Times Buries Republican Optimism Under Bland Hed: 'A Tilt Away From Social Issues'

Chief political reporter Adam Nagourney saw reasons for GOP optimism at a governors' conference, but some copy editor and photo caption writers effectively buried that part of his story.

Chief political reporter Adam Nagourney saw reasons for Republican optimism going into the 2010 governors' races, but you wouldn't know it from the odd choice of headline over his Friday "political memo" from the Republican Governor's Association meeting in Texas ("A Tilt Away From Social Issues").

A photo caption also emphasized an extraneous issue that merited a single line in Nagourney's story: "Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi warned against attacking President Obama."

Nagourney, who tends to follow liberal media conventional wisdom on electoral matters (he dismissed the import of the recent Republican successes in Virginia and New Jersey) admitted things were going well for the GOP:

After two bleak years, Republican governors gathered here on Thursday to assess their political future - and they liked what they saw. With 37 governors' seats open in 2010, the party is looking to topple some big-name Democrats.

The original online headline was much more positive: "Republicans Governors See Victory Through Pocketbook Issues." The print edition and updated online edition now emphasize the obverse.