"Obama budget makes deep cuts, cautious trades," blared the February 15 print edition headline for Washington Post staffer Lori Montgomery's page A1 story on President Obama's 2012 budget plan. "[The] Focus [is]on education, energy and research," a subheadline approvingly added.
In the lead paragraph, Montgomery hailed Obama's spending blueprint as "full of surgical cuts and cautious trade-offs."
By contrast, a Republican plan for the spending blueprint for the rest of 2011 was cast as a "plan with drastic -- and painful -- cuts" in a page A13 headline*.
That story, by Post staffers Shailagh Murray and Paul Kane insisted that House Republicans are selling the plan as "one intended to be viewed as radical and painful."
After quickly dispatching with the GOP defense of the plan -- one paragraph devoted to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor -- Murray and Kane spent about six paragraphs on Democratic criticisms, including Secretary of State Clinton's foray into partisan gamesmanship when she told reporters, "cuts of this level [to humanitarian assistance] will be detrimental to America's national security."
The article concluded with some complaints from House Republicans hailing from the Northeast who worry about a "disproportionate impact on our region."
*The online headline for the story eschewed the loaded language of the print edition: "House Republicans counter Obama budget plan with much deeper cuts."