After yesterday’s tussle with the White House about whether the Des Moines Register could actually tell people what Barack Obama said in an interview with them to get the editorial board’s endorsement, Obama finally relented and allowed Iowa’s leading newspaper to print a transcript of the interview. The editors assured readers that they would not hold Obama’s pettiness against him when it came to deciding on the endorsement, as too much is at stake in this election. However, today’s front page certainly looks like a little payback for Obama’s unprecedented demand for “privacy” — and a pretty good hint at which way the DMR is leaning on that endorsement (via Byron York):
This is hardly a subtle message. The headlines contrast the negative campaigning from Obama with the positive, agenda-focused campaigning from Romney. They have Obama scowling and looking over his shoulder, while Romney smiles and looks forward. Obama is also positioned lower in the photos than Romney. Plus, even the crowd reactions are a contrast; hardly anyone around Obama is smiling, while the crowd is reaching toward Romney, showing enthusiasm and support. The only thing missing here is a MSM-style halo around Romney’s head instead of Obama’s, and a classic Obama finger point to go with the scowl.
To be fair, if a major newspaper did this to Romney rather than Obama, we’d be screaming bloody bias — and that would be true, but only if one ignores the context of the back story this week. This isn’t bias so much as payback.