by David Safier
A few posts ago, I took a shot at the front page of this morning's Star for misrepresenting the Supreme Court's SB1070 ruling and for emphasizing Brewer's point -- The Feds are picking on us! -- over a cogent description and analysis of the decision. Here's the earlier post with a pic of the relevant section of the Star front page.
Was all the Arizona front page coverage this bad? I went to Newseum, where you can get the front page from papers around the world, to find out. The answer is, the state's two major papers were far better, and the small town papers, well, they gave the Star a run for its money. [To the Star: being compared to small town papers in Arizona is not a compliment.]
Here's the Republic front page.
Without reading the copy, you get a sense of what went on. "Turmoil Remains" sums up the post-decision situation in Arizona well. The next headline is accurate as well: "WHO WON: BOTH SIDES HAVE CLAIM." The other two headlines are good follow-ups. The Republic put some creative thought into its front page, creating a grabber that should move papers on the street and is also an accurate reflection of the situation on the ground.
Flagstaff's Daily Sun went simple.
"Mixed Ruling" is correct. Both sides can claim victories in certain areas, but neither side got exactly what it wanted. Everything else is pretty much spin.
I won't post graphics of the small town papers, but here are a few headlines:
From The Daily Courier in Prescott: "High court ruling leaves Arizona to rely on feds." What the hell does that mean? Terrible headline.
From the Casa Grande Dispatch: "Enforce 2B or not enforce 2B?" Ugh! That may be the single worst use of a Shakespeare quote in history, and, since few people know what "2B" is, it comes across as gibberish.
From the Yuma Sun: "SB1070 Ruling Reaction: Enforcement questions linger." It's a clear and accurate headline, but like the Star, the Sun is covering the reaction before it explains the story.
Looking back at the Star's front page: it's in good small town company. The big boys did a far better job.