Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Fire or Praise?

The N&O chooses the placement of articles and the headlines as well. Sometimes the editors can be forgiven for running biased articles from the news services (more on that below), but the headlines surely can be written without liberal bias. Yet the lead in the Nation & World section today (3A) was "Bush's U.N. choice draws fire."

In fact, the choice in question, John Bolton, drew both praise and criticism. So why wasn't the headline "Bush's U.N. choice draws praise and fire?" And why did the article (from Cox News Service) refer to Bolton as a "conservative?" While the "conservative" label is a badge to be worn with pride, I doubt that many Clinton-era nominees were labeled "liberal" in the august pages of the N&O.

At the bottom of the page the N&O used the following headline: "3 children among 18 dead in Iraqi violence." In fact, the children died in a terrorist attack. If inadvertent US military fire had killed 3 children, the headline would have read, "U.S. fire kills 3 children." So why the sudden value-neutral headline?

These guys (Leland Senn and Andy Bechtel can be reached at natworld@newsobserver.com) make this blog too easy.