March 23, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Cancer battle goes public with news that a presidential campaign goes on

A “personal drama takes political center stage” in North Carolina and beyond as presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, share the news that her breast cancer has returned. “Wife’s cancer relapse won’t stop former senator’s presidential run,” The News & Observer of Raleigh said.

The Sun of Baltimore published parallel stories that explored the political and health news behind the announcement. The Oregonian in Portland focused on politics (“Illness adds unknowns to Edwards’ run”), and the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, offered the local angle: “Iowa supporters happy candidate stays in the race.”

“Dems seek out ayes,” said The Denver Post, one newspaper that previewed today’s House vote on a measure to pull troops out of Iraq. “Promising a veto, the White House tells Democrats that the bill would imperil troops,” The Kansas City (Mo.) Star said.

Flowers decorated the top of The Dallas Morning News to promote a story about spring festivals. But there was nothing rosy about the front page. Stories about abuse at a school for the retarded and at a center for AIDS babies led the page. A package on eminent domain -- “a very dirty word” -- dominated the page. Even the headline on the John Edwards story seemed negative: “Edwards’ move: cold or bold?”

In Montana and Wyoming, the comeback of the grizzly bear made news. “Park bears leaving the endangered list,” said the Billings Gazette, which outlined the bears’ history and mapped conservation areas in Yellowstone National Park. The Casper Star-Tribune highlighted the pros and cons to the action by federal officials.

The Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal took a close-up look at the “Dietary habits of the springbreakusdrinkalotus.” It pictured a cheeseburger, but the real story seemed to be beer. “Beer for breakfast, beer for lunch,” the newspaper quoted a spring breaker as saying. There was more beer in another beach location. “One year. 325 DUI arrests,” The Orange County (Calif.) Register said. It used photos and numbers to report a “milestone in law enforcement” by one policeman.

Today’s image: Hollywood made rain in Portland as it filmed a thriller, and The Oregonian said: “Our rain needs a stand-in? That’s showbiz.”

kkennedy@freedomforum.org Kate Kennedy, a former newspaper Page One editor, is director/diversity programs.

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