By coincidence here's a hot brawl at WordWizard about punting

My critics maintain that a Knight-Ridder news report that Bush is punting on some of the issues is an editorial statement accusing him of unscrupulousness

But I maintain that while "punts" might not have been exactly the correct word to use here, that it was not consciously intended by the K-R reporter to be pejorative and that most news organizations (except possibly Fox) intend their news stories to be neutral in tone

Any support for my interpretation? Thanks to all