April 9, 2013

Priorities: USA Today Print Edition Puts Thatcher Coverage Below the Fold on Page 1

USATfrontPage040913Coverage of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s death and life was relegated to below the fold at USA Today this morning.

Three items above the fold (excluding left-side teases to coverage of other stories) were considered more important that the Iron Lady’s passing: “Remembering Annette Funicello”; a “Duplicate programs waste billions” item about wasteful government spending (useful, but it’s not as if we didn’t know this already); and to top it off, a 6×6 photo from the first half of the NCAA men’s basketball finals, the result of which the paper was unable to report because the game ended after its publication deadline.

Thatcher got half of the available real estate below the fold. USAT chose to use half of her space for a picture of a weakened Iron Lady which was clearly from long after she left the public stage. A quarter of the below-the-fold space went to the government waste story, and the remainder was given to what amounted to a free commercial for the final episode of National Geogrphaic Channel’s three-part series on the 1980s.

The Thatcher coverage itself, which carried back to 60% of Pages A6 and A7 (the rest went to ads), was largely fair, with one exception: Rick Hampson’s primary story (as carried at the Asbury Park Press; I could not find it at USAT’s web site in a search on the story’s first sentence) detoured into who-cares territory in addressing Ms. Thatcher’s lack of solidarity with the true-believer wing of the “feminist” movement, which has always claimed to represent the majority of women and never, ever has:

… (Thatcher) was more complicated and paradoxical than the political caricature would suggest:

- In a time when feminism was waxing, here was a self-made woman and working mother who was neither a feminist nor a liberal. She happily answered to “Mrs. Thatcher.” “Americans were taken aback,” says Grossman of the American Historical Association. (Uh, no we weren’t. — Ed.)

American feminists didn’t know what to think. “Some women were happy to see a woman in power,” says Jacqueline Jones, a professor of American history at the University of Texas at Austin. “Others were appalled by her policies.”

Thatcher’s ascent did not threaten opponents of feminism because she never seemed like a feminist — or even, at times, particularly feminine. (From a press which obsesses over gender stereotypes, we get a gender stereotype. — Ed.)

“She was an absolute trailblazer,” said Gillian Shephard, who served as a junior minister under Thatcher and is the author of The Real Iron Lady: Working with Mrs. Thatcher. “Before her time as prime minster it was perhaps unthinkable that a woman should reach that position in Britain. Since she was prime minister it has of course become possible for all women.” (In doing so, she accomplished more for the advancement of women than the entire horde of true-believer feminists ever have. — Ed.)

… – In a time when Britain was widely regarded by its former colony as hidebound, backward and sexist, the mother country was first of the two to elect a woman head of government. “They got there first,” observes Grossman. “And we’re still not there.”

Reagan was a man’s man of a politician — up there on his horse, in cowboy boots and hat — who had few powerful women in his own administration. Yet he found himself partners with a woman who became his primary international ally.

Well, at least Hampson didn’t relay the classless comment from the mid-1980s made by Neil Kinnock and others in the Labor Party claiming that Thatcher had a “schoolgirl crush” for Reagan — as the Associated Press’s obituary did, without attributing the characterization to perhaps her most bitter, unhinged opponents.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Latest PJ Media Column (‘Jobs: A Fourth Straight Spring and Summer Bummer’) Is Up

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:16 am

It’s here.

It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Thursday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (040913)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Celtics player hits buzzer-beater, hugs man who saved his life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Cleveland:

March 28, 2013

He was there, somewhere, in the crowd, just a face to the thousands gathered at Quicken Loans Arena but much, much more than that to Jeff Green.

Where, though? The Celtics forward scanned the crowd all game, searching for the man he said he owes everything to, the man responsible for Green even playing here, in the NBA, on a Wednesday night, collecting millions to play the game he loves.

And then the buzzer howled after Green beat it with a game-winning layup. And the scoreboard glowed the final result: Boston 93, Cleveland 92. And disappointed Cavaliers fans filed out in droves of disbelief while the Celtics celebrated like mad, having stolen a hard-fought win.

And then Green found him, Dr. Lars Svensson, the man who performed open-heart surgery on Green at the Cleveland Clinic nearly a year ago.

Svensson had seen Green play here before, but this was different. It was special, because Svensson witnessed the man whose life and career he helped resurrect win a game on its very last play. They shared a warm embrace. Svensson told him he was proud. A happy Green reflected.

“Just a year ago and a couple months, I was under that bright light with him working on me,” said the forward, who scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

“It’s a blessing to be here.”

Then, a moment later, Green smiled and said, “That was for him.”

It was quite a performance and finish to dedicate to anyone. Green rescued the Celtics, snapping their five-game losing streak on a night when Kevin Garnett and Courtney Lee sat out with left ankle issues. …

Go here for the rest of the story.