Following the devastating attack in San Bernardino the media has split in their discussion of the attacks. MSNBC has decided to use the attack as a platform for discussing the issue of gun control. They ask ‘what can the government do to make you feel safer?’ They do not discuss so much the radicalization of the people who committed this heinous act and instead discuss gun control as a possible preventative tool. Fox news on the other hand talks about the suspects and how they were extremists. They do not mention gun control and in turn zero in on those who committed the crime. They discuss the role of radical groups in Pakistan and how that influenced the wife who them spread radical beliefs to her husband. These frames are not surprising given the sources. MSNBC is a liberal outlet and gun control is a hot topic that they promote where it is one republican Fox disagrees with and therefore ignores choosing to emphasize a different problem.
I read two articles that both discuss Donald Trump’s recent comments regarding muslims entering the United States and his proposal to shut them out. One article came from Fox News and the other came from CNN. It was a relief to read each and for both sources to call such a proposal as outrageous and bigoted. The Fox article focused on other GOP candidates responses to Trump’s statements and focused more on their reactions. The CNN article choose to discuss how Trump’s comments will likely not change the way republican primary voters will vote based on prior reactions to controversial statements. Both do question what this ban would look like for muslims currently living in the United States and how such a policy could possibly be implemented. It is troubling that Trump still maintains the poll numbers that he does. Perhaps the media should reconsider giving him a platform to air his outlandish agendas.
I decided to analyze and contrast two articles regarding President Obama’s speech regarding the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino. One was a video snippet from Morning with Maria on Fox Business, and the other was an article from CBS News. Both articles featured the issue of gun control in relation to the mass shooting and how President Obama decided to talk about the recent tragedy. These two different media sources portray the President’s speech in ways that reinforce their own partisanships and news outlet biases.
On Morning with Maria, the entirety of the conversation was about how this mass shooting was an act of terrorism, how the President is failing to look at terrorism as a bigger issue, and that he is using gun control as a cop-out. Mercedes Schlapp, Co-founder of Cove Strategies, stated, “[The] President moves quickly into this spot of talking about gun control as opposed to saying ‘what do we need to talk about here?’ Is it about radical Islam in America? I mean, addressing these other complicated issues which are part of this formula we’re seeing that’s happening is important.” Maria and Schlapp discussed how talking about gun control is the President’s comfort zone, whereas discussing radical Islam in relation to this mass shooting is not.
Both women focused on how this mass shooting was an act of terrorism and that we and President Obama should be more focused on the rise of terrorism rather than gun control. Schlapp ended by saying, “The first thing we asked ourselves was ‘are these people Muslim?’ ‘Were they radicalized?’ ‘Who is the shooter?'” This quote honestly surprised me because she so boldly presented her bias by assuming that the shooters could be Muslim, simply because it was a mass shooting.
In juxtaposition with the Fox Business video, the CBS News article completely eliminated the shooters’ religion or possibility of terrorism from their argument. The main center of focus was how President Obama was calling for a bipartisan policy solution to eliminate or prevent mass shootings with stricter gun laws. The author framed the President’s speech in a way that made him seem distraught about the amount of mass shootings since 2009 and that he is trying to figure out a way to stop them, mainly through gun control. The author also mentions President Obama’s idea in relation to Republicans’ that instead of an issue of gun violence, it is one of mental health. Overall, I thought it was very interesting to see how the two sources different, namely because Mornings with Maria focused so heavily on terrorism, whereas the CBS one did not at all.
Two news articles that I decided to compare and contrast were both covering the background of the shooters in the recent and devastating San Bernardino mass shooting. I chose to analyze an article from Fox News and one from CNN. Both news articles attempt to give information on the shooters to the reader, however, the way the shooters are described are vastly different in each rendition of the story.
Firstly, Fox News has this story running as their headlining piece, reading: “A COUPLE HELL BENT ON JIHAD? Husband & wife Muslim gunmen who carried out massacre that killed 14 left pipe bombs, ran ‘IED facility’-will FBI now call it an act of terror?” CNN has this as their front running story as well, however the title is not as descriptive: “Who were the husband and wife who killed 14?” Both titles obviously frame the reader in a specific way; to either be fearful of Muslim Americans ‘on the verge of mass terror attacks,’ or to question the motives of the shooters. Either way, I personally believe that both titles are insidious ways that put the reader in a biased position and highlight both authors’ lack of objectivity.
In addition, throughout the articles the authors attempt to describe the shooters, analyze their strategies and motives, and basically glorify them with recognition, while both authors lose sight of the victims. In the Fox News article, there are multiple instances where the author mentions that the man shooter was a devout Muslim, grew out his beard, and he and his wife were “hell-bent on jihad.” The CNN article focuses on a break down of the shooters’ life (mainly the man’s), their possible motives, and their deaths.
Overall, both articles present extremely problematic stances and continue to be drenched in different forms of journalistic and news outlet bias: Fox’s being the Islamophobic sentences and slurs used and perpetuating a fear of Muslim Americans by using specific language, and CNN’s being the fact that the author is basically putting the shooters on a pedestal and creating a blueprint of what they did, how, and why they did it.
Although not pertaining to the same instance both the FOX article “GOP 2016 candidate Ted Cruz: California shooting that killed 14 may be act of Islamic terror” and the MSNBC “Ted Cruz: Most violent criminals ‘are Democrats’” pertain to Ted Cruz’s commentary on current issues.
The MSNBC article of course lashes out at the “bizarre” comments Cruz made: most violent criminals are democrats, followed by this being the reason democrats are “soft on crime” – to protect votes. These are comments I don’t think we are used to hearing from Cruz, but probably would not notice if Trump said this. Either way the leap made is astounding. MSNBC calls out the Trump similarity, and continues with chastisement of Cruz by making similar facetious allegations against the Republicans to demonstrate the absurdity of that train of thought.
FOX has an article – about the size of 1 paragraph – on the comment Cruz made post-San Bernadino shooting this week. While at the Republican Jewish Coalition, he asked for a moment of silence since there was “yet another manifestation of… radical Islamic terrorism here at home.” Now this statement is said to have been made when authorities are still investigating motive, suggesting the brevity of the FOX piece is to avoid acknowledging the problem of generalizing this horrific instance for partisan gain.
Had the latter instance been run by MSNBC, I dare say it is obvious it would resemble the first piece with trend and reality check frames used to show how Cruz’s comment was premature.
FOX, on the other hand, had absolutely no mention of Cruz’s violent democrats comment on their site, possibly because their was no way to frame it in a beneficial manner to the republican party.
Fox once again displays a distinct scent of bias in their articles.
Obama seeks global climate pact in Paris, amid resistance at home has the opening line of a fact – Obama is in fact in Paris for this meeting, but follows it with the distaste felt at home by “republicans” who “worry it will cost thousands of jobs.” They call out Obama for being in Paris – the victim of a horrid terrorist attack recently – and focusing on climate issues, instead of national security (something that has actually been a focus lately).
This ideological bias is strongly evident in this piece as only the negative/oppositions are focused on, in regards to Obama’s actions. The Republicans who are against major climate policy being enacted, Republican’s who want projects like the Keystone Pipeline, and those who want to bar refugees for the sake of National Security.
The main issues focused on, are what normally would be Republican concerns: “how much rich countries should invest to help poor countries cope with climate change, how much should be invested in renewable energy, and how much traditional oil and gas producers stand to lose if countries agree to forever reduce emissions,” basically disregarding anything proponents argue are benefits.
Fun Fact: the article avoids “global warming” and uses “rise in global temperatures”
Following the fascinating and sometimes infuriating continued success in the polls of Donald Trump has been quite a ride. I found a very compelling op/ed about the interesting conundrum of false truths Donald has spouted these past few months and interestingly how not many people really care. In an age where a sound byte can define a campaign it seems that everything someone says can be considered “the truth” so long as enough people believe it and how many times it gets repeated. However in a presidential race where candidates are expected to show that they have the trust of the American people this problem of truth-ish sound bytes is sure to cause havoc. The op/ed cites that in recent polls conducted by Fox news and CBS news, Trump is deemed honest and trustworthy by 33 percent of Americans and by 60 percent of republicans. This is curiously fascinating due to the fact that countless quotes of his have been found to be false or blatantly misquoted statistics. This problem with trust is not confined to just Trump but also is plaguing Hilary Clintons campaign as well.
When all a candidate needs are a few seconds to get replayed again and again on multiple news networks it seems that nobody cares if the sound byte is factually correct once its been all over the news for hours. I feel that this is a turning point in how campaigns cooperate with certain media and with Americans at large. As polls have shown, Trump and Hillary are still leading their prospective primaries by a significant margin even with their trust issues with the media and with Americans. However what this means for media is uncertain given that accuracy is paramount in the press. But in the mean time no matter how many times we fact check Trump it seems that his supporters will believe him and not the press due to their own distrust with something seemingly more dishonest than him, the media.
I have acted with honest and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not.