A subheadline that misses the point

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The Chronicle ran a bit of “olds” on the editorial page today, an op-ed by Douglas Kmiec that appeared in the Washington Post yesterday.

In the WaPo, the op-ed ran with only the headline An ‘honest broker’.

In the Chronicle, however, the op-ed ran with the following headline and subheadline: Miers is an ‘honest broker’ with the right background: Why even bloggers on the right are wrong about her

The supplied subheadline is a little misleading, since Kmiec devotes only one sentence to conservative bloggers, and that sentence is meant to dispel the offensive notion that somehow this woman is intellectually deficient (an inaccurate charge seen on some liberal and conservative blogs, although one that may well resonate with some elitist libertarian/conservative law-professor/blogger types whose vision of an ideal Supreme Court justice is probably reflected right back at them when they look at their monitors). The main thrust of Kmiec’s piece is that Miers believes in judicial restraint, and that her work at the intersection of law and politics will influence deference on her part to the legislative and executive branches should she be confirmed. That’s a bit of a leap of faith on Kmiec’s part — nobody can know it with any certainty — but that’s the thrust of his argument.

From the subheadline, one gets the sense that the editorial idealists might be overly concerned with “bloggers on the right.” Maybe “bloggers on the right” will become the new Chron “bad guys!”

Incidentally, one local “blogger on the right” (Beldar) has written some of the most comprehensive web analysis going on the Miers nomination, and even appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s thoughtful, nationally syndicated radio program to discuss it yesterday. Instead of recycling “olds” from other newspapers on the Miers nomination, the Chronicle editorial idealists should solicit an original submission from Beldar.


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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX