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Paper Monitor

12:17 UK time, Friday, 14 August 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

There are few things Fleet Street enjoys more than playing Sampson to America's Goliath - especially when a great British institution is under attack. And they don't get much more treasured than the NHS.

Cue a re-run of the American War of Independence with the red tops stepping into the role of Red Coats as they dig in for what, henceforth, will be known as the Battle of Twitter Hill. Yes, Paper Monitor brings you the UK-US health wars.

The Daily Mirror devotes a double-page to supporting the NHS against attacks from critics of Barack Obama's health reforms.

After several days of civilian sniping through the modern-day citizen's blunderbuss of choice - Twitter - it enlists Health Secretary Andy Burnham to fire an official salvo over the Atlantic, through a column, and it interviews the great-nephew of NHS founder Nye Bevan.

The Times and the Independent talk to a British woman who has become one of the stars of the anti-Obama campaign in the US, by criticising NHS care. But the papers represent her feelings differently.

The Times says she claims to have been duped and misrepresented: "What I said has been skewed out of proportion. I am slightly worried that people might think I am taking a negative view of the NHS."

But in the Independent, she says she has no regrets: "Everything I said was truthful and subjective. I knew what their intention was when I did the interview and I was quite willing to be used as an example as to how the system doesn't always work."

The Sun sticks to more familiar ground - the misdeeds of famous footballers.

Paper Monitor would be neglecting its duty were it not to keep abreast of the beautiful game- and is known to closely follow the fortunes of a certain Championship side - but wonders if David Bentley is sufficiently well known to the general population to merit a front-page story in the UK's biggest-selling daily newspaper.

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