Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Just The Facts?

Could help but notice the contradictions between the headline and the facts in the Democratic primaries news.

Headline in today's Indy Star: Democratic Race Down to Kerry, Edwards

This Star headline led me to believe that Dean, Kucinich, and Rev. Sharpton all made concession speeches. The lede in the AP story reinforced the headline:

The Democratic presidential campaign is spreading out to 10 crucial "Super Tuesday" states, and it's down to a two-man race between front-runner John Kerry and a plucky challenger, John Edwards.

I thought it was ultimately a bit surprising. It wouldn't be surprising to me if Dean dropped out now. He's said that he's out and he's in until the end, so anything goes for him. But it surprised me that Kucinich would be dropping out. He's such an idealist that I can see him taking that 1% to the bitter end.

Turns out, I'm right. At least, I'm not wrong. Nobody dropped out of the race yesterday. The headline did not convey the news. It conveyed an analysis. The lede did the same thing. In news items, THE NEWS is supposed to be REPORTED. Instead, the Star and the AP opined. Reading to the bottom of the story, to paragraph 17, gives you the news:

The Democratic race once had 10 candidates, but the field is now down to five, including Dean, Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton, who haven't won a single contest.

Nice work, AP & Star. I'm sure the Dean, Kucinich, and Sharpton campaings will be thrilled with your "reporting" efforts.

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