‘CNN Could Not Independently Verify Those Claims’

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on January 26, 2011

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Directions

-Read the excerpt below from the "Best of the Web" post by OpinionJournal.com's editor James Taranto (original post date 1/25/11).
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

This is from a CNN report on [Tuesday’s] terrorist attack at a Moscow airport;

State TV, citing Russian authorities, said the attack was the act of a suicide bomber who stuffed a homemade bomb with small metal objects to make it more deadly, then activated it in a crowded area where many people were waiting for arriving passengers. CNN could not independently verify those claims.

Fair enough, but consider this CNN report from Jan. 9 on the Tucson massacre;

While not stating a motive for the shootings, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik in Tucson used a nationally televised press conference to condemn the tone of political discourse in his state. He charged that public debate is now “vitriolic rhetoric” which has rendered Arizona “the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

Dupnik suggested that such rhetoric can have deadly consequences.

How come the next sentence wasn’t, “CNN could not independently verify those claims”?

Read the origianl post at opinionjournal.com. (scroll almost halfway down to “CNN Could Not Independently Verify Those Claims”)

Questions

1.  Do you think Mr. Taranto makes a legitimate point by asking “How come the next sentence wasn’t, ‘CNN could not independently verify those claims'”?  Explain your answer.

2.  Why do you think the CNN report on the suicide attack by Islamic terrorists in Moscow concluded by stating that “CNN could not independently verify those claims” but did not state such for the Arizona Sheriff’s suggestion?


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1.  Opinion question. Answers vary.

2.  Opinion question. Answers vary.