Spinning a Lead Headline in a Democratic Direction

The Times spins for Democrats: "In Senate, G.O.P. Blocks A Debate Over Iraq Policy."

Carl Hulse's front-page "news analysis" Wednesday had a somewhat fairer headline ("Many Voices, But No Debate - Dueling Agendas Stifle Senate Action on War,") than the one over the piece he co-wrote with Jeff Zeleny for yesterday's front page, "In Senate, G.O.P. Blocks A Debate Over Iraq Policy."

As Townhall blogger Mary Katherine Ham explained, that's simply wrong. The Q&O blog caught the misleading headlines from the Times and other outlets and summarized:

"Contrary to the implication of these 'news' reports, the Democrats are attempting to end debate on a single resolution (and need 60 votes to do it) and force a vote on that single resolution without allowing others to be considered. By opposing cloture (which would stop debate), the Republicans are actually keeping debate open.

"Or, said another way, Democrats want to prevent other resolutions from being considered. Republicans are attempting to keep debate open to force Democrats to consider and debate other resolutions and amendments."

Hulse's Wednesday "news analysis"was more balanced but included this lame bit of excuse-making for Democrats as if Republicans insisting on putting a pro-Bush plan up for debate was some kind of trickery:

"Republicans had laid a bit of a trap for Democrats. They knew that the bipartisan plan by Senators John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, and Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, did not have 60 votes. But the plan calling for no reductions in spending, written by Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, was likely to get at least 60, meaning the only resolution that would have passed would have been one that essentially backed the president."