September 18, 2007

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Little fallout for French warning about war over nuclear weapons

On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner made a statement on radio about Iran and nuclear weapons that one might expect would attract attention. He said that if Iran went ahead with The Bomb “we have to prepare for the worst, and the worst is war.” His remarks attracted little attention in the U.S., so we thought that we would take a quick look abroad to see what the Kouchner fallout might be.

Le Figaro in Paris today has a picture of a mean-looking Iranian president on Page One and a story about “The anger of Iran against France.” The Paris Trib — officially the International Herald Tribune — reports low on the page that “France seeks to widen Iran sanctions.” We found one German daily — Die Tageszeitung in Berlin — playing up the story with a big photo of what probably are soldiers in the French Foreign Legion and a head that says “France stirs up fear of war.” Gulf News in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, leads with “Iran scorns war talk amid nuclear crisis.” What about Iran itself? Well, Iran Daily has two Page One stories on the issues: “France anti-Iran stance condemned” and a picture of Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, with a story that “ElBaradei warns warmongers.” Perhaps it isn’t bomb-shelter time after all.

What are the U.S. dailies playing up today?

The Daily News in Los Angeles whoops up the O.J. Simpson story and asks in a top-of-the-page squared-off package: “Has O.J. intentionally sought spotlight with heist?” The Arizona Republic in Phoenix leads with a piece labeled “analysis” that says “Outsider nominee marks new Bush tack” about the proposed new attorney general. The Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal tops Page One with a head sure to attract attention: “Prosecutor charged in child-sex sting,” a story claiming that “Assistant U.S. attorney allegedly sought sex with a 5-year-old girl.”

For the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, summer and its related stories are of the past as Page One is taken up with a huge snowy mountain photo, the head proclaiming “Here we go” and reporting “Snow: High country reports season’s first accumulations.” They know what comes first in the hearts and minds of the reader.

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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