Entertainment Break: See if you can spot the extremely subtle differences in how NYT covered Kamala vs. Pence becoming VP candidates

by Adam Ford · Aug 12th, 2020 2:38 pm

Last Updated Oct 14th, 2020 at 3:26 pm

It's going to take a sharp eye and a keen intellect to figure this one out, but give it a shot.

Here's Kamala's cover:

Here's Pence's:

Heck, even I'll give you the first paragraph or two of each write-up. See if you notice any difference in tone.

Kamala's article begins:

Kamala Harris's first act as a political candidate was knocking out a former boxer: the progressive San Francisco district attorney who had been her boss.

Her freshman Senate term has been defined by committee performances so lacerating that Trump administration officials have complained of her lawyerly velocity. "I'm not able to be rushed this fast," a flustered Jeff Sessions once said to her. "It makes me nervous."

And in Ms. Harris's most memorable turn as a presidential contender, speaking with practiced precision to the man who on Tuesday chose her as his running mate, she began with a less than charitable disclaimer — "I do not believe you are a racist" — before flattening him with the "but . . . "

"It was a debate," she has said repeatedly since then, offering no apology for campaign combat.

That is San Francisco politics, friends say. That is Kamala Devi Harris.

Aaaand Pence's:

Long after government regulators had confirmed the lethal consequences of cigarette smoking, Mike Pence mocked their warnings as "hysteria" in 1998.

"Time for a quick reality check," he wrote. "Smoking doesn't kill."

Long after most members of Congress had abandoned the quaint practice of delivering one-minute morning speeches, Mr. Pence eagerly held court in an empty chamber, musing about sports and Scripture.

And long after Republicans' war on big government was fading, Mr. Pence defiantly opposed his own party over the creation of signature programs like No Child Left Behind and a Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Pence's headline (in the lower-right corner of the front page; it's circled in case you're having trouble finding it) is "Unbending Conservative."

Kamala's, which takes up the entire front page along with a photo of her looking triumphant, is "Political Warrior Shaped by Life In 2 Worlds."

Something just seems ... different about the way each was covered. I can't seem to put my finger on it.

Maybe it's just me.


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