Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tom DeLay's Apology

CNN and Fox ran stories today on House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s statement about a controversial comment he had made regarding some judges involved in the Terri Schiavo case. The story in essence can be stated in a two-word, noun-verb sentence, “DeLay apologized.” Both use DeLay’s title so we can add that adjective phrase and we have the following:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay apologized.

But, that is not a particularly interesting or informative opening statement. How each chooses to embellish gives away some of the bias of Fox and CNN. Here are the opening sentences from each article:

FOX: House Majority Leader Tom DeLay apologized Wednesday for using overheated rhetoric on the day Terri Schiavo died, but refused to say whether he supports impeachment of the judges who ruled in her case.

CNN: House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, riding out a political storm over allegations he took trips that were paid for by lobbyists, tried to put to rest another swirling controversy Wednesday: his threats of retribution against judges involved in the Terri Schiavo case.

Fox starts with the basic story sentence that I mentioned at the start of this posting and then adds more information. Fox uses the term “overheated rhetoric” which sounds much softer than CNN’s “threats of retribution against judges.” Fox mentions that it happened on “the day Terri Schiavo died” which makes DeLay’s comment sound more emotional perhaps. More excusable?

CNN takes this opportunity to add that DeLay is “riding out a political storm over allegations he took trips that were paid for by lobbyists.” CNN also calls this “another swirling controversy.” It is not just a controversy but a “swirling” controversy that he is “trying to put to rest.”

Fox adds that DeLay “refused to say whether he supports impeachment of the judges” which leaves that issue still open.

Links to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/04/13/delay.apology/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,153401,00.html

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