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  • Media change headlines to protect Democrat lawmakers and spread bipartisan blame

    Media change headlines to protect Democrat lawmakers and spread bipartisan blame

    This is fast becoming my favorite genre of journalism: A major news outlet will at first report accurately on a breaking news event, but then amend its own headline later in such a way as to make sure it does not a) reflect well on Republicans or b) reflect poorly on Democrats.

    H/T: Washington Examiner

    Examples of this new genre are not hard to come by:

    On Thursday, for example, after Senate Democrats killed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s small-business COVID-19 relief package, CNN published a breaking news headline that read, “Democrats block GOP-led funding boost for small business aid program.”

    There is nothing wrong with that headline. It is entirely accurate!

    But CNN changed it anyway to remove all negative implications for Democratic lawmakers. The headline now reads, “Senate at stalemate over more COVID-19 aid after Republicans and Democrats block competing proposals.” Well, shucks, wouldn’t you know it? There is blame to go around for everyone!

    Politico did the same thing. Its initial headline claimed Thursday afternoon, “Senate Dems to block new coronavirus relief in bid for more money.” Its revised headline, however, now suggests there is blame to go around. It now reads, “Senate brawl derails fast push for new coronavirus relief.”

    Then, of course, there is the New York Times, which reported originally on its live updates blog, “Democrats block G.O.P. proposal for aid to businesses, request more fund.” That has since been amended to read “As Economy Hemorrhages Jobs, Aid Stalls in Senate.”


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