Debate Double Standards

GOP candidates flashed "conservative credentials" before an "overwhelmingly conservative" crowd - but Democrats don't try to appeal to liberals?

Adam Nagourney and Marc Santora's report on the second G.O.P. debate, carried by Fox News from Columbia, S.C., was introduced in Wednesday's print edition with an exaggerated headline, "Terror Attack Scenario Exposes Deep Differences Among G.O.P. Hopefuls."

"Deep differences"? The text itself claimed "subtle but deep differences," but Times Watch is apparently not subtle enough to tease those actual differences out, based on what the Times actually reported.

By contrast, the April 27 headline over a story from Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny on the previous Democratic debate in South Carolina portrayed the candidates as happy and healthy to fight another day: "In Mostly Sedate Debate, Democrats Show More Unity Than Strife."

Also, the Times' story on the G.O.P. debate included 10 "conservative" labels, with the candidates constantly defending their "conservative credentials" before a "decidedly conservative crowd." Liberals apparently have no pull in the Democratic party, because the Times' April 27 storydidn't see fit to mention their existence or Democratic candidates' attempts to appeal to them.