If Obama critics thought the reporters in the East Room went soft on President Obama on Wednesday instead of engaging in a Benghazi showdown, they really won't like the even softer headline treatments in Wednesday's newspapers.
The worst on the national stage was USA Today: "OBAMA GETS TOUGH ON GOP: Calls attacks on U.N. envoy Rice ‘outrageous’; withholds judgment on FBI.” In large blue type at the fold is the Obama quote “We should not hold the middle class hostage.”
The Washington Post was a gushy runner-up: “Meeting the press, taking a victory lap: In first news conference since election, Obama confidently sets agenda.”
The New York Times was boring: “Obama Details Lines of Battle In Budget Plan”.
Politico's print edition played word games: “Obama Steamed Over Rice”.
The Wall Street Journal: Ahem, there was no front-page press conference story. (That Rupert Murdoch has truly turned this into a right-wing tabloid! Oops.) On page A-4, the story is “Obama Presses for Higher Taxes, but He Adds Caveats”.
The Washington Times was the opposite of USA Today: "Obama, GOP clash on Benghazi: 'Go after me, he says to critics of U.N. ambassador's remarks." The Times highlighted Obama-bashing quotes from Senators McCain and Graham in bold type.
I also looked at the DC area’s free tabloids. The Washington Examiner’s front page was on the “headache” of Obamacare health exchanges. On page 22, their presser headline was “Obama stands firm on taxes ahead of talks”.
The Washington Post’s Express tabloid had a “Cover Story” on page 13 headlined “‘I Believe This Is Solvable’: Obama says he’s open to compromise but presses higher taxes on the rich”.
On page 3, there’s also a presser story headlined “Obama: No Sign of Security Leak: President confident Petraeus affair did not jeopardize U.S.".