Tuesday, March 29, 2005

President Bush on Iraq

Sometimes my blog posts deal with subtleties of bias having to do with choices of specific words or choices of pictures accompanying an article. There is nothing subtle about the differences between two articles today. Both are about President Bush speaking from the Rose Garden to a group of Iraqis concerning democracy in Iraq. The differences start with the headlines with Fox saying that Bush is saluting the successes while CNN says he is downplaying the problems.

Headlines:

CNN: Bush downplays Iraqi political disputes

FOX: Bush Salutes Freedom and Democracy

The trend continues in the first sentences with CNN bringing up the turmoil with the transitional government process and Fox saluting the growth of democracy.

First sentences:

CNN: President Bush, on a day of political turmoil in Baghdad, acknowledged Tuesday that Iraqis are divided over the future of their country but said the differences "will be resolved through debate and persuasion instead of force and intimidation."

FOX: With first lady Laura Bush on her way to Afghanistan to meet with newly emerging women's groups and President Hamid Karzai, President Bush stayed at home Tuesday to salute the growth of democracy in Iraq.

CNN has only 286 words in their AP article compared to Fox’s 774 words. Fox reminds the reader of the successful election with this:

The election on Jan. 30 was considered by many a success after more than 8 million of 14 million eligible voters braved insurgents' threats and voted in that country's first free election in 50 years. The president praised the turnout and especially the number of women who voted and are participating in the Iraqi assembly. Eighty of the 275 National Assembly members are women.

Fox has some information later in the article that is critical and also supportive of the efforts in Iraq. It ends with a positive note on this quote from Brian Bennett, Washington correspondent for Time magazine:

"The amount of news that has come out in the Middle East about either elections in Iraq or pro-democracy rumblings in other countries has definitely succeeded in quieting any of the criticism about the lack of weapons of mass destruction that were found in Iraq, which doesn't mean it isn't an important issue."

Links to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/03/29/bush.tuesday.ap/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,151812,00.html

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