Slogans and Headlines

Washington Post headline:
U.S. Defies Judge on Enemy Combatant

Front-page Seattle Times headline for the same story:
U.S. balks at judge’s order in terror war


The Justice Department yesterday defied a federal judge’s order to provide him with documents that would have supported the government’s classification of a U.S.-born man captured in Afghanistan and being held in a Navy brig in Virginia as an “enemy combatant.”

“U.S.”, as it’s used in both headlines, doesn’t refer to the American public at large. (The reaction of anyone outside the court room isn’t described in the article.) Both papers are equating the Justice Department with the United States as a whole, and implying that the federal judge is somehow non-U.S. (Perhaps he’s un-American too?).

Even passing this off as a copy-editing oversight on the part of both papers, it seems like a pretty telling Freudian-slip.

Justin on the Bush administration and slogans.

Categorized as Before

1 comment

  1. Last week, I noticed that Tom Daschle (Democratic Senate Majority Leader) was sitting before a wall full of a snippy “theme” slogan, making a speech. The trend is contagious, and it’s not a very pleasant turn of events.

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