Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Times Fronts Dem's Retirement, Fall-Out

The New York Times may claim a national scope, but its front page on Tuesday catered to the political sensibility of beltway Washington.

"Lighting a Fuse for Rebellion on the Right" is a feature story profiling the popular Tea Party movement. Considering the breadth of protest groups nationwide that have alligned under the banner, such a feature does have national significance.

But political party/movement happenings can be overemphasized.

The Times includes an original story on the retirement of Indiana Senator Evan Bayh. A Democrat, Bayh's retirement fits into a larger political picture focused on the partisan nature of elections. In other words, "What does this mean for my party?"

The Times' headline, "Democrats Reel As Senator Says No to 3rd Term," says as much.

This focus comes at the cost of more pertinent national news.

The Des Moines Register relegated the Bayh retirement to an AP wire story on the second page. For a front page, it ran a McClatchy-Tribune News Service wire story on the growing strains on the Social Security fund due to increased early retirements brought on by the economic recession. Hardly more than a regional paper, the Register had more of a sense for national news that most impacts its readers.

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