Sunday, April 29, 2007

Different perspectives on an upcoming book about Hillary Clinton

FoxNews.com is covering a story from the London Times about a new book to be published soon about Hillary Clinton by Carl Bernstein. Bernstein has a lot of credibility because of his thorough work and involvement in uncovering the Watergate story. I have not seen it on CNN.com yet but there is a story in TIME (“in partnership with CNN”). The two articles have different perspectives. Here are a few quotes from each. TIME’s article is more Hillary-friendly while the London Times article on Fox is anticipating some dirt.


TIME:

"Hillary Clinton is one of the most compelling figures in the world today, and Carl Bernstein's stunning portrait shows us, for the first time, the true trajectory of her life and career," Sonny Mehta, chairman and editor in chief of Alfred A, Knopf, said in a statement Monday.

"I believe his book will stand as the most detailed, comprehensive, and revealing account we have of a woman who helped define one presidency and may well step into another."

"It shows the extent to which she was instrumental in the triumphs and troubles of her husband's governorship and presidency; and it untangles her relationship to Whitewater, Troopergate, and Travelgate," the Knopf statement said Monday.

"Finally, it details her successful run for Senate and remarkable rise to a dominant role in the Democratic party, and it sheds light on her own political brilliance and blind spots."

The only hint of problems is this statement near the end:

"Bernstein reaches conclusions that stand in opposition to what Sen. Clinton has said in the past and has written in the past," said Bogaards [Knopf publisher publicist], who declined to offer details.


Fox:

Contrast the above to this opening sentence:

Drawing on a trove of private papers from Hillary Clinton’s best friend, the legendary Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein is going to publish a hard-hitting and intimate portrait of the 2008 presidential candidate, which will reveal a number of "discrepancies" in her official story.


Later the article uses the Bogaard quote but adds more detail:

The book could revive the explosive charge, made earlier this year by David Geffen, a former Clinton donor and Hollywood mogul, that “the Clintons lie with such ease, it’s troubling”.

Bernstein has been delving through Blair’s copious records of the 1992 presidential election campaign, which could offer tantalizing insight into Bill Clinton’s war machine and Hillary’s reaction to news of her husband’s dalliance with the nightclub singer Gennifer Flowers in Arkansas.

Hillary denied all knowledge of the affair, but one writer who has followed her career closely said: “She always knew about her.” He added: “Anyone who has approached the subject of Hillary Clinton with a clear eye will run across many examples of stories that are not true.”

Links to the articles:

http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1613765,00.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,269085,00.html


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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Democratic Debate in Sout Carolina

Eight Democratic hopefuls participated in a debate in South Carolina. CNN’s AP article was more anti-Bush; or you could say Fox’s was more Bush-friendly. CNN’s headline was “Democratic candidates batter Bush during debate.” Fox’s headline merely notes a debate on the war with “Democrats Debate Iraq War Policy During South Carolina Debate.”

CNN’s opening sentence was very anti-war and noted the “heaping” of criticism on Bush:

Democratic presidential hopefuls flashed their anti-war credentials Thursday night, heaping criticism on President Bush's Iraq policy in the first debate of the 2008 campaign.

Fox’s opening sentence noted that half of the candidates agreed that we are fighting a war on terror (this was not noted in CNN’s article):

At the first full-fledged Democratic presidential debate of the campaign season, four of the eight candidates agreed that the United States is in a "global War on Terror."

Links to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/26/dems.debate.ap/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,268900,00.html

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I know you are but what am I?

Lot's of name-calling going on as the Iraq debate continues. Here are examples of attacks of a more personal nature. These do not include nasty attacks about the actions of others; just personal attacks:

  • Reid calls Cheney the "chief attack dog" [Side note: Reid says he is not going to get into name-calling and then calls Cheney a name in the same sentence. ""I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a 9 percent approval rating. ... I'm not going to get into a name-calling match with the administration's chief attack dog," Reid said after being asked about Cheney's remarks."]
  • Cheney says Reid is making decisions for his own political power: "It is cynical to declare that the war is lost because you believe it gives you political advantage."
  • Kennedy accuses Cheney of playing politics and deception
  • Reid calls the President "obstinate" and "the odd man out" and "brusque" and being in "a state of denial"
  • Cheney says Reid, through his comments, is "uninformed and misleading"
  • Reid talks of the Bush administration's "incompetence and dishonesty"
  • Kucinich accuses Cheney of manipulation, fabrication, and deception
  • Kennedy of Cheney: "Vice President Cheney is the last person in the administration who should accuse anyone of making uninformed and misleading statements"

Links to related articles:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,268002,00.html
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/24/congress.iraq.ap/index.html
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267880,00.html
http://kucinich.house.gov/UploadedFiles/int2.pdf
http://kennedy.senate.gov/newsroom/press_release.cfm?id=53729318-3866-44d1-9b21-24bb0bf0ae99
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_IRAQ?SITE=TXHAR&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN2331671320070424?pageNumber=2


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Pics of Senator Reid

Democrats agreed on legislation which ties Iraq funds to troop withdrawal. This is a heated battle led by Senator Reid on the Democratic side and President Bush’s promised veto on the other. I found a difference in the pictures used by each. I assume they both had the same choice of AP photos. CNN chose a picture in which Reid is pointing a finger. This pic projects a strong Reid. Fox chose a “duh” pic of Reid. Fox also added a picture of President Bush seated with a general in the Oval office.













Links to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/24/congress.iraq.ap/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267971,00.html


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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Politics and Success in Iraq

On Friday, Senator Harry Reid spoke about the recent war of words that started with his "the war is lost" comment. His web site has a copy of his statement. In that statement Reid says, "No one wants us to succeed in Iraq more than the Democrats." I wonder if that really is true. Let's say the recent addition of troops really had an impact in Iraq and that things were turning around dramatically. Would that make Reid happy? Didn't he get his powerful position because the Democrats took the Senate? Didn't they take the Senate, in large part, because of things not going well in Iraq? If things did turn out well, would the Republicans take over in the next elections? So, how hard do the Democrats work to make things better in Iraq?

FoxNews published a poll that included the following two questions about the role of politics in Iraq policy. Overwhelmingly, both Republicans and Democrats believe both parties are playing politics when it comes to Iraq.


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Friday, April 20, 2007

Reid: The War is Lost; part 2

Like FoxNews.com (see my post of yesterday), the Republican National Committee is making much of Senator Reid's "war is lost" sound bite.
http://www.gop.com/News/Read.aspx?ID=6904

Yesterday Fox jumped on Reid's statement right away and CNN had nothing on it. This morning CNN is running an AP story on Reid's statement and the Republican reaction.
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/20/reid.iraq.ap/index.html


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Thursday, April 19, 2007

CNN vs. Fox: War is lost?


FoxNews.com is jumping all over Senator Reid's sound bite of the "war is lost." At this time of day (8:00pm MDT) you can not find any reference to Senator Reid on CNN's home page or on its "Politics" page. You have to do a serach to find an AP article about President Bush meeting with Senator Reid and other lawmakers. I suspect that CNN may have more to say tomorrow. However, Fox highlights Reid as one its main stories on its home page and includes a video clip in its "Politics" section. I don't like the repeated use of sound bites because it tends to take things out of context as it does in this case. On the other hand, it was a pretty outrageuous thing for Reid to say.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

CNN vs. Fox: Coverage of the Supreme Court abortion decision

A little over a year ago I described how CNN used the term “late-term” vs. Fox's “partial-birth.” At that time Fox also more graphically described the specific procedures for this type of abortion. CNN seemed to try and downplay the negative aspects of the procedure and devoted more of its article to those in favor of abortion. With the Supreme Court decision today, similar things can be seen of CNN.com's and FoxNews.com's coverage. CNN runs their own article again whereas Fox uses an AP story as they did last time.


CNN's headline does not use “partial-birth” by saying “Justices uphold ban on abortion procedure.” Fox's headline says “Supreme court upholds partial-birth abortion ban act.”


CNN uses “partial-birth" twice: once in giving the name of the bill and once to say it is a term used by abortion foes:

Doctors call this type of late-term abortion an "intact dilation and evacuation." Abortion foes term it a "partial-birth abortion."


CNN never describes the actual procedure. Fox does so graphically by saying:

The procedure at issue involves partially removing the fetus intact from a woman's uterus, then crushing or cutting its skull to complete the abortion.


Link to my previous blog:

http://cnnvsfox.blogspot.com/2006/02/late-term-vs-partial-birth-abortion.html

Link to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/04/18/scotus.abortion/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266724,00.html



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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tragedy

The slaughter at Virginia Tech is unbelievably tragic. 32 innocent bystanders killed and others wounded. It is hard to fathom what the VT community and their families are going through. I couldn't help but think though about how awful it must be to live in a country like Iraq where this useless killing is almost a daily occurrence.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

CNN vs. Fox: Treatment of Gonzales

There are certainly two perspectives on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales today. CNN and Fox News each have links to their stories on their home pages. Gonzales testifies in two days concerning the firing of several district attorneys. He wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post and his statement for his hearing has been released. CNN's article is much hasher towards Gonzales than Fox; or you can say Fox is kinder towards him than CNN.

Headlines. CNN focuses on the expected grilling Gonzales while Fox provides some defensive wording.

CNN.com: Specter: Gonzales to face 'serious questions' on firings

FoxNews.com: Attorney General Gonzales Insists U.S. Attorney Firings Were Not Improper


Opening sentences. The same thing can be noticed in the opening sentences.

CNN.com: The Senate Judiciary Committee's ranking Republican warned Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to avoid generalizations and "deal with the facts," two days before Gonzales is expected to answer questions about the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys.

FoxNews.com: The firing of eight U.S. attorneys could have been handled better, but the prosecutors were not dismissed for any "improper reason," Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will say Tuesday.


Gonzales quotes. For both articles, I counted the number of words used in directly quoting or paraphrasing Gonzales from the op-ed article or his statement. Here are the results.

CNN.com: 229 words out of 1081 total words in the article. This is 21% of the article.

FoxNews.com: 557 words out of 1291 for 43%, over twice CNN's percentage.


Links to the articles:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/04/15/gonzales/index.html

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,266180,00.html



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Saturday, April 14, 2007

100 Days of Congress and What Have We Got?

The two major parties definitely have different views on the first 100 days of Congress. Howard Dean released a statement saying:

“After 100 days, Democrats are working hard to keep our promises to the American people. I applaud Democrats for passing ethics reform, increasing the minimum wage, implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission and restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington. Under the strong leadership of Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid, we are holding President Bush and his allies in Congress accountable for their permanent commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq and we are making sure our troops and veterans get the resources they deserve. We will continue to make sure the interests of the American people are always placed above partisan politics.”

The Republicans have a different press release entitled “100 Days of Delay, Disarray, and Dysfunction.” They make these points:

DEMS HAVE NOT PASSED ANY OF THEIR PRIORITY LEGISLATION

DEMS VOTED FOR LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN U.S. HISTORY

DEMS BREAK PROMISE OF FIVE-DAY WORK WEEK

DEMS LAUGHED AT CONSEQUENCES OF WITHDRAWAL IN IRAQ

DEM LEADERS DECIDED TO CUT FUNDING FOR TROOPS

DEMS WENT ON VACATION INSTEAD OF FUNDING TROOPS

DEMS LAID OUT "CONVOLUTED" PLAN FOR IRAQ

DEMS ADOPTED ROSIE' O'DONNELL'S VIEW ON WAR ON TERROR

Links to each:

http://www.democrats.org/a/2007/04/dean_after_100.php

http://www.gop.com/News/Read.aspx?ID=6893


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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Nifong and the Duke Lacrosse case

Normally I like to compare how two web sites cover the same story. Usually this is CNN vs. Fox or DNC vs. RNC. In all cases I like to pay particular attention to specific words and terms that are used. Today, I want to just examine Mike Nifong's statement regarding the Duke lacrosse case after being slammed by the state attorney general. His statement can be found at: http://i.a.cnn.net/cnn/2007/images/04/12/0247.001.pdf


Here are some comments:


In the second paragraph he says “... it is important to remember that the Attorney General had the opportunity to review this legislation and to make this decision because I requested that he do so.” Surely he is trying to present himself in the best light possible but it comes across as a little disingenuous to me. I imagine he felt pressure to do what he did and was in effect forced to do so, although I cannot say for sure.


In the last paragraph he says: “To the extent that I made judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect, I apologize to the three students that were wrongly accused.” I guess no one likes to admit they are wrong but I would just like for someone once to say “I blew it.” Nifong's wording softens the personal impact on himself as if to say “I was just making judgments and everyone knows that sometimes we make incorrect calls from time to time so I am sorry to some extent that my judgment may have been off.” He can blame his judgment if he wants but it sure seems that there is a lot more to it than that. I guess the state bar will figure that out.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

DNC vs. RNC: Iraq War

Interesting, although understandable, contrast on the main party web sites regarding Iraq. The Democratic National Committee has released their first 2008 election video ad. It shows comments from Americans contrasted with Republican candidate statements. There is a tally at the bottom of the screen which, by the end, shows Republican candidates with 3 votes versus The American People as it rolls up towards 60,000,000.

http://www.democrats.org/page/invite/YourIraqAd


Meanwhile the RNC had a recent press release entitled “Americans’ Rising Positive Feelings About The War: Five-Month High” which shows Gallup poll results showing a steep increase in the number of Americans who feel the was is going well.

http://www.gop.com/News/Read.aspx?ID=6861


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Monday, April 09, 2007

DNC vs. RNC: Romney and Obama

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are claiming false statements or changed positions by a candidate of the other party.

The DNC is picking on Mitt Romney again. They have an article entitled “Shhhh! Be Vewy Vewy Qwiet...I'm Fwip-Fwopping...” The accompanying picture is uncalled for (it has an Elmer Fudd hat on Romney due to the recent flap over his hunting experience). Here’s the link: http://www.democrats.org/a/2007/04/shhhh_be_vewy_v.php

The RNC has an article entitled “Obama's Top Ten Fabrications.” The link: http://www.gop.com/News/Read.aspx?ID=6885

Saturday, April 07, 2007

DNC vs. RNC: Who's raising taxes

Both major party web sites are criticizing the other party for raising or wanting to raise taxes. The Democratic National Committee has a press release criticizing Mitt Romney as noted below. The Republican National Committee has a Wall Street Journal article critical of the Democratic legislature's efforts.


DNC:

Ad Watch: Romney Veto Ad Can’t Override His Tax-Raising Record

Mitt Romney’s high-priced, high profile campaign to smooth talk Republican primary voters into ignoring his real record continues today with yet another television ad. His latest, entitled “I Like Vetoes”, is a weak attempt to deflect attention from his tax-raising record as governor of Massachusetts by highlighting his use of the line item veto. ...



RNC:

Thursday, April 05, 2007
In Case You Missed It: The Coming Tax Increase

From The Wall Street Journal

Editorial
April 5, 2007

[C]ongress has just lit a fuse for the biggest tax increase in history.

The new House and Senate majorities have now passed budget resolutions -- five-year budget outlines -- that include the repeal of the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. ... [U]nder the cover of zero media attention, Democrats are constructing a budget process that will make a tax increase all but inevitable. ...



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Fox getting desparate

Seems like FoxNews.com will look for any way to get some cleavage on their web site. They are desperate today. :-)

From their home page:

'Sexy Chicken'

Texas town says restaurant mascot is violating the law