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April 9, 2003

Studying the same Bush statement,

Daniel Radosh

Studying the same Bush statement, two media outlets offer radically different interpretations.

From The New York Times: "Mr. Bush was self-assured, blunt-spoken and aggressive. For once, the English language seemed his ally rather than his worst enemy. He betrayed not the slightest doubt about the decisions he has made on the war in Iraq so far or the ones he faces."

From Slate (scroll to 4/8): "If this position confuses you... join the club. Bush, too, looks confused. He's a black-and-white guy. He likes to talk about good and evil, freedom and tyranny, principles and focus groups. When these things come together in the same person or idea, he gets flummoxed."

What accounts for the difference (other than possible overcompensation on NYTer Johnny Apple's part to make up for his week one quagmire story)? Both stories focus on a Bush quote. But the Times edits it to its self-assured, bluntest. Slate publishes it in full.

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