Thursday, December 27, 2007

Second verse, same as the first

And why should readers turn to you for up-to-the-minute campaign coverage on Thursday?

Race enters decisive phase
The most wide-open presidential race in a half century pushed into a decisive new phase Wednesday, the rhetoric a bit more pointed and the appeals a tad more urgent in the final run-up to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

Because it's a great place to catch up if you missed the front-page coverage on Wednesday!
Crucial final leg for races in Iowa
After a pause for Christmas, presidential contenders today resume their blitz across Iowa, scraping and scuffling in contests that have grown tighter and more unpredictable as the first balloting of 2008 nears.

Really. Take out the time elements and the two stories are roughly interchangeable. Here's Thursday's take on the Democrats:
Meanwhile, the Democratic race is shaping up as a three-way fight for Iowa among Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and Edwards, the party's 2004 vice presidential nominee.

And Wednesday's?
On the Democratic side, three candidates -- Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and John Edwards, former senator from North Carolina -- are running neck-and-neck-and-neck.

The only real difference between the two tales is that Wednesday's has a few more experts and Thursday's a few more headline moments from the day's cliche events:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, surprise leader in the Republican pre-caucus polls, bagged an Iowa pheasant with a 12-gauge shotgun and said caucus-goers Jan. 3 should take notice.

[Clearly marking Huckabee as the candidate for change; polls show that Iowa caucus-goers prefer candidates who shoot pheasants, rather than lawyers, when hunting pheasants. But speaking of public opinion, haven't we had time to get over our surprise at those "pre-caucus polls" yet? And if not, shouldn't we hurry?]

Note to editors: The point of a news story is to let people know how the world has changed since the last time you asked for their attention (often, it helps to do this somewhere near the top of the story). If we can't be bothered to read our own stuff, it's a bit uncharitable to complain when the civilians can't be bothered either.

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