Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Subheads at the Forefront

The White House is angry about, of all things, a subhead in today's New York Times:

Bush lawyers
Discussed Fate
Of CIA Tapes

White House Role Was
Wider Than It Said

Here's the complaint.

The New York Times' inference that there is an effort to mislead in this matter is pernicious and troubling, and we are formally requesting that NYT correct the sub-headline of this story," she said. I think she means "implication."

Here's a more detailed explanation of what the issue is.
Greg Mitchell weighs in, too.

Here's the Times' correction, which is based on a pretty narrow element of the headline (Depends on "it"). Sounds to me as if it's a clarification, not a correction and of course, the TV dopes are going crazy, not distinguishing between the subhead and the story itself.

The subheading with a front-page headline on Wednesday for an article about discussions between four top White House lawyers and the Central Intelligence Agency over whether to destroy videotapes showing secret interrogations of members of Al Qaeda referred imprecisely to the White House’s position thus far on the matter. While Bush administration officials have acknowledged some discussions leading up to the destruction of the tapes in November 2005, as the article noted, the White House itself has not officially said anything on the subject, so its role was not “wider than it said.”

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