For this blog post, I will be exploring bias in a New York Times article by Mark Landler (2018) entitled, “Mourning Not Just George Bush’s Death, but the World Order He Helped Build.” While this title is good and seeks to tell the reader about George H.W. Bush’s legacy, there are some prominent biases towards the current president.
In his article, Landler (2018) talks about George H.W. Bush’s legacy through the eyes of Chancellor Merkel, scholars, and other politicians who worked with Bush during his presidency. Landler talks about Bush’s accomplishments with creating a unified Europe, however, he brings in some bias when mentioning Trump. That is, Landler (2018) states that Trump “who grew up during the Cold War but has gleefully tried to dismantle the European and global institutions that Mr. Bush and his Cold War-vintage colleagues built.” While Landler gives a ton of credit to Bush, his use of the word “gleefully” when talking about Trump seems a bit biased to me. That is, he attempts to put Trump in a bad light amidst a legacy like Bush’s. Whether his opinion is supported or not, this sort of bias doesn’t seem like it has a place in an article like this. In essence, it makes the article misleading to the reader, especially when reading the article’s title that conveys the idea that homage will be paid to Bush’s career, without modern-day politics and biases creeping in. However, despite this bias, Landler (2018) does a good job of remaining objective to Bush’s career by bringing in testimonies from other politicians, both international and American. Then, after stating Trump’s seemingly destructive manner on Bush’s legacy, Landler goes on to contradict himself by stating that Europe’s unification by Bush was bound to fail over time anyway. This makes Landler’s bias towards Trump even more present, almost like he didn’t need to attack Trump because Bush’s accomplishments would presumably, and inevitably, fade out over time. Later in the article, Landler (2018) mentions Trump again, making him appear to be incompetent when talking about trade relations with Germany. For example, he states that “Mr. Trump declared that he and Ms. Merkel would talk about trade, saying that Germany knew how unacceptable Americans found its trade surplus. As Ms. Merkel has pointed out to him in previous meetings, Germany, as a member of the European Union, cannot negotiate independently on trade with the United States.” This quote seems to stray from the very focus of the article, even though Bush had political relations with Ms. Merkel. In my opinion, it appears the Landler tries too hard to put Trump in a bad light, making him appear incompetent to Ms. Merkel. Whether Trump was being incompetent or not, I think that this piece should have stuck to the focus of providing a report on Bush’s accomplishments, much like the very title of the article indicates. Other than those two biases, where the focus of the story shifts dramatically, I think this article is fairly unbiased when talking about the legacy of George H.W. Bush and how his policies were received by the rest of the world.
Landler, Mark. “Mourning Not Just George Bush’s Death, but the World Order He Helped Build.” The New York Times, December 5, 2018. Accessed December 5, 2018.
I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not.
Winston Cook 12/5/18