So what do you do if you're reporting on an MSNBC interview with McCain adviser Carly Fiorina in which she states that neither of the major party presidential candidates nor their vice presidential running mates qualify to run a major corporation? If you're the folks at CNNPolitics.com, you headline the story "McCain adviser Fiorina: Palin not ready to run a corporation."
The MSNBC story, "If she can't run a major company..." cites a recent Fiorina radio interview in which she was asked if Sarah Palin has the experience to run a major company like Hewlett-Packard, which Fiorina formerly served as CEO:
"No. I don't," Fiorina said. "But you know what? That's not what she's running for [laughs]. Running a corporation is a different set of things. I would just remind you that it is Barack Obama who is running for president, John McCain who is running for president. Sarah Palin has more executive experience than Barack Obama has. Barack Obama has never made an executive decision in his life. He has been a state senator and during his time there when a difficult issue came up, he voted present over 100 times instead of standing up and being accountable to a yes or no vote. He has been in the U.S. Senate for a very short period of time and has been running for office most of that time.
"Sarah Palin as a mayor and a governor has made executive decisions, challenged her own party, taken accountability for those decisions, so I find it quite stunning actually that the Barack Obama campaign is questioning Sarah Palin's experience who's got more executive experience than he does -- and she's the vice presidential nominee. Barack Obama is the presidential nominee."
But later she told NBC's (Andrea) Mitchell that neither McCain nor Obama nor Biden were qualified to run a major corporation.
"Well, I don't think John McCain could run a major corporation; I don't think Barack Obama could run a major corporation; I don't think Joe Biden could run a major corporation.
CNNPolitics.com started its report:
Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO turned top John McCain aide, said she doesn't think Sarah Palin is qualified to run a major corporation. For that matter, Fiorina said, McCain, Obama and Biden aren't capable of that kind of job either.
To the right of CNN's headline are "Story Highlights." These are listed in this order:
Carly Fiorina also tells MSNBC John McCain isn't ready to run a corporation
Fiorina was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard and is now a McCain adviser
She also says Barack Obama, Joe Biden not ready to be CEOs
So even though the former HP CEO went out of her way to praise Palin and to point out that governance requires different skill sets than business, CNN chose to highlight Palin's supposed inadequacies.
This just shows, once again, that skimming mainstream media headlines can be very misleading. Even - perhaps especially - if the Web site is run by the self-styled "most trusted name in news."