The Oregonian: Pushing an agenda one headline at a time

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The conservative bias at the Oregonian isn’t exactly a secret. But one of their most frequent tactics goes mostly ignored: Writing headlines to frame stories in a way that pushes their ideological agenda.

Some obvious examples from recent history:

•    The “Obama keeps job” front page headline the day after the November election

•    “Lower expectations for Obama 2.0” on the front page the day of Obama’s second inauguration (also the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday), topping a couple of wire stories about conservative opposition to the President’s agenda

•    The “State asks to pry info from Mannix groups” headline on a story about the Oregon Department of Justice investigating Kevin Mannix’s alleged use of a veteran’s charity to funnel funds to his political campaigns.

Their latest headline twisting shenanigan: “Uncle Sam blamed for fourth-quarter slowdown.”

It’s the headline on an Associated Press wire story about how the economy unexpectedly slowed late last year due to steep cuts to government spending, particularly in the defense sector. These cuts didn’t happen because of “Uncle Sam,” but because of congressional Republicans’ single-minded dedication to cutting taxes and slashing important programs.

The Oregonian could have said “Govt. cuts leads to economic slowdown” or “GOP-backed cuts hit economy.” They could have just used the straightforward news headline that came stock with the wire piece. Instead, they twisted the headline to push their anti-government (and anti-Democratic) agenda, putting them outside the mainstream of other newspapers. Even FoxNews.com handled the story without resorting to anti-Obama nonsense.

Here’s how other newspapers and outlets headlined the story:

The Columbus Dispatch: "4th-quarter dip shows politics’ effect on economy"

MySanAntonio.com: "Economy slowed in final quarter"

Tulsa World: "U.S. economy shifted into reverse in late 2012"

Detroit Free Press: "U.S. economy shrank unexpectedly in 4Q"

FoxNews.com: "US economy shrinks 0.1 pct., first time in 3 ½ years; deep cut in defense spending key factor"

The Oregonian: Even more out of touch with reality than Fox News.

Comments

As a retired reporter for The Oregonian, I'm appalled and dismayed -- but not surprised -- by the fascist bias of the current publisher and his toadies. I have friends who still work there and I feel sorry for them. I'm glad I moved on while I still had my self-respect.
- Steven Amick

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