Who’s winning the battle of the front pages?

Paper A greets the 2,000th American military death in Iraq with a somber black memorial background and the word “tragic.” Paper B presents a waving flag, the clear blue skies of freedom and an inspiring quote from Our President.

Quiz: Which one of these papers fumed yesterday, on its editorial page, that the troops “will have died for nothing–absolutely nothing at all–if the cut-and-run protesters prevail now” and that foes of the war “will also suggest to a still formidable Iraqi insurgency that perhaps, just perhaps, the United States has not the resolve to see this bitter thing through to a just conclusion”?

Answer: Paper A! Sorry, Rupert, but there’s more to being American than mere red-white-and-blue bluster. Any fool can play a Sousa march. It takes a more subtle ear for the shadings of American patriotism to switch to a dirge without pausing or blushing.

In other words, Ronald Reagan beats Sergeant Slaughter.

Winner: Daily News

Overall standings: Daily News 3, New York Post 1