Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Bush and Rumsfeld on Iraq

President Bush and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld made comments about the Iraq war one day prior to an address Bush will give to the Naval Academy. CNN’s article is not as favorable towards Bush as Fox News’ article. Here are some key, biased differences in the coverage:

* CNN gives comments in opposition to Bush from Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). In fact, by word count, CNN devotes 20.2% of its article to Senator Reed. By contrast, Fox has no opposing statements.

* CNN adds several negative comments towards Bush (not found in Fox’s article) including:

“The United States invaded Iraq in March 2003 on the contention that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was trying to obtain nuclear weapons and had concealed chemical and biological weapons stockpiles from U.N. weapons inspectors. No such weapons were found once Hussein was toppled, and American troops have been battling a persistent insurgency since his government collapsed in April 2003.”

“The U.S. death toll reached 2,110 Tuesday when a roadside bomb killed two U.S. soldiers north of Baghdad, and support for the conflict has dropped sharply in recent months.” [Note: Fox notes the rising death poll and drop in approval but mentions no specific numbers.]

“Only 35 percent of those surveyed in a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll taken earlier this month said they approved of Bush's handling of the conflict, and 54 percent said the invasion had been a mistake.”

“A crowd of anti-war demonstrators met him after he landed, waving signs urging Bush's impeachment and a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Some waved their middle fingers at reporters traveling with the president.”

Several quotes from Democratic Senator Reed from RI.

* CNN devotes very little of its article to Rumsfeld. CNN quotes some of the same statements as Fox but Fox has significantly more including the following list of specific accomplishments mentioned by Rumsfeld:

“He said 95 battalions, about 50,000 of the 212,000 Iraqi force, are trained, equipped and in the fight against insurgents.

“He said Iraqi forces control 87 square miles of Baghdad, one entire province, and 450 square miles of territory in other provinces.

“The Iraqi army has seven division and 31 brigade headquarters in operation.

“Twenty-nine military bases are operated by Iraqis.”

"We've been passing over bases; we've been passing real estate; we've been turning over responsibilities. I mean, what else can you do? Nothing happens at the same time, in one fell swoop. This is hard stuff for them. It's isn't going to be perfect. But, by golly, the people who've been denigrating the Iraqi security forces are flat wrong. They've been wrong from the beginning. They're doing a darn good job, and they're doing an increasingly better job every day, every week, every month. And they have to, because it's their country," Rumsfeld said.

Links to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/29/us.iraq/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,177033,00.html

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