Wednesday, September 13, 2006

CNN Won't Give Up On Plame Case

Have you been following the Plame case? If so I feel sorry for you. I tried several times to read up on it over the last--what has it been? months? years? feels like decades and I found myself too bored to really understand the details of what was being claimed and who was claiming it.

I did catch the gist of it, though. To the many in the giddy media it appeared that Karl Rove finally got caught doing something illegal and was going to be forced out of Washington. Of course, now the real person behind the leak has come forward and it wasn't Rove at all, it was Richard Armitage of the CIA. If I understand correctly, Armitage is actually a well-known opponent of Bush/Rove and thus the story has quickly fallen from the front pages of all the major media outlets.

But today I noted a CNN front-page headline that struck me as odd. The headline of the actual article is fine, "Outed CIA agent Plame adds Armitage to lawsuit." But the headline on the front page was different:

Notice that the headline (3rd from the top) doesn't mention Armitage by name. Instead we see the term 'admitted leaker'. Why? When Rove was the prime suspect we saw his name repeated ad nauseum on the front page.

This is actually something I've noticed on for a while now. The tag line on the front page doesn't match the headline of the actual article. Just one more way to affect and change the first impression people get when glancing at the top stories of the moment. It would be interesting to study the difference between tag line and headline to see if a consistent bias could be found.