Monday, February 28, 2005

World Anti-Smoking Treaty

Both ran articles on a world anti-smoking treaty that goes into effect today. CNN ran a Reuters article and Fox ran an AP article. The articles are similar in a lot of the basic facts. However, they do treat the tobacco industry differently. CNN mentions things like:

* “WHO officials and activists say the powerful tobacco industry is lobbying intensively to restrict the number of countries applying the treaty, including the United States which has signed up but not yet sent it to the Senate.”

* “Activists accuse the Bush administration, which signed the pact last May, of having worked hard to dilute it.”

* “Douglas Bettcher, treaty coordinator, was upbeat. ‘We are happy to report that industry is not winning this game.’"

Fox’s article does note this:

* “ ‘Now that this global treaty has become international law, it is no longer business as usual for 'Big Tobacco,'’ said Akinbode Oluwafemi of Environmental Rights Action, a Nigerian-based group.

However, Fox follows that with these points:

* “Tobacco companies reportedly lobbied against the treaty during negotiations but have since said they have no objection to the pact — despite their discontent over being excluded from the formal treaty talks.”

* “ ‘Tobacco is harmful to health and as a responsible tobacco group, we have long recognized the right of national governments to regulate it,’ said Emily Brand, a spokeswoman for British American Tobacco Ltd.”

I don't have any sympathy for tabacco companies but why is it that CNN chose a Reuters article that does not give the tobacco industry perspective? Why does Fox’s article seemingly minimize tobacco lobbying efforts?

Links to the articles:,2933,148935,00.html

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Golden Raspberry Awards; Bush in Fahrenheit 9/11

Seems to be some political bias in the coverage of the Razzie Awards, the annual pre-Oscar razzing of bad actors/actresses and movies. CNN ran a Reuters story with the headline “President, Catwoman win Razzies.” Predominant in the article is the Bush administration from the movie Fahrenheit 9/11. Of 14 sentences in the article, seven were about Bush, Rumsfeld, or Rice. Fox News ran an AP story with the president not mentioned in its headline: “Halle Berry ‘wins’ another award.” Fox notes Bush as a “winner” but only after mentioning his election victory: “George W. Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger won elections. Now they've won Razzies.” Rumsfeld is mentioned but not Rice.

Here are statements from each article with regard to Bush and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. Fox’s article more clearly shows the Razzie founder's political bias:

CNN: John Wilson, founder of the nonprofit Golden Raspberry Award Foundation that gives out "Hollywood's least coveted trophies" on the eve of the Oscars ceremony, said Moore's anti-Bush documentary allowed the foundation's nearly 700 members to do some Bush bashing of their own.

FOX: Razzies founder John Wilson said the prizes were not meant to mock Moore's film, only the statements Bush and the others make while "putting their highly paid, highly skilled feet in their mouths repeatedly and sucking on them."

Links to the articles:,2933,148855,00.html

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Anglican Church

Fox and CNN had similar AP stories on the Anglican church, related to the gay marriage issue. It is interesting to note the titles of the links to the stories from their respective home pages:

CNN: U.S., Canadian churches withdraw from key Anglican body

FOX: Anglican Church Asks U.S., Canada to Leave

So, which was it? Maybe a little of both. Here are the opening sentences of each article. CNN’s tone is more indicative a big rift with words like “under pressure from conservative church leaders” and “horrified.” Fox’s words are a little milder; e.g., “agreed” and “internal church disagreements.” Reading only one article would leave you perhaps with a different impression of what happened than reading the other.

CNN: The U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada have withdrawn from a key body of the global Anglican Communion under pressure from conservative church leaders horrified by the election of a gay bishop in the United States and the blessing of same-sex unions in the two countries.

Fox: Anglican primates agreed Thursday that the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada would withdraw from a key body of the global Anglican Communion after failing to overcome internal church disagreements about the election of a gay bishop in the United States and the blessing of same-sex unions there and in Canada.

[Note: I am adding this on Feb. 25th. Both CNN and FOX have run additional stories after the above articles. I will continue to follow the issue.]

Pope's Book

CNN and Fox had different takes on the Pope’s new book, “Memory and Identity.” CNN ran a Reuters story and Fox ran an AP story. CNN leads with the headline, “Pope: Gay marriage is ‘evil’.” Fox leads with “Pope recalls brush with death in new book.” CNN focuses on the sensational aspects of the book and mentions three specific issues: gay marriage, abortion (“legal extermination”), and whether or not a communist government was behind the plot to kill him in 1981. Fox devotes the most space to the assassination attempt and how the Pope dealt with that. Some of the Pope’s comments on abortion are discussed. Gay marriage is not mentioned at all in Fox’s AP article but it is the headline for CNN’s article. Fox’s article does say the following which is not in CNN’s article:

In the book, the pope said the countries freed from Soviet domination and communist rule at the end of the Cold War — including his native Poland, which is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic — must resist cultural influences from largely secular Western Europe.

"The basic threat facing Central Europe now is having its identity subdued. ... What is the risk?" he wrote. "It is uncritically falling under the influence of negative cultural patterns spread in the West."

CNN notes some negative reaction, and the Vatican’s response, to the Pope’s comments on abortion and the “extermination” reference.

I know it is obvious to some but getting you news form multiple sources is important.

Links to the articles:,2933,147975,00.html

Bush and Putin -- photos

I do not want to get too hung up on the photos that accompany the articles. Often CNN and Fox have very comparable pictures. However, on Bush’s trip to Europe I’ve noticed that Fox’s pictures present a slightly more positive view of the President and his relationship with other leaders. I’ve noted a few examples in earlier posts and here is another. These pictures are from Bush in Slovakia and meetings with Russia’s Putin. CNN has one distant picture of Bush speaking as shown below and one picture of Putin and Bush together that was not with the article but on the "Inside Politics" page. Fox has a picture of him just before speaking but, in addition, the two other pictures shown below when he was with Putin. All of the pictures are from the AP so it would seem that Fox and CNN had the same potential choices to make. Why are Fox’s more positive (or CNN’s not as positive as they could be)?


CNN (AP) 2nd picture was not with article but on "Inside Politics" page

Posted by Hello
Fox (AP) ...the third picture is Bush listening to a translation

Links to the articles:,2933,148559,00.html

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

AIDS Research

Both ran stories on the tight budget for the National Institutes of Health. This could potentially have a negative affect on AIDS research. CNN ran a Reuters story while Fox News had an AP article. Both articles have basically the same information but there are differences that might indicate Fox is being more favorable to the administration than CNN. Or, I could say that CNN is being a little harsher on the administration than Fox. Here are a few differences:

* After its opening sentence, CNN’s article goes right into the budget situation and later talks about the current goals of AIDS research. Fox first mentions some information about AIDS research and then talks about the specific budget situation, ending with more research information.

* CNN talks of “Bush administration’s 2006 budget.” Fox never uses Bush’s name or says the word “administration.”

* CNN’s article states: “The Bush administration has proposed its tightest budget as it seeks to curb budget deficits that have soared on its watch.” Fox does not mention the overall budget situation.

* Both articles talk about spending money wisely on the most promising research. Fox gives an example of a “a controversial study in Thailand that critics have attacked.” CNN gives no specific examples where money might be better spent.

* CNN, by word count, devotes 75% of the article to budget/funding issues. The rest of the article talks about the latest efforts in AIDS research. By contrast, Fox has 36% of its article about money issues and the rest on AIDS research methodology.

Final note: I am not saying that either article is better, just that they are different. You could probably merge these two article together and get a better picture of what is going on.

Links to the articles:,2933,148281,00.html

Headline Bias?

As I have stated before, I believe that headlines can have an impact on the reader. The reader’s perspective may be framed by the wording and tone of the headline. Sometimes maybe even the article is skipped and only the headline is read. The wording chosen for headlines can indicate bias by the news source, even if unintentional. Here are three recent examples from today and yesterday. In the first two cases, the articles are identical AP stories. In the third example, the articles are different but they cover the same story. In these three cases, Fox's choice of wording is more favorable to the president, his wife, and Governor Romney (R-MA). CNN’s headlines are more matter-of-fact. Liberals may believe in these cases that Fox is showing its conservative bias. Conservatives may believe that CNN is showing their liberal bias by not wanting to say anything positive about the President or his wife in these examples.



Laura Bush meets troops in Germany

Laura Bush Thanks U.S. Soldiers

Romney visits South Carolina

Romney Enjoys Southern Hospitality

Author: Bush tapes not meant for public

Tapes Show Bush's Concern About Past

Monday, February 21, 2005

Bush and Chirac -- photos

To continue on with what I mentioned in my last post, I again noticed differences in the AP photos that CNN and Fox chose for their articles on Bush's visit to Europe. This time the articles are about Bush's meeting with Chirac. As you can see below, Fox's choice of an AP photo shows a smiling Bush and Chirac while they clasp hands. CNN's photo does not show them clasping hands and both mouths are downturned. Subtle but telling of biases.


Posted by Hello

Links to the articles:,2933,148151,00.html

President Bush -- pictures

OK, I might be stretching this a bit, but I wonder. Both CNN and FOX have AP pictures accompanying stories on Bush speaking in Brussels. Both had, I assume, opportunities to pick from a collection of AP photos. Below, I show CNN's chosen picture on the left with Fox's on the right. I believe that Fox's image of Bush shows a perhaps stronger president. CNN's picture shows a less animated Bush who is looking off to who knows where. Fox's picture makes the president look engaged. CNN's shows Bush's mouth as downturned whereas his mouth is slightly upturned in Fox's picture. Again bias is shown, by either news source, in their choices of pictures.


Posted by Hello

Links to the articles:,2933,148151,00.html

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Operation River Blitz

CNN and Fox both had articles about U.S. and Iraqi forces launching an anti-insurgency operation called Operation River Blitz. CNN ran their own article while Fox ran an AP story. If you just read one or the other, you will miss some interesting and perhaps important information. For example, CNN mentions the difficulty of recruiting Iraqi police officers in Ramadi. Fox’s article talks of Sunni’s who now want to be a part of the political discussion. I think that if you merged the two articles together you would have a nice picture of what is happening. Speaking of pictures, both CNN and Fox have AP pictures to go with the story. CNN has two pictures and both are of insurgents. Fox has four; two are of U.S. soldiers, one is an Iraqi casualty, and the other is an Iraqi soldier. One picture from each web site is shown below. Why are CNN’s pictures just of insurgents? Why does Fox only show U.S. and Iraqi soldiers?

CNN-Insurgents in Ramadi (AP)

FOX-Iraqi soldier (AP)
Posted by Hello

Links to the articles:,2933,148176,00.html


Both ran stories about a tape aired on Al-Jazeera of al Qaeda’s number two leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. CNN’s article is a little harsher pointing out in the headline that al-Zawahiri “lashes U.S. policy.” Fox’s headline for an AP story simply says that “Al-Jazeera airs Al-Zawahiri tape.” CNN’s first sentence includes the quote that U.S. efforts "will end with your defeat, the killing of your sons and the destruction of your economy." Fox’s first sentence has a different tone and ends with “al-Zawahiri denouncing U.S. calls for reform in the region and urging the West to respect the Islamic world.”

While a lot of the information is the same in both articles, Fox’s AP article uses this al-Zawahiri quote twice: "Real security is based on mutual cooperation with the Islamic nation on the basis of mutual respect and the stopping of aggression." CNN refers to “how it [U.S.] deals with Muslims” but does not give the quote that Fox uses. Maybe these differences are minor but do they indicate an underlying bias in either CNN or Fox?

Links to the articles:,2933,148189,00.html

Saturday, February 19, 2005

President Bush to Europe

CNN had an article on President Bush’s upcoming trip to Europe. Fox News ran an AP article. I found a few interesting differences that might be attributed to bias.

* CNN’s headline is “Bush looking to reconcile with ‘old Europe’.” Fox says “Bush aims to ‘invigorate’ ties with Europe.” On the surface those headlines are similar. But is there perhaps some bias in CNN’s use of “reconcile” or Fox’s use of “invigorate”? Fox’s term is more optimistic and positive as is its opening paragraph.

* As I have noted before, CNN seems to not want to highlight Secretary Rice whereas Fox does. This is true in this case also where Fox’s AP article, in the second sentence says, “…plus a whirlwind charm offensive by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, have bolstered the prospects for a trans-Atlantic reconciliation.” Later, Fox refers to “her well-received tour of Europe.” CNN does not mention Rice.

* CNN says this about the term “old Europe”: “Traditional U.S. allies were angered in 2003 by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's reference to them as "old Europe," in contrast to the post-Cold War nations of eastern Europe.” Despite the apparent anger at the term, CNN uses it in their headline and in the first sentence. The term is not attributed to Bush so why did they choose to use it? Is CNN trying to perpetuate that for some reason?

* Fox’s article is longer and addresses more issues that are likely to be discussed.

Links to the articles:,2933,148151,00.html

Friday, February 18, 2005

Kyoto and Global Warming continued

The information on global warming continues to be different on CNN and Fox. Here are two articles dated today that are quite different. I am showing some statements from each plus the links.

CNN: “Scientists: Global warming is real” [WASHINGTON (Reuters)]

Studies looking at the oceans and melting Arctic ice leave no room for doubt that it is getting warmer, people are to blame, and the weather is going to suffer, climate experts have said. New computer models that look at ocean temperatures instead of the atmosphere show the clearest signal yet that global warming is well under way, Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said. …

"The debate over whether or not there is a global warming signal is now over, at least for rational people," he said. …

The report was published one day after the United Nations Kyoto Protocol took effect, a 141-nation environmental pact the United States government has spurned for several reasons, including stated doubts about whether global warming is occurring and is caused by people. Barnett urged U.S. officials to reconsider.

"Could a climate system simply do this on its own? The answer is clearly no," Barnett said. …

"The debate is what are we going to do about it." …

: “Kyoto count-up” [a Junk Science article by Steven Milloy]

Feb. 16, 2005, is a day that may well live in scientific and economic infamy. That’s the day that the international global warming treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol went into effect around the world — but, fortunately, not in the U.S. and Australia. …

Both global warming skeptics and advocates agree that the potential amount of warming that hypothetically might be avoided through Kyoto Protocol implementation is roughly 0.07 degrees centigrade by the year 2050. …

That’s why we think of the Kyoto Protocol more as a “global economic suicide pact” than as an “international treaty.” …

If the estimated cost-benefit analysis of the Kyoto Protocol isn’t sufficiently shocking, let me draw your attention to an article in the Feb. 14 Wall Street Journal exposing the top secret “junk science” behind global warming hysteria. …,2933,147995,00.html


So far, as I have compared news on the web sites of CNN and Fox News, I have stuck to hard news and have not examined opinion pieces and editorials, etc. However, I had to say something about the contrast that I see on the web sites tonight concerning what each had to say about France. Here are the headlines, first sentences, and links to each article:

CNN: “Consumers power French growth” [PARIS, France (AP)]

France's strongest consumer spending in nearly four years pushed economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2004 to its best performance in 18 months, national statistics agency Insee said Friday.

FOX: “Renewed Call to Boycott France” [a Talking Points article by Bill O’Reilly]

When are we Americans going to wise up? How many times does the French government, led by Jacques Chirac, have to put all of us in danger before we get the picture? France is helping worldwide terrorism.,2933,148011,00.html

U.S. and Japan

Concerning upcoming U.S. and Japan talks, Fox News chose to run an AP article while CNN ran its own article. The articles discuss similar issues but CNN’s is nearly twice as long and has more details. One main difference I noticed is that Fox gives Secretary Rice more prominence. Fox’s headline is “Rice sees Japan as close security ally.” CNN’s headline is “U.S., Japan to address China’s growing military.” With Fox, Rice is mentioned in the first sentence and is quoted at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the article. CNN mentions Rice in the second sentence and quotes her about midway through the article. There are longer quotes overall and earlier quotes from State Department spokesman Richard Boucher plus other comments are attributed to a senior State Department official. From the U.S. perspective, Fox’s AP article only quotes Rice. Is CNN downplaying Rice’s role? Is Fox trying to highlight her role?

Links to the articles:,2933,148075,00.html

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Greenspan and the U.S. Economy

Both chose different wire stories for articles on Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. CNN chose a Reuters article while Fox went with the AP. The stories were similar with some differences. The biggest difference is the emphasis placed on Greenspan’s agreeing in principle with the administration’s position on private investment accounts for Social Security. Here are some details:

* CNN’s article opens with interest rates and mentions Social Security in the fourth sentence. Fox’s article starts with Social Security. 20% of CNN’s article (by word count) is related to Social Security as opposed to 29% of Fox’s longer article.

* The last 16% of CNN’s Reuters article talks of the deficit and Greenspan’s quote that it is "imperative to restore fiscal discipline." The word “deficit” is not used in Fox’s article.

* Fox notes that “the nation's jobless rate should dip to around 5.25 percent this year, compared with 5.4 percent for all of 2004.” CNN does not mention jobless rates.

Yet again we see how just reading one source for news does not give you the entire picture and you are subject to the biases from that one source. In this case was CNN emphasizing information on the deficit and lessening the emphasis on Social Security by picking the Reuters Article? Was Fox doing the opposite by choosing the AP article?

Links to the articles:,2933,147780,00.html

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Kyoto and Global Warming

CNN ran an AP article from New York on the Kyoto global-warming pact going into effect. Fox ran an AP article from Tokyo on the same subject. Many of the facts are the same in each article. I have an earlier post that showed that CNN has been running more stories than Fox on global warming issues. This AP article from CNN talks more than Fox’s about global warming being caused in part by greenhouse emissions. Fox discusses more of the specific issues in Japan whereas CNN focuses more on the EU. The articles are uneven about covering White House views. Here are some details:

With regard to global warming and its causes, Fox devotes only one sentence specifically to the issue. CNN makes a stronger case with five sentences. Fox says, “Proponents say the stakes are high: the gases are believed to trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing to rising global temperatures…” CNN uses stronger language by saying “scientific evidence on climate change continues to mount” and “a broad scientific consensus attributes the rise largely to the accumulation of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.”

CNN discusses the EU and their intended efforts to encourage the U.S. to come on board.

With regard to the administration’s views, CNN’s AP story uses these dated administration quotes:

* In March 2001, President Bush also cited the "incomplete state of scientific knowledge" in renouncing the agreement, although the U.S. National Academy of Sciences subsequently endorsed the scientific consensus about the cause of warming.

* But the Bush administration continues to oppose any post-Kyoto talks. "We think it is premature," Paula Dobriansky, a U.S. undersecretary of state, said … in December in Argentina.

Fox uses these more current administration quotes and comments:

* "We are still learning about the science of climate change," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Tuesday. In the meantime, McClellan said, "We have made an unprecedented commitment to reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in a way that continues to grow our economy."
* The White House has contended that complying with the treaty's requirement could cost millions of jobs, many of them to places like India and China, both signers of Kyoto but exempted from any limits on greenhouse gases. [Note on this latter point, both articles point to the fact that these are the reasons the Senate did not ratify it in 1997. Fox confirms it with a current White House comment with the added bit of information that I underlined.]

As I have noted in previous posts, if you read just Fox or just CNN you are missing out on potentially important information. All news will be biased to some extent.

Links to the articles:,2933,147723,00.html

Monday, February 14, 2005

Drones Over Iran?

CNN and Fox each ran their own story about the U.S. allegedly flying drones over Iran. Both articles are about the U.S. government responses to a Washington Post story that the U.S. is spying on Iran’s nuclear facilities and checking their air defenses. CNN is more suspicious of Pentagon denials. Fox offers a reason why the U.S. would not want to fly drones over Iran.

Their headlines show the different perspectives:

CNN: “Conflicting word on U.S. drones over Iran

Fox: “Pentagon denies flying drones over Iran.”

While CNN provides lots of official denial statements, it does cite “two well-placed U.S. government sources” as confirming the flights. CNN twice notes that the administration had faulty intelligence on Iraq.

Fox offers the following points that would support the Pentagon’s denials:

* “We’re not the only ones” who fly drones [from a Pentagon “defense official”].

* “U.S. military commanders point out that the flights would be very risky since Predator and other drones are very slow and could easily be shot down. A crash, which is not uncommon for drones, could also present a host of problems.”

If you only read one source, you would be missing information that may be important to your feelings on the matter.

Links to the articles:,2933,147469,00.html

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Kofi Annan and Tony Blair

I have previously noted several other examples of different headlines for the exact same article. The words that are chosen can be an indication of bias and can shape the readers overall perspective. Here is another example. On February 10th, CNN and Fox ran identical AP articles on Tony Blair’s backing of the U.N.’s Kofi Annan. Here is the opening sentence:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday strongly endorsed the leadership of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is under fire over allegations of kickbacks and bribes in the U.N. oil-for-food program.

Fox’s headline includes the scandal when it says, “Blair backs Annan amid scandal.” CNN did not ignore this fact in a similar but sub-heading of, “British leader endorses U.N. chief amid oil-for-food program scandal.” However, CNN’s main headline in nearly double the font size is “Blair supports Annan on U.N. reform.” Fox, in its headline and in continuing coverage on the oil-for-food scandal, seems a little tougher on the U.N. and Annan in particular. CNN, in its main headline wants to focus on U.N. reforms which are mentioned in the 2nd sentence.

Global Warming Coverage

Global warming is a topic that CNN is providing a lot more coverage than Fox. In the last 30 days, CNN has had 11 articles to Fox's four. Here is a list of the articles:

Uncertain world (02.11.2005) When bears wake early from hibernation, Australia suffers its worst drought in 100 years and multiple hurricanes hammer Florida should we believe the end is near?
NASA: 2005 could be warmest year recorded (02.11.2005) A weak El Nino and human-made greenhouse gases could make 2005 the warmest year since records started being kept in the late 1800s, NASA scientists said this week.
Amazon forest breathing uneasily (02.07.2005) As the light plane banked left, the smell of smoke reached the cockpit. The landscape below was an ashen green, the sun above an orange glow behind sooty billows of gray.
Glaciers shrinking in a warming world (02.07.2005) Up and down the icy spine of South America, the glaciers are melting, the white mantle of the Andes Mountains washing away at an ever faster rate.
Antarctica's shifting ice (02.07.2005) Scientists looking southward from the tip of South America, over steel-gray waters toward icy Antarctica, see only questions on the horizon about the fate of the planet.
UK urges U.S. action on climate (02.01.2005) Britain appealed to the United States on Tuesday to sign up to climate-saving cuts in greenhouse gas emissions as environmentalists warned of approaching Armageddon.
Scientists predict rising global temperature range (01.31.2005) Greenhouse gas emissions could cause global temperatures to rise by up to 11 degrees Celsius (20 degrees Fahrenheit), according to first results from the world's largest climate modeling experiment.
No end seen for Eritrea drought (01.27.2005) Four men in T-shirts and fatigue trousers work on Ghebremeskel Manahabt's farm under the hot afternoon sun, ripping dried corn stalks from rocky soil that has produced less and less cereal over the past four years under a prolonged drought.
Blair: U.S. must court allies (01.27.2005) The United States must work more closely with other countries on their priorities, such as global warming, if it wants the rest of the world to support its agenda, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said.
Report: Global warming approaching critical point (01.24.2005) Global warming is approaching the critical point of no return, after which widespread drought, crop failure and rising sea-levels would be irreversible, an international climate change task force warned Monday.
Study: Volcanic warming may have caused extinction (01.20.2005) An ancient version of global warming may have been to blame for the greatest mass extinction in Earth's history.

Group: Global Warming Could Kill Off Polar Bears - Monday, January 31, 2005 - GENEVA — Some arctic animals, including polar bears and species of seal, face the possibility of extinction in just decades because of...
Glaciers Shrinking in a Warming World - Sunday, January 30, 2005 - CHACALTAYA GLACIER, Bolivia — Up and down the icy spine of South America, the glaciers are melting, the white mantle of the Andes...
Study: Global Warming Will Soon Be Irreversible - Tuesday, January 25, 2005 - LONDON — Global warming is approaching the point of no return, after which widespread drought, crop failure and rising sea levels will...
Global Warming May Have Caused 'Great Dying' - Thursday, January 20, 2005 - WASHINGTON — An ancient version of global warming may have been to blame for the greatest mass extinction in Earth's history....

Side Note: The BBC had 20 articles during this same period.

Drivers License Legislation

CNN ran an AP article on the House passing new drivers license legislation. Fox News ran their own story with credit to the AP for contributing. While the stories are similar, there are some interesting choices of words that would indicate a bias with Fox being more Republian-friendly than CNN’s AP story. Here are two examples from the articles:

* First of all, the headlines are a little different. CNN says, “House OKs uniform drivers license bill.” Fox says, “House OKs tougher driver ID rules.” CNN’s is more passive while Fox’s indicates a tougher stance.

* CNN uses this wording about the vote, “Republicans pushed the measure through on a 261-161 vote despite protests from governors and state motor vehicle departments …” Fox reports the same facts but uses these words: “The bill passed 261-161 with strong Republican backing. Supporters said the legislation will help prevent terrorists from getting legitimate identification.” CNN’s choice of words makes it sound like the Republicans had to push it through and then CNN notes the objections to it. Fox, on the other hand makes it sound like this great protective measure passed thanks to Republican support. [Note: CNN did mention protection from terrorists in the first sentence; I just wanted to focus this on how similar facts are stated differently.]

I believe that these wording differences can make different impressions on the reader.

Links to the articles:,2933,147025,00.html

Friday, February 11, 2005

White House "Reporter"

Fox ran an AP story Friday and CNN had their own story on Thursday about a conservative White House reporter’s credentials. His name is James Guckert and there was some question as to how he was able to receive his credentials. CNN has more of a political focus starting the article with a democratic congresswoman’s questioning of the White House. Fox’s story focuses on Guckert quitting. Fox does not even mention the name of the Democratic Congresswoman that CNN quoted, Rep. Louise Slaughter (NY). Here are some details:

* Headlines:

CNN: “White House reporter’s credentials questioned” with a sub-headline of “Man worked for web site owned by Republican activist”

Fox: “White House reporter using fake name quits”

* CNN’s article was twice as long, 773 words vice Fox’s 323.

* CNN’s article ties this situation with two recent cases where columnists had received government money.

* CNN’s article states that “the White House had no comment.” Fox’s article is dated one day later and does have a quote from the White House press secretary. As of this time CNN has not run any additional stories on this with White House comments.

* CNN attributes the scrutiny to the congresswoman and “senior editors of the Niagara Falls Reporter in her Buffalo-area district.” Fox attributes the scrutiny to liberal bloggers.

There is quite a difference in the stories. CNN points more at the administration whereas Fox does not.

Links to the articles:,2933,147087,00.html

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Dean and the DNC

I am not seeing any big differences tonight; however, there is another somewhat subtle headline difference between CNN and Fox. The identical AP articles are about Howard Dean getting ready to take over the Democratic National Committee leadership. Here is the opening sentence in the AP article:

Howard Dean promised cheering supporters Wednesday night he would harness their energy to lead the Democratic Party back to power in the halls of Congress and the White House by 2008.

CNN’s headline is certainly appropriate to the opening sentence. It reads: “Dean pledges to lead Democrats back to power.” Fox did not seem to want to mention in the headline anything about the Democrats returning to power. Fox’s headline was “Dean pumped to take power at DNC.”

Links to the articles:,2933,147000,00.html

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Class-Action Lawsuit Legislation

CNN and Fox both ran nearly identical AP stories on an upcoming vote in Congress on class-action lawsuits. Usually, when both CNN and Fox attribute stories to the Associated Press, the stories are identical. The headlines may be different but I understand that headlines are a prerogative of the publisher. However, occasionally I have noted differences in content for the same AP stories. Maybe someone who knows more about the process can explain this. In this case the differences are in the first two sentences with some of the information in just a different order. But here is the difference in actual words used:

CNN: “Congress is close to passing legislation limiting class-action lawsuits …”

: “Congress is close to making it easier for corporations to dodge many of the class-action lawsuits that businesses say are bankrupting them while rewarding lawyers and doing little to help victims.”

Fox’s opening sentence gives a perspective from the point of view of businesses whereas CNN’s does not. Is this intentional on the part of Fox or CNN? It is difficult to find the original AP stories because the AP web site sends you to other news sources when you do a search. If anyone can shed some light on this I would appreciate it.

Links to the articles:,2933,146841,00.html

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Karl Rove's Promotion

CNN and Fox both ran AP stories on the promotion of Karl Rove in Bush’s administration. The headlines show different perspectives and, as I have noted before, I believe that headlines can shape the readers viewpoint. Here is the common first sentence from both articles followed by their respective headlines:

Karl Rove, the senior political strategist who orchestrated President Bush's re-election campaign, has been promoted to deputy chief of staff, a job that will involve him in most White House policy and not just politics.

CNN headline: “Rove's new position will involve policy” following by a smaller font headline, “Promotion rankles a few Democrats”

Fox headline: “Rove gets promoted to deputy chief of staff”

Fox emphasizes the promotion with its headline and notes the new title. No emphasis is placed in the headline about Democrat reaction. CNN emphasizes that Rove will now be involved with policy decisions as opposed to his political role before. Democrat reaction is noted in the sub-headline. Both headlines are accurate but show different biases.

[Side note: Fox’s article is shorter and does not contain a paragraph that gives more details on Rove’s duties. CNN’s article, and AP as well, have that paragraph plus a list of other staff changes.]

Links to the articles:,2933,146775,00.html

Monday, February 07, 2005

Insurgent Bombers

In an earlier post, I mentioned that Fox uses the term “homicide bombing” while CNN uses “suicide bombing” []. Here is an example from today’s headlines of Fox not using the term “suicide:”

CNN: “Suicide bombers kill at least 27 in Iraq” [with a sub-headline of “Twin suicide bombings at hospital, command center”]

Fox: “Bomb Attacks Kill More Than 30 in Iraq

Fox’s article is an AP article that never uses the term suicide in the article. The terms are “car bomber” and “bomber.” Using “suicide” puts emphasis on the sacrifice of the bomber. Not using that term puts less emphasis on the bomber and more emphasis on the effects of the bomb.

Story Coverage

Everyone should know not to get their news from just one source. Yesterday, I had a post on how CNN had four recent articles on debt relief for Africa and Fox had none. I also noticed over the last few days other stories that CNN or Fox covered but were not covered by the other. So, I decided to list some of those articles. This is not a complete list but I find it interesting.

If you just read Fox, you would not have seen these CNN articles:
Pentagon sites: Journalism or propaganda? (02.05.2005)
The U.S. Department of Defense plans to add more sites on the Internet to provide information to a global audience -- but critics question whether the Pentagon is violating President Bush's pledge not to pay journalists to promote his policies. [CNN]
Iran: Bush shouldn't point fingers on terror (02.06.2005)
President Bush has no authority to accuse Iran of sponsoring terrorism while the U.S. supports "Zionist terrorists" and runs military prisons that use "torture," Tehran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Sunday. [CNN]
Cheney: 'I will not run' for president (02.07.2005)
Vice President Dick Cheney Sunday categorically ruled out a run for the White House in 2008, even if asked by the Republican president who recruited him back into government. [Reuters]

If you just read CNN, you would not have seen these Fox articles:
Bush: WMD Will Be Found in Iraq - Saturday, February 05, 2005 - CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush (search) said Saturday it is a matter of when — not if — weapons of mass destruction... [AP]
Friends, Family Mark Reagan's Birthday - Monday, February 07, 2005 - SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — Some of Ronald Reagan's closest friends and greatest admirers gathered on what would have been the former... [AP]
NYC to Appeal Ruling Against Gay Nups Ban - Saturday, February 05, 2005 - NEW YORK — The city will appeal a judge's ruling against the state ban on same-sex marriages (search), the mayor said Saturday.... [AP]
Congress Cracks Down on Network Indecency - Thursday, February 03, 2005 - WASHINGTON — Whether or not there's a "wardrobe malfunction" at this weekend's Super Bowl (search), the new Congress appears ready to... [AP]
Clinton Draws Speculation Over 2008 White House Bid - Monday, February 07, 2005 - WASHINGTON — With a speech that focused on providing contraceptives to poor women but added a notable tip of the hat to abstinence... [Fox News]

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Nelson Mandela and the Group of Seven

Primarily in this blog I like to compare articles by CNN and Fox about the same events. However, sometimes I notice that there are events that receive uneven coverage. An example this weekend was the G-7 finance ministers meeting in London. CNN ran four articles which are listed below. These articles include related stories about Nelson Mandela’s challenge to rich countries to help the poor. Fox ran no articles on this (as of the time of this post).

G7 considers total debt relief for poorest nations (02.06.2005)
Finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrial nations said Saturday they were willing to provide up to 100 percent debt relief to the world's poorest nations, but insisted that developing countries ensure the money would be spent wisely.
UK in new bid for African aid plan
Britain will make a last ditch effort to win support at Saturday's Group of Seven meeting for its plans to lift Africa out of poverty despite a flat rejection by the United States.
Mandela: Rich must feed the poor (02.03.2005)
A frail Nelson Mandela told thousands gathered in London's Trafalgar Square Thursday that the world must do a better job of eliminating poverty.
Mandela: Rich must feed the poor (02.03.2005)
South African democracy icon Nelson Mandela challenged rich nations on Thursday to help end the misery of the world's poorest millions.

Note: The last two articles have the same link name but one is a CNN article and the other is a Reuters’ article that CNN also decided to run.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Budget Preview

On Friday, CNN and Fox ran identical AP stories on Bush’s upcoming budget proposal. Here is the first sentence in the articles:

President Bush will propose squeezing substantial savings next year from domestic programs, giving them less than the 2.3 percent increase they would need to keep pace with inflation, the White House budget director has said.

Even though the budget articles are identical, the headlines that each chose show different perspectives (biases?). CNN’s headline focuses the reader on cuts in domestic spending whereas Fox makes it sound positive by saying that the domestic spending will be kept in check. Here are the articles:

CNN: Bush plan cuts domestic programs
Fox: Budget to keep domestic spending in check

Both news sources have published other budget stories yesterday and today. Doing a search for “budget” found the following stories at each site, including the articles noted above. CNN’s focus is on domestic cuts for both of their articles. Fox’s focus is more positive overall. Most of these articles at both sites are from the AP so they are each making choices to run some and not others. Getting your news from just one source may limit your perspective and understanding.

Dramatic cuts part of Bush budget (02.05.2005)
President Bush's budget will propose slashing grants to local law enforcement agencies and cutting spending for environmental protection, American Indian schools and home-heating aid for the poor, The Associated Press learned Saturday.
Bush plan cuts domestic programs (02.04.2005)
President Bush will propose squeezing substantial savings next year from domestic programs, giving them less than the 2.3 percent increase they would need to keep pace with inflation, the White House budget director has said.

Deficit Puts Pressure on Bush's Budget - Saturday, February 05, 2005 - WASHINGTON — President Bush (search) wants Congress to slow defense growth and slice aid to farmers and college students, testaments...
Bush Asks Congress for $419.3B for Defense - Friday, February 04, 2005 - WASHINGTON — President Bush (search) will ask Congress for $419.3 billion for the Pentagon (search) for next year, 4.8 percent more...
Budget to Raise College Loan Limits - Friday, February 04, 2005 - WASHINGTON — To get larger college grants (search) to poor students, the Bush administration wants to shrink guaranteed aid to banks...
Bush Budget to Be Rolled Out Monday - Friday, February 04, 2005 - WASHINGTON — President Bush is promising the most tightfisted budget (search) of his presidency, one that would slash or kill 150...

Friday, February 04, 2005

Same-sex Marriage: NY

CNN and Fox ran articles on a judge saying that a New York law banning same-sex marriage violates the state’s constitution. Both credit the AP but the articles are different. CNN’s matches the AP online article but Fox’s article is longer with more information.

CNN’s article seems more favorable towards same-sex marriage and gives no opposing reactions or views. Fox gives opposing reactions from the president of the Liberty Counsel and Republican Governor of New York, George Pataki.

The first sentences are the same. CNN’s second sentence begins with “Gay rights activists hailed the ruling as a historic victory…” Fox has it as the 9th sentence.

If you only read CNN you would not see the opposing point of view, at least in this article. One of the points of my blog is that it is important to get your news from more than one source.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

FBI Computer System

Both covered the story of a report on a failed computer system project for the FBI. CNN’s was harsher on the FBI by the words it used while Fox was a little softer. One example can be seen in the headlines:

CNN: Report: FBI wasted millions on 'Virtual Case File'
Fox: FBI Urged to Scrap Computer Overhaul

CNN emphasizes the “wasted millions,” as is seen also in their introductory sentence. Fox’s emphasis is on the fact that there are problems but that the project either needs to be scrapped or it will need more work. While waste is implied in Fox’s article, the word is never used.

Links to the articles:,2933,146313,00.html

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


Sometimes it is fun to look at the pictures that accompany articles (you can check out my previous photo posts by looking at the links in the favorite posts section on the sidebar). Today, CNN and Fox ran articles about former President Clinton being named as the U.N. envoy for tsunami reconstruction. Fox used a picture of when President Bush asked his father and Clinton to head up a tsunami fund-raising effort. President Bush is in the center of the picture. CNN’s photo is a portrait view of Clinton with a U.N. backdrop. One could say that Fox's picture is appropriate because the picture is connected with tsunami relief. A cynical person might say that Fox wants to further the president's image and reduce the focus on Clinton.

Fox's picture

CNN's picture
Posted by Hello

Links to the articles:,2933,146043,00.html

No Filibuster

CNN and Fox ran stories on the democrats deciding not to filibuster Alberto Gonzales’ nomination as attorney general. CNN’s is an AP story; Fox ran their own story to which they give contribution credit to AP. The first sentences are from different perspectives. CNN’s AP story starts from the democratic leader’s position while Fox starts with the republican leader’s confidence in Gonzales’ confirmation:

CNN: Democrats won't try to filibuster Alberto Gonzales' nomination to be attorney general but will hold extensive debates in the Senate over his role in developing the Bush administration's policies on treating foreign detainees, the Senate's top Democrat said Tuesday.

Fox: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist appeared confident Tuesday that Alberto Gonzales would be confirmed as attorney general, even as Democrats huddled over the fate of President Bush's nominee.

Fox’s story was longer and included information from an anonymous democratic aide saying that Senators Kennedy and Durbin wanted to urge the caucus to filibuster. But there were also statements saying that it did not come up during the caucus.

Why did Fox decide not to run with the AP story but do their own? Why did CNN not include some of the information that Fox did? Why did they start with different party leaders? What biases were behind those choices, even if unintentional?