August 26, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Ted Kennedy snags some headlines as Democratic convention opens

Michelle Obama might have been the headliner, but Ted Kennedy also netted some of the headlines from last night’s opening of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Some editors twinned up Michelle Obama and Sen. Kennedy, and others gave the play to the presidential candidate’s wife.

The East Valley Tribune in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a big photo of the smiling senator and the headline “Ailing Kennedy electrifies convention,” the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in Little Rock leads with “Kennedy fires up Democrats,” while the San Francisco Chronicle has as its off-lead “Rousing salute as Kennedy passes torch” and The Lewiston Tribune in Idaho banners “Kennedy calls upon party faithful.” The tabloid New York Post fills Page One with a Kennedy photo and the headline “Old lion roars.” And The Boston Globe said, “Kennedy’s speech sets the agenda for all the speeches to follow.”

The Palm Beach Post in Florida gives primary play to “Wife reveals Obama’s soft side, urges lesson from ‘improbable’ rise,” with a separate story that “Kennedy’s speech galvanizes crowd.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution seems to combine the two with “Wife: Obama believes in American dream” and the drop headline “ ‘Hopes rise again,’ Kennedy says in praising candidate.” The Corvallis (Ore.) Gazette-Times banners “Kennedy, Michelle Obama rally Dems,” even as The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., reports, “Obama, Kennedy urge Democrats to unite.” For the Chicago Sun-Times, it’s all Michelle, referred to as “South Side pride,” and our friends at The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, lead with “Michelle wows ’em.”

What about the newspapers in Colorado where all this is happening? Well, that’s a special case. The Denver Post’s convention front page, separate from its regular front page, carries the nameplate The Denver Post & Politico and is all about the political doings and the banner head “Michelle’s view.” The Aurora Sentinel has a big photo of the delegates assembled and the headline “Dems pack the house”; The Gazette in Colorado Springs plays up Michelle Obama’s “Family, values and a dream speech” with a bigger picture of a teen delegate to the convention; the Fort Collins Coloradoan plays up opening night with photos and a story; and The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction focuses on Western states being a key to election victory while reporting Michelle Obama’s speech, with picture.

Finally, perhaps we missed others but we found only one Tammy Wynette fan among today’s editors. The Washington, D.C., edition of The Examiner has a big picture of today’s heroine with the head “Michelle stands by her man.”

Gene Mater is a Freedom Forum media consultant.

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