Dog Years

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on March 25, 2009

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Directions

-Read the excerpt below (from James Taranto's Jan. 28th "Best of the Web" post at opinionjournal.com.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

Agence France-Presse gives us yet another example of the press’s historical amnesia in crediting President Obama with foreign-policy “change”:

In an interview with the Al-Arabiya satellite television network on Monday, Obama sought to assure the Muslim world that “Americans are not your enemy” and urged Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

Obama has promised to directly address Middle East questions at the start of his presidency rather than waiting for years like his predecessor George W. Bush, but said he did not want expectations raised too high for swift progress for peace, following the Israeli war against Hamas in Gaza.

Did the Bush administration really wait “years”? Let’s consult an earlier Agence France-Presse dispatch:

In an apparent effort to cement Arab support for a US-led global war on terrorism, President George W. Bush said on Tuesday a Palestinian state had always been part of a US vision for Middle East peace. . . .

Secretary of State Colin Powell, speaking later after a meeting with his Indian counterpart, echoed that statement. . . .

Since Sept. 11, the United States has waded into to the crisis, pressuring both sides into signing a ceasefire deal last week to allow it to enlist Arab and Muslim states in his world anti-terror coalition.

Bush said Washington was “working diligently” to end a year-long cycle of violence and reiterated his strong support for a roadmap to peace crafted by an international panel headed by former US Senator George Mitchell.

The latter dispatch is dated Oct. 3, 2001–8½ months after Bush’s inauguration. Maybe AFP meant dog years.

Read the original post at opinionjournal.com.

Questions

1) To what do you attribute the news agency Agence France-Presse’s misrepresentation of the time it took President Bush to address the problems in the Middle East:
–shoddy reporting/careless research on the issue
–bad editing
–inept reporting
–inexperience
–an honest mistake
–bias against Republican President George Bush

2) Should readers trust Agence France-Presse reporting to be accurate and unbiased? Explain your answer.


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
























Answer(s)

1) and 2)  Opinion questions. Answers vary.