Different Media Perspectives of the Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Iraq

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Media Perspectives of the Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Iraq Mervin Adrian Tanchingco
Exchange Student, Student #20123744
Hannam University

Abstract
This paper compares and investigates the media biases regarding the effects of the withdrawal of the United States army from Iraq. Two media outlets namely Fox News and Russia Today are put into side-by-side comparison. Videos and news reports of the same event from the two media outlets are used to study the differences in media coverage. A brief background study of the two media outlets is included. A critical analysis of the differences in media coverage and the underlying motives for bias will also be discussed.

Media Perspectives in the Withdrawal of the U.S. Troops from Iraq (2011) Introduction
After the more than 9 years of invading Iraq, the United States President Barack Obama had ordered the complete withdrawal of the U.S. Troops from Iraq on October 21, 2011. This order took full power on the 18th of December 2011, pulling out more than 40,000 U.S. combatants from the battle field in Iraq. This act was in accordance with the agreement made between former U.S. President George Bush with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to withdraw the U.S. troops before December 31 2011.

Days after the withdrawal of the U.S. army from Iraq, an increase in violence inside Iraq had been reported by various media outlets. Fox News and Russia Today both featured the news with different perspectives. “Many (Iranian Dissidents) feel that without U.S. protection, they will be killed” says a Fox News’ National Security Correspondent, Jennifer Griffin (2011). “US leaders insist that they left a stable nation after nine years of launching that invasion” says a news anchor from Russia Today (2011). This paper will use television and written news reports from an American national media outlet “Fox News” and from an international news media outlet “Russia Today” to critically analyze and study the media biases within the news outlets.

The Fox News Media Bias
On the 27th of December, 2011, Fox News released their television report on the after-effects of the American army leaving Iraq. The news featured various clips and describes an Iraq that is largely still dependent on the U.S. to maintain peace inside its territory. The news first featured a rampage of U.S. manufactured tanks after the U.S. force handed over control of a refugee camp to Iraqis which killed dozens as reported in the news. The news then featured the Iranian dissidents who fears for their lives if left unprotected by the U.S. military in Iraq. In this news broadcast, Fox News had shown how the United States protected the minorities in Iraq and how they kept control over violence inside Iraq. The news also gives credit to the American military being “Heralds of Peace” in Iraq.

On the same day, a blogged report on Fox News’ website Foxnews.com was published and was entitled “Al Qaeda Front Group Claims Baghdad Blasts” which talks about an Al Qaeda group in Iraq claiming responsibility for the attacks that surged through Baghdad on a single day during the week before the news. The group reportedly seeks to create a civil war inside Iraq. It was also reported that the attacks were not influenced by the withdrawal of the U.S. troops but “Instead, it focused its rage on the country's Shiite-dominated leadership, which Sunni insurgents have battled since it came to power as a result of the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.” (Fox News’ Associated Press, 2011). Alongside with these, the news article continued on with:

U.S. and some Iraqi officials have warned of a resurgence of Sunni and Shiite militants and an increase in violence after the U.S. troop withdrawal.

Along with the security challenge, Iraq is facing an increase in political tension as Iraq's Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is engaged in a showdown (cont.) (cont.) with the top Sunni political leader in the...
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