Thursday, March 04, 2004

The Reuters story about the 9/11 families and the Bush campaign ad is, among other things, a revealing example of political advocacy in the guise of journalism.

First, the title, "Sept. 11 Families Outraged by Bush Campaign Ad." (It was originally titled "Sept. 11 Families Disgusted by Bush Campaign Ad," but I guess someone at Reuters eventually thought that was a bit over the top, so the title was changed at 6:48 PM tonight.) The original story also lacks the additional pro-Bush quotes from Mayor Giuliani and Bush campaign aide Terry Holt, which were inserted later.

The story itself begins, "Families who lost relatives in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks..." Not some families, or several families, but "families" alone, implying a consensus of opinion, an impression maintained until the final two lines of the story, where, finally, we find a 9/11 family that isn't "outraged" or "disgusted" by the Bush ads.

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