Sunday, October 30, 2005

Iraq War: Update

In updates today on the war in Iraq, CNN and Fox News each covered two main events: (1) the brother of the Iraqi vice president was killed and (2) a successful U.S. attack on insurgents. There would appear to be evidence of biases in their coverage with CNN being more negative towards the war and Fox taking a more positive view of the U.S. effort.

First of all, CNN leads with the killing of the Iraqi VP and later talks about the attack on the insurgents. Its headline in 20-point type is “Brother of Iraq vice president killed.” There is a sub-headline in 11.5-point type of “U.S. military: Troops kill six insurgents.” Fox typically does not have a sub-headline but its headline for the article is “Troops thwart militant attack on U.S. base.”

Note also that CNN’s “troops kill” in its sub-headline is more negative sounding than Fox’s “troops thwart.” The former stresses death while the later stresses a successful operation that saved U.S. deaths. CNN also uses “insurgents” whereas Fox uses the term “militant” which I think presents more of a picture of an armed and dangerous enemy.

Fox provides more details of the U.S. attack than did CNN as noted below:



Coalition troops in a central Iraqi city have killed six suspected insurgents and detained five other people, the U.S. military said Sunday.

According to the military statement, coalition forces in Taji saw the suspected insurgents Saturday night in an area where small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade attacks previously had taken place.

The suspected insurgents fired at military helicopters, causing the pilots to return fire, the statement said.

The U.S. operation against the insurgents was Saturday night near Taji, a U.S. air base 12 miles north of Baghdad. Troops saw the militants moving along a canal toward a commonly used ambush site, the military said in a statement.

The militants fired on Apache attack helicopters that were conducting reconnaissance. The helicopters fired back, and the insurgents retreated. When they tried to regroup, an Air Force F-15E jet dropped a 500-pound bomb on them, the military said. Six insurgents were killed and five were wounded and captured, the statement said.

Links to the articles:,2933,173933,00.html

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