Two different Paul Ryans

I compared an article from Fox News with an article from CNN regarding Paul Ryan’s election as the Speaker of the House. While CNN denigrated Ryan, arguing that he had a lot going against him, Fox celebrated his victory.

CNN reported Ryan’s election through a lens of Congressional division and hostility. The article states that Ryan “won’t have much time to celebrate because he will immediately confront a series of divisive issues that could undermine his hold on the speakership.” Immediately CNN hones in on the negatives, discussing the multitude of obstacles working against Ryan. They talk about culture in Congress as stagnant and polarized and how the new Speaker—regardless of the job he does—will fail.

Fox, on the other hand, celebrates Paul Ryan’s achievement. They state that the new Speaker is a force “to help unify the party after a tumultuous period.” They quote Ryan directly regarding his new position, ushering in a feeling of elation and optimism. They also exalt Ryan, stating that he “easily beat rival Rep. Daniel Webster to become the Republican nominee.” Fox News talks up Ryan as a positive force in the House of Representatives, speaking optimistically of the work he’ll be able to do in this position.

It’s incredibly obvious that both news sources are operating under different biases—while CNN works to denigrate Ryan and the Republican Congress, Fox News speaks positively about the new changes in leadership.

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of those who have not.

Two different Paul Ryans

3 thoughts on “Two different Paul Ryans

  1. haywoodc says:

    This is a very interesting insight on the biases that each network has, but it is even more interesting how CNN treats Paul Ryan. Even from the first sentence, CNN says he is “is walking into a hornet’s nest”, which gives an extremely pessimistic approach to the much needed position for Speaker of the House. I’m not sure why I feel this way, but I would imagine this article coming from MSNBC or another more liberal network, but not from CNN, who seems to be more of a middle ground News outlet. This drastic attitude difference from a “neutral” source and well known conservative source is very eye opening. It makes me wonder whether CNN is more partisan and liberal than I imagined or if Fox is just drastically more partisan than I thought. Either way, great post! It was very eye opening and critically engaging.


  2. I was actually just thinking about this! Not Paul Ryan, but Marco Rubio. I felt like he was presented extremely differently between Fox and NBC, but not in a partisan way, as you might assume. I could see clear differences in how the same person was framed differently by two news outlets as far as what they represented and cared about. It’s so strange to think about how your perspective of a person and their situation can be so skewed by your news outlet of choice. Different angles on the same story has value, but totally different portrayals of a situation can be confusing.


  3. Initially I can see why it may be assumed that CNN is attacking Ryan but I don’t think this is necessarily the case. It makes sense for Fox to rally behind Ryan and celebrate his election as the new Speaker of the House and be hopeful and more positive because he is a Republican and Fox leans toward the right. While CNN was certainly more pessimistic about Ryan’s future and success as speaker I don’t think it is because he is a Republican. What they seem to point out is that he will have a hard time facing a highly polarized and partisan congress; something that arguably any speak will struggle to deal with. It is definitely very interesting how different news outlets address the same issue from varying perspectives.


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