ABC Passes Along Worries Saddam Hussein Won’t Get Fair Trial

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on October 19, 2005

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Directions

-Read the excerpt below from the Oct. 19 "CyberAlert" found at MediaResearchCenter.org.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas set up a Tuesday World News Tonight story, about Saddam Hussein’s trial set to start Wednesday, by noting how “many Iraqis are eager to see him in the docks, finally held accountable for atrocities committed by his regime.” But then came the inevitable “but,” as in: “But already, human rights groups are worried about the fairness of the trial.” In the subsequent story, reporter Jim Sciutto in Iraq devoted most of his piece to how Iraqis are angry at Hussein and glad he’s going on trial. Sciutto quoted one man who argued that “he should be tortured the same way he tortured the people.” Sciutto, however, ended with the concern earlier highlighted by Vargas: “Human rights groups doubt the former dictator will get a fair trial, with five inexperienced judges unable to resist pressure for swift justice, and his legal team with little time to answer the charges.”

For the entire report, click here.

Questions

Read the passage below. Do you think that the media should focus on whether Saddam gets a fair trial, or whether his thousands of victims receive justice? Explain your answer.