Thursday, May 12, 2005

Spin on the Bolton Committee Vote

It is no surprise that there were some differences in the reporting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s vote to send Bolton’s name to the Senate, but doing so without any endorsement. Both articles had information that was both pro and con (Fox’s article is longer and has considerably more detail on both sides of the issue). However there are four interesting differences that can be attributed to bias, one way or the other, depending on your perspective. For example, CNN leads with “In a blow to the White House, …” which is more anti-Bush administration than Fox leading with the nomination being “sent out of committee Thursday, albeit with a glaring asterisk.”

Secondly, CNN makes the following statement about endorsements by committees being “customary” and the lack of an endorsement being “rare:”

CNN: The vote was along party lines -- 10 to 8. An endorsement is customary when a nomination advances to the floor for consideration. It's rare to withhold a recommendation or to send a negative one, the committee's other option.

Note, however, Fox’s statement makes it seem more normal as an allowed procedure:

FOX: Committees that are unsure about a nominee may send a vote to the floor without an endorsement, to allow the full Senate to decide.

Thirdly, note the difference in predictions of a full Senate vote:

CNN: Voinovich was outspoken Thursday in his opposition to Bolton's nomination, suggesting it might not pass the full Senate, where it needs a simple majority of 51 for approval.

FOX: Bolton should have an easier time there, where Republicans hold a 55-45 majority.

Finally, Fox made this comment about the vote as a failure of the Democrats in one respect:

FOX: The panel's eight Democratic members, who unanimously opposed Bolton's appointment, failed to get the support of at least one Republican to keep him from getting an up-and-down vote.

Links to the articles:,2933,156297,00.html

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