London believes its stand against political status for Irish Republican Army hunger strikers in Northern Ireland is well understood by most newspapers in the United States.
The Thatcher government asked its embassy in Washington to cable back the substance of almost every editorial written on the issue in recent weeks -- a request that indicates just how sensitive London is to American criticism.
The embassy has reported that no major US newspaper has called for granting political status. Top columnists have opposed such status. Newspaper reporting has been balanced and factual in the main: One columnist for the New York Daily News was so thoroughly discredited over one alleged account of a British Army patrol that he resigned.
Television coverage tended to be sensational rather than analytical. Letters to the editor in newspapers mainly criticized London, reflecting the success of IRA propaganda among US Roman Catholics and Irish-Americans.
But on the whole, London seems satisfied that its o wn view is widely understood.