Exploring Bias #2: New York Times and Bush’s Legacy

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.

Works Cited
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

Exploring Bias #2: New York Times and Bush’s Legacy

Bias in the Media #2: Remembering 41

The article event that I will be focusing on for my exploring bias in the media is about the death of former president George H.W. Bush. During the semester, as a class, we have learned a significant amount of information about biases in the media. There are multiple types of biases that could be presented in the media even though there should not be any biases while explaining an issue. On my first blog of exploring bias, I came across biases on the evens of Judge Kavanaugh and how President Trump was expressing his opinions of the supreme court nominations. This semester we looked into Bennet and Atkinson that focuses on framing and bias. One thing that grabbed my attention when learning these concepts throughout the semester was what Atkinson explained of why media portray a certain way. In Combative Politics, Atkinson explains that the process of attitude formation. Attitude formation is when the processes by which frame influence attitudes. While reading the articles that were written about our former president, I was able to grasp the emotions that were presented throughout both news media — moreover, another concept that we learned throughout the semester that I was able to pick out while analyzing the article for bias. While still reading Atkinson, the author presents that the framing of an article can determine how the reader can feel after reading the article. In other words, bias is present based on the frame.

The news media coverage I focused on while exploring bias in the news coverage of the death of our former president George H.W. Bush was New York Times and Fox News. In the New York Times, just by reading the article titled “George Bush, Who Steered Nation in Tumultuous Times, Is Dead at 94.,” states that he helped our nation to move out of a rut that we were so-called in. The frame of this article gave us, the readers, a view of his lifetime career. Throughout the article, it gave me the perspective of a man who seeks to complete his goals and that wanted to keep America moving forward to strive for a better future.

The second article that I looked into was on Fox news. The title of this article gave me a sneak peek of what I was reading into. The title of the article George Bush’s legacy is his humanity. The article begins with how his death will inspire outpouring praise for his lifetime of service and his impact on the nation and the world. Some people can agree that former President Bush was one of the best presidents that this country has ever had in comparison to other former presidents. This article presents a more personal bias by explaining their spin and interpretation of the events and personal opinion of the former president. The journalist was using depictions such as “his simple human kindness made a lasting impression…” This type of wording shows a type of personal bias which is usually seen throughout multiple news media sources. Usually, in articles, one can witness a particular type of suppression in their article. However, the Fox news article I was able to observe much personal bias through the piece which was frustrating at times. I understand that everyone has their opinion but somehow trying to convince an individual that this is the right ideology is wearisome.

As one searches throughout all different types of news media, it is difficult to find a source that avoids any kind of bias. With all the information that I learned throughout the semester, I learned that bias is everywhere, and everyone has this prejudice. However, I can see that in the future this media bias can either improve or worsen. Hopefully, this media bias issue can improve in the near future!

Honor code: I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. -Daniella G. Orcés

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/bret-baier-george-bush-will-be-remembered-most-for-his-humanity

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/30/us/politics/george-hw-bush-dies.html

Bias in the Media #2: Remembering 41

Article Comparison: Migrant Caravan

In the media today, there are multiple different types of articles from news sources that discuss about the same event that is occurring hourly. Some articles may present a more detailed explanation of the event or issue. Others may express more opinion-based articles to the readers. For this article comparison, I will be analyzing pieces by the New York Times and Fox News in regards to the recent updates of the Migrant Caravan to the U.S. border. This issue concerns of a large group of Central American migrants that are arriving at the U.S-Mexico border after crossing Mexico and parts of Central America. These immigrants are staying in temporary shelters located in the border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali. The main issue with this event is that there is an overflow of illegal immigrants that are looking for refuge in the U.S. because their countries are too dangerous at the moment.

While analyzing different types of articles that discuss about the same event, I decided to focus into the New York Times and Fox News articles because they present two different sides of what is occurring on with the migrants that are trying to find refuge here in the United States. First, both articles do cover well the highlights of what instigated these migrants even to immigrate over here and what has led to that point. This event follows with the concept by Bodystun (2013) that we learned in class of what is called the Alarm/Patrol Hybrid Model. Bodystun (2013), presents how this model should operate, but a model of how it does operate. While looking into this model, the articles that I focused on fell under the patrol-only model. The way this event fell on the patrol-only model is by focusing on the current event and will have negative repercussions on future generations with immigration policy.

In the New York Times, the article goes into more depth of what the emotion and the experience of immigrating to the border cities. This article gives examples of multiple migrant’s personal experiences and reasons as to why they left their countries. The article continues with explaining how there are as many as 10,000 migrants from this caravan that are arriving in Tijuana. Moreover, it was described that the number of migrants the shelter to almost 2,500 this weekend with only room for 1,000 people. Then, the article continues describing what is occurring in the border city of Mexicali of how there are about 3,400 estimated immigrants. As the article continues, the journalist describes how migrants are walking a mile from the shelter to enter their names on a waiting list for an asylum interview. As the article continues its evident that there is a lot of raw emotion displayed while reading. Overall, this article describes different sides of the event showing sides of migrant’s experience traveling to get to the border city and how they are being treated while arriving to the asylum.

In comparison, the Fox News article describes the same details of what the immigrants go through while traveling to the border cities. The difference between the two articles is that this focuses more on the one-third of migrants in the caravan that are being treated for health, issues. The article goes more in-depth on how the migrants came with the caravan who are suffering from respiratory infections, tuberculosis, chickenpox, and other serious health issues which are causing the city shelters to use more of the funds that they had for these type of situations. It is said that the Tijuana mayor, Juan Manuel Gastelum said that the city has enough money to assist the migrants only for a couple more days. The money that they have does not cover the overflow of migrants and that their $30,000 fund is about to run out. Lastly, the Fox article emphasizes on the problems and dire living conditions that some of the migrant’s experience. Emphasizing on how some of the migrants are having to go back to their countries because they cannot stand living in these conditions.

Overall, these two articles describe in detail what is occurring at the U.S.-Mexico border with the migrants that arriving looking for asylum. They both cover the real emotions of what the migrants are going through as arriving at the border. As well as, the sacrifices that they go through just so that they can have a better life and escape the horrors that occur in their countries.

Honor code: I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. -Daniella G. Orcés

https://www.foxnews.com/world/caravan-migrants-suffer-from-respiratory-infections-tuberculosis-chickenpox-other-health-issues-tijuana-government-says

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/18/world/americas/mexico-tijuana-migrants-caravan.html

Article Comparison: Migrant Caravan

Exploring Bias 1

The article I chose to write about for my exploring bias post is from Fox News and the article is titled “Despite heat at home, Trump approval ratings tower above embattled European leaders” Based purely on the title, we can see that this article will contain bias. The immediate reaction I had was “what are they basing these approval ratings on?”, so that made me more intrigued on what the article was about. The article begins by saying that there is civil unrest on the streets in some countries, so compared to them, he is doing great. I counter that point and see bias in it because there is civil unrest in this country. We have had unrest due to gun laws, Black Lives Matter, and Women’s Rights, so I don’t think it’s fair to say he is “riding high” compared to other countries. The article begins to make some stronger points when looking at actual approval ratings and noting that Trump is sitting right under a 50% approval rating while World Leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May are below that by a lot. The article is using a Fox poll to base their numbers off of. This means that this poll could be biased and skewed since Fox is a right-leaning news source.

The article later states that Prime Minister May is “icey” towards Trump. This is language that is mostly used for women, so it is inherently misogynistic in my opinion. By Fox using this kind of language, whether they meant to or not, puts Trump at an advantage based word choice. Women who assert themselves are considered “icey” whereas men who are assertive, such as Trump are considered strong leaders. The article goes on to state that the political climate in the US is much more divided than it has been in years past. I agree with this part of the article, but the reasoning is just because he has been able to keep his base due to nontraditional tactics. In the article, it states, “It’s important to recognize that a lot of international leaders are faring much worse [than Trump]. And Macron is a great example. Huge expectations, and [he] has dashed them at most every turn,”. Trump has seemed to deliver what his base wants, and that is why his approval ratings are so high.

While there are issues in European countries, there is ideological bias based on skewed polls and biased writing. This is frustrating to read because while it may seem like Trump’s approval ratings are doing well, he is still caused a huge amount of unrest that is being ignored by right-wing media.

 

Work cited

Lott, Maxim. “Despite Heat at Home, Trump Approval Ratings Tower above Embattled European Leaders’.” Fox News, FOX News Network, Dec. 2018,

Exploring Bias 1

Article Comparison #2: Fox News v. CNN

The recent passing of former President George H.W. Bush has been surrounded by lots of media coverage. Consequentially, news stations have continued to show their political biases when covering the non-controversial event of a U.S. President passing away. For this article comparison, I will be analyzing CNN and Fox News, looking at how they reported Trump’s appearance at Bush’s funeral.
Reporting for CNN are journalists Kevin Liptak and Jeff Zeleny (2018) in their article entitled, “With new member Trump, uneasy presidents club to convene at Bush funeral.” Through this title, it is easy to see that Trump will be the focal point of the article. In addition, this title insinuates that Trump’s presence is creating tension, which is not an objective idea. At the beginning of the article, Liptak and Zeleny (2018) mention how Trump criticized the Bush family during his run for presidency, leading to an awkward encounter between Trump, his predecessors, and their respective families. The journalists assume that because of this tension, there will not likely be any “camaraderie between Trump and the men who served before him.” While this idea may be true, the journalists are not showing much objectivity when talking about what this funeral means to the families and former Presidents in attendance. Liptak and Zeleny go on to talk about the former presidents, mentioning once again that all predecessors before Trump are “all men.” While this is a fact, it seems like this piece of information is insinuating something about the absolute lack of women serving in the Oval Office. This remark by the journalists is a subtle one, but in my opinion, this seems like a passive attack on the men who were voted into presidency. The lack of women in the Oval Office certainly does deserve some discussion, and should be looked at, but this does not seem like the article to make that discussion. Throughout the rest of the article, the journalists recount the tension between Trump and his predecessors, further putting Trump in a bad light amidst former President Bush’s funeral. This type of bias is typical of a left-leaning news station like CNN, but I think pointing out the biases and somewhat lack of objectivity is important. There is no doubt that we will see opposite biases when looking at the Fox News article next.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn (2018) writes about the same event as CNN in her article entitled, “At George H.W. Bush’s funeral, Trump, Clintons don’t shake hands.” While this title conveys some tension between the Clintons and Trump, the title does not explicitly use words that further that implication. I do not detect any bias in the title. However, the article goes on to explain the “noticeable lack of warmth between the commander-in-chief and the woman he defeated to win the white house.” This quote does reveal a lack of objectivity when talking about the tension and “lack of warmth,” similar to the CNN article. One thing that the Fox News article does that the CNN article does not, is mention the condolences that President Trump conveyed to the Bush family on Twitter. Since Fox News is conservative, I expected this sort of report on Trump so that he appears respectful to Fox’s mostly conservative audience. Most of this article is dedicated to talking about the tension between Trump and Clinton, mentioning the presidential election of 2016. In comparison to the Fox article, CNN tends to talk about all predecessors of the Oval Office. In addition, CNN looks more in-depth to the inner-party tension between Trump and the Bush family, while discounting the condolences that Trump expressed on Twitter in regards to George H.W. Bush’s death.
Works Cited

Liptak, Kevin and Jeff Zeleny. “With new member Trump, uneasy presidents club to convene at Bush funeral.” CNN, December 5, 2018. Accessed December 5, 2018.

Schallhorn, Kaitlyn. “At George H.W. Bush’s funeral, Trump, Clintons don’t shake hands.” Fox News, 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

Article Comparison #2: Fox News v. CNN

Exploring Bias: ABC News

Media bias can take many forms. When one first thinks about media bias, they probably consider the biases that create calls of ‘fake news’: ideological, racial/class, or selection bias. However, there are many biases that seem less offensive and hurtful, but are just as powerful. For my second ‘Exploring Bias’ post, I will be evaluating the bias of an ABC news article that is not politics-centric. The article was written soon after the new ‘Captain Marvel’ trailer had dropped. It gives an overall description of the trailer and why it is so important to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I chose this specific article for several reasons. After seeing ESPN tweet the trailer, I realized how important ownership is in media. I was genuinely so surprised to see the trailer on ESPN’s timeline even though we had read the Gilens-Hertzman article about corporate ownership. ESPN, like ABC News, is a Disney-owned company; Disney also owns Marvel. Disney is one of the large business conglomerates that controls multiple news organizations in various media spheres. When looking strictly at the ABC News article, ownership bias is extremely clear in numerous ways. For a start, this article about the Captain Marvel trailer is one of many articles about Marvel on the ABC News website; ‘Marvel’ is its own subcategory.

A second reason of obvious ownership bias is the trailer placed at the top of the article. The trailer is included in a segment pulled from ‘Good Morning America’, an ABC News product, which features anchors talking about the film as well as an interview with Brie Larson, the lead. This slightly relates to what Gilens and Hertzman discuss in their article; media companies with TV programs as well as newspaper (or online newspapers) programs cover the same news and they sometimes overlap. This also furthers the ownership bias because Good Morning America is a product of ABC News, which is owned by Disney, who owns Marvel.

When analyzing the words and phrases the author uses in this article, ownership bias is still prevalent. The title of the article starts off by praising the trailer and upcoming movie as “featur[ing] incredible action”. This is one of several praises used by the author to influence the reader into thinking the ‘Captain Marvel’ trailer is amazing. Throughout the article, the author details the developments in the plot that the trailer has made. Likewise, a couple tweets are embedded, both from the ‘Captain Marvel’ Twitter account. These tweets encourage the audience to engage with the tweets and follow the Twitter account, benefitting Marvel, Disney, and ABC News. Personally, the most interesting part of the article is the disclaimer at the very end. It states “Marvel Studios is owned by ABC News’ parent company Disney”. I have never noticed this disclaimer at the end of any articles I have read but I think it makes the ownership bias obvious. While ABC News might be required to state their affiliation to Disney and Marvel, many regular citizens might not know the connection without reading this disclaimer.

Due to the non-political nature of this article, many biases are not present. However, the ownership bias demonstrated by the author and by ABC News is apparent. In order to understand this bias, one must have previous knowledge of which companies are owned by which and the effect that has on news. Understanding ownership bias is key to being able to effectively analyze a news source.

 

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Culture/captain-marvel-trailer-features-incredible-action/story?id=59595751

Gilens, Martin, and Craig Hertzman. “Corporate Ownership and News Bias: Newspaper Coverage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.” The Journal of Politics 62, no. 2 (2000): 369-86. doi:10.1111/0022-3816.00017.

 

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. Hannah Thompson

Exploring Bias: ABC News

Article Comparison: Stone and the Fifth

For this assignment, I analyzed a Fox News article and an NBC article that portrayed Roger stone utilizing his Fifth Amendment right, which is known as your right to remain silent. Mueller has currently targeted Stone as a candidate to testify against Trump. Stone decided and announced that he would not be testifying only one say after Trump tweeted his praises and saying that Stone would “never testify” against him. The main differences between these articles included how the author utilized framing, the amounts of speculation, and the overall content. Despite these, there remained some similarities, such as the creation of a storyline that is set up for the continuation and the use of the same quotations in some instances. These methods produce extremely different results in the articles, creating a variance in objectivity. In these articles, I used concepts from Making the News and “News: The Politics of Illusion” to identify framing and the concepts from Losing the News to identify objectivity.

The Fox News article took an incredibly biased and speculative approach in order to describe the events involved with the reasoning for Stone using the Fifth Amendment. Author Gregg Re hinted at ideas of criminal activity that Stone could be involved with, using words filled with connotation to lead the reader to the presumption that Roger Stone is hiding something. This is a subtle means of framing but is incredibly effective because, as a reader, it is hard to pick up on. To further assumptions of Stone’s guilt, Re says, “In the past, [Trump] has suggested that people who plead the Fifth Amendment have something to hide.” Because of Fox News’ conservative bias, a reference to the president is more concrete evidence than a quotation from Mueller. These assumptions of criminality are prevalent throughout the paper, especially when Re reminds readers that Stone told people in Florida that he “actually [had] communicated with Assange,” the founder of WikiLeaks. In addition to this framing, Re sets the article up to allow for the continuation and for a storyline to form. Nothing he says throughout the article is final and leads the reader to believe that the network will keep them updated on changes within the story. This allows for Fox to stay relevant and keep a constant influx of earnings. Overall, this story is both an alarm and a democratic watchdog. It is loud and alerts the public that there may be fraud in many aspects of this case, however, it also presents clear and factual evidence to substantiate its claims and keep readers informed on the events that are related. This article cannot be read objectively due to the heavy use of framing and Re’s implications and speculations that Stone is hiding criminal actions.

The NBC article that covers the same topic is staged much differently. Not only is it substantially shorted, but it also leaves no room for speculation and is mostly objective in nature. According to Jones, objectivity is found in pieces that include no propaganda, no sensationalism, and no bias, among other things. This piece checks all of these boxes through simply presenting the facts associated with Stone invoking the Fifth Amendment. The sentences were short and declarative, leaving very little means to create speculation and insert biases. Many of the small paragraphs are direct quotations from either Stone or his lawyer and details are included down to the time of events taking place. This article differs greatly from the previous one due to its lack of embellishment.

Despite differences in content, there are many similarities within these articles. Both stood somewhere in between alarm and patrol by giving both factual and relevant information while keeping track of the case in order to sniff out dishonesty or corruption. In addition to this both mentioned that invoking the Fifth Amendment is meant to avoid self-criminalization, however, the extents that they read into this differs greatly. Because of this watchdog model, both articles set themselves up to stay with the story and keep the public updated on any changes within the case. The differences in these articles, however, come with their own set of implications. Readers will be more drawn to the use of framing seen in the Fox article because it puts an interesting spin on the same information that they have been reading from other sources. Because of Re’s disguised means of implying Stone’s guilt, readers could subconsciously attach themselves to this idea and take it as true, creating a wave of misinformation and leading to a less informed public.

 

Sources:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-associate-roger-stone-to-plead-the-fifth-in-senate-russia-probe

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-associate-roger-stone-invokes-fifth-amendment-won-t-give-n943851

 

Jones, Alex S. Losing the News, (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Bennet, W. Lance 2009. ‘News: The Politics of Illusion” in The Lanahan Readings in Media and Politics. Lewis S. Ringel, Ed. Baltimore, MD: Lanahan, pgs. 173-184.

Boydstun, Amber E. Making the News, (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2013

 

Article Comparison: Stone and the Fifth