The re-election of President Bush dominated British newspapers Thursday, and many cast impartiality aside in reporting the result.
“How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?” the liberal Daily Mirror asked in a Page One headline. Inside, several pages of coverage were headed “U.S. election disaster.”
The Independent bore the front-page headline “Four more years” on a black page with grim pictures including a hooded Iraqi prisoner and an orange-clad detainee at Guantanamo Bay.
The left-leaning Guardian led its features section with a black page bearing the tiny words, “Oh, God.” Inside a story described how Bush’s victory “catapulted liberal Britain into collective depression.”
Across Europe, many newspapers expressed dismay at the prospect of another term for Bush, a president often regarded as inflexible and unilateralist.
“Oops — they did it again,” Germany’s left-leaning Tageszeitung newspaper said in a front-page English headline. The cover of the Swiss newsmagazine Facts called Bush’s re-election “Europe’s Nightmare.” “Victory for the hothead: How far will he go?” asked another Swiss weekly, L’Hebdo.
A few British papers welcomed the U.S. election result. “The world is a safer place with George W. Bush back in the Oval Office,” the tabloid Sun said in an editorial.
All agreed the result reflected a sea-change in U.S. politics, a victory for neo-conservatives and the religious right.
“March of the Moral Majority” said the conservative Daily Mail, above a photo of Bush with his wife and daughters. “America’s moral majority sweeps Bush back into the White House,” The Daily Telegraph said.
The Times of London said Europe “must come to terms, not only with Mr. Bush, but with the nation that has elected him. This is a president who really can speak for America.”