No Liberal Bias Here
The Washington Post displayed some rather curious editorial judgment in the composition of its front page today. Three stories were featured above the fold on page A01:
a) “Violence in Iraq Belies Claims of Calm, Data Show,” a piece by Rajiv Chandrasekaran noting a surge in “insurgent violence” over a ten day period.
b) “U.S., Iraq Prepare Offensive to Pave Way for Election ,” a report by star reporters Robin Wright and Thomas Ricks on security measures being taken in anticipation of the Iraqi elections scheduled for January.
c) “In the Bible Belt, Acceptance Is Hard-Won,” a non-events-driven piece by Anne Hull chronicling the fact that it’s difficult being a gay teenager in rural Oklahoma.
Guess which story gets the bigger headline, a large photograph, and takes up 3/4 of the coveted above the fold portion of the front page of the paper? If you guessed c), you are correct.
Why? Not only is the story not news–in the sense that it isn’t new–but surely it’s not the biggest story of the day when we’re in the middle of a war and only days away from the first presidential debate of the season. Indeed, the Wright-Ricks piece gets only part of the first sentence above the fold. Further, both a) and c) get their continuation page later in the paper (A30 and A28, respectively) than c) (A16).
Feature stories on major social issues deserve coverage in the paper, especially the Sunday edition. But they should be in a special features section, not taking up the most valuable real estate.