Pumas 4 Palin

Toronto Star article on The Denver Group is different!

Posted on: August 18, 2008

The Toronto Star article on The Denver Group surprises habitual readers, even an intelligent casual reader perhaps, of newspaper articles these days.

Will Clinton’s name end up on ballot?

WASHINGTON–Storm clouds are forming over Barack Obama’s big Denver convention parade later this month, with behind-the-scenes efforts to put Hillary Clinton’s name on the ballot showing no signs of slowing.

The Denver Group, an independent advocacy group which says it wants the party’s rules to be respected, has emerged as the most prominent of organizations pushing for a roll-call vote with the New York senator’s name as a presidential nominee.

Naturally the article places the story about the group in the context of Hillary’s name in nomination but accents it with a question mark in the headline. This indicates that something unexpected is about to happen, that what the public once presumed or was led to believe is likely to change?  That is the real job of newspapers. Making a news report that questions status quo or asking questions that lead to genuine answers. Few papers do that anymore and fewer headlines wonder anymore.

Newspapers are happy to give us sensational, dramatic new facts, or decisions fait accompli. When tv, radio and print headlines ask a question it is usually a marketing ploy; learn more, details inside! Toronto Star asks a real question about what if.  By placing the group’s name in this context, the article gives a special historical perspective to a casual reader.

There is more. Unlike other, ie US, papers that have talked about Denver Group, the T.Star goes on about it at length, quoting both Marc Rubin and Heidi Feldman. Feldman uses the baseball analogy and asks if anybody will go to a World Series game if the outcome is already known. Rubin talks about the angst of the 19 million voters who supported Hillary.

Having placed the group’s effort in the context, the article goes on to mention other groups also working to get Hillary on the ballot, such as HRC300, PUMA. This is important. Unlike other mentions, this lends a certain basis and avoids depicting The Denver Group as a lone voice in the wilderness type of portrayal.

Finally the article nails it down in my opinion, by being the only news account to put it all together. It refers to the nasty Edwards affair revelation:

A former aide, Howard Wolfson, further irritated the Obama campaign by telling ABC News this week Clinton would have won Iowa and the party nomination if candidate John Edwards’ extramarital affair had been known before the January caucus.

The readers’ comments are the usual mix,  the language of the posters speaks for itself: insolence, anger, disdain, and intolerance of the Obeymatons; unrelenting Hillary love and quiet pleadings of the disaffected. The article is quite short, but well crafted, generous to The Denver Group, and dutiful in context and narrative. Too bad one had to go to foreign lands to find such!

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