Front Pages Quiet on Debate Winners, Losers

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 4 2012 9:35 AM

Today's Front Pages: Headline Writers Avoid Calling a Winner

As we explained late last night pundits wasted little time scoring Wednesday's debate a clear-cut win for Mitt Romney. But a quick scan of the morning's front pages shows that—fortunately for President Obama—the nation's headline writers and art team largely avoided specifics in the hours between when the debate ended and when Thursday's editions went to press.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

As you'll see there was the occasional talk of a "Romney doing well; Obama didn't err," but that type of punditry was largely relegated to subheads. A typical bold-faced headline, meanwhile, involved the two men "sparring," "clashing" or "debating."


Here's a small sampling from swing states around the country (via the Newseum, which has plenty more for you to look at here).

We'll start with the exception to the rule, the Denver Post, which called round one for Romney:


Many of the Post's print brethren, however, went the he-said/he-said route. The Des Moines Register:


The St. Louis Dispatch:


The Las Vegas Review-Journal:


The Charlotte Observer:


The Cincinnati Inquirer:


The Richmond Times-Dispatch:


The Miami Herald:


And, for comparison, the Wall Street Journal:




Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.