Friday, May 18, 2012

Today's Headline Bias: Mahmoud Goes to London

Check out how the HP headlined an article on their World page (click to enlarge):

Oh no! Someone's Olympic dreams were "quashed"? That's so sad! Everyone loves Olympic athletes and dreams! What has happened??

Um....OK. So Iranian President Ahmadinejad wants to go to London. That's the news story. According to the article:
"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that he is eager to attend the Olympic Games in London to support Iranian athletes but that Britain doesn't want to host him....Britain's Foreign Office declined to comment on Ahmadinejad's claim, saying its policy was not to discuss individual visa cases. However, British authorities have confirmed that anyone can be stopped from entering the country – including for the Summer Games – if it is decided that their presence would be "unconducive to the public good."
The International Olympic Committee had no immediate comment."
We only have the word of the Iranian president to go on, but the HP immediately writes a clearly sympathetic headline that doesn't even resemble the facts of the case. How could President Ahmadinejad have "Olympic dreams"? He's not an athlete, which is the kind of person that phrase is usually reserved for. But I guess when you have an agenda to push, you're willing to make exceptions.

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