Admiral Mike Mullen is the hero, John McCain is the villain. Ladies and gentlemen we have a conflict! Everyone loves a conflict! Especially on an emotive issue like this one.
The Washington Post is especially bold in flagging up McCain's utter flip-flop — he originally said he'd support the repeal if military chiefs did. Now they've emphatically said they want gay people to serve openly, he's changed his mind.
Other stuff that is not old men who look like Mr. Magoo being scared of the gays:
- The New York Times report from Guinea, which is on the road to a fragile democracy and peace, against expectations.
- The Washington Post report that AIG is to pay $100m in bonuses this year.
- And the Wall Street Journal look at preparations to bring world leaders to the Arctic circle.
Disclosure: I freelance write and report for newspapers that are included in this roundup. Where there is a direct conflict of interest I will make it clear.
The New York Times: leads with the calls to end don't ask don't tell. There's a feature from previously conflicted Guinea, and a look at two New York institutions — St. Vincent's Hospital and the art of grubbing for rich political donors. Meanwhile homeowners are still just walking away from their properties, and dogs still want to bark, inconveniently.
The Washington Post: show why it's lucky so much American politics gets done in front of flags — it makes for great pictures. This one illustrates analysis of President Obama's difficulties connecting with 'everyday' Americans. Whatever that means. The paper lead with the news on don't ask don't tell, including John McCain's appalling, bigoted flip-flop on the matter. AIG is to pay $100m in bonuses, because apparently they want them some populist rage, electronic throttles may be to blame for Toyota's problems, and the children of CIA agents are left with a mystery when their parents die.
The LA Times: also lead with don't ask don't tell, and have the news from the Toyota investigation. They take a look at the Oscar nominations, the feature is a tragic love story and there's worrying news from North Korea — Barbara Demick, who wrote this spectacular piece for the New Yorker on life in the country — reports that conditions are worsening under Kim Jong Il.
The Wall Street Journal: leads with Toyota's woes, covers don't ask don't tell, investigates some potentially shady doings in Massachusetts and has a feature on preparations to host a G7 meeting at an Arctic outpost.
The New York Post: has a sympathetic, nuanced analysis of the motivations of this alleged arsonist. Not really. But he's an 'illegal', so it's fine.
The Daily News: covers the same story, but with less illegal-immigrant rage.
Aurora Sentinel: see? American Flags + politicians = front page images.
The Irish Times: intellectually disabled? Surely this is a term too far. It sounds like a catch-all for people who have difficulty discussing Updike's oeuvre and don't own a copy of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy.