Letter: Reader believes article editorialized on GOP contribution to sequestration

February 27, 2013 

News or opinion?

Just curious about the front page policy of the Tri-City Herald. Is the front page reserved for straight news, or can it also include opinion? In the case of the latter, do you designate an article as an opinion piece? This inquiry is prompted by the Feb. 14 front page headline, "GOP's gripes about spending cuts ignore role in their creation," by David Lightman.

The title itself, along with the following from the body of the piece should not be considered straight news. "It was Republicans ... who forced the budget crisis." And, "Republicans took the extraordinary step of demanding big spending cuts as the price for permitting an otherwise routine increase in the government's debt ceiling." And, "Mitch McConnell ... now pounds away at Obama."

My words now: Really? An extraordinary step to fight for out-of-control spending cuts? And since when should increasing the debt ceiling be considered routine?

Of course, the words "gripes," "drumbeat," "pounds away," and "tortured," which all appeared in this article, have negative connotations. Editorial comments, yes. Straight news, not exactly. Does this article as written belong on the front page, or the editorial page? You tell me.

FLORENCE KIRCHNER, Richland

-- Editor's note: Herald news pages frequently include analyses of important issues and events. An "analysis" tag can help put an article in context for readers. Perhaps one would have been appropriate in this case.

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