Monday, January 30, 2006

Aid to Hamas?

With nearly identical headlines, both CNN and Fox had articles today concerning a meeting of the Mideast Quartet (U.S., U.N., Russia, E.U.) about Hamas and whether or not aid will be given to the Palestinians if Hamas does not recognize Israel. CNN ran their own article and Fox ran an AP story. I have always considered the opening sentences critical in setting a perception for the reader. Bias can often be seen in how an article opens. In this case, CNN seems to give credit to the U.N. by quoting Kofi Annan. Fox, which I have shown in previous posts as being much harsher on the U.N., gives credit to the Bush Administration.

CNN—Opening sentences

Fox—Opening sentences

The international community is willing to provide crucial aid to Palestinians if the new Hamas-led government commits to non-violence, recognizes Israel's right to exist and accepts current Mideast peace agreements, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has said.

The Bush administration won support from other would-be Mideast peacemakers Monday in saying a Hamas-led Palestinian government would have to renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to exist in order to receive crucial financial aid.


Links to articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/01/30/hamas.funding/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,183238,00.html

Democrats and Alito Filibuster Vote

Both CNN and Fox News published articles on the vote to end debate on Judge Alito’s confirmation, ending the attempt for a filibuster by some Democrats. Bias can be seen in how the articles are worded.

In the respective opening sentences, CNN talks of a “spirited” campaign by some Democrats to block the nomination. Fox’s perspective is from the Democrats who voted along with the Republicans.

CNN: Judge Samuel Alito stands just one step away from a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court after a spirited ninth-inning campaign by some Democratic senators to block his nomination fizzled Monday evening.

FOX: More than a dozen Senate Democrats supported ending debate on Samuel Alito Monday, setting up a final confirmation vote for the Supreme Court nominee on Tuesday morning.

A minor point maybe but CNN again talks from the perspective of those Democrats who were trying to filibuster while Fox comes from the angle of the Democrats who went with the Republicans:

CNN: In the end, only 24 of the chamber's 44 Democrats went along with the filibuster, …

FOX: Nineteen Democrats joined Republicans to end debate, …

Links to the articles:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/30/alito/index.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,183204,00.html

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Poll Comparisons

CNN and Fox News both conducted polls on President Bush as the President prepares to give his State-of-the-Union address. CNN’s article has more of an anti-Bush flavor and Fox presents a more favorable view. Check out their respective opening sentences where CNN notes four negative results to start its article whereas Fox notes future interest and the fact that at least Bush’s approval rating is holding steady (a fact noted by CNN later in its article.

CNN—Opening sentences

Fox—Opening sentences

A majority of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate in November’s congressional elections who opposes President Bush, and 58 percent consider his second term a failure so far, according to a poll released Thursday.

Fewer people consider Bush to be honest and trustworthy now than did a year ago, and 53 percent said they believe his administration deliberately misled the public about Iraq’s purported weapons program before the U.S. invasion in 2003, the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found

As President George W. Bush prepares to give his sixth State of the Union speech, a new FOX News poll finds that Americans want to hear him to talk about the situation in Iraq, the economy and terrorism. The president’s approval rating is 41 percent, which is about where it has been for more than two months now.

The poll shows that Americans are most interested in hearing the president speak to the nation about the situation in Iraq (26 percent), the economy (20 percent) and terrorism (11 percent). (Respondents named topics without the aid of being read a list.)

Fox sticks mostly to its poll results. CNN throws in some other facts along with the poll results. For example, in results on Iraq, CNN notes the U.S. death toll.

The questions that were asked show some bias as well. For example, the subject of corruption is handled differently. In searching both polls, each ask questions about corruption. Look at the difference between the two. CNN specifically asks about corruption in government and then which parties could handle it better. Fox does not ask directly about government corruption but compares the issue of corruption to government overspending. The other corruption question deals with the U.N. scandals.

Fox discounts the corruption issue by saying: “In the wake of the recent Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, government corruption has been a hot topic. Even so, Americans think government spending is just as big a problem.” CNN looks to highlight it by including it on a list whereas a similar question by Fox was open-ended.

CNN--Corruption questions

Fox—Corruption questions

How important is it to you that the president and Congress deal with each of the following issues in the next year -- is it -- extremely important, very important, moderately important, or not that important? How about --

[RANDOM ORDER]?

{one of the seven items is “corruption in government”}

What do you think is a bigger problem in Washington today – government corruption or government overspending?

Do you think the Republicans in Congress or the Democrats in Congress would do a better job of dealing with the issue of corruption in government?

In addition to the previous United Nations scandal involving

mismanagement of the Oil-for-Food program, there are now indications of corruption in the handling of peacekeeping activities. Do you think the United States should stop paying dues to the United Nations until its

problems of mismanagement are cleaned up?

Links to articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/26/bush.poll/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,182912,00.html

Monday, January 23, 2006

Photos of Pres. Bush at Kansas State

Once again CNN and Fox News are choosing different photos of Bush. On this occasion the President is speaking at Kansas State. CNN uses a rather interesting picture where Bush is pointing his fingers at himself. Fox on the other hand uses a picture that shows a much stronger-looking president. Here are the photos:

CNN:



FOX: (AP)










Links to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/23/nsa.strategy/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,182467,00.html

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Looking for Contributors

I want to open up my blog to become a team blog. If you are interested in posting to this blog periodically, please add a comment to that effect to this posting. I will remain the administrator for the blog and continue to post as well. There are lots of other areas that can be explored with the type of analysis I have been using. For example, mainstream vs. alternative news, U.S. vs. international news, etc. I am willing to open this up. I ask that potential contributors use clean language and that they be as objective as possible in their analysis. Names of team members will be placed on the home page.

Monday, January 16, 2006

State of the Union Address: Party Time

Many people set up Super Bowl parties and invite friends over to watch the game. You might want to consider doing the same for President Bush’s State of the Union address on the 31st.

Democratic National Committee:
You shouldn't have to watch it alone... and now you won't have to.
On January 31st, Democrats from across the country will gather together and watch the State of the Union. At one of those parties, hosted by a Democracy Bond holder, Governor Dean will watch with them.
You can start planning your Watch Party in a few simple steps by visiting:
http://www.democrats.org/events/create
As an event host, you will be in a position to provide critical information to fellow Democrats in your community before the speech. Immediately following the address, there will be a nationwide conference call with Governor Dean, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Republican National Committee:
A GOP House Party is a grassroots tool that brings together people who support the President and the Republican ticket. Parties all across the nation can be easily organized and coordinated here on http://www.GOP.com/.

Minimization of the Corruption Scandal?

CNN and Fox News have comparable articles about Representative Bob Ney (R-OH) stepping down amid the corruption scandal related to Jack Abramoff. I noticed however that Fox is running the first of a “two-part series on the role of lobbying in Washington, D.C., and associated reforms proposed by Congress.” The first is entitled “Political Controversy Nothing New to Washington.” Is this an attempt to minimize the scandal? Here are the introductory sentences:

Though Washington is in a huff over the antics of fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff, 100 years ago, the investigation likely wouldn't have caught the notice of many in or outside of Congress, says Deputy House Historian Fred Beuttler.

Beuttler, who has tracked the slow march toward political accountability in terms of lobbying and the role of money in politics, told FOXNews.com that politicians embroiled in controversy is nothing new to Washington. It's only just recently been paid attention by lawmakers.

Link to the article:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181732,00.html

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Polls on NSA Spying/Eavesdropping

So what do Americans think about U.S. government eavesdropping? CNN published their poll results on Tuesday with the headline “Poll finds U.S. split over eavesdropping.” Fox News, on the other hand, published their poll the next day. The link to the poll results said “Fox Poll: Most Americans favor NSA spying.” The opening sentences give dramatic differences in perceptions of where Americans stand on the issue. I believe that the opening sentences are very important in that they set up a frame of reference for the rest of the article (if the reader even reads the rest). CNN starts with a negative statement about a trend in more skepticism of the White House. Fox though is much more supportive of the Administration’s position. Here are the sentences:

CNN:

“Though Americans are growing more skeptical of the White House record on civil liberties, the nation is divided over whether the Bush administration should use wiretaps without first obtaining a warrant, a recent poll shows.”

FOX:

“A majority of Americans think the president should have the power to authorize eavesdropping on domestic phone calls with suspected terrorists without getting a warrant, though many say they are concerned government efforts to track terrorists are harming civil liberties.”

The poll questions were slightly different but were the questions themselves biased? CNN’s question specifically points out President Bush while Fox’s question is more on a general principle. Here are their questions and results:

CNN’s question was: “Question: Do you think the Bush administration was right or wrong in wiretapping these conversations without obtaining a court order? They found that “50 percent of those polled believe it's OK to forgo warrants when ordering electronic surveillance of people suspected of having ties to terrorists abroad. Another 46 percent said the policy is wrong, and 4 percent said they had no opinion.”

Fox’s question was “Do you think the president should or should not have the power to authorize the National Security Agency to monitor electronic communications of suspected terrorists without getting warrants, even if one end of the communication is in the United States?” Fox states that “By 58 percent to 36 percent, Americans think the president should have the power to authorize the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor electronic communications of suspected terrorists without getting warrants, even if one end of the communication is in the United States.”

Links to articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/11/poll.wiretaps/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181462,00.html

Photos of Bush-Merkel Press Conference

Both CNN and Fox News ran stories about a joint press conference held by President Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel where they expressed opposition to Iran’s nuclear program. Both used AP photos to accompany the article. Often the pictures used by each are the same or comparable but I have pointed out several times in the past that Fox has chosen pictures that put President Bush in a better light (or, conversely, CNN has chosen pictures that make Bush look worse). This is a case in point. I assume that CNN and Fox News had the same choices of AP photos. Which picture below shows a stronger, take-action President?

FOX:

CNN:


Links to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/01/13/iran.nuclear/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181556,00.html

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Will Supreme Court Nominee Alito Be Confirmed?

Of course, CNN and Fox News are providing coverage of Alito’s Senate confirmation hearing. I noticed that today’s updates reach different conclusions as to whether or not he will be confirmed. Fox News indicates that yes, he will. Here are Fox’s concluding statements:

FOX:

As disturbing as some of the allegations surrounding CAP [Concerned Alumni of Princeton] might be, they do not appear to be making inroads into Alito's chances, note hearing observers.

"I don't know that he needs to do much more than he's doing, because he's probably got enough support. He figures he needs to run out the clock, and as long as he avoids making a really bad mistake, he'll be confirmed," Gross [Leonard Gross, co-author of "Supreme Court Appointments: Judge Bork and the Politicization of Senate Confirmations] said.

CNN ends its article with less optimism and mentions filibuster:

CNN:

The GOP controls 55 seats in the Senate, meaning Alito would be confirmed unless some Republicans vote no or Democrats block a full Senate vote through parliamentary procedure.

Sen. Charles Schumer hedged on whether Democrats would filibuster.

"I would say it [a filibuster] is certainly not off the table at this point," the New York Democrat told CNN on Wednesday. "But I would also say that I don't think anyone on the committee, certainly myself and anyone I've talked to, has said we definitely should."

When asked what would justify a filibuster and if Democrats were removed from the mainstream, Schumer responded with an example, saying that most Americans believe the conservative Justice Clarence Thomas is out of the mainstream.

"And is Judge Alito going to be like a Justice Thomas? That's the question we have to try to get to the bottom of," Schumer said.

Links to articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/11/alito/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,181385,00.html

Saturday, January 07, 2006

DNC vs. RNC: People

Both the DNC and RNC web sites have sections devoted to news and information related to specific groups. The DNC calls these groups “communities.” Clicking on “People” will show a list of 14 communities that you can click on. Each community page has news related to those areas. For the RNC, the groups are called “Teams.” You can click on “GOP Teams” and you will see eight teams. The DNC focuses on news related to each of the groups. The RNC has news but also focuses more on joining a team and recruiting others and otherwise taking action. Here is a side-by side match up of the groups:


Democratic National Committee – “Communities”

Republican National Committee – “Teams”

African Americans

African Americans

Hispanics

Hispanics

Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders

Native Americans

Religious

Catholics

Faith and Values

Small Business

Entrepreneurs

Seniors and Retirees

Seniors

Young People and Students

Youth

Women

Women

Disability

Farmers and Ranchers

Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender

Union Members and Families

Veterans and Military Families

Links to their sites:

http://www.democrats.org/

http://www.rnc.org/

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Different Perspectives on Jose Padilla

Jose Padilla has been held as an “enemy combatant” for more than three years. He has been transferred from military custody to stand trial in Miami. CNN ran their own story and Fox News ran an AP story. Different perceptions are given of Padilla. CNN and Fox use different terms to describe him with CNN emphasizing his U.S. citizenship and Fox emphasizing his potential as a dangerous terrorist. Here are some specific examples:

CNN calls him a “terrorism suspect” which sounds a little milder than Fox’s “alleged Al Qaeda operative.” It is one thing to be a suspected terrorist but Fox connects him with Al Qaeda, an organization not mentioned in CNN’s article.

Further on this issue, CNN makes this statement:

Padilla was indicted in November on charges of conspiring to murder U.S. citizens and to provide material support to terrorists.

Fox, however, gives the information as follows, which again connects him with Al Qaeda and makes him sound much more potentially dangerous:

The charges do not involve the "dirty bomb" allegations, contending instead that Padilla joined a North American terror support network that sent him overseas to train with Al Qaeda and to "murder, maim and kidnap" people on foreign soil.

In the first sentence, CNN refers to Padilla as a “U.S. citizen.” Later it adds this quote from Padilla’s lawyer, Jonathan Frieman, “"I'm glad Padilla will be able to defend himself before a jury of his peers, like every other American." Fox only indirectly notes Padilla as a U.S. citizen with “The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to use Padilla's case to define the extent of presidential power over U.S. citizens who are detained on American soil on suspicion of terrorism.”

Little is noted of Padilla’s background in CNN’s article whereas Fox notes that Padilla is “a former Chicago gang member.”

Links to articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/01/04/padilla.transfer/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,180737,00.html

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Top Stories of 2005

Here is a comparison of the top stories of the year 2005. CNN picked 20 stories which it put on a timeline and also asked readers to rank order their top ten. Fox News had a more detailed timeline but they picked a top ten in priority order. Some of their top stories actually noted several separate but related stories (noted in parentheses below). The following table compares the top stories of each. There is agreement between the two on most of the stories. It is interesting to note their comments on President Bush (highlighted in yellow).

Comment

Fox

CNN

1. Hurricane Katrina, the Biggest U.S. Disaster Since Sept. 11, 2001 (Katrina, Indonesian Earthquake, Pakistan Quake, Wildfires on the West Coast, Monsoon Rains in India, Big Year of Giving)

Katrina makes landfall

Quake strikes South Asia

2. Iraq's Push to Freedom (elections, constitution, mass graves, Saddam trial, death toll)

Elections in Iraq

The Saddam Hussein trial

U.S. Death toll in Iraq reaches 2000

3. London's Sept. 11

London subway bombings

Fox puts a more positive spin on Bush’s approval ratings (or CNN puts a more negative spin on it). Fox ends the explanation with this statement: “An Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken in early December indicated Bush's public relations campaign might be working. He improved his job approval rating from 37 percent in November to 42 percent — the highest figure since summer.

4. Bush's Second Term (defeating Kerry, issues, White House “revolving door,” Plame/Rove/Libby, approval ratings)

President Bush saw his approval ratings sink earlier in the year, in large part because of the waning support for the war in Iraq. But as he launched into a series of four speeches aimed at fighting back against his Democratic critics calling for a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal, he began to regain some ground.

Inauguration Day

Scooter Libby indicted

His approval rating plummets throughout the year, however, as he tries to shake such troubles as rising energy prices and waning support for the war in Iraq.”

5. Supreme Court Hullabaloo (Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement; Judge John Roberts; Rehnquist death; Harriet Miers; Samuel Alito; eminent domain; Ten Commandments)

Judge Rehnquist dies

6. Michael Jackson verdict

Michael Jackson not guilty

7. Terri Schiavo: Life-or-Death Issues

The Schiavo debate

These were on Fox’s list but not on CNN’s timeline.

8. BTK Mystery Solved

9. Girls Gone Missing (Natalee Holloway, Jessica Lunsford, and Jetseta Gage)

10. Stinky Gas Prices

These were on CNN’s timeline but not on Fox’s list.

Tsunami aftermath

Martha Stewart released

Pope John Paul II dies

Eric Rudolph pleads guilty

Prince Charles weds

Deep Throat revealed

The space shuttle’s return

The Gaza withdrawal

Jordan hotels bombed

Links to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2005/yir/readers.poll/

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,179541,00.html