January 14, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Some newspapers won’t give up on the pollsters or their results

These are the times that try men’s polls. That’s what we thought this morning as we looked at the front daily pages even as we mumbled an apology to Thomas Paine, the great writer of the American Revolution.*

After what happened in New Hampshire — the polls versus the primary results – we thought that we would check here and there to see whether polling still makes Page One. Sure enough, the Hartford (Conn.) Courant has the “GOP presidential preferences” as part of its lead story about John McCain, while The Honolulu Advertiser puts polling at the bottom of the page, reporting that “McCain takes GOP lead; Obama gains.” The Washington Post leads today with a national poll showing “McCain moves into lead; Obama gains on Clinton,” while The New York Times notes in a drop head for the lead story that “Poll finds economic worries now top issue.” The Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, Mass., leads with “Poll: Voter doubt rises,” which says it all. The Providence Journal in Rhode Island leads with “Polls give McCain the lead with GOP” even as the Austin American-Statesman tells its Texas readers that “McCain jumps in polls.” The Herald in Monterey, Calif., has a lead head that we kind of liked, reporting only that “Pollsters can’t call women’s vote.”

And our friends in New Hampshire still believe in all kinds of polls, no matter what the public thinks. The Union Leader in Manchester leads with “Teen poll: Sex, drugs, junk food,” but you’ll have to read the story to learn whether the kids are for or against.

But we stumbled on a head at the bottom of Page One of the Anchorage Daily News that intrigued us more than all the others: “Man suspected of cannibalism belongs on vegetarian diet, animal rights group argues.” We’re going to ask our vegetarian son about that one.

* “These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” — Thomas Paine, Dec. 23, 1776

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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