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Media blame military and government agencies, not Bush

New York, July 13, 2004 An analysis of the political coverage in the U.S. shows that the media delegated the responsibility for the administration’s Iraq policy and domestic security crisis away from President Bush. The U.S. military, the government in general and the secret services were the most frequent targets of criticism during the first six months of 2004 in that regard.

The latest report from Media Tenor, an independent media analysis institute, compares the coverage of ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today to highlight trends in the campaign coverage. The analysis shows that Bush was not held solely responsible for the two major crises in his government during the first six months of 2004.

When the media reported on the situation in Iraq, including the prisoner abuse scandal, the U.S. military was the focus of 58% of the reports 80% of these reports, in turn, were overall more negative in tone. Bush was the main protagonist in slightly more than 7% of the reports on the situation in Iraq, of which 44% were negative in tone.

When Richard Clarke published his book criticizing the Bush administration for its anti-terror policies prior to 9/11, Bush was held responsible for his lack of initiative, but the news media focused largely on the administration as a whole and the CIA and FBI in the coverage of domestic security. Almost half (47%) of all reports on domestic security focused on the government as the main protagonist. Of these, 40.9% were negative in tone. The CIA and FBI were the main protagonists in 25% of the reports, of which 50.7% had a predonminantly negative tone. Bush was the focus of only 10% of the reports on domestic security. Nevertheless, 47.3% of his coverage on this issue was negative.

You can find the complete report with graphics at:

Posted by Isadora Badi at July 13, 2004 3:55 PM