The following appears as a headline on CNN.com:
Biden's comments on special needs kids called 'new low'
Now, let's look at the content of the article:
Here is what the headline does:
The Republican camp's sharp response came after Biden said GOP advocates for children with birth defects should support stem cell research.
1) Fully expresses and encapsulates the McCain campaign talking point; however
2) Does not acknowledge that the talking point comes directly from the McCain campaign -- it's just someone saying Biden goes to a "new low"
3) Disregards the content of the original article: it is a legitimate point that stem cell research could potentially improve the lives of people with genetic abnormalities
4) Scandalizes a generic, relatively harmless issue into a personal conflict narrative that
5) Puts the McCain campaign and mother of Down Syndrome baby Trig Sarah Palin on the moral high ground and
6) Plays into the narrative of Sarah Palin as a woman under attack
7) Makes Biden appear shrill
8) Conforms with the narrative of the Obama/Biden campaign as being "on the run" since Sarah Palin joined the "newly energized" McCain/Palin campaign, and finally
9) Does all this without having for the reader to click on the link
Clearly, this headline functions as a direct, unmediated conduit for the Steve Schmidt/Rick Davis-led McCain campaign. The headline is propaganda, put simply, in the way it frames the issue exactly how Steve Schmidt and/or Rick Davis wanted it to be. The McCain campaign is running roughshod over the media right now, and the overarching narrative created by the GOP campaign managers has dwarfed the reports on Sarah Palin's blatant "Bridge to Nowhere" lies, questions about her qualifications, and obviously inchoate/nascent/yet-to-be formed policy positions. Further, Palin has not even spoken to the media since her nomination. Yes, she has not answered a single question.
UPDATE (also from CNN):
Obama accuses GOP of 'swift boat politics'
The word "accuse" could have just as easily been used in the Biden article, but the wording plays into the points above.