Michael Luo's Anti-Romney Piece Crammed with "Conservative" Labels

The presidential race is tightening, yet the Times still portrays "conservatives" as full of angst over their VP choices.

Even though polls show a tightening presidential race, the Times finds little but disarray and discontent on the Republican side, as demonstrated from the headline and text of Michael Luo's Saturday piece, "McCain-Romney Ticket? Some in G.O.P. Shout 'No."

...the determined opposition to Mr. Romney highlights the nagging concerns about his ideological authenticity- and his Mormon religion- that dogged him throughout his primary campaign. It also illuminates the continuing unease Mr. McCain arouses among some evangelicals and other social conservatives who make up an important voting bloc of the Republican base.

Besides the negativity, Luo's piece is alsooverloaded with "conservative" labels - Luo used the word "conservative" an eye-popping 20 times, not including names of groups or quoted material, in his 1,400-word story. (The word appeared 26 times in all.) By way of comparison, the conjunction "and" appeared only 19 times under the same criteria! The Times recently reduced the paper's width from 12 inches to 10.5 - perhaps trimming a few dozen unnecessary ideological labels could free up even more space?

Meanwhile, Democratic angst over their own vice presidential candidates is muted in Times' coverage. Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh is being vetoed by the leftwing netroots for his pro-war vote, yet reporter Carl Hulse story for the paper's political blog didn't make the print edition.