June 18, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

McClatchy publishes series as national security methods debated

National security was back in the headlines today as the treatment of terrorism suspects was debated on the presidential campaign trail and in a Capitol Hill hearing.

The Washington Post led with a clash between John McCain and Barack Obama over the rights of suspects: “In Sharp Exchange, Each Side Calls Other’s Position a Risk.” Below that, the Post quoted documents released Tuesday by congressional investigators: “CIA Played Larger Role in Advising Pentagon” on interrogation methods. The Tennessean in Nashville noted, “Senators chastise Pentagon over harsh interrogations.”

The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash., reported: “Documents show U.S. hid detainees from Red Cross,” and The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., said: “Doctors: Terror suspects abused.”

This week, McClatchy newspapers are publishing a series, “Guantanamo: Beyond the Law,” after eight months of investigative work. “Skirting the code of justice,” The Modesto (Calif.) Bee said in today’s installment that described the “framework that led to abuse of detainees” held at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. “Easing of laws that led to detainee abuse hatched in secret,” The Telegraph of Macon, Ga., said, while The Miami Herald headlined the story: “Policy objectives trumped the law.”

In many parts of the U.S., Midwest flooding was pictured. But, for the first time in days, flooding did not monopolize The Des Moines Register’s front page. With water receding, it said: “Draining bares bits of life caked in mud.” The Register’s Web site, with its breaking-news blog, audio and informative map of Iowa City flooding, is being quoted by other news media. Sister newspaper the Iowa City Press-Citizen, which published seven inside pages of flood coverage today, has offered daily updates through electronic newsletters.

In the end, it wasn’t even close. The Celtics defeated the Lakers, 131-92, for the NBA championship, leading the Los Angeles Times to show its frustration in a cutline: “The game was over by halftime, but it only got worse.” The Daily News in L.A. described the loss this way: “Shamrocked.”

But The Boston Globe celebrated being “Back on Top.” “Three Big Cheers,” said the Boston Herald in a wrap-around picturing three Celtic stars. Maine and New Hampshire newspapers were green in delight, as well. The Bangor Daily News used spot green as the Celtics won their 17th NBA title, and The Telegraph in Nashua said: “Green Glory.”

Kate Kennedy is front pages editor at the Newseum.

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