Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

November 4, 2004
By: Kevin Drum

THE CONSERVATIVE "PRESS"....This is bizarre. Here is Michael Ledeen's version of a "great newspaper story":

Yesterday afternoon in Rome, my buddy Giuliano Ferrara the editor of the wonderful "il Foglio" pondered his front page for Wednesday. He didn't know anything about the electoral outcome since it was late morning here and we were still voting and there weren't even exit polls.

What to do? Well, he could duck the whole question, but, as he told his readers, that would have been professionally cowardly since this was the biggest story of our generation. So he went for it, and this morning in Rome that is to say, at one in the morning our time, even before Michael Barone and his guys at Fox had awarded Ohio to Bush "il Foglio" emerged with a nine-column headline in bright red:

WHY GEORGE W. BUSH WON THE ELECTIONS Clear victory of the president who cuts taxes and wages war.

That's a great newspaper story? That instead of reporting the truth there were no results at press time Ferrara just made up a headline based on what he hoped would happen?

Is this the conservative ideal of how the press should operate?

UPDATE: In comments, Ledeen adds some crucial context:

If he had been wrong, as he noted in a box on the front page, his readers would have had a ball, and he would have looked an idiot. If, as it happened, he was right, he could claim prescience.

He accompanied his headline with a photo of the 1948 headline "Dewey Beats Truman," so he knew what he was doing.

That does make a difference. As long as his readers clearly knew what he was doing, it really is sort of an amusing newspaper story.

Kevin Drum 1:06 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly