Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Bush, Lebanon, and Terrorism

CNN and Fox News both ran their own articles (as opposed to using AP articles or other news services) on President Bush’s speech at the National Defense University. I think that there are some interesting, sometimes subtle differences that indicate biases. For example, in their opening sentences, CNN has Bush in a position of “defending his campaign” while Fox’s wording gives credit to “his policies,” a more Bush-friendly statement. For more details, see the table below. In addition to the specific comments below, and more importantly, I also noted that Fox’s article devotes much more space to connecting the war on terrorism with the administrations’ efforts in the Middle East. Fox’s article uses supporting quotes from Bush about the impacts of various attacks on the U.S. from tyranny (Pearl Harbor, 1941) and terrorism (Marine barracks, 1983; World Trade Center, 1993; U.S. embassies in Africa, 1998; USS Cole, 2000; and “9/11”).

Comment

CNN

Fox

In these opening sentences, CNN has Bush in a position of “defending his campaign” while Fox’s wording gives credit to “his policies,” a more Bush-friendly statement.

President Bush on Tuesday defended his campaign to spread democracy, saying it can help stop terrorism around the world.

President Bush on Tuesday told the American people his policies were leading to democracy in the Middle East

Both quote Bush speaking to the people of Lebanon. CNN leaves the part about Europe out of its quote.

"The American people are on your side. ... Freedom will prevail in Lebanon."

"The American people are on your side," he added. "Millions across Europe are on your side. The momentum of freedom is on your side, and freedom will prevail in Lebanon."

CNN gives more details and maybe therefore more significance to the pro-Syrian, Hezbollah rally in Beirut.

While Bush spoke, tens of thousand of people were filling the streets of Beirut for a Hezbollah-organized rally, expressing support for the Syrian presence and demanding Washington and European powers stay out of Lebanon's affairs.

… Hezbollah, which orchestrated a massive demonstration in Beirut on Tuesday in favor of the Syrian occupation there.

Similar quotes here. I’ve highlighted the differences. CNN uses the term “generational challenge” (perhaps from a different part of Bush’s speech) while Fox uses the stronger “generational commitment” quote. Fox also adds more information on what that commitment means.

Bush suggested that solidifying and advancing those political gains is a "generational challenge" and critical to progress in the war on terror.

"For the sake of our long-term security, all free nations must stand with the forces of democracy and justice that have begun to transform the Middle East," he said.

"For the sake of our long-term security, all free nations must stand with the forces of democracy and justice that have begun to transform the Middle East," the president said, adding that the effort requires a "generational commitment that demands patience and resolve ... when the headlines are good and when the headlines aren't so good."

Links to today’s articles:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/03/08/bush.mideast/index.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,149738,00.html

No comments: