Friday, 19 June 2009

The Press

Press-to, change-o

If the news isn’t to your liking, make sure it looks uninteresting?

“Jehuda” at The Rhetorican spotted a curious pair of headline revisions on stories about the administration’s latest polling figures:

So a certain NYT story was published on line last night [Wednesday] with the headline “In Poll, Obama Is Seen as Ineffective on the Economy“.  I know it because I saw it with my own eyes. Professor Reynolds linked to it late last night, too.

But I just heard Rush on the radio comment that the headline was changed overnight.  And, in fact, it was.  Much milder headline, isn’t it?

I noticed the WSJ did something similar The Wall Street Journal story, as it appeared in Thursday’s print edition.with another poll related story I linked to yesterday.  It went from “Rising Doubts Threaten to Overshadow Obama’s Agenda” to something significantly milder
Not just milder; less interesting, too.  Ace:
Is this a big deal?

I'll tell you it is.  Because the NYT’s changed headline had just
the intended effect on me...

Obama Poll Sees Doubt on Budget and Health Care

...instantly said “snoozer”... and I navigated away.  I didn’t bother to read it.  The headline successfully dissuaded me from reading or linking the poll.
Two newspapers published a poll finding growing doubts about Obama.  Both started the day with strong, punchy, grabby headlines that suggested strongly that Obama was approaching serious trouble.  And both, within a night, changed their headlines to be bland and protective of Obama.

I suggest this is no coincidence.  The Obama White House is scared shitless about the public changing its mind in a hurry, and they want to continue the “Everyone loves Obama” narrative they currently have going, which helps keep public opinion on his side.  Because if everyone loves Obama, you’d have to be weird not to, right?
White House influence or editorial second thoughts?  It doesn’t matter.  Whatever the cause, shenanigans like this will be noticed.  And when they are, it doesn’t encourage trust.

Posted by: Old Grouch in The Press at 19:44:24 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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