Star headline: We have a balanced budget!

by David Safier

Imagine a headline that reads, "Family no longer in debt." Then you read the story and find out the kids are sick and starving. Do you say, "It's a good thing they stopped buying food and going to the doctors"? I didn't think so.

The big front page headline in today's Star is,

State's 1st balanced budget in 5 yrs. OK'd

The subhead is, "Final legislative approval comes over objections of Senate Dems." Oh, those crazy Democrats. Who could be against a balanced budget?

The East Valley Trib has the same Howie Fischer story with a more balanced headline.

Legislature approves balanced budget with deep cuts to education, health care

That headline does a good job of describing the story, unlike the Star's.

Here is the Yuma Sun's version:

Lawmakers OK balanced budget; University system cut by $198 million

In the interest of fairness, I have to say, I haven't written much about the literary stylings of the Star's Creative Headline Writing Team lately, because the heads have been pretty unobjectionable. But when I see a head/subhead like this one screaming from the front page, I'm not about to let that go.

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