Headlines Are Words That Create Their Own Context, Politico Edition

by evanmcmurry

Here’s the Politico headline: “Mitt Romney drawing larger crowds.”

Perhaps it’s me viewing everything within the binary prism of the election, but that sure seemed to mean “Mitt Romney drawing larger crowds [than Barack Obama].” It didn’t. Way below the lede the article admits that Romney’s crowds are nowhere near the size of Obama’s, or even John Kerry’s down the stretch. (The piece also mentions that crowd sizes generally don’t symbolize anything but the inevitable intensification of base support as the election nears—ask Ron Paul how much crowd size is reflected on election day—making the entire article rather pointless.) Of course, Politico could have just as easily run with “Romney’s Crowds Increasing In Size.” Perhaps they felt that wasn’t as snappy, or perhaps they assumed drive-by readers (and you know Politico gets its fair share of those) would fill in the rest of the headline and come to a conclusion that their article in no way supports.

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