ABC Biased Against Iraq War, Media Watchdog Says

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:20 PM EDT


(CNSNews.com) - A study by a media watchdog group reveals that ABC network news gave more airtime to skeptics of the president's proposed use of force against Saddam Hussein than to supporters of his plan.

According to research by the Media Research Center, parent company of CNSNews.com, out of 62 Iraq stories on ABC's World News Tonight during the month of September, reporters were four times more likely to voice doubt about the truthfulness of U.S. claims about Iraq.

Anti-war critics were given more airtime than war backers. For example, of the 60 soundbites used in newscasts about the issue, over half of them were against war.

Additionally, in seven stories about Iraq, ABC reporters used language that suggested the U.S. was the aggressor, only twice citing Iraq as contributing to the crisis.

The U.S. "demands are so tough and so explicit," Peter Jennings said on Sept. 27 of the U.S. submitted draft resolution to the U.N., "it is hard to imagine Iraq, and for that matter, many U.S. allies, going along."

When Iraq changed its tone on weapons inspectors and reporter Tamala Edwards was asked what the U.S. thought about an Iraqi meeting with the U.N., Edwards portrayed the White House as combative, the study said.

"They say they don't care. They're disdainful and dismissive of this meeting. As one administration official said to me, 'The Iraqis have no vote, no voice, no say. All we care about is the UN'," she said.

Read the study.

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