Sunday, November 19, 2006

Top Democrat Wants To Bring Back the Draft

The story that the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Democrat Charles Rangel, wants to bring back has been covered everywhere. My angle? Why CNN's bias of course. They cover the story, front and center, but with the title:
Rangle: Bring back the draft
But how many people know who Rangle is? They don't identify him as a Democrat in the blurb on the front page:
An all volunteer U.S. military is fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that could change if the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has his way. Rep. Charles Rangel wants to bring back the draft.
It's only if you click on the actual article that you see the full headline:
Top Democrat: Bring back the draft
CNN does this hocus pocus with headlines a lot; the headline on the front page rarely matches the headline of the actual article. This often seems to be done for space limitations but often the editing of the text for the front page drastically changes the meaning of the headline. If these changes in meaning are random, then it just shows sloppy editing on the part of CNN. But do the changes in meaning have a political bias?

This brings me to mention an idea I hope to implement some time in the near future. It would be easy enough to record both the short headline and the long headline and compare them when they are different. I, for one, would be fascinated to see if there is a pattern in direction the edits take the headline.