Thursday, June 23, 2005

Senate Armed Services Committee: War in Iraq

CNN and Fox News reported on a hearing today on Iraq with the Senate Armed Services Committee. Both news sources gave pro and con viewpoints but there are several key differences between the articles which show CNN having more of an anti-war bias and Fox more of a pro-Bush bias. Here are three differences:

1. CNN’s third and fourth sentences mention falling public support for the war in Iraq. Specifically, CNN notes that, “A CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll released Monday found that nearly six in 10 Americans oppose the war in Iraq.” Fox mentions this issue but does so only at the end, in the third through fifth sentences from the end.

2. CNN ends its article on a sour note: “"People are beginning to question. And I don't think it's a blip on the radar screen. We have a chronic problem on our hands," Graham [R-SC] said.” Fox also noted Senator Graham’s concerns but the article ends on an upbeat note from an interview with Rick Davis, a former campaign manager for Sen. John McCain, R-AZ: “"I think [terrorists] are encouraged by public opinion that says [Americans] don't see the war as popular, but I also think they see what's going on on the ground, which is no let up in this protracted war. We're in to win and we're going to do what we have to" to make it so.”

3. I looked at each article and pulled out positive statements about the war’s progress. Fox had a longer article and they also had more things positive to say about the war effort, or in defense of it.

CNN:

He [Rumsfeld] said that “terrorists who in recent months have suffered significant losses and casualties, been denied havens and suffered weakened popular support.”

“Rumsfeld told the Senate panel Thursday that the Iraqi government and security forces have made great strides …”

“He [General John Abizaid] testified that he was encouraged by the progress in Iraq and Afghanistan and said that his troops supported the war.”

FOX:

"First, let me [Rumsfeld] say there isn't a person at this table who agrees that we're in a quagmire and there isn't an end in sight. "The presentations today have been very clear. They've been forthright. The suggestion by you that people like me or others are painting a rosy picture is false."

Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, called Kennedy's description of the situation as a quagmire a "misrepresentation of the facts" and suggested it was an insult to the Iraqi people. "You have an insurgency with no base of support, and Iraqi security forces are fighting and dying for their country every day. That is not a quagmire," Casey said.

"To be sure they're not like U.S. forces, (are) never going to be ... there isn't an army, navy in the world that is comparable to the U.S. military but that does not mean they're not capable," he [Rumsfeld] said."Success will not be easy and it will require patience. ... But consider what has been accomplished in 12 months," Rumsfeld added, citing elections in January, economic improvements and an increasingly improving security force.

Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., praised President Bush for "steady and unflinching resolve."

Links to the articles:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/06/23/iraq.rumsfeld/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,160447,00.html

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