Thursday, May 19, 2005

Laura Bush: Prior to Her Mideast Trip

Both CNN and Fox News ran stories about Laura Bush as she prepares to make a visit to the Middle East without her husband. As might be expected there were some biases in what each chose to write. CNN ran an “On the Scene” article which was a transcript of CNN anchor Judy Woodruff talking with their White House correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux. Fox ran an article headlined, “Laura Bush 'Glad' Newsweek Retracted Story.” With regard to Newsweek’s retraction of their story about desecration of the Quran [note: CNN uses “Quran,” Fox uses “Koran”] and the potential impact on the visit, there are dramatic differences with CNN emphasizing anti-American sentiment compared with Fox’s positive statements by Laura Bush. Fox says that the Newsweek article “spurred violent riots” while CNN lists the Newsweek story with Abu Ghraib as affecting the perception of the U.S.

CNN (quoting Malveaux): There are a lot of problems with perception, U.S. perception ... [detainee abuse at] Abu Ghraib [prison in Iraq], as well as the Newsweek scandal, of course. The riots that occurred in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan -- a place where she's visited several times. There's also a report that came out today [from] the Council on Foreign Relations that talked about the increase in anti-Americanism in the region.

FOX: The story, published and then later retracted by Newsweek, spurred violent riots in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
"Well, I am glad that they retracted it, but I think it's really important for America to be able to get over to people in the Middle East what we are really like, and that freedom of religion and respect for other people's religion is a very, very important part of our country, in the history of our country," Bush said in her first public comments on the story.

Fox’s article has many positive quotes from the President’s wife. CNN’s Malveaux throws in some zingers like: “She is going to promote the agenda of her husband. You know, her husband is not very popular among some of the regions [where] she's going to be traveling.” Also, “It is [hoped] that her message, perhaps, will be received a little bit better than her husband.”

Fox also ran a transcript of an interview with Laura Bush. A search of CNN’s site showed no other articles on this subject. Incidentally, Fox had two photos of Laura Bush with its article while CNN had only a photo of Malveaux.

Links to the articles:,2933,157113,00.html

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