Saturday, December 23, 2006

 

The Chicago Tribune Misleads Its Readers

Below is a scan of the center portion of the front page of today's Chicago Tribune:


The caption beneath reads:
In Cape Canaveral, Fla.: After some last-minute suspense courtesy of the weather, space shuttle Discovery glided home on Friday to conclude a 13-day. 5.3 million-mile mission that included rewiring of the International Space Station. Showers over Florida had forced NASA to consider backup sites in California and New Mexico. In Houston: Discovery's signature twin sonic booms caught the attention of Nilam Ali (center left) and others, though the spacecraft was still out of sight. Story, Page 3
Without reading the caption, which is just below the fold, one is left with the impression that these people are pointing at Discovery or that they are witnesses to its landing. But these people didn't even get a glimpse of the the shuttle! Which leads me to wonder: Just what exactly are those two children pointing at?

And why does a photo of Muslims in Houston smiling and looking skyward (most, to my untrained eye, in different directions) in reaction to Discovery's sonic booms warrant such a prominent position on the front page of a Chicago based newspaper? Houston is a thousand miles from Cape Canaveral. Why do these two photos even belong together? What message is the Tribune trying to convey by combining these two photos in this way?

But the biggest unanswered question I have is this: How did photographer Mayra Beltran come across these people?

I'd be very interested to know.

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