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'Bush Wins' Falls off Front Page

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Bush Wins' Falls off Front Page

Article excerpt

Readers say 'Miami Herald' undervote story downplayed by several papers

You would think news that President Bush is still leading in the Florida ballot recount would make headlines around the country. But The Miami Herald's Feb. 26 story, headlined "Dade Undervotes Support Bush Win," which moved the night before on both The Associated Press and Knight Ridder wires, was not widely or well-played at some major papers around the country.

The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and The Washington Post all were accused by readers of showing liberal bias by underplaying or ignoring the Herald story.

Bee editors felt the sting of reader wrath for burying the story on the last page of the "B" section. In hindsight, Bee editors acknowledged in print that the play was a mistake, in a column by Ombudsman Sanders LaMont. "The story merited page A1 for a variety of reasons," Bee Assistant Managing Editor Mort Saltzman told LaMont.

Twin Cities readers had tangible evidence of the Star Tribune's alleged liberal tilt, since the St. Paul Pioneer-Press -- like the Herald, a Knight Ridder paper -- ran the Miami story on Page One Feb. …

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