September 11, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Congressional hearings about Iraq on Page One in U.S., European dailies

Congressional hearings on Iraq yesterday made Page One in newspapers in the U.S. and abroad today.

The Honolulu Advertiser leads with the optimistic head “’Surge’ rollback can begin, Petraeus says,” while the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News tells its readers about “’Uneven’ progress cited in Iraq.” For The San Diego Union-Tribune, it’s “Petraeus: Pre-surge level by July,” as the Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal touts “General: Troop surge helps.” The Providence Journal in Rhode Island uses a different approach: “General makes case for staying in Iraq.” The St. Cloud (Minn.) Times reports “General outlines next steps in war,” and The Salt Lake Tribune meets the issues head-on with “Give war a chance, general asks Congress.”

Look at some of the European dailies and you will see a picture of Gen. David H. Petraeus on Page One in the Hospodarske Noviny in Prague, Czech Republic, the Bremer Nachrichten in Bremen, Germany, La Repubblica in Rome, and DAG in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The Guardian in London twins two stories with banner headlines: “Washington: the surge is working” and “Baghdad: the lottery of life goes on.”

We know what’s on Page One, but it’s what is inside that might be more important, as newspaper editorial writers and columnists and letter-writers weigh in with comments and questions about the future of Iraq and the testimony of Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker. The Washington Post, which generally supports the U.S. position in Iraq, today editorially asks some questions about the U.S. mission, while The New York Times, an opponent of the war, editorially describes the hearings as “delaying serious decisions” and even sympathizes with those who tried to interrupt the session as “people who just wanted to be heard.”

There were newspapers here and abroad whose editors believed the sixth anniversary of the destruction of World Trade Center rated Page One attention. Newsday on Long Island has 35 images of the Twin Towers site representing the years 1973 to 2007, the OC POST in Santa Ana, Calif., filled the page with “9/11 six years later” and the Greeley (Colo.) Tribune’s page is “America six years later.” Le Figaro in Paris and Der Tagesspiegel in Berlin also have 9/11 stories.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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