Saturday, April 16, 2005

Pakistan Detains Opposition Leader

Fox News ran an AP story while CNN ran their own on Pakistan detaining an opposition leader, Asif Ali Zardari. There clearly are differences in the coverage and a reader of just one source would have a different impression of what happened than a reader of the other. In the table below I show some examples of the differences. It would seem that Fox’s AP article is a little more favorable to the Pakistani government.

Comment

CNN

Fox

Was it a violent “storming” of the plane or was Zardari just “whisked off”?

security forces have stormed a plane carrying opposition leader Asif Ali Zardari and detained him as he arrived in the country him as he arrived in the country

was whisked off a plane and spirited away by police upon his return from a trip overseas

Was he under arrest or not?

government and police authorities said he was in "protective custody."

was taken from the airport and dropped at his home …

Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the party officials and activists would soon be freed and denied claims Zardari had been arrested. …

"Police dropped him at his home in Lahore and he must be having his breakfast by now," Ahmed told The Associated Press. "Asif Ali Zardari is a free person. He can go anywhere."

Did Zadari request protective custody?

The opposition leader was also be allowed to hold prayers at a local shrine later Saturday, Masoor said.

Zardari told Masoor [Shahid Masoor, director of the ARY News Channel] he did not request protective custody.

Chief Minister of Punjab province Chaudhry Pervez Elahi told Geo television that police provided "security" for Zardari. "He said he is worried about his security, and we sent police to Lahore airport to safely drop him at his home on his request."

Were the journalists “beaten” as CNN describes or “manhandled” as Fox says?

Journalists on the plane told CNN their cameras were taken from them and they were beaten.

ARY television reported that police at the airport manhandled journalists who traveled with Zardari from Dubai, snatching away their cameras.

This is information mentioned by Fox but not CNN.

The planned rally was a carefully orchestrated bid by the opposition to boost the political profile of Zardari

He claimed the opposition, which had offered to pay the airfares of journalists who agreed to return with Zardari on the flight from Dubai, was intentionally trying to create problems.

This is noted by CNN but not Fox.

dozens of PPP activists suffered injuries when police charged them in front of the Karachi Railway Station. Police were trying to stop PPP activists from boarding trains for Lahore.

At least two journalists were listed in critical condition from injuries they suffered in the melee.

Links to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/04/16/pakistan.zardari/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,153662,00.html

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