Article Comparison: Beto O’Rourke’s Senate Campaign Against Ted Cruz

After his recent visit to Southwestern’s campus, I thought that it would be interesting to examine and compare how Texas Senate candidate, Beto O’Rourke’s, campaign is portrayed differently in the media.

The first article that I examined was published by Slate recently following a poll by Quinnipiac that showed the race between Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz looks like it will be “too close to call.” The author, Jim Newell, recognizes that the source of this poll is reputable but immediately follows this statement by saying “it’s also very hard to believe.” Newell then goes on to explain why Democrats are too hopeful in this race and uses several facts, statements, and quotes from experts to support this. While this article is fact-based, it simultaneously seems very opinion driven, and the author makes it clear that he believes that it will be nearly impossible for O’Rourke to beat Cruz in this election.

On the other hand, an article by CNN discusses why people love Beto O’Rourke and why he could be setting a standard for other politicians in the future. Interestingly, the CNN article is framed in a similar manner to the way that O’Rourke runs his campaign. O’Rourke places a large emphasis on personal connections and being a down-to-earth candidate, and the article is written through this lens to help highlight this. For example, the author, Eric Bradner, begins the article by taking readers on a trip starting with a detailed and anecdotal description of Beto and his family in the van hitting the road to make it to a town hall in one of the many Texas counties that O’Rourke is trying to visit during his campaign. It is clever of Bradner to use the same method to appeal to his audience as O’Rourke uses to appeal to his, and I think that while this shows a great deal of creativity this doesn’t necessarily achieve balanced journalism. The article does do a good job, however, explaining the situation and the stakes that come with this big election in Texas this year, and the article describes several pledges that O’Rourke has made as a part of his campaign so that readers get a good picture of what this guy is all about.

Slate’s article looks at the facts and probability of O’Rourke to succeed from a skewed and specific viewpoint while the CNN article looks at why people love him and what he has to offer. Both of these articles had different goals and focuses, and they were framed in different ways to achieve this. It is also interesting to note that the CNN article includes quotes from O’Rourke whereas the Slate article includes quotes from experts to negate the Quinnipiac poll results. At the end of the day, both companies recognize that this is a significant political event that deserves to be written about, but they go about this in two different ways. Slate evaluates the rocky road to success that O’Rourke has ahead of him, and CNN evaluates what O’Rourke is doing in his campaign and trying to achieve.

Works Cited

Eric Bradner, “Why Democrats everywhere are watching Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign in Texas,” CNN, April 14th, 2018. https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/14/politics/beto-orourke-texas-senate/index.html

Jim Newell, “The Beto Bubble,” Slate, April 19th, 2018. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/04/beto-o-rourkes-uphill-texas-challenge-against-ted-cruz.html

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. -Miranda Yannon

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Article Comparison: Beto O’Rourke’s Senate Campaign Against Ted Cruz

The Washington Post & AP News article comparison

Recently, the White House has delayed tariffs on EU, Canada, and Mexico. These tariffs would affect steel and aluminum imports from the three regions. With the development of this story, The Washington Post and AP News recently published articles covering the decision to further delay the tariffs and the implications of this decision. While reading these articles, I noticed that article published by AP News seemed to frame Trump in a more negative light compared to The Washington Post’s portrayal of him. Additionally, each article discusses the role that China has among these tariff debates however, The Washington Post leaves the reader with the impression that tariffs are a result of the “massive domestic steel and aluminum industries” that have pushed down prices for the goods while AP News discusses the threat of tariffs to be imposed on China for “unfair trade practices”. The priming in each article resulted in a highlighting of two different issues; one issue being Trump’s delay of the tariffs in the first place, the other being China’s role in the whole ordeal.

The articles from each source began by describing the decision to delay the tariff, what the tariff was over and the state’s that would be involved or impacted by this decision. The articles then move on to discuss Trump’s motivations for his decision and this is where we see how each article frames his motive differently. Beginning with AP News, they start out by describing the circumstances Trump was facing when making his decision. When setting this stage, however, they state that the “confrontation stems from the president’s decision…to slap tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum.” The use of “slap tariffs” gives the reader a sense of sloppiness and unprofessionalism when making this decision back in March. The Washington Post, on the other hand, talks about his decision as one that was motivated by economics; his decision to delay the tariffs was because he is attempting to “gain more access for US business to their markets.” Additionally, The Washington Post states that “Trump has shown a willingness to both befriend and berate almost every ally and adversary.” While they do acknowledge quotes from people of authority saying that international policy under Trump is unknown and changing on a day to day basis, there is ultimately a shift in blame to China rather than focusing on Trump as the article in AP News seemed to have done.

The Washington Post addressed the role of South Korea and other European nations, as did AP News, however, posed China in a more threatening light than did AP News. The Washington Post began the discussion of China within the article by saying that “the role of China looms large in all these talks.” Framing China as “looming” during these talks gives of a threatening presence. Furthermore, The Post claims that “a number of other countries have agreed with U.S. officials for decades that China needs to do more to address a global oversupply of steel and aluminum.” Stating this presents China as a passive and threatening player in the tariff discussion, making it seem as if there could be more the nation could do for the issue than “looming” in the background. The AP News article did discuss the role of China within these tariff talks but focused on the “trade battle” between China and the US. While AP News also concludes that something needs to be done about the issue and expresses concern that inaction is most likely to occur from the talks between representatives of the two nations, it does not frame China in the same threatening light as The Washington Post did.

Overall, it was evident to see where each article placed priority on the issues that revolved around the delayed tariff decision and who is to be responsible for it.

 

Works Cited

Rugaber, Christopher & Ken Thomas. “White House delays tariffs on EU, Canada and Mexico” April 30, 2018. https://www.apnews.com/feaaff3ad0134905b0073da6962bac56

Mufson, Steve & Damian Paletta. “Trump delays steel and aluminum tariffs for Canada, Mexico and European Union, pulling back on major trade threat” April 30, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-keeps-us-allies-on-edge-ahead-of-steel-tariffs-deadline/2018/04/30/0d0d6ee4-4c84-11e8-af46-b1d6dc0d9bfe_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.122ba4d089bf

The Washington Post & AP News article comparison

Article Comparison: Michelle Wolf’s Performance at White House Correspondents Dinner

On Saturday, April 28th,  Michelle Wolf took the stage hosting this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner. While the intent of this host is to entertain and provide comedy for the night, there has been a lot of controversy about whether or not Wolf took her comedy too far after bringing political figures and the media into it.

In ABC News’s article, “Comedians defend Michelle Wolf for controversial jokes at White House Correspondents’ dinner,” quotes what is considered to be one of Wolf’s more offensive jokes directed at Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The author, Joi-Marie McKenzie then follows these quotes with a series of tweets that have come from famous comedians including Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, and Rosie O’Donnell. All of these tweets represent the one side of the debate that praises her for courageously challenging authority through her comedy and telling the truth. The bulk of the article was using celebrities to show support of Wolf, although the article finished with the statement of disapproval of Wolf from the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) saying “despite the praise” of Wolf’s performance, there was still backlash.

USA Today published an article titled, “The Bubble: Liberals and conservatives debate whether Michelle Wolf went too far” discussing this same issue from a different perspective. In the introduction to the article, a journalist at CNN is quoted referring to Wolf’s jokes as bullying followed by a statement about how liberals have been defending her for speaking truth. By doing this, the author, William Cummings, immediately presents two different sides of the issue setting up the conflict that he further describes throughout the remainder of the article alternating between subsections titled “Conservative Bubble:…” and “Liberal Bubble:…” Cummings continues on detailing these two sides of the debate and attempts to explain why liberals and conservative have the opinions and reactions that they do to this event.

Interestingly, both articles get so caught up in the conflict of the event that they exclude facts of the story such as when the White House Correspondents’ Dinner took place and what can be expected at these White House Correspondents’ Dinners. The biggest difference between the two articles is that one frames the story as more of a defense piece while the other frames the story emphasizing bipartisan conflict. I believe that it was an odd choice to frame this story around bipartisan conflict considering that this event isn’t a bipartisan issue. I think this further enforces the idea that the conflict frame very common among journalism. There is also an interesting contrast between the ABC’s article use of quotes primarily from comedians and USA Today’s article use of quotes primarily from journalists (with exceptions of Tomi Lahren and one comedian). Since this event impacted both entertainment and journalism in some form, it is important to hear from people in both of these realms, but yet both of these articles chose to focus on just one instead. It is an interesting current issue and it is interesting seeing how the media covers it differently considering the event involves the intersection of entertainment, politics, and journalism.

Works Cited

Joi-Marie McKenzie, “Comedians defend Michelle Wolf for controversial jokes at White House Correspondents’ dinner,” ABC News, April 30, 2018.  http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Culture/comedians-defend-michelle-wolf-controversial-jokes-white-house/story?id=54826510

William Cummings, “The Bubble: Liberals and conservatives debate whether Michelle Wolf went too far,” USA Today, April 30, 2018.  https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/04/30/media-reactions-white-house-correspondents-dinner/565760002/ 

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. -Miranda Yannon

 

Article Comparison: Michelle Wolf’s Performance at White House Correspondents Dinner

Fox News & The New York Times article comparison

It has been recently discovered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that Iran has been lying about their Nuclear program. With the discovery of this breaking news story, two news media outlets have published articles within the past 30 minutes (of April 30, 2018, at approximately 5:00pm), covering the conflict between Israel, Iran, and America. The New York Times and Fox News both published an article over this issue that appeared on the front page of their websites. Comparing these two articles shows how their associated political ideology contributes to the information they present within the article and the way that it is presented. Both articles immediately take a stance on the point of view they choose to take to frame the situation. The New York Times is more focused on the facts of the event, looking more into the files that were discovered and covering reactions and statements from the Prime Minister of Israel, officials in Iran, and the President of the United States while Fox News headlines their article covering the issue of how Trump is reacting to the situation. Looking further into the articles it is easy to see how each news source prioritized information to help frame the story in a way that would most likely appeal to their readers.

Fox News begins their coverage of Iran nuclear programs with a large headline and video that discusses Trump’s reaction to the new information. Three videos appear throughout the article for readers to click on and watch instead of reading the information that had been published. The first few paragraphs of the article only cover Trump’s statements towards Iran upon the discovery of the information. The article begins with a conflict frame, establishing how Trump is supposed to be making a deal on the new Iran deal soon and in light of this new information, that is now up in the air. Despite the unknown state of the Iran nuclear deal, Fox news establishes a conflict frame in the first few paragraphs of their article by implying Trump will not be continuing the deal despite his hesitation to make a definitive statement. They begin with the statements Trump made during a Rose Garden, “moments after Netanyahu held a dramatic presentation revealing intelligence he says shows Iran is lying about its nuclear weapons program.” The way the author of the article continually brings up the way Trump feels about the presentation and including quotes from the Prime Minister saying that he believes President Trump will “do the right thing” in regard to the Iran deal. Additionally, they end the mass section of Trump’s reactions by quoting his thoughts over the entire situation and the Iran deal, he said that the outbreak of this information “has really shown that (he has) been 100 percent right.”

After going over Trump’s reaction to the presentation the article includes another video that takes up a majority, if not all of the space on the screen. It was at this point in the article where conflict framing really took place. The author stated that “Israel and Iran are arch-enemies” and even brought up recent missile strikes to Syria, placing the blame on Israel and taking all of the blame off of the United States. Not only is this evidence of conflict framing but it is also a way of priming Fox News viewers into thinking that the US had nothing to do with bombing Syria when our involvement with this event has already been known and talked about among other news media.

Overall, looking at the article that came from Fox News showed an extensive use of quotes from the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel to frame the situation in a conflict setting regarding the Iran nuclear deal and Syrian missile bombings rather than focusing primarily on the information that was discovered by the Prime Minister. When comparing this article to one posted in the New York Times, the conflict frame used by Fox News becomes even more evident.

New York Times also published an article covering the events of the Prime Ministers presentation over files found that uncovered lies coming from Iran nuclear programs. Rather than beginning their article with reactions from the president and not addressing the matter of the files like Fox News did, the New York Times began their article by describing the presentation that Prime Minister Netanyahu gave. The New York Times goes on to mention the ordeal regarding President Trump and his decision to end or continue the Iran Nuclear Deal. The author includes a section of his comments and negates them, saying that “Mr. Trump (was) incorrectly stating the terms of the deal.” This is different than the way Fox News presented his sentiments towards the issue. While Fox News made it seem as if he was set on ending the deal, the New York Times shows that he is still unsure of any action he may take and then showcase the fact that he was incorrectly citing the conditions of the deal in the first place.

Having read the Fox News article first, I found myself struggling to understand the importance of the files that were found until I read the New York Times piece. It seemed that The New York Times piece was more inclusive of information regarding the context and importance of these Iran nuclear files; on the other hand, the Fox News article mainly focused on presenting Trump’s comments over the situation, suggesting that the Iran Deal does not have a bright future because of these newly discovered files, even though they spend little to no time talking about the content of the actual files like The New York Times piece did.

Works Cited

Israel Says Secret Files Prove Iran Lied About Nuclear Program” April 30, 2018. https://nyti.ms/2FvDxn5

Pappas, Alex. “Trump answers Netanyahu bombshell on Iran: ‘Not an acceptable situation’” April 30, 2018. https://fxn.ws/2HAmV3w

Disclaimer: After reading both articles and reading over my article comparison I realize that I could come off as over critical of Fox News. While I do recognize that my political affiliations and bias of using New York Times as my news source may have impacted the development of my article comparison, there is still no doubt in my mind that Fox News chose to cover reactions of the President than covering the information of the files and including more context around the situation while discussing the importance of other political figureheads the way New York Times does.

Fox News & The New York Times article comparison

Local VS National Coverage: Seattle Marijuana Convictions

Different cities and states across the country have begun legalizing marijuana. Though marijuana is becoming legalized for medical and recreational use, there are still many people imprisoned for marijuana-related charges. Seattle municipal courts have recently been faced with pressure from Seattle’s City Attorney to release people with marijuana convictions since the drug has been legalized. I seek to analyze the news reporting of a national news network (USA Today) and a local news network (Seattle Times). USA Today, has headquarters is in Virginia, and their goal, as stated on their website, is making “the USA truly one nation”. Seattle Times is based in Seattle and according to their website, reaches “more Northwest adults than any other local media”.

In the first article, “Seattle seeks to abolish hundreds of pot convictions in light of legal marijuana”, USA Today begins to explain the current situation in Seattle which describes the number of convictions against people caught carrying small amounts of pot in the city are being reviewed by municipal judges. The article briefly describes the reasoning behind the move for abolishing convictions from the Seattle mayor who says the misdemeanor for marijuana possessions, has disproportionately affected people of color in Seattle. The article then goes on to explain Seattle and Washington’s history with the legalization of marijuana with official marijuana sales beginning in July 2014. Next, the article compares Seattle to other cities in the United States San Diego and San Francisco, which are also moving towards dropping marijuana convictions. The article concludes by explaining that marijuana is legal in 9 states but is still illegal at the federal level.

The Seattle Times article begins by explaining that Seattle’s City Attorney, Pete Holmes, is asking to dismiss all charges for misdemeanors related to marijuana possession.The article then goes on to lengthily explain Holmes’ argument. Holmes argues that this is “one small step to right the injustices of a drug war that has primarily targeted people of color”. Holmes argues that drug convictions can have seriously negative effects on those accused and that these offenses have been charged mainly against African Americans. Holmes states that up to 500 or 600 convictions will be dropped. The Seattle Times presents the argument that even if the charges will be dropped, a challenge would be presented in the cases of convictions for non-citizens, who are tried in immigration courts rather than immigration courts. The article wraps up by opinions from other officials in the city, such as the mayor and the director of public defense in King county who believe this move is one in the right direction.

The difference in the two articles content is clearly evidenced in who their target crowds are. The article written by USA Today gives a history of Seattle and Washington’s stance on marijuana legalization which proves to inform an outsider who is unaware of Seattle’s relationship with marijuana. Additionally, USA Today closes off the article with a broader discussion of marijuana legalization as a whole in the United States, which relates it to a reader who is not from Seattle. The Seattle Times, on the other hand, gives hardly any background on the legalization of marijuana in Seattle and Washington. This gives a hint that the article is targeted at someone familiar with Seattle’s past with marijuana.
Additionally, the articles give insight into who the targeted audience is based on the way in which they frame the issue with the use of their sources. USA Today only includes one person in the article, the mayor of Seattle, who describes trying to fix“…the failed war on drugs, which disproportionately affected communities of color in Seattle”. Though the article briefly talks about the problem as national in the last paragraph, the majority of description in the article makes the problems associated with the war on drugs as a local, Seattle problem. USA Today reaches a broad audience across the United States with different partisan opinions thus may be strategically framing this as a Seattle problem as to not seem as if they are identifying with a side (largely the left, who has been vocal about the wrongdoings of the war on drugs). Seattle Times does the opposite, as they quote City Attorney Pete Holmes who argues that the issue is a national problem. Through this lens, Seattle is attempting to a fix a problem that has affected the whole nation, in their own city. The conclusion pounds in this message further, as different city officials are praising the plan to dismiss demeanor marijuana crimes. Seattle Times coverage makes Seattle look really good, as they are making a local effort to fix the effects of a national problem.

Works Cited

Daniel Beekman, “Seattle asks court to dismiss misdemeanor marijuana convictions from before legalization,” The Seattle Times, April 27, 2018. Accessed April 28, 2018. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/seattle-asks-court-to-dismiss-marijuana-convictions-from-before-legalization/

Trevor Hughes, “Seattle seeks to abolish hundreds of pot convictions in light of legal marijuana,” USA Today, April 27, 2018. Accessed April 28, 2018. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/04/27/seattle-seeks-abolish-hundreds-pot-convictions-light-legal-marijuana/559577002/

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who hasn’t. -TC

Local VS National Coverage: Seattle Marijuana Convictions

Article Comparison: The Investigation of the Uncovered FBI Text Conversation

In the past week, there has been an investigation in Congress regarding the uncovering of a text message conversation in which FBI officials allegedly exchanged controversial information regarding Trump, and possibly other political officials. Apparently, these messages were exchanged over the period between December 4th, 2016 and May 17th, 2017. Because of the buried history of the conversation, one of the two agents, Peter Strzok, was removed from his position by the Justice Department Inspector General. However, Lisa Page, an FBI attorney, completed her detail before the public was made aware of the circumstances.  Given the recency of this event, there is not many articles covering it in a variety of different angles and vantage points. However, upon searching large-name outlets, I was able to find two fundamentally similar yet factually different portrayals by CNN and Fox News of this long-hidden story.

Keeping in mind that these articles are noticeably different regarding detail coverage, which will be discussed shortly, it is incredibly surprising to notice the similarity of the general account between the two. More specifically, both articles clearly mention the essential information, that being the investigation, the personnel involved, and the assessment of circumstances surrounding both the involved and the investigators. However, the given details of the incident, specifically the message content, were largely different between the two.

From an aggregate perspective, CNN covered the message content in a much more specific and fixed way than Fox did, to which they mention that “the previous sets of texts show Strzok and Page mocking politicians on both sides of the aisle, but their unvarnished disdain for Trump has been repeatedly cited as evidence that the Mueller team is out to get the President.” This information is given and included, leading any reader of the article to have a rough understanding of the content. It even includes a claim regarding both parties’ alleged personal feelings about Trump, which does not qualify the solidity of the given topic in any way. Nonetheless, the most relevant information of the article is articulated in a straightforward manner. Fox News spins it in a slightly different way. While the structural information is given, the presentation of the text message content was largely distorted and unclear, offering the anonymously given fact that although there were approximately 50 pages of clearly decipherable texts provided to lawmakers, “the messages were incomplete, garbled, and in some cases incomprehensible because characters were substituted by letters.” That is the entirety of information regarding the message content offered by Fox. I also found it interesting enough that not only did Fox include the exact transfer locations and recipients of the messages (the list of committees receiving the cases), which CNN did not, they also completely ceased to specify their source origin. Every piece of information in the article was from “a source”, nothing else. That being said, while CNN, although they left out source origin as well, tended to focus more on specifics rooting from the involved investigators, Fox tended to generalize and distort the focus of the article while offering specific but irrelevant details of the surrounding events and personnel.

From a citizen’s perspective, it is crucial to understand the importance of any difference between two widely viewed articles simply because it directly dictates what someone will take out of a given story along with what they think, how they feel, and why they feel the way they do. Even these articles, similar in fundamental structure and general information, can portray, omit, or even qualify an issue in drastically different ways because of the difference in one essential fact.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/04/26/recovered-strzok-page-text-messages-delivered-to-congressional-committees.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/26/politics/missing-strzok-page-text-messages/index.html

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

 

 

Article Comparison: The Investigation of the Uncovered FBI Text Conversation

The Caravan of Migrants: Fox Vs. The Washington Post Coverage

This past week a caravan of hundreds of migrants has drawn the anger of President Trump, leading some to call him a ‘bully’. The caravan is mostly made up of men and women from Central America, trying to escape violence in their own countries.  The group met up in Tapachula, a city near Mexico’s southern border, and began their trek north. Along the way, they have received outrage from Trump and conservative news outlets alike, though other news sources paint them in a far more favorable, empathetic light.  When comparing the article “The caravan of migrants that’s alarmed President Trump stalls at a soccer field” by The Washington Post to the article “Organizers of US-bound immigrant caravan accuse Trump of ‘bullying’, ‘threats of mass violence’” by Fox, it became apparent to me their vastly different views on said immigrants.

The most striking difference between these two articles is not how they approach the topic.  In fact, both bring to light the response of President Trump to the incoming caravan. The most striking difference between the two articles is how they approach the immigrants themselves. In the Fox article, the immigrants are never once humanized, while the Washington Post took the time to interview both Mexican officials and the people in the caravan themselves.  The Fox article emphasizes how the immigrants are illegal and are “without authorization”. Their migration is framed as an attack on the US itself, and their defenders – specifically the group People Without Borders, who were quoted in the article – are made to sound like they themselves are ‘bullying’ Trump over his tweets.

This is a strong difference in the other article.  That is not to say that The Washington Post does not mention President Trump’s tweets, his response to Mexico, or the backlash.  However, the way this conflict is framed places more blame on Trump himself, and more importantly brings to the table a more human side to the caravan. Specific people of the caravan were interviewed, including a cook who had lived in the US for fourteen years before being deported.  In fact, many of the people that were interviewed provided for the group. Most were cooks, and one in particular guarded against cell phone thieves. This can be compared to the Fox article, where the caravan was only ever referred to as a whole. This alienates the people, producing an ‘us versus them’ mentality. The inclusion of this information paints an entirely different picture of the immigrants – it appeals to human empathy as opposed to framing them as attacking the US.

Overall, the difference between the two articles came down to how they referred to the caravan itself.  The Washington Post humanized them, pointing out individuals. Fox painted them as a group that was threatening the border and their defenders as bullies for calling out Trump.

Fox: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/04/03/organizers-us-bound-immigrant-caravan-accuse-trump-bullying-threats-mass-violence.html

The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/the-caravan-of-migrants-thats-alarmed-president-trump-has-now-stalled/2018/04/03/534b01c2-36aa-11e8-af3c-2123715f78df_story.html?utm_term=.bb26535fe7c3

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone that has not. -AJ Case

The Caravan of Migrants: Fox Vs. The Washington Post Coverage