Monday, August 29, 2005

Headlines on John Roberts

CNN and Fox News both ran an AP article on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and some of his earlier papers that were released recently. Although the articles are the same their headlines expose their biases. The article is about Roberts’ advice to then President Reagan concerning two complaints from a conservative, Bob Jones III, former president of Bob Jones University. CNN’s headline is relatively more negative towards Roberts using the term "impatience" in the headline: “Documents: Roberts showed impatience with Reagan supporter” with a sub-headline of “Newly released papers show displeasure with federal judiciary.” What was "impatience" to CNN, was standing up to political threats in Fox’s headline: “Roberts Showed Little Tolerance for Political Threats.”

Links to the articles:,2933,167389,00.html

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Dual protests in Crawford

CNN and Fox News both had articles today on the dual protests in Crawford, Texas. They have different estimates of the numbers of people at the protests with CNN showing that Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war group had more than Bush but Fox saying the opposite. Here are the specifics:

CNN states that there were about 1,000 Bush supporters. Later in the article it says that more than 1,000 showed up to support Sheehan.

Fox’s AP article says that there were several thousand people with “most in a caravan for a pro-Bush rally.” They later estimate the pro-Bush group at 1,500. For Sheehan’s group Fox says “Organizers estimated the crowd at more than 2,000 but it appeared smaller.”

Links to the articles:,2933,167216,00.html

Monday, August 22, 2005

Opposing Camps in Crawford, Texas

I'm still on vacation but finding a little time for a short post:

To counter Cindy Sheehan's anti-war camp in Crawford, Texas, a pro-Bush camp has been set up. CNN and Fox News ran identical AP articles but they chose different headllines and pictures that show their biases.

Fox's headline of “Pro-Bush Camp Sets Up in Crawford” is more positive sounding than CNN's “Bush supporters create opposing camp.”

Fox chose an AP picture with this caption: “Aug 20: Bill Johnson, right, holds a microphone for Gary Qualls of Texas as he addresses supporters at a memorial to his son in Crawford." CNN chose a picture of Bush supporter Gary Qualls but the supporter is getting a hug from Cindy Sheehan. Here is CNN's caption: “Cindy Sheehan hugs Bush supporter Gary Qualls at her camp near Crawford, Texas August 13." Even in showing a Bush supporter, Cindy Sheehan is highlighted and the caption has her taking the initiative in hugging Qualls.

There is one other difference in the articles that may just be different versions of the AP feed. CNN's opening sentence starts with “A pro-Bush camp with a "God Bless Our President!" banner sprung up downtown Saturday...” Fox's opening sentence uses the term patriotic in an otherwise identical sentence: “A patriotic camp with a "God Bless Our President!" banner sprung up downtown Saturday..."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

time out for vacation

I'll be on vacation for about a week and it looks doubtful that I will be able to do much blogging. Check back in a week or so and I should have a new post.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Justice Sunday II: half-full or half-empty?

Thousands attended a “Justice Sunday II” rally which was broadcast to churches across the country. CNN and Fox News both ran AP stories in their web sites and they were identical. The headlines were not however with an interesting difference as you can see below with CNN having the group attacking while Fox has them praying.

CNN: Religious rally attacks 'arrogant' judges

FOX: Christian Groups Pray for Constructionist Judges

Links to the articles:,2933,165688,00.html

Thursday, August 11, 2005

President Bush, Cindy Sheehan, and Iraq

President Bush spoke today from Crawford, TX concerning Iraq. CNN and Fox News had articles on their web site covering his message that it would be bad to pull out of Iraq now despite those who are calling for a pull-out. Political biases can be seen in the articles. Fox’s headline shows a more human Bush by saying “Bush: I Grieve for Dead Soldiers, But Won't Bring Rest Home” contrasted with CNN’s “Bush: Iraq pullout would send 'terrible signal'.”

CNN devotes 22% of its article (by word count) to Cindy Sheehan and other war protesters. Fox has two sentences or 5% of its article.

CNN refers to Sheehan and the protesters in the first sentence whereas Fox does not say anything until much later in the article. Here is the wording of the opening sentences for each. Same message basically except with CNN adding the info on the protesters (or Fox choosing not to refer to protesters up front).

CNN: President Bush said Thursday he sympathizes with war protesters like the mother camped outside his Texas ranch demanding answers for her solider-son's death, but he said he believes it would be a mistake to bring U.S. troops home now.

FOX: President Bush said Thursday that no decision has been made on increasing or decreasing troop strength in Iraq ahead of Iraqi elections in October, but it would be a mistake to bail out on the Iraqis before the nation is secure.

Links to the articles:,2933,165373,00.html

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bush and the Economy

The web sites for CNN and Fox News covered Bush’s comments on the economy. Both are AP stories and some of the sentences are word-for-word the same. However, there were differences. I think that the most telling on biases is how each chose to open their articles. CNN’s first sentence is that “President Bush voiced concern Tuesday over rising energy and health care costs, suggesting they were clouds over an otherwise sunny U.S. economy.” So, although the economy is “otherwise sunny,” CNN chose to lead with concerns and “clouds.” Fox, on the other hand, was more positive and led with “President Bush cited recent positive economic reports on Tuesday to promote his domestic agenda, …”

Links to the articles:,2933,165152,00.html

Bush and the Energy Bill

CNN and Fox News covered President Bush’s signing of the new Energy Bill in New Mexico. There is quite a difference in their internet articles in terms of the positive aspects of the bill that are attributed to Bush.

The first quote of Bush in CNN’s article includes cautions saying that:

"This bill is not going to solve our energy challenges overnight," Bush said just before signing the bill into law. "It's going to take years of focused efforts to alleviate those problems."

Contrast that with Fox’s first quote of Bush which makes it sound much more positive to the “every American:”

The energy bill "is going to help every American who drives to work, every family that pays a power bill and every small business owner hoping to expand. The bill is the result of years of effort. It is the result of good folks coming together, people who made a commitment to deliver results to the American people. This bill launches an energy strategy for the 21st century, and I have really been looking forward to signing it," Bush said.

In Fox’s quote above, CNN quotes the same last sentence but does not have the other positive statements preceding it.

In all, CNN had 18% (by word count) of its article devoted to Bush quotes or paraphrases of his comments. Fox had 34% on Bush comments. Fox also had more info on opposing views critical of the bill.

Links to the articles:,2933,165030,00.html

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Mother of Dead Soldier Protests Bush

Cindy Sheehan is protesting the war in which her son, Casey Sheehan was killed last year. Cindy is protesting outside of Bush’s ranch in Crawford, TX. Both CNN and Fox covered the same basic facts but with different slants. The opening sentences of each article are similar. Fox adds that her grief is similar to the relatives of marines from Ohio who were recently killed but then adds “yet their views about the war differ.” Later in the article Fox offers an example of “Jim Boskovitch, father of slain Cpl. Jeffery Boskovitch … [who] is supporting the U.S. military action in Iraq.” Fox also included information from “Rosemary Palmer, the mother of Lance Cpl. Edward Schroeder … another Ohio Marine killed in Iraq, [who] sided more with Sheehan.” However Palmer was not as adamant against the war as Cindy Sheehan. CNN does not have any opinions from other relatives of dead soldiers.

CNN has statements from Senator Boxer (D-CA) which includes this comparison to Vietnam and is prominent in the article as the second sentence:

Later, in a TV interview, a Democratic senator from California said the episode evokes images that were commonplace during the Vietnam War.

Links to the articles:,2933,164993,00.html

President Bush Slipping in the Polls

On Friday both CNN and Fox News ran stories about a new poll on Bush which shows his ratings on the handling of Iraq at an all time low. On both sites, typically a link to a story may stay on for a day or two. It is now Sunday morning and the link to the story on Fox is no longer on its “Politics” home page. However, CNN seems to be carrying it a little longer and, this morning, actually highlighting it on its “Inside Politics” home page as seen in the screen shot below.

Screen shot of's "Inside Politics" home page.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

GOP Wins Close Election in Ohio

Both CNN and Fox News ran AP articles on the special election in Ohio for a Congressional seat typically held by Republicans. The polls indicated that a Democrat, Paul Hackett, an anti-war, anti-Bush candidate and Iraq War veteran, had a good chance of winning over Jean Schmidt. Although both articles are from the AP and many of the sentences are exactly the same, there are some interesting differences as a result, presumably of biases.

For example, both articles say that “Democrats had viewed the race as a bellwether for 2006, saying even a strong showing by Hackett in such a heavily GOP district would be a good sign for them in the midterm elections.” CNN, however has the following very prominently as the second sentence in the article (it was not in Fox’s article):

CNN: “But Democrats said they, too, had reason to celebrate -- pointing to the close race as a sign of promise heading into next year's midterm elections.”

CNN also had the following statements which were not in Fox’s article:

CNN: “"There's no safe Republican district. You can run, but you cannot hide," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”

CNN: “Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate who lost in Ohio, called the result "a warning signal to the Washington Republican establishment and the Ohio Republican Party."

CNN: “"This was a success. We should all be proud," Hackett told cheering supporters. "The voters of the 2nd District won because we gave them a choice."”

Fox provides more specifics on Schmidt’s views as seen form these excerpts:

CNN: “Schmidt billed herself as an experienced leader more in tune with the district than Hackett. She also consistently supported Bush on the war.”

FOX: “In Ohio, Schmidt billed herself as an experienced leader more in tune with the district than Hackett. … Schmidt consistently supported Bush on the war, and said she shares the "moral values" of the district with her opposition to abortion and to gay marriage.”

Links to the articles:,2933,164557,00.html