos we can see Bush with the troops. Gulf News in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, tells its readers (in English): “Bush assembles war council in Iraq.” The Jerusalem Post headlines “Some troops could be sent home — Bush.” On the other side of the world and the president’s ultimate destination for the trip, The Age in Melbourne, Australia, has a photo and a reference to “Bush detours … .” Some detour.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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