The O Lowers the Bar Yet Again
No matter what your partisan persuasion, today is undeniably an historic day. President Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term, on the same day the nation is celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
And yet, here's how the Oregonian decided to mark the occasion with their front page:
It's awfully reminiscent of their "Obama Keeps Job" headline the day after the election, and a mysterious "Bigfoot" noise in Eastern Oregon gets more elaborate treatment than the swearing in of the President of the United States.
Effectively, conservative publisher N. Christian Anderson III and his editors are using the front page to thumb their noses at Oregonians who voted for Obama by a 12-point margin (and who make up a majority of the Oregonian's readership). They're basically saying, "Don't hold your breath, because your hero isn't going to accomplish anything anyway."
It's undeniable that Anderson's political agenda has transformed the newsroom at the O.
There's no mention of the historic nature of the day, and Dr. King is relegated to the second page, where the primary article is about disagreements over what his famous "I Have A Dream" speech means.
A quick review of front page newspapers from around the country shows that the Oregonian's front page is far outside of the mainstream coverage. Heck, even Anderson's former paper, the right-wing Orange County Register, offers a relatively straightforward "A Quiet Beginning."
But don't take my word for it. Check out this random sampling of front pages from across the nation (images accessed from Newseum.org):