March 29, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

UK papers outraged at Iran; NY tabs offer up juicy splits

Footage of British sailors being held in Iran made some U.S. front pages but dominated across the pond. The New York Times went with a large feature photo that included a female sailor, wearing a headscarf, who got a lot of TV news time yesterday. The caption played the situation straight: “Iran Broadcasts Video of Captured Britons, and a Dispute Heats Up.” UK newspapers were hot all right; their headlines reflected the anger of their readers. “Fury as Iran shows footage of captured soldiers,” The Guardian, London. “UK anger as sailors are paraded for the cameras,” The Herald, Glasgow.

Back in the states, no single national story ruled the newsprint, but President Bush showed up in many dailies. As usual, the topic was the Iraq War, and as usual, headlines characterized the situation as Bush vs. the Democratic Congress. “President tells Congress: The clock is ticking. Bush demands money for U.S. troops with no strings; speaker tells him to ‘calm down threats,’” The Lewiston (Idaho) Tribune. The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind., stated the situation more boldly: “Bush pounds Democrats on Iraq measure. Has war of words with Reid, Pelosi.”

The Big Picture: The Houston Chronicle gave over most of its front page to a dramatic story and a dramatic photo: Firefighters rescuing office workers from a six-story office building, consumed with fire and smoke. A two-deck, bold headline topped the package: “OFFICE INFERNO TRAPS WORKERS; AT LEAST 3 DEAD.”

Today’s Tabs: Messy, high-profile divorces fed the New York tabloids some juicy bits for Page One. Yankees owner George Steinbrenner’s daughter has split from Steve Swindal, apparently ending his chances of taking over the family business. “Yankee divorce bombshell,” said the New York Post. The Daily News went with a real-life “War of the Roses” couple, thwarted by a jury in their divorce proceedings. The headline had flair: “Bawl and Chain.”

Christy Mumford Jerding is the editorial director of the Freedom Forum.

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