The Spectacle Blog

Measuring the Media

By on 9.25.08 | 1:16PM

I said earlier that McCain's move was a good way to win the cycle. Indeed, even Bush's speech was slightly marginalized by McCain's push. I took a look at a number of major newspaper front pages. The publication name links to the "Today's Paper" section of the newspaper's website, and what follows will be links to the articles I'm referring to.

USAToday: Two articles, one on the bailout (Bailout Worries Affect Market), the other some analysis on McCain's move (Seeking a boost, McCain changes the game again).


Chicago Tribune: "Debate or Wait?" is the main headline, everything else is much smaller.


Washington Post: "First Debate's Fate Unclear as Obama Resists McCain's Call to Postpone" and "Selfless or Reckless: McCain Gambles onVoters' Verdict."


Wall Street Journal: The subhed to the lead item: "Obama Rebuffs McCain's Request to Postpone Debate; Voters Divided Over Bailout." The next item is sort of neutral, but the linkage to McCain might actually help him: "Bailout Pact Gains Momentum Amid Push for Tough Controls


L.A. Times: Obama seems more of a winner here, as an on-the-fold headline shows: "Economic woes give Obama a slight edge." The subhed to the lead item: "On a day of dizzying one-upmanship, Obama rejects McCain's call to postpone their debate."


Boston Globe: Contrary to a concern of their native son, Jim Antle, they use the word "pause" rather than "suspend," in a shocking appreciation of the right word: Bush Urges Bailout Unity; McCain Pauses Campaign


New York Times: A foreign policy article in the lead left item is an unpleasant reminder of other issues in the world, and the main item shows: "Bush to Hold Meeting on Bailout; First Debate Up in Air." Both subheds favor McCain (well, in that one is neutral, and the other states "McCain for delay; Republican to step off trail for now to work on a deal."

None of these pieces seem to reflect a faltering campaign or the possibility that McCain calculated his move based on dropping polls. McCain's move clearly defined the news of the day, overshadowing Bush's own big speech, and Obama's ledes only reflect his responses. If there's someone who comes off as a leader in these headlines it's McCain. And of course, there's always the possibility that this will blow up in his face -- but so far, it's not looking bad.

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