Thursday, March 20, 2008

Difference in latitude

I couldn't help notice the three major newspaper's play on the content of Hillary Clinton's schedule during her years as first lady. The different approach you see between an independent foreign newspaper and its dysfunctional U.S. counterparts is illustrative of just how fucked up American journalism has become. Following are the headlines, deks, and first graphs.

The Guardian gets to the heart of the matter:

Hillary Clinton missed key presidential moments

· Papers cast doubt on claim of first-hand experience
· First lady was often far from scene of negotiations

On the day that dozens of US cruise missiles rained down on Serbia in an attempt to punish Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic for the country's onslaught against ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo, first lady Hillary Clinton was far from the White House war room: she was touring ancient Egyptian ruins.

In other words, she is full of shit and now she's exposed.

The Times opts for the sleep-inducing lede:
11,000 Long-Awaited Pages of Clinton’s Schedules as First Lady Are Released

WASHINGTON — The National Archives and the William J. Clinton Presidential Library on Wednesday released more than 11,000 pages of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s public schedules for her eight years as first lady.

I'm surprised they didn't mention he was wearing a grey suit when he released the 11,000 pages of information.

In other words, nothing to see here, move along.

The Post tries to find it in its heart to say something substantive, but rambles:
In Hillary Clinton's Datebook, A Shift
Events Less Lofty After Health-Care Debacle

Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in the White House with a schedule befitting a president, packed with policy sessions, meetings with senators and trips to promote an ambitious political agenda. But after the collapse of her health-care plan in 1994, she largely retreated to a more traditional first lady's calendar of school visits, hospital tours, photo ops and speeches on a narrower set of issues.

In other words, we want her to beat Obama, but if she runs against McCain, we'll get her.

If you read beyond the first paragaraph, you can glean some useful information from each of the newspapers, but most people don't even read beyond the headline. Editors know this. By their criteria it's clear that the Guardian wants you to read the story, the Times doesn't, and the Post doesn't know what the hell it's doing.