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:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/01/07/iraq.main/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,143709,00.html

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