Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

3/05/2005

Star Trib Slight of Hand in the Headlines

Why do I think this is what they ran with in print?

Yesterday I noted the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press coverage of Rep. Gutknecht's announcement that he is not competing against Rep. Kennedy for Republican nomination for Senate in 2006. At the time the online Star Tribune site had a headline something like (drawing from memory here) "Gutknecht Declines Senate Bid, Will Seek Re-election to House."

Today, the exact same article carries the far more incindiary headline: Gutknecht says he won't play 'kingmaker' for Kennedy

A more exciting headline? Sure. But misleading as well. Gutknecht doesn't have the clout to "play kingmaker" for Kennedy, and never said he did. His actual quote from the article is:

"I don't really believe in some of the kingmaker stuff that's been going on here in the last three or four weeks"
The "kingmaker stuff" is apparently a reference to the large number of endorsements Rep. Kennedy has drawn since announcing his bid for the nomination, but Gutknecht clearly didn't allege he held a "kingmaker" ability himself.

What's more, that is hardly the main point of the article. That line alone is the only time the "kingmaker" concept is even mentioned.

Another example of the Star Tribune trying to push editorial opinion in their news pages? You be the judge.

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