The Spectacle Blog

Reading Between the Lines

By on 11.2.05 | 6:56AM

Major newspaper coverage of yesterday's Democratic fit in the Senate barely allows their readers a full picture.

The New York Times headline, "Partisan Quarrel Forces Senators to Bar the Doors," captures Democratic decorum, but the story provides little context.

The Post treats the stunt with undeserved dignity but squeezes in the bigger picture just after the jump:

Friday's indictment of top White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby on perjury and obstruction charges gave Democrats a new opening to demand that more light be shed on these issues, including administration efforts to discredit a key critic of the prewar claims of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Democrats were dismayed that President Bush made no apologies after the indictment and that his naming of a new Supreme Court nominee Monday knocked the Libby story off many front pages.

No urgency of a closed session, just a few days of bad news for the Democrats.

The Boston Globe wins the prize for thorough reporting on this one: calling it a "power play" in the first sentence and communicating the pettiness over the Iraq intelligence. Still, the writer possibly misreads the move:

The one political boost the Republicans received this week -- the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr., a highly regarded appellate judge -- was eclipsed yesterday by the Democrats' maneuver.

Eclipsed? If she means eclipsed for one day, sure. The whole nomination? Heck no. It moves it off the front pages, but what will be remembered here is a tantrum and not the substance of the session. That photo of Reid, Schumer, and Durbin? Those are hardly the faces of measured moderation.

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