Monday, November 14, 2005

Attack, Don't Defend

The Bush administration, as well as Republicans like John McCain, are on the attack against the "Bush lied" idiots. But the N&O, in choosing the headline for an AP story, made 2 interesting decisions.

First, they titled the piece "Advisor defends Bush." The advisor in question is Steven Hadley, and he was not defending Bush. He was attacking the critics, like Jay Rockefeller in our earlier post, who have proven to be political opportunists. The headline should have read "Bush advisor attacks critics," but that would have been out of line with the MSM theme that the Bush administration is on the defensive and in disarray.

The second interesting choice, though here the fault lies more with the AP than the N&O, is relegating the comments of John McCain to a late paragraph and not the headline. McCain is a much more popular and well-known figure than Steven Hadley, and he has also spoken harshly of the "Bush lied" critics and has called them disingenuous (which means they are liars, but also colleagues of his). Why wouldn't the headline read "McCain attacks critics of Bush"? That lead would pack a nice punch and would put the critics of Bush on the defensive in the minds of readers. (More McCain comments here via Mudville Gazette)