January 15, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

In case you hadn’t noticed, an election is upon us all

There’s no escaping. Just check out an unscientific sampling of the front pages and you will agree that an election is upon us. What is fascinating, however, is that the Page One election stories frequently offer different approaches to the same candidates, the same political parties — and the same election.

The Opelika-Auburn News in Alabama tells locals that “Presidential hopefuls may visit before Feb.” and the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson claims that “Edwards’ just-folks angle is ringing hollow for some.” The Arkansas Democrat Gazette in Little Rock looks north to today’s primary to report that “Michigan voters list economy as No.1 concern” and The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., agrees that “Economy drives GOP in Michigan vote today.” The Detroit Free Press banner reads “All eyes on Michigan” while explaining in the drop head that “Presidential vote, auto show put state’s clout in spotlight,” topped by three election photos and a large picture of a new hybrid car. On the bottom of Page One, the News Herald in Panama City, Fla., tells local readers that “Giuliani to rally” in that very city, while The Star-Ledger, the biggest daily in the biggest city (Newark) in the Garden State, asks if it’s “Romney’s last stand?”, and the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina claims that “Republicans pledge revival; Democrats, unity.” In neighboring South Carolina, The Greenville News has photos and two Page One stories — “Thompson smiling at new polls” and “Candidates target evangelicals as key voters in GOP race” — while teasing a few inside stories.

Some dailies are playing up the Clinton-Obama battle. The Marietta Daily Journal in Georgia says it with “Fightin’ words: Obama, Clinton point fingers,” the Lawrence Journal-World in Kansas notes that “Race quickly becomes controversial issue for Clinton, Obama,” The Lima News in Ohio reports about “Sexism, racism in politics” and asks “Is one more taboo than another?” even as the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle in Cheyenne has face-to-face photos of Clinton and Obama with the all-caps head “War of Words.” We don’t really believe it, but we find the Page One head in The Day of New London, Conn., our choice of words to live by: “Clinton and Obama agree to cease racial controversy.”

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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