Wednesday, March 30, 2005


CNN and Fox ran different AP stories about expectations of an upcoming report from President Bush’s commission on weapons of mass destruction. Many of the sentences are the same since they are AP stories but there are many differences, especially early in the articles. The tone of each is very different and represents their respective biases, as illustrated below. In the opening sentences, CNN says the report will “castigate” U.S. agencies while Fox says it will call on the agencies “ensure information flows more freely.”

First sentences:

CNN: President Bush's commission on weapons of mass destruction will castigate U.S. intelligence agencies for their continued failure to share information after numerous reforms aimed at improving coordination, federal officials said Tuesday.

FOX: President Bush's commission on weapons of mass destruction is expected to call on U.S. intelligence agencies to take steps to ensure information flows more freely among them, breaking down long-standing barriers and cultures of secrecy, federal officials say.

This sentence is CNN’s second sentence but it is Fox’s 11th sentence. Is there bias in the placement of this statement which is negative towards Bush’s administration?

…said the report also goes into great detail on why prewar intelligence on Iraq's weapons programs turned out to be flawed.

Fox has these statements which are not in CNN’s article. While pointing out some problems they are more favorable to Bush and offering some explanation as to Bush’s war decision.

Bush's decision to go to war in Iraq had the strong support of U.S. intelligence centers, but it was far from unanimous.

The individual said the end result was the appearance of overwhelming evidence of attempts by Iraq to significantly arm itself.

Links to the articles:,2933,151870,00.html

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