Thursday, April 28, 2005

President Bush in Prime Time

CNN and Fox News had articles about President Bush’s prime time news conference. There are lots of differences which appear to be related to biases (sorry about the lengthy post today but there is so much to say). I will highlight four differences. (1) First of all, CNN has 1016 words while Fox’s article is about two and a half times as long at 2581 words. Is Fox adding more emphasis and significance to the President’s news conference or, conversely, is CNN reporting only the minimum necessary?

(2) Both report poll results concerning people’s opinions about Bush’s social security plans. CNN reports on a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll where “on the question of private accounts, 51 percent of respondents said they opposed such an idea and 45 percent said they supported it.” Fox, although admitting that “Americans remain confused” on personal investment accounts, stated that “53 percent overall said they are in favor of private accounts, with that number rising to 64 percent of people under age 55.”

(3) Concerning Iraq, CNN reported the following:

On international affairs, Bush said he has invited new Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari to come to the United States. "I hope he comes soon," Bush said. Iraq's transitional National Assembly earlier in the day chose a new government following three months of political wrangling in the wake of historic elections.

Fox’s information on Iraq, specifically, is much more positive:

Bush praised Iraqi civilians who have signed up in droves to join the military, and he gave details of a conversation he held with Iraq's incoming Prime Minister lbrahim Al-Jaafari, in which he confirmed Jaafari's commitment to getting a constitution and a permanent assembly. He said he also invited him to come to the United States.

"There are a lot of courageous people in Iraq that are making a big difference in the lives of that country. I also want to caution you all that it's not easy to go from a tyranny to a democracy. We didn't pass sovereignty but about 10 months ago. And since that time a lot of progress has been made," he said.

(4) On John Bolton’s nomination to the U.N., CNN states the following which has a small quote from Bush and a reminder of the postponement of the vote due to a Republican siding, in part, with the Democrats:

Bush restated his support for his nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations, saying John Bolton "isn't afraid to speak his mind" and is the right person for the job. "John Bolton is a blunt guy," he said. "John Bolton can get the job done at the United Nations."

The Foreign Relations Committee postponed a vote on Bolton's nomination last week after a Republican member, Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, joined Democrats in asking for more time to investigate fresh allegations about the nominee's past conduct.

Fox, on the other hand, said the following which blames the Democrats for stalling the confirmation and adds more content from Bush than CNN had:

Bush also defended John Bolton, whom the president nominated to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton's confirmation has been stalled by Democrats who say his temper is too nasty to take the top U.S. diplomatic post in the world body.

"John Bolton is a blunt guy. Sometimes people say I'm little too blunt. ... It seemed like to me it made sense to put somebody who's capable, smart, served our country for 20 years, been confirmed by the United States Senate four times and who isn't afraid to speak his mind in the post of the ambassador to the U.N.," Bush said, adding that the United Nations is in need of reforms and Bolton is committed to seeing them through.

Links to the articles:,2933,154962,00.html


Anonymous said...

The Democrats did not stall the vote. President Bush was not honest(i.e. he lied) when he said that. There are 8 Democrats and 10 Republicans on the committee. A majority vote is all that is necessary. Democrats did not have the power to stall the vote.

Personally, I think your comparison between FOX and CNN is specious; they are both right wing news parrots. Why not compare the analysis of Air America or Democracy Now to either or both of your choices, and then wonder of wonders, FACT CHECK what these "news" announcers report.

marcus said...

It's not so much that I am trying to show that Fox is conservative and/or CNN is liberal. Or, that either has their facts correct. Rather, I think it is important to look at how two news sources can differ and thereby potentially effect the readers' perceptions, understanding, and attitude toward an issue.

I like your idea about checking some other news sources. I have wanted to but I have had trouble finding the time so far. Hopefully I can check that out in the future.