Saturday, December 04, 2004

Abstinence Education

CNN and Fox both ran AP stories on a report about federally funded abstinence education programs. The report indicates that there are problems with the programs. CNN’s headline is “Waxman report: Abstinence courses flawed.” Fox’s is “Pol: Abstinence Programs Distort Truth.” Waxman is a democratic senator who did the report. Both sites credit the AP so the wording is similar in many cases but there are some interesting differences.

CNN mentions Waxman in the headline and then again in the first sentence. Fox just has “Pol” in the headline and in that same first sentence uses “a Democratic lawmaker.” Waxman is mentioned by name for the first time in the third sentence of Fox’s version of the AP article.

The following sentence, mentioning Bush, is the same in both but Fox places it as the second sentence whereas CNN has it as the fifth sentence.

The abstinence programs, which have been embraced by President Bush, will receive $170 million in the current government spending year, more than double what the government was spending when Bush took office in 2001. The abstinence curriculum may not include instruction in contraceptive use as a condition of federal funding.

Am I being too picky? Does this actually mean anything? My point is that given the same AP article, someone at CNN and/or Fox made some changes. Were those changes politically motivated?

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