The Libya op-ed appearing today in three lead papers: The Times (of London); the New York Times (which includes the subsidiary International Herald Tribune) , and Le Figaro, written by British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and US President Barack Obama got treated a bit differently depending where it appeared.
First of all, only in Le Figaro did the article by the three heads of state get blaring prominence on the paper’s homepage. It was the big, main item in the French case — and in Le Figaro, Sarkozy got top billing, followed by Obama, and then Cameron.
In the British case of The Times, the lead article on the paper’s homepage is not the oped but rather a piece reporting that the Tories are offering strong counsel to David Cameron to seek a broader mandate on Libya given what he said in the op-ed. The op-ed itself was buried in the piece, but there was a modest link to it.
In contrast to the Americans and French, however, the British make anyone wanting to read the important article have to subscribe. (This should have been freely accessed — note to Joint French-American-British oped PR team.)
The Brits interestingly don’t take top billing for their guy on the piece as the French did. They give top billing to Barack Obama — then Cameron, followed by Sarkozy.
And then there is the New York Times in which Obama got top billing, followed by Cameron and then Sarkozy.
The article titled “Libya’s Pathway to Peace” did not appear at all on the front page of the New York Times website, and was fairly well buried even on the “opinion page” of the site.
Interestingly, while the article was the 2nd most linked article by bloggers — the joint oped did very poorly in terms of the number of times readers emailed it out. It didn’t even make the top 25 most emailed articles.
Indeed, a story on “the price of tomatoes” beat out the Obama-Cameron-Sarkozy piece as the 25th most emailed item.
— Steve Clemons