How America's Newspapers Covered the '47%' Controversy

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Glancing at many front pages, an uninformed observer would understand only that Mitt Romney said something controversial and wrongheaded.

As the political press argues about how voters are going to react to Mitt Romney's "47 percent" remarks, if at all, it's worth taking a quick look around America to see how it's playing on the front pages of newspapers. For the most part, the Romney campaign can't be liking what they saw Wednesday.  

From the front page of the Decatur Daily News:

47 Decatur Daily News.png

The front page of The Denver Post, above the fold:

47 the denver post.png


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

47 ajc.png

The Dallas Morning News:

47 Dallas Morning News.png

The New York Daily News:

47 new york daily news.png

The Salt Lake City Tribune:

47 salt lake city trib.png

USA Today:

47 USA Today.png

One reason these remarks could theoretically hurt Romney is that the 47 percent of voters he disparaged include GOP supporters and winnable swing voters. I agree with Ramesh Ponnuru when he says that "a lot of the people in the 47 percent won't feel insulted because they don't know they're in it." What perusing these newspaper headlines brings home is the fact that to the uninformed observer this news just comes across as Romney having said something stupid.

"Romney Trips in Tight Race" may well be the takeaway for a lot of barely-paying-attention Americans. 
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Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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