Monday, January 31, 2005

Reid and Pelosi

This one puzzles me a bit. Both ran AP articles about Reid and Pelosi’s comments today about Bush’s upcoming State of the Union address. The articles are identical except the following quote which is in CNN’s article but not in Fox’s.

Republicans countered not long after the two Democratic leaders finished speaking.

"Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid's obstructionist remarks today were full of pessimism and personal attacks but lacked any vision for winning the war on terror or preserving Social Security for future generations," said Brian Jones, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

I find it odd that Fox did not include that. Fox typo? Earlier version of the AP article that was modified later by AP?


Sunday, January 30, 2005

Terrorist Bombings: Suicide vs. Homicide

I just did a search at both Fox's and CNN's web sites for "homicide bombing" and looked at the results for January. CNN had none while Fox had eight (five of which were AP stories). Fox emphasizes the results of the terrorist/insurgent bombings by using the term "homicide." "Suicide bombing" emphasizes the bomber. While both are true, the choice of wording presents different viewpoints.

[I also searched "suicide bombing" and both sites had numerous articles.]

Iraq--Polls Close

The polls are closed and, to continue with what I started, I have listed the headlines of several news web sites. This time CNN is a little more positive than Fox although Fox had a sub headline of “Iraqis defy threats of violence.” The headlines indicate that the election was successful despite some violence. The best that Aljazeera can say is that the results were mixed.

CNN: Iraq officials report high voter turnout
: Polls close in Iraq
: Iraq election declared ‘success’
MSNBC: Polls close
(had two headlines): (1) Iraqis cast their votes despite attacks (2) Rice: Iraqi election tops expectations
(had two headlines): (1) U.S. hails Iraqi vote; Rice says tough days ahead (2) Iraqi voters stream to polls; 33 die in attacks
Aljazeera: Iraqis show mixed response to polls

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Iraq--Election Begins

The elections in Iraq have started. I have noted how CNN, Fox, and others are headlining the event on their respective web sites. Fox's headline stands out as emphasizing democracy in Iraq. CNN is neutral. As might be expected, Aljazeera emphasizes violence as the polls open. Here are the headlines at this time:

Fox: First step to joining the free world
BBC: President launches Iraq election
CNN: Iraqis begin voting
Associated Press: Iraqis begin historic vote amid attacks
MSNBC: Violent start to vote
Reuters: Iraq election begins, insurgent attacks kill 2
Aljazeera: Several bomb attacks as polls open

Iraq--Election Eve

This morning I looked at how each was covering the election in Iraq. I noticed that their home pages took different approaches (these pictures are cropped from screen shots of their home pages):


Posted by Hello

Both cover the violence in Iraq but Fox’s “Defending Democracy” is more Bush-friendly. CNN’s biggest headline emphasizes the number killed. I checked a few other sites. Here are their home page headlines:

BBC: Violence ‘will deter many Iraqis’
MCNBC: Low Expectations; Iraqi president says violence will keep most from the polls
NPR News: Iraq prepares for Sunday election, despite violence
Aljazeera: US, Iraqi casualties ahead of elections

[Note: It is now about an hour after I posted the above. I checked again and this time CNN's headline was one of the sub-headlines above; i.e., "Iraqis hopeful despite threat of bloodshed." Web sites change constantly so this type of analysis can only be a snapshot in time.]

Friday, January 28, 2005

World Economic Forum VS. World Social Forum

The World Economic Forum is holding its annual meeting 26-30 January, 2005 in Davos, Switzerland. At the same time the World Social Forum, the “antidote to Davos,” is holding its annual meeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Since we are about half way through the meetings I thought I would check to see how they are being covered, to include Fox News, CNN, and others. I searched each web site and counted articles that have appeared since January 24, 2005, two days before the forums began. The results are in the table below.

News Sources

World Economic Forum

World Social Forum

























[Note: Reuters had 100 hits on its site but many of the articles seemed to be duplicates so it was difficult to count. Some articles had information about each forum so they are double counted.]

The above shows that it definitely pays to read more than one source. If you only read Fox News, you would not know that the forums were even going on.

Here is some information on the forums from their web sites:

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world. The Forum provides a collaborative framework for the world's leaders to address global issues, engaging particularly its corporate members in global citizenship.

The WSF proposed to debate alternative means to building a globalization in solidarity, which respects universal human rights and those of all men and women of all nations and the environment, and is grounded in democratic international systems and institutions at the service of social justice, equality and the sovereignty of peoples.


Sometimes CNN and Fox both run identical AP stories. However, they choose different headlines. I believe headlines can be important for two reasons: (1) sometimes that is all that some people read; and (2) the headline can shape the reader’s perspective as the article is read. Here are some recent examples of different headlines for the same article:

CNN: Kerry plugs his health care plan

Fox: Kerry Takes Aim at Bush Health Care Plans
CNN is seemingly more positive to Kerry while Fox views it as an attack on Bush’s plans.


CNN: Kennedy calls for Iraq withdrawal

Fox: Kennedy wants pullout timeline
CNN emphasizes Kennedy wanting withdrawal while Fox is looking for just a timeline for withdrawal. CNN’s “calls” is stronger than Fox’s “wants.”


CNN: Democrats jockey to lead party

Fox: Dems battle for “anti-Dean” role
CNN has them “jockeying” which sounds less combative than Fox’s “battling” (although battling is in the first sentence of the AP article).


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Condi Rice's First Day

Both covered Condi Rice’s first day as Secretary of State. CNN ran an AP story and Fox ran their own to which AP contributed. The articles are similar. I did notice, however, the different tones of their initial sentences:

CNN: Declaring "history is calling us," Condoleezza Rice took over Thursday as America's 66th secretary of state to confront an agenda laden with difficult and potentially explosive foreign policy problems.

Fox: Condoleezza Rice took over Thursday as America's 66th secretary of state and told her employees that the State Department's top priority will be carrying out President Bush's "bold" foreign policy agenda.

CNN’s introductory sentence speaks to the difficult problems she faces. Fox addresses her support of President Bush’s agenda. On the matter of Iraq, CNN’s second sentence was: “At the top is a war in Iraq that has taken the lives of more than 1,400 U.S. troops.” Fox has a similar sentence but it is placed near the beginning of the second half of the article.

Why did CNN’s AP story stress the challenges up front? What impression does that give the reader? Why did Fox not also go with the AP story; why did they use a lot of the AP information but run their own story?

Links to the articles:,2933,145547,00.html

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Red States--Blue States; Red Sites--Blue Sites

On a lighter note, couldn't help but notice that Fox News' template for their web site is primarily Republican Red and CNN's is Democratic Blue. Just a funny coincidence.

Here are some screen shots from today (ads whited out)

Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan

Just a quick note for today's post. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was questioned by investigators as part of the oil-for-food scandal. The articles differed but a lot of the basic facts were the same. CNN goes into more detail about the potential connections with Annan’s son. Fox’s AP story goes into more detail about past reports on Saddam’s involvement. While the actual headlines for their articles were similar, their links to the articles from their respective home pages were different.

CNN: Oil-for-food panel quizzes Annan

Fox: Annan grilled on oil-for-food

Fox’s link uses the stronger “grilled” as opposed to CNN’s “quizzes.” “Grilled” gives the impression that Annan was really on the hot seat. “Quizzes” is more like he was just questioned. Although subtle, perhaps, do these words affect the perception of the reader?

Links to the articles:,2933,145389,00.html

Monday, January 24, 2005

Anti-abortion demonstrators

Both had articles on Pres. Bush speaking to anti-abortion demonstrators via phone. CNN’s was an AP article; Fox ran their own but acknowledge that the AP contributed. The headlines show some bias with Fox referring to the demonstrators as being part of a “rally.” CNN refers to them as “protestors.” Subtle maybe, but the choices of words and what to include (or not to include) in an article are indications of bias. Fox’s article is more positive to the anti-abortion demonstrators, or is it that CNN is more negative? Here are some other differences:

* Fox’s opening sentence seems more positive to the anti-abortion cause and refers to “tens of thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators.” CNN gives no numbers of demonstrators.

* CNN mentions that “Norma McCorvey, the woman known as "Jane Roe" in Roe v. Wade, asked the Supreme Court to overturn its 1973 decision.” But CNN did not mention, as Fox did, that McCorvey was there at the demonstration. Fox’s quotes McCorvey.

* CNN’s AP article is shorter at 407 words to Fox’s 708.

* CNN only quotes Bush. Fox quotes Bush and two republican senators who are anti-abortion but also gives an opposing view by quoting the president of the National Organization of Women, Kim Gandy.

* CNN mentions that the day before, “Activists on both sides of the abortion issue marched in demonstrations across the country.” Fox does not mention the demonstrations by either side that were the day before. Note: CNN and Fox had separate stories on those demonstrations yesterday.

* Fox notes that “abortion foes may find their position is growing in popularity” and cites the following from a New York Times/CBS News poll last November with the statement: 34 percent of those surveyed wanted to keep abortion generally available, as it is now. Forty-four percent wanted stricter limits and 21 percent wanted an outright ban. This information is not in the CNN AP article.

Links to the articles:,2933,145221,00.html

Sunday, January 23, 2005


On January 20th, CNN and Fox ran AP stories on recent rulings on same-sex marriage. The main story was that a judge had upheld a federal law that allows states to ban same-sex marriages. The AP stories were a little different but the headlines may indicate biases:

CNN: Same-sex marriage proponents vow legal fight.

Fox: Judge throws out same-sex marriage suit.

CNN’s headline is more from the proponents viewpoint whereas Fox’s headline is from the administration’s viewpoint. Fox mentions conservative groups reactions in the second sentence; CNN does not mention opponents until the 10th sentence. Fox ran two stories whereas CNN ran one.

Links to the articles:,2933,144915,00.html,2933,144872,00.html

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Roe v. Wade

CNN and Fox ran identical articles today on Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal 32 years ago. Fox however had previously also run three other articles on Roe V. Wade (the 2nd and 3rd are similar with the 2nd an AP story and the 3rd from Fox News):

Future of Roe v. Wade Uncertain on Anniversary - Saturday, January 22, 2005 - NEW YORK — Coming just two days after George W. Bush's inauguration, Saturday's anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decision...

High Court Asked to Overturn Roe v. Wade - Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - WASHINGTON — The woman once known as "Jane Roe" has asked the Supreme Court to overturn its landmark Supreme Court decision that...

'Jane Roe' Wants High Court to End Abortion - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - WASHINGTON — Norma McCorvey (search), the woman whose lawsuit challenging the state of Texas' abortion ban led to the landmark Supreme...

If you only read CNN, you would not have seen the above information on “Jane Roe”, Norma McCorvey, wanting the Supreme Court to overturn its decision. However, CNN did run this article last September about a rejection of McCorvey’s request to a lower court, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals:

Court rejects motion to overturn Roe v. Wade (09.14.2004) A three-judge panel of a federal appeals court dismissed a motion Tuesday from the original plaintiff in Roe v. Wade to have the landmark 1973 abortion case overturned, a court clerk said.

Last February, Fox ran this article about the 5th Circuit case:

Court to Consider Roe v. Wade Reopen Request - Friday, February 20, 2004 - DALLAS — A federal appeals court has agreed to hear a request from the woman formerly known as "Jane Roe" to reconsider the 1973 U.S....

Fox did not run the results article as CNN did but the results are mentioned in two of the articles above. In fact, this statement is in Fox’s AP article on the 19th but not in CNN’s article:

But in a strongly worded concurrence, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge Edith H. Jones criticized the abortion ruling and said new medical evidence may well show undue harm to a mother and her fetus.

Fox is emphasizing the issue with McCorvey. CNN is not mentioning it much. Is CNN more pro-abortion? Fox anti-abortion?

Hajj Pilgrims

On January 20th, CNN and Fox ran identical AP stories on the hajj pilgrimage when pilgrims stone pillars representing Satan. The next day, CNN ran a Reuters story headlined “Hajj pilgrims stone ‘devil’ Bush.” The opening sentence is:

Hajj pilgrims pelted stones at symbols of the devil on Friday, with many saying they were targeting U.S. President George W. Bush and other world leaders seen as oppressing Muslims.

Fox did not run that article (or at least has not, to date).

Links to the articles:,2933,144933,00.html

Friday, January 21, 2005

SpongeBob SquarePants

I never thought I would have a title like this for a post but an issue was raised about whether or not a video starring SpongeBob SquarePants and other children’s characters promotes homosexuality to children. There was an AP article on it but CNN went with a Reuters article and Fox went with one attributed to

CNN’s headline is “Christians issue gay warning on SpongeBob video.” Fox’s headline is “SpongeBob accused of promoting homosexuality.” The articles are similar and present both sides of the issue. However, I noticed an interesting difference.

CNN uses the following terms in describing the groups opposed to the video:

“Christians” [in the headline]
“conservative Christian groups”
“Christian groups”
“the Christian right”
“Christian activist groups” [referring to the American Family Association and Focus on the Family]

Fox’s article never uses the term “Christian.” They twice use the term “conservative groups” which CNN uses once in a sub-headline. Why did CNN use an article which refers to the opposing groups as Christians? While the groups do have Christian beliefs as a foundation, is there bias being shown here by CNN's frequent use of "Christians"? Why did Fox's article not mention Christians?

Links to the articles:,2933,145046,00.html

Vice President Cheney's Radio Interview

Vice President Cheney was interviewed Thursday on Don Imus’ radio show. CNN and Fox News reported very differently on the interview. Both ran AP articles. CNN focuses on an admitted mistake by Cheney and then mentions his comments on Iran. Fox avoids the mention of any mistakes and focuses more on Iran.

CNN’s headline is “Cheney blames ‘miscalculation’ for slow Iraq recovery.” The first part of the article focuses on Cheney being “asked to name his mistakes in planning the war in Iraq.” The second part of the article is about Cheney’s statement about Iran topping “the list of ‘the world's potential trouble spots.’”

On the other hand, Fox’s article is headlined “Iran in spotlight at start of Bush’s second term.” This article is more about Iran but includes quotes from the same Cheney radio interview. The “miscalculation” is not mentioned.

Links to the articles:,2933,145040,00.html

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Inauguration Day

Of course CNN and Fox ran articles on the inauguration. Both were similar, talking about the events of the day, interspersed with comments from the President’s inaugural address. The stories are similar, with relatively minor differences, including information about protesters near the end of each article. Here are a couple of differences though:

* CNN has a subsection with the heading “Bearing the costs.” Fox does not mention costs.

* CNN notes that Bush never mentions Iraq by name.

* Fox has more direct quotes from Bush but its article is longer. Both devote about 19% (using word counts) to direct Bush quotes. But Fox devoted more space overall covering the story with 1572 words whereas CNN used 1043.

* Both chose mostly different quotes. If you want the details you can see them in the table below. The words in red are quoted in both articles. Fox also included the words of the oath (not included below).


… outlining in his inaugural address a U.S. policy "with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

Bush called on the "force of human freedom" to "break the reign of hatred" and "expose the pretensions of tyrants" in the world.

Bush indirectly referred to the Iraq war, saying that "because we have acted in the great liberating tradition of this nation, tens of millions have achieved their freedom. And as hope kindles hope, millions more will find it."

"We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world," Bush said.

"So it is the policy of the United States," he said, "to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

He called for Americans to "look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love," and to abandon racism and bigotry.

"We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes -- and I will strive in good faith to heal them," Bush said.

"Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart."

Fox News

… pledging to spread freedom to "break the reign of hatred and resentment."

"In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty," he said. "No one is fit to be a master and no one deserves to be a slave."

Bush spoke to the higher calling of the United States — to help the "peoples of the world who now live in tyranny and hopelessness. "The United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you," he said.

Bush also said efforts to help other nations achieve liberty need not always involve the use of weapons, but added that it was his first duty to defend the United States. He said the United States must live up to the pledges it seeks from others. "We cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time," he said.

Bush also asked America's youth to invest in the ideals of American democracy. "You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers. You have seen that life is fragile, and evil is real, and courage triumphs. Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants, larger than yourself — and in your days you will add not just to the wealth of our country, but to its character," he said …

Bush also asked the American public, which divided so starkly during the election, to put aside differences that would prevent the United States from moving forward in achieving great purposes. He invoked the unity experienced by the nation after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as an objective to seek. "We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart. And we can feel that same unity and pride whenever America acts for good, and the victims of disaster are given hope, and the unjust encounter justice, and the captives are set free," he said.

Bush expressed confidence in the eventual spread of freedom "because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. "America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength, tested but not weary, we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom," he said.

Links to the articles:,2933,144922,00.html

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Condi Rice's Confirmation Hearing -- Photos

Lately I have been noticing the pictures that CNN and Fox use to accompany their stories. Last week I had some interesting pictures of Howard Dean as seen in this post:

Today I noticed different pictures that were used of Condoleezza Rice at her confirmation hearings. CNN chose what I consider to be a passive picture while Fox chose more of a close-up where she looks a little more engaging. Bias in the choices?

CNN's choice of a picture of Condoleezza Rice at the confirmation hearing today.

Fox News' choice of a picture of Condoleezza Rice at the confirmation hearing today.
Posted by Hello

Links to the articles:,2933,144677,00.html

More on Interviews with Pres. Bush

I wanted to point out one other thing in the articles about the interviews with Bush to go along with my previous post. Early in both articles, they talk about not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. However look at how they mention it:

CNN: "Lack of human intelligence has been blamed for the belief that stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq before the war. Their presumed presence was the stated rationale for the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, but the U.S. government recently abandoned efforts to find them."

Fox: "Bush said that even though investigators never found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was a tyrant whose dictatorial grip led other nations to believe that he had weapons."

CNN focused on the need to improve human intelligence (and perhaps questioning the wisdom of invading Iraq) whereas Fox says the decision to go into Iraq was right regardless. Fox’s article does not mention human intelligence as an area for improvement.

Links to the articles:,2933,144804,00.html

Interviews with Pres. Bush

Interviews with Pres. Bush

President Bush did a pre-inaugural interview with CNN’s John King and also with Fox News’ Jim Angle. There are differences in the subsequent articles as one might expect. I found CNN to be a little more negative towards Bush and Fox to be more positive. Here are the headlines:

CNN: “Bush: Better human intelligence needed;” there was also a smaller sub-headline which read “President admits U.S. image problem in Muslim world.”

Fox: “Bush: U.S. will try to spread democracy.”

CNN’s headline points out problems that need to be addressed while Fox’s headline states a goal of the president. This can be seen in the opening sentences as well:

CNN: “President Bush said Tuesday that the United States needs better intelligence gathering to further gains in the so-called global war on terrorism.”

Fox: “Voters in America re-elected President Bush in spite of troubles in Iraq because they understand the American objective to establish democracy around the world, Bush told FOX News on Tuesday.”

I am curious about CNN’s use, in its opening sentence, of the term “so-called global war on terrorism.” Why “so-called”? Is that because it is not a formally declared war? Maybe the term is not that important but maybe it does indicate a CNN bias. One of the main points of my blog is to get your news through multiple sources. Just reading CNN or Fox will not give you the complete picture.

Links to the articles:,2933,144804,00.html

Monday, January 17, 2005

Bush, Iraq, and the Washington Post

Both had articles on a Washington Post interview with the President. Fox ran an AP story with the headline “Bush: No Troops Out of Iraq Yet.” The article was 766 words long. The first 409 words are about statements by Bush, Powell, and White House counselor Dan Bartlett. Near the end of those 409 words, there is this quote from Bush about his Iraq policy: "We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections." That quote is the subject of a CNN article headlined: “Bush hit for linking Iraq to vote.”

Fox’s AP article mentions an opposing view by the Senate's second-ranking Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL). CNN’s article has statements from Bush and Bartlett about Iraq and seems to be mostly about the reaction to Bush’s comments on Iraq. Bush’s quote about the “accountability moment” was two-thirds into Fox’s article while CNN had the quote as its third sentence. CNN had many comments from Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and a statement from Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI).

Fox’s AP article tells more about the Washington Post interview including the topics of gay marriage and Iran. CNN did not have an article about the interview, just this article about the reaction to Bush’s comments on Iraq.

Was CNN overly harsh on Bush? Was Fox too easy on Bush?

Links to the articles:,2933,144516,00.html

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

It’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. I looked at the coverage this morning so far over the MLK weekend and here are the articles that each had:


* JFK felt civil rights pressure (01.17.2005) The tape of his meeting with 20 members of Americans for Democratic Action was released by the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston to coincide with Martin Luther King Day on Monday.
* Longtime union reformer focuses on inspiring others (01.17.2005) The walls of Addie Wyatt's home reflect decades of struggling for equality for blacks, women and the working class -- a personal note from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a photo with former first lady Rosalyn Carter from Wyatt's tenure on a federal commission for women.
* Wealth gap seen as top civil rights issue (01.17.2005) Forty years after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and decades after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. made strides in racial equality, America remains split along racial lines -- divided by the color green.
* Woman to receive pardon for arrest in 1963 integration attempt (01.16.2005) [Governor of Louisiana] Blanco said she will grant the pardon for Betty Claiborne, 62, on Monday as part of ceremonies honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
* Human rights defenders honor King with truth (01.15.2005) The performance is one of several biographies featured in the play "Speak Truth to Power," which anchors activities this weekend in Atlanta to commemorate the birthday of the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
* MLK's widow reflects on husband's legacy (01.15.2005) Sitting in the same spot where her husband preached equality more than four decades ago, Coretta Scott King said Saturday that Martin Luther King Jr.'s message is as relevant today as it was in the 1960s.


* Atlanta Celebrates King on MLK Day (January 17, 2005) Americans paused Monday to remember Martin Luther King and his legacy.

Quite a disparity.

Note: The above was at about 8:00 this morning (PST). It is now almost six hours later and there are additional articles about MLK. CNN and Fox are running identical AP stories with similar headlines on a commemorative service at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Fox added the identical AP story being run on CNN about the JFK tapes. CNN’s headline was “JFK felt civil rights pressure.” Maybe subtle, but Fox’s headline was “Kennedy didn’t like civil rights pressure, tape shows.”

Fox also add this AP story: “Weatherman Fired for On-Air MLK Slur." (January 17, 2005)

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Secretary of State and Deputy

Secretary of State and Deputy

Both CNN and Fox News ran identical AP stories about Secretary of State Colin Powell and his deputy Richard Armitage. Here are the first two sentences:

Baring one of Washington's worst-kept secrets, Secretary of State Colin Powell's deputy said he and Powell sometimes went public with their dissenting views to try to influence Bush administration policy. "Differences of opinion are something you as a citizen and I as a citizen should value in your government," Armitage said in an interview with National Public Radio's "Morning Edition" on Thursday. "You really want it."

Fox’s headline was “Armitage: Different Views Need to Be Aired.” The headline emphasizes that it is a good thing to have different views considered.

CNN’s headline was “Armitage, Powell went public to try to sway Bush.” This headline emphasizes the differences between Powell/Armitage and Bush.

Both headlines are taken from the first two sentences and both are true. Fox’s is kinder to the administration. CNN’s not.

Links to the articles:,2933,144431,00.html

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Murder/Killing of an Iraqi Teen

On December 10, 2004 CNN ran an article on a soldier pleading guilty to murdering an Iraqi teenager. Fox ran an AP article. Look at the difference between the headlines:

CNN: “GI pleads guilty to murdering Iraqi teen.”

Fox: “GI pleads guilty to killing Iraqi teen.”

CNN uses the term “murdering” which has much different connotations than Fox’s use of the word “killing.” The actual charge included murder but they differ in how they reported that:

CNN: “pleaded guilty to charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder”

Fox/AP: “pleaded guilty to one count of unpremeditated murder and one count of soliciting another soldier to commit unpremeditated murder”

Again, CNN’s terminology is harsher by just using “murder” without the qualifier “unpremeditated” that Fox's AP article uses. There are differences in their opening sentences:

CNN: “A U.S. soldier pleaded guilty to murder charges Friday related to his role in the shooting death of a wounded Iraqi teenager.”

Fox/AP: “A U.S. soldier pleaded guilty Friday to killing a severely wounded Iraqi teenager in what investigators say may have been a mercy killing.”

CNN mentions the possibility of it being a mercy killing at the end of its article whereas Fox has it in its first sentence.

Both articles are basically accurate, I believe, but with different slants. A reader of only one of the articles might have a different impression of the event than someone who only read the other.

Links to the articles:,2933,141115,00.html

Friday, January 14, 2005

Opinion Polls: Iraq and Terrorism

On January 13, 2005, Fox News had an article about an opinion poll they conducted concerning the President's performance, among other things. Three days earlier CNN had an article about a similar CNN/USAToday/Gallup poll. Many of the numbers reported were similar. For example Pres. Bush's approval rating for his handling of the Iraq war was 42% (CNN) and 44% (Fox). However, there are some differences about what they additionally reported on the war in Iraq and terrorism.

CNN said this about Iraq and the war on terror:

* 50 percent believed the United States had made a mistake by sending troops to Iraq

* “Only 40 percent of those surveyed said they believed the war is going well for American forces.”

* “Just 28 percent said they considered it very likely or somewhat likely that peace and security would be established within Iraq in the next year.”

Fox said this:

* “A 54 percent majority thinks it is likely the Iraqi elections will successfully be held on January 30 as scheduled … However, more than twice as many people think there will be more violence (56 percent) rather than less violence (22 percent) in Iraq after the elections are held.”
* “Opinion is almost evenly divided on whether the United States should “stay in Iraq to win the war” or “get out of Iraq to end the war” (46 percent to 45 percent respectively).”
* Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say they are personally committed to winning the war on terrorism “no matter what it takes.”
* “… more than two-thirds (68 percent) think the United States must win the war on terrorism while fewer than one in five (18 percent) think the country can “coexist” with terrorists.”

Is CNN’s information designed to be negative? Is Fox’s information designed to paint as rosy a picture as possible?

Links to the articles:,2933,144278,00.html

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Pro CNN? Pro Fox?

Some who visit this blog may wonder whether I am taking a conservative or liberal approach, pro-CNN or pro-Fox. What I am trying to do is show that both are biased. If you read through the posts you will see examples of both. Some of my favorites so far are:

Howard Dean -- photos (January 11th)
Malpractice Award Limits and Pres. Bush (January 5th)
Syria and Iraq (January 4th)
Palestinian Leader Abbas (January 1st)
Sudan Crisis (December 29th)
Person of the Year -- Bush (December 19th)
President Bush's Physical (December 12th)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Howard Dean -- photos

Howard Dean announced that he will be running for chair of the Democratic National Committee. CNN and Fox ran articles. In the two posts below you can see that CNN chose a distinguished picture of Dean at a podium. Fox chose a screaming Howard Dean which is related to his downfall this past election season.

CNN's picture of Dean for its article on Dean announcing that he will run for DNC chair

Fox's choice for their picture of Dean

Links to the articles:,2933,144024,00.html

Monday, January 10, 2005

United Nations: Oil for Food

CNN and Fox News ran stories of U.N. financial audits that were released today related to the U.N. oil-for-food scandal. The articles were quite different but seemed to cover the basic facts. Here are a couple of differences:

* CNN says, in the first sentence, that the documents released today “detail alleged mismanagement.” Fox was a little stronger saying the documents “show a systemic failure by the United Nations to adequately oversee the program.”

* CNN includes quotes from Secretary-General Annan in defense of the U.N., whereas Fox does not. However, both include comments from a U.N. spokesman.

* CNN quotes only one U.S. congressional critic, Sen. Coleman (R-MN). Fox quotes three: Sen. Coleman, Rep. Lantos (D-CA), and Rep. Shays (R-CT).

Was Fox a little tougher on the U.N.? Why did they not report Annan's reaction? Why did CNN only include one senator's comments?

Links to the articles:,2933,143855,00.html

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Iraq Review

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has ordered a review of the situation in Iraq by an ex-general. Both CNN and Fox News ran stories on this. Both articles were quite different. Some key differences:

* CNN does not mention the name of the ex-general, Gen. Gary Luck. Fox notes the name and says a little about his background.

* 52% of CNN’s article is about recent insurgent attacks (203 words on attacks with the overall article length at 392 words). Fox does not mention recent attacks.

* CNN gives a short quote from Pres. Bush:

President Bush said Friday the elections will be a "historic moment in the history of Iraq" and condemned those he said are trying to stop democracy.

* Fox gives more from Pres. Bush:

“Part of a successful strategy is one that says there will be elections, the political process will be going forward, but one in which the Iraqis assume more and more responsibility for their own security,” Bush told reporters in the Oval Office.

“And that's precisely why the assessment team is going to Iraq — to make sure that, at this historic moment in the history of Iraq, there is a focused, determined strategy,” he said.

* Although CNN did not quote much from Bush they did have this from Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq:

[Metz] called attacks on Iraqi police and political figures "desperate efforts" at intimidation by insurgents hoping to stall the elections. Despite those attacks, [Metz] maintained the enemy is weaker and does not enjoy support among Iraqis. "It is not a popular insurgency," Metz said. "The tools that they are using -- murder, torture, kidnapping indiscriminately children, women -- those are tools of someone who is not popularly supported."

Why did CNN devote so much of its article to insurgent attacks and casualties? Was Fox avoiding that or was it too obvious to mention in this article? CNN included some positive administration comments from the general but why did they mention so little from Bush?

Links to the articles:,2933,143709,00.html

Friday, January 07, 2005

Senate Hearing -- Part 2

Readers might get different impressions of Sen. Biden’s (D-DE) comments at Alberto Gonzales’ senate hearing.

This is CNN’s only Biden quote:

However, Sen. Joseph Biden, a Democrat from Delaware, accused Gonzales of hiding behind a "straw man" to avoid answering questions. "That's malarkey," Biden said. "You are obliged to comment. That's your judgment we're looking at. ... We're looking for candor."

Fox includes these quotes from Sen. Biden (D-DE):

"Not that it is relevant, but I like you. I like you. You are the real deal," Democratic Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware told Gonzales. "I don't know anybody who's announced they're against your being the next attorney general. Even those who have doubts about you say you're going to be confirmed." …

Despite Biden's personal affinity for Gonzales, he warned him against demurring from questions about his personal opinion on current abuse cases, saying as attorney general, he is no longer the president's counsel, but would be representing the nation. "This is about the judgment you have exercised and whether or not the next four years, the judgment you're going to give the president" is most appropriate "in this time of dire concern about terror," Biden said.

Did Fox soft pedal it too much? Why did CNN not choose to include the positive comments made by Biden?

Links to the articles:,2933,143596,00.html

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Senate Hearing -- Part 1

Alberto Gonzales is President Bush’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General and he was questioned at a senate hearing today. Both CNN and Fox ran stories about the tough questioning he faced. CNN emphasized opposition to Gonzales whereas Fox was more positive, while mentioning opposition. This is demonstrated, in part, by the first quotes that they give from Gonzales:

CNN’s first quote from Gonzales (4th sentence): “ ‘I will be the first to admit I am not perfect and I make mistakes,’ Gonzales told the committee after being asked if any mistakes involving him were made in the war on terror.”

Fox’s first quote from Gonzales (2nd sentence): “President Bush has made clear that the government will defend Americans from terrorists ‘in a manner consistent with our nation's values and applicable law, including our treaty obligations,’ Gonzales said. ‘I pledge that, if I am confirmed as attorney general, I will abide by those commitments.’"

Links to the articles:,2933,143596,00.html

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Malpractice Award Limits and Pres. Bush

Concerning Bush’s speech in Illinois about malpractice award limits, CNN ran an AP story and Fox News did their own. Both were reasonably fair, in my opinion. Here is an interesting difference:

CNN: “Behind him [Bush], the White House advance team arrayed audience members in white medical coats.”

Fox: “…Bush said, standing on stage in front of dozens of doctors in white lab coats…”

Hmmm, I wonder what really happened. I suppose both could be true and that they were doctors but that the Bush advance team wanted to make sure that they looked the part. Or, they weren’t doctors (as CNN/AP seems to imply) and the advance team wanted them to look the part.

Here is another interesting difference:

CNN, quoting Sen. Kennedy (D-MA): “Barely two months after promising to unify and heal the country after a bitter election, the president's again pushing for legislation that will further divide it.”

Fox, quoting Sen. Reid (D-NV): “If the president is serious about bringing down health care costs, Senate Democrats stand ready to work with him to enact reforms that deal with the health care crisis in a meaningful way.”

Neither quote was in the other article. Reid’s comment was strong in opposition but the quote did include that statement about willingness to work together whereas CNN's article quotes Kennedy as talking about how devisive the President is being. Check out the articles if you want to see the complete context.

Links to the articles:,2933,143377,00.html

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Syria and Iraq

I noticed recently that Fox News had a lot of coverage on Syria and that country’s connection with Iraq and the situation there including a visit by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and U.S. concerns that Syria has helped insurgents in Iraq. I had not noticed anything from CNN so I did a search today at both websites using “Syria” as the search term. Here are the headlines for December through today from both Fox and CNN pertinent to that story (I have only included those headlines for stories that had a primary emphasis on the Iraq situation):


Syria Sets Up Polls for Expatriates - Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Armitage in Syria to Discuss Iraq Border
- Sunday, January 02, 2005
Armitage to Confront Syria on Iraq
- Thursday, December 30, 2004
U.S.: Syria Aiding Iraq Insurgency - Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Syria Confronts U.S. on Iraq Meddling Claim - Monday, December 27, 2004
Is Syria a Threat to Iraqi Democracy?
- Friday, December 17, 2004
Iraq Official: Iran, Syria Aid Terror - Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Iraq's Neighbors Looking to Influence Vote? - Thursday, December 09, 2004
Nations Anger Iraqi Official
- Wednesday, December 08, 2004



Why does Fox emphasize this? Why has CNN not determined this to be worth reporting on even though much of this was available through the Associated Press?

Time Out for an Explanation

As this blog evolves I have settled on three types of comparisons between CNN and Fox News, as found on their web sites:

(1) Same event, same article (e.g., both AP articles), but different headlines. It is interesting sometimes to look at different words that are used for the headlines. It can be an indication of bias on the part of the news source.

(2) Same event but different articles. I look at how they report on the same event, noting differences in wording and emphasis.

(3) News topic emphasis. As I look for examples of the above, I occasionally notice that one source will have a number of articles over time on one topic and the other will have few, or none, for that topic. There are lots of examples of single stories that are covered exclusively by one source. In fact, there are too many to mention. However, I will try and note examples of continued coverage by one source but not the other.

If you have comparisons that you would like to see, let me know.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Iraqi Insurgent Attacks and the Election

CNN and Fox reported on four separate attacks by insurgents today. Fox ran an AP story and CNN did their own. CNN’s headline was “Car bomb explodes near Allawi party headquarters.” That attack got the headline and the first part of the article. The Fox headline was more general with “Bombs Kill 16 in Iraq.” Both articles describe the attacks; the group that claimed responsibility, Jaish Ansar al-Sunna (Fox uses the term “Ansar al-Sunnah Army”); and the effect on the timing of the Iraqi elections. There are some key differences with regard to what was said about the effect of the attacks on the elections. I apologize for a long post today but I wanted to show what each said. I have provided the links to the articles so you can check for the complete context. What I noticed, as shown below, is that CNN only mentions problems and calls for delays in the elections while Fox/AP predominantly provides information supportive of the election timetable. I believe both stories to be accurate but also incomplete due to some bias.


* Insurgent attacks have prompted calls from many Iraqis to delay the January vote. Iraq's interim government and the United States appear determined to leave the date unchanged.

* Goran [Kahsro Goran, deputy governor of Nineveh province] said Sunday that the election outlook for his region had "significant problems." "We have to have elections, but the security situation is deteriorating," Goran said. "So there will not be real and fair participation." Particularly problematic, Goran said, is the lack of a police force in Mosul.

* Last week, the Iraqi Islamic Party, a leading voice of Iraq's minority Sunni Muslims, announced it was pulling out of -- but not boycotting -- the elections. In a statement, party director Tariq al-Hashimy said one reason for the withdrawal was "the need to provide the proper security conditions in order to hold an honest and free elections."


* "This is another example of how the criminals and terrorists — attempting to thwart Iraq's efforts to conduct free and fair elections — have no regard for their fellow countrymen," the government said.

* On Sunday, prominent Shiite leaders belonging to the Unified Iraqi Alliance — a mainstream Shiite coalition running in the election — called for unity with Sunni Arabs wanting to delay the vote but insisted it be held despite the violence.

* Shaalan [Iraqi Defense Minister] said during a visit to Cairo, Egypt, that he asked Egypt to try to persuade Sunni Muslims to participate in the vote. "We could postpone the date to let all Iraqis go to the polls in one day" if that would accommodate Sunnis, Shaalan said. Other Iraqi and U.S. officials, including President Bush, have insisted the vote will be held as planned. Shaalan is known for taking an independent line, at one point prompting Allawi to publicly distance his interim government from Shaalan's statements.

The Shiite leaders, who are backed by Iraq's most influential cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said postponing the vote would only create more chaos. They rejected comments purportedly made by Usama bin Laden in a tape released Dec. 27 in which the Al Qaeda leader urged Muslims not to vote, calling the election illegitimate.

* A spokesman for the Independent Electoral Commission in Iraq, Fareed Ayar, refused to comment on Shaalan's statements, saying the body was functioning according to the electoral schedule. "The commission is still working on holding the elections as scheduled and according to the timetable we have," Ayar said.

Links to the articles:,2933,143131,00.html