A Matter Of Emphasis

In the past few days, attention has turned to Baltimore, where public fury at the lack of unaccountability over the mysterious death of Freddie Gray continues to boil. On Monday evening, events came to a head. Sometimes it’s useful to take a look at the two major newspapers in the land, and see how each covered the same event.

In yesterday’s issue of the Wall Street Journal, the banner headline read, “Violence Erupts in Baltimore” — as if there was no violence before, but we’ll let that slide. A center photo features a badass-looking dude walking away from a burning police van. The sub-hed reads: “Governor summons the National Guard, declares state of emergency after riots sweep city” — and the lede graf reads thusly: “Riots, looting and violent unrest engulfed swaths of this city Monday, thrusting it into upheaval just hours after thousands of people attended a funeral for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died in police custody earlier this month [April 12].”

As for the New York Times, the lead headline was: “Clashes Rock Baltimore After Funeral; Curfew Is Set,” above a large photo depicting a phalanx of Baltimore police officers in riot gear. Sub-hed is “National Guard Is Called Amid Looting” — and the lede graf: “Maryland’s governor activated the National Guard on Monday and the city of Baltimore announced a curfew for all residents as a turbulent day that began with the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, the nation’s latest symbol of police brutality, ended with rioting by rock-throwing youths, arson, looting and at least 15 police officers injured.”

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