December 5, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

The report about Iran and the bomb may be good news, but then again...

This is the day when the U.S. editors responsible for Page One had much to ponder. The latest official intelligence estimate of the Iranian nuclear situation reports that Tehran stopped its secret nuclear-weapons development program back in 2003, leaving some to ponder the old question of "what's to worry?". But then President Bush warns that Iran still is a threat and points out that Iran can restart that nuclear-weapons program as swiftly and as secretly as before. What to do? For many editors, the president trumps the possibly cheerful outlook.

The New York Times leads with "Bush Insists Iran Remains a Threat Despite Arms Data" and that's the way many other newspapers played the story. The Anniston (Ala.) Star tells its readers "Bush unmoved by report on Iran's nuclear program"; the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in Little Rock says, "Report on Iran 'a warning signal,' Bush insists"; the Los Angeles Times leads with "Iran is still dangerous, Bush warns"; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that "Bush won't alter U.S. policy" and the Chicago Tribune leads with "Bush says Iran still a threat."

For many other dailies, the unchanged Bush position and his warning is still the Page One story, as it is in The Dallas Morning News, The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., The Kansas City (Mo.) Star and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Some dailies took a different approach. For The Providence (R.I.) Journal, it's "Sharp shift over Iran raises serious questions." The Waco (Texas) Tribune-Herald says that "Bombshell report guts U.S. credibility on Iran," while The Miami Herald leads with "Bush tries to salvage Iran policy." The Hartford (Conn.) Courant squares off "Behind the Iran bombshell," and The Christian Science Monitor from Boston leads with "Pressure lifts to move against Iran."

However, The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., has a Page One question that its readers and others may be asking: "Is intelligence credible, or is the president?" Perhaps there is no correct answer. Just keep reading your daily newspaper.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant

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