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:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/01/24/bush.abortion.ap/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,145221,00.html

2 comments:

Ron Chusid said...

It may be interesting to compare different media outlets, but you are years behind in your premise. CNN hasn't been very liberal since Ted Turner lost control. Many liberal sites complain about CNN as being nearly as conservative as Fox, and complain about the bias of the mainstream media, especially cable news.

Another problem is that this type of analysis might not give the whole story. Just saying Fox interviewed people with different viewpoints doesn't necessarily mean they were more balanced. While I didn't see the story discussed here, I've often noted that Fox anchors will interview someone with opposing views, but present the convervative viewpoint as being the "correct" answer when the interviewee presents an opposing viewpoint.

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