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July 17, 2003

BILL KELLER, CALL YOUR OFFICE: Kevin Holtsberry points out more dishonest headline-writing at the New York Times. This story by James Dao (which is actually pretty fair) is headlined "In Ohio, Iraq Questions Shake Even Some of Bush's Faithful."

But, once again, the story doesn't support the gloom of the headline. Here's the key graf:

In conversations here with nearly three dozen voters, the vast majority said they generally like President Bush and believe he is doing a good job. Many people said they remained convinced that Iraq posed a threat, even though no chemical or biological weapons have been found. And there was a broad consensus that the result of the war the ousting of a brutal dictator was good for Iraq as well as the United States.

"Whether or not they find weapons of mass destruction is besides the point," Joyce Allen, 71, a retired bank teller, said as she ate lunch with a friend at Cincinnati's Museum Center. "The people there needed to be freed, and somebody had to do it."

This is shaken faith? I wonder what you'd hear if you asked a few dozen Ohioans whether they trust The New York Times?

UPDATE: Mickey Kaus observes:

The whole story was seemingly assigned (and edited) in order to allow that hed to be written. ... There's some sort of editorial scandal-promoting machine operating here that survives (and predates) Howell Raines.

This sort of thing is shaking Americans' in the Times! No, really, it is.

ANOTHER UPDATE: And here it is: "In Ohio, questions of accuracy and fairness shake even Times faithful." My headline's even accurate.