Fat Steve's Blatherings

Thursday, December 30, 2004

At last the Strib bashing: Part one, the front page

      So, finally (see posts below), let's bash the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for today, Dec. 30th.

      Let's start with editorial judgment.  The Front page of the dead-tree edition has two stories about the tsunami tragedy in Asia (linked version is updated from this morning's, and is considerably different from the dead tree version), with a picture above the fold and headlines.  Next to them, a story about the person who will prosecute an accused murderer in Wisconsin.  What is it about this woman that makes her being the prosecutor in this trial as important as the deaths of over one hundred thousand Asians, and more important than any other story in the paper today?  I think it's because the prosecutor is the WI attorney general; a woman who is taking chemotherapy for breast cancer and has gone bald as a result; up for re-election in 2006 and considered vulnerable, especially because she recently pleaded guilty for drunk driving; and a Democrat.  The Strib has a fair amount of Wisconsin readership, and it's never too soon to start slanting the news to get a Democrat re-elected.  A fourth story on the front page, below the fold, notes that some people are having trouble with holiday gift cards, due to charges if they aren't used within a few months of purchase.

      Above the fold, the tsunami story is really just three headlines ("Toll soars; aid stymied", U.S. response: Bush speaks out, pledges long-term assistance.", "More feared dead: Red Cross predicts toll could exceed 100,000."), plus a picture of a Thai man praying for the soul of his sister, swept out to sea by and believed to be dead.  Below the fold, the picture ends, and there's a graphic showing the places the tsunami hit, plus the two stories.  The first is headlined "Aid is pouring in, but logistics lacking." The second is about relief agencies wanting money.

      The Strib also notes on the front page a story in the Metro section about three women killed yesterday when a building suddenly exploded, a Metro section story about the death of an actor, and a story on page three about the war in Iraq.  Maybe it's just me, but I think the war might just be a tad bit more important than the stories about the drunken Democratic politician, or the tragedy of gift card charges if they aren't used promptly.

      Before we leave the front page, let us note again that the headline on the print edition's main tsunami story is "Aid is pouring in, but logistics lacking.  Paragraph four and five read:
      World leaders, including President Bush, promised long-range help to Asian countries on Wednesday as impatience with the pace of relief efforts soared.

      Rescue flights from throughout the world delivered supplies, but disorganization blocked deliveries.

      Somehow, after reading that, the headline of the relief agency story is like a sick joke: "Want to Help?  Relief Agencies' No. 1 need is money".  If the relief supplies on the spot can't be distributed now, maybe the agencies could use something more than cash?  Are they short of pilots?  Aircraft?  Two many planes, not enough helicopters?  Inquiring minds would like to know.

      This is just the front page.  Next, we'll look at what's inside.



  • Why, particularly, is it relevant that your opinion be semantically tied to the word, "fat". Are you seeking the respect of a buddha?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:08 PM  

  •       No.  I just happen to be grossly obese.

          With luck, that won't be true a year or so from now, but it is today.  If so, I'll start a new blog, "THIN STEVE'S BLATHERINGS."

    By Blogger Stephen M. St. Onge, at 12:14 AM  

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