Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Volcker Investigation of Oil-for-Food Scandal

As I have noted before, Fox tends to be a little tougher on the U.N. or you could say that CNN is more U.N.-friendly. That seems to be the case as well with their respective articles on Volcker’s report that was released today concerning, among other things, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s potential involvement in the oil-for-food scandal. The articles are similar but the potential bias seems to show in the first part of the articles beginning with the headlines. Fox has a headline of “Will Annan resign? ‘Hell no.’” That seems to indicate that the report results are serious enough to question whether or not Annan should resign. CNN’s headline is much friendlier to Annan with “Report: Annan didn't influence contract.”

In the first sentence of Fox’s article it says that “there was not enough evidence to show that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan knew of a controversial contract bid by his son's employer.” That makes it sound like there is doubt about his innocence but that there was just not enough evidence to find him at fault. CNN starts its article with Annan’s vindication: “U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday he feels vindicated after an independent inquiry found no evidence he exerted influence in the awarding of a $10 million annual contract to a Swiss company that employed his son.”

Leading up to the report being released Fox said this in an article last week: “Paul Volcker next week will release a report detailing just who is to blame in the Oil-for-Food scandal and some familiar with the documents say that report will directly fault U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan for some management lapses.” Yesterday they said this in an article: “It's a report that could cause more questions as to whether U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan is fit to run the world body.” Look at how different CNN’s approach was when they said “An independent U.N. investigative committee is expected to clear Secretary-General Kofi Annan of conflicts of interest in the now-defunct oil-for-food program in Iraq.” They did add to that this statement: “But it is expected to sharply criticize his oversight of the aid program, a source familiar with the report said Monday.”

Links to the articles:






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