September 10, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

What will happen in Iraq, what happened 9/11 top today’s news

If you live in the United States and read your local newspaper or one of the national dailies, chances are that one of two stories (or both) will be on the front page — this week’s congressional hearings about Iraq and tomorrow’s sixth anniversary of the terrorist attack that collapsed the twin towers of the World Trade Center, killing almost 3,000 people.

For the biggest daily, USA Today, it is indeed both. First, it asks whether “Is 9/11 becoming just another calendar date?” with a lead noting that “Even if you wanted to forget what day it was, you couldn’t.” Below, is a story stating: “Record 60% seek date for pullout” from Iraq.

And that’s the way it is, from coast to coast, one story or the other or both.

The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee devotes much of Page One to the “Crucial reports to Congress,” while 3,000 miles away The Sun in Baltimore leads with “Petraeus to brief Congress on Iraq.” In between, The Birmingham (Ala.) News tells its readers “Officials expect Petraeus to say surge working,” the Idaho Statesman in Boise notes that “Iraq policy won’t change soon, no matter what Petraeus says” and The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., suggests that “Credibility at issue in new Iraq report.” For the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, “Report on Iraq may be old news,” while The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer contends that the Petraeus report will focus on “Signs of progress” and the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram believes “Petraeus to urge delayed decision.”

Newsday on Long Island and the Daily Record in Parsippany, N.J., prefer to focus Page One attention on the 9/11 memorial and 9/11 services held during the weekend.

For The Miami Herald, there is a different lead story — “Democrats try to speak to Hispanics” — about the first presidential campaign debate in Spanish and English, noting that “the candidates aimed more at embracing the nation's fastest-growing minority group than in breaking new ground on the issues,” while adding “No major gaffes occurred, but the on-air translation of the candidates' answers into Spanish was spotty at times.” There’s a tease to the Iraq story at the bottom of the page, but you have to turn to page 12 for the story and we couldn’t find a reference to 9/11.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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