As we have seen in the past our two favorite media outlets, Fox News and CNN, show their biases the clearest in what stories they report on their front page because it shows what they believe is the top priority for their readers to see. A great example of this is the recent coverage of President Trump, where we have seen CNN place a great deal of emphasis on his administration’s ties to Russia, whereas Fox News has chosen to place Susan Rice and her ‘unmasking’ scandal at the forefront of their coverage.
Over the weekend the US launched an airstrike on Syria after their use of chemical weapons on civilians was reported and photos/videos of the casualties were widely distributed.
Let’s take a look and see how these outlets are reporting on Trump and Syria just days after those airstrikes:
Here are the current headlines on Fox News –
“Putin, Tillerson Meet in Moscow”
“Congress expands ‘unmasking’ probe amid questions over Rice role”
“Forget the campaign: After Syria, Trump’s relations with Russia are rocky”
“Geraldo: Special elections are referendum on Trump”
“Kansas outcome could signal a problem for the GOP in Georgia”
“What should the US demand from Russia”
“Peters warns Trump: Don’t get fooled by China on North Korea”
“President Trump hits Russia for backing ‘animal’ Assad”
“Gingrich: Lavrov will find he can’t bully Tillerson”
“Columnist: Why Assad should remain in power in Syria”
“China’s Xi tells trump he wants peaceful solution to North Korea”
“Analyzing media coverage of Syria”
“Krauthammer on Russian involvement in Syria: ‘They are the power'”
“Gingrich: Syria, North Korea strategy is a change for Trump”
Here are the top headlines on CNN‘s website:
“US Secretary of State Tillerson, Russia Foreign Minister Lavrov hold briefing after talks on Syria”
“Trump sounds sick of Bannon”
“Trump just keeps saying things that aren’t true”
“FBI monitored former Trump campaign adviser Carter page on Russia”
“At UN, Britain says it has evidence of Syria sarin gas use”
“Trump, Xi talked Syria strike over ‘beautiful’ chocolate cake”
“Russia’s Lavrov warns US over Syria in heated start to talks”
“China calls for calm as US dispatches naval might to Korean waters”
“How Syria is shuffling Trump-era politics”
“White House: Russia, Syria regime trying to ‘confuse’ the world over chemical attacks”
“80 times Trump talked about Putin”
“Donald Trump’s golf problem”
“Mattis on Syria: ISIS remains the priority, but chemical weapons will not be tolerated”
“US Missile strike took out 20% of Syria’s air force, Mattis claims”
“How one vote opened the door for more than 15 years of war”
As usual, CNN has many more articles linked directly from their homepage so there are more titles there, this also means that they have more articles relating to the situation in Syria. Although I noticed that most of the articles that actually went into detail about the attacks, which have direct quotes from James Mattis, are not headline news, instead they are in small print at the bottom of the page. The major headlines are relating to Tillerson’s visit with Lavrov and, of course, under the title “Top-Stories” they list two articles focusing on President Trump himself, which are titled: “Trump sounds sick of Bannon” and “Trump just keeps saying things that are not true.”
Aside from the coverage on Syria, Trump, and Russia both outlets focus some of their reporting on Healthcare, special elections in Kansas, and Sean Spicer’s gaffe from earlier in the week where he compared Assad to Hitler and forgot some important information on the Holocaust.
This should not come as a surprise but Fox News still had some coverage on Susan Rice and the ongoing Congressional investigation into the ‘unmasking’ incident from a couple weeks ago.
Overall the headlines are what I expected to see, with Fox News continuing to push the narrative that Susan Rice is a criminal who acted illegally, whereas CNN still is not reporting on this story, as they consider it to be a non-issue. Additionally, much of the Fox News coverage on Syria has moved on to focus on further meetings this week with larger powers, Russia and China. CNN has chosen to focus on what the bombings mean for President Trump, and many of their top stories today are looking at what he has said in the past about Syria and President Obama’s actions towards them. The last thing that stood out to me is that CNN is still reporting on Steve Bannon and his relationship with President Trump. Bannon was removed from the National Security Council a full week ago, and plenty of newsworthy events have happened over that time, yet CNN still is running headlines about Trump and Bannon’s relationship.