Dec 202008

“U.S. Throws Lifeline to Detroit”

That’s the miserable, Murdochized headline on the lead story in the weekend issue of the Wall Street Journal. It’s typical Murdoch — uninformative and opinionated, telling us things that nobody could possibly know.

I googled for other stories on what happened Friday to see if other newspapers did a similarly wretched job in describing the action of the Bush administration. I selected stories that purported to tell what the Bush administration did and omitted any that seemed mainly about peoples’ reactions. If there seemed to be two such stories from any particular news agency, I picked what seemed to be the main and best one.

Here are the results:

  • Bush throws lifeline to US automakers (Reuters)
  • Automakers grab loans, look to Obama White House (The Associated Press)
  • Auto bailout plan rolls in (Lake Expo, MO)
  • Chrysler, GM win a federal lifeline (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
  • Bush approves $17.4 billion in aid to automakers (Los Angeles Times)
  • Loans give GM, Chrysler 3 months (Detroit Free Press)
  • GM and Chrysler Will Get $13.4 Billion in US Loans (Bloomberg)
  • Bush announces auto rescue (CNNMoney)
  • Bush Approves $17.4 Billion Auto Bailout (New York Times)
  • Bush’s lifeline offers car firms the fuel to survive (The Age, Australia)
  • Bush orders auto bailout (London Free Press, Canada)
  • Bush unveils $17.4bn carmaker rescue (Rediff, India)
  • $17.4B bailout will halt automakers’ hemorrhaging (Indianapolis Star)
  • After Congress Refuses, Bush Gives $17.4 Billion Loan To US Carmakers (RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, Czech Republic)
  • Bailout approved: Automakers to get $17.4B (Salt Lake Tribune, United States)

I hate to have to say anything good about these two, but the Los Angeles Times and New York Times both had headlines worthy of the news profession. So did the Salt Lake Tribune, Radio Free Europe, and Rediff of India.

Note to the Indianapolis Star: You can stop the sales pitch and wild promises now. It’s a done deal.

Were any of these headlines worse than the WSJ’s? No, but Reuters and the Minneapolis Star and Tribune were just as bad. Maybe The Age of Australia should be in there, too.