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Saturday Evening Newscasts

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Saturday Evening Newscasts: ABC World News Tonight VS. Fox News Fox Report Saturday
Jennifer Wallace
Chamberlain College of Nursing
PHIL 447
Professor Stephens
Week 3

The two news casts that I chose to watch and write about were aired on Saturday, March 19. The first program I watched was ABC World News Tonight. It came on at 7:00pm and it was hosted by Cecilia Vega, who I was unfamiliar with. When this show was over, I turned my television to Fox News and I watched The Fox Report, which started at 8:00pm. This show was hosted by Julie Banderas. I was unfamiliar with her, as well. Both of these hosts were attractive women, which seems to be the standard for women on the news, whether it’s local or national. I don’t normally watch either of these particular shows, so I was unsure what to expect as far as their actual reporting was concerned.
On the ABC news cast, the first story that was covered was about Donald Trump, the rally that he held in Arizona, and the protests in Arizona and New York City. The host claimed that “despite the protests, Trump was louder and more forceful than ever”, which in my opinion, had a very negative slant to it. The report showed how the protestors in Arizona used their cars to try and block traffic and how the protestors in NYC were marching and picketing in front of Trump Tower. At the end of the story, the reporter talked about Donald Trumps’ “feud” with Megyn Kelly, whom he called “highly over rated and crazy”. An unnamed republican insider said that Trump’s “extreme obsession with Kelly is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate”. This story, from start to finish, lasted six minutes.
The first story on The Fox Report was about Donald Trump, as well, but also mixed in information about the other presidential candidates. For Trump, they focused mostly on his rally in Tucson and the protestors there. The host claimed that the protestors were mostly against Trump’s immigration stance and they showed a clip of Trump saying that he’s still planning on building “a big beautiful wall that nobody could climb over or crawl under” and that “limiting the number of immigrants that enter this country will drastically reduce the number of crimes committed”. The host then went on to say that the protestors were dangerous because their cars could block emergency vehicles that may have needed to get to the rally. During this first story, they also showed clips of Cruz of his rally saying “it’s easy to talk about making America great again…” and “a vote for Kasich is a vote for Trump” as well as a clip of Kasich at his rally in Utah who claimed that he “was not going to hold back on Trump”. This first story lasted ten minutes.
The second story from the ABC broadcast was about a FlyDubai plane that crashed in Russia during a storm. The crash happened to get caught on a security video. All 55 passengers and 7 crew members died in the crash. There is no evidence of any act of terror so far, but the NTSB and the FAA are investigating the crash and both black boxes have been recovered. This story lasted three minutes.
The second item from the Fox broadcast was about Bernie Sanders. Sanders was also campaigning in Arizona. According to the host, he lashed out against the sheriff in Maricopa County, Arizona, claiming that he uses racial profiling. They showed a clip of Sanders’ rally where he said Donald Trump uses “hate speech” and that as a country, we should not tolerate “divisive, bigoted, xenophobic comments from those like Donald Trump”. This story lasted two minutes.
The third story on the ABC broadcast was a breaking news story about a suicide bomber in Istanbul, Turkey that killed four people, including two Americans, and injured 36 people. According to the report, no terrorist group was taking responsibility for the attack at this time. This story lasted two minutes.
The third story on the Fox broadcast was about Hilary Clinton. Clinton did not do any campaigning this weekend and according to the host, she feels confident that she has a “lock” on the democratic nomination and feels comfortable enough to take the weekend off. The host also mentioned that President Obama might be endorsing Clinton, citing reports that Obama told Washington insiders to start rallying around Clinton, but the Whitehouse has denied those remarks or any endorsement from Obama at this time. I feel as if the host put this information out there, not even knowing if it was true, but just to put it in people’s minds. Why else would you report something that has no factual basis and is just based on something that someone heard? This third story lasted two minutes.
I found it interesting that the top three stories on the Fox show were all about the presidential candidates. The show advertises itself as one that reports on that day’s most important news stories. So at Fox, they must think that the current presidential race is more important that both the plane crash and the suicide bomber in Turkey. I thought both networks gave way too much time on Donald Trump, six minutes for ABC and ten minutes for Fox, but I guess that’s what’s drawing in the ratings these days. The rhetorical slant on the Trump story from ABC was decidedly negative towards Trump himself while over on Fox, the slant was much more negative towards the protestors, not Trump. Since this was the only story that the two broadcasts had in common, they’re the only stories I can compare. On the Fox show, I thought that the story about Hilary Clinton was filled with innuendo and hyperbole, such as saying that she must feel she has “a lock” on the Democratic nomination and that she’s comfortable enough to take the weekend off of campaigning. Clinton did not actually say either of those things, they were just inserted into the story to make the viewer think or feel a certain way about Ms. Clinton. In my opinion, by presenting the story that way, it seems as if they’re trying to make Clinton seem cocky and unlikable. It’s like they said “look how hard Trump is working, while Clinton’s not doing anything” without actually using those words, especially since they gave Trump’s story ten minutes.
Overall, I don’t think these two newscasts could’ve been more different. The subject of the first story was the same for both news casts, but the rhetorical slant of the story was completely different on the two networks. It was eye opening to see how the same information can be presented in two totally contrasting styles that lead the viewer towards two conflicting opinions. Of course, if you are a regular viewer of Fox News, then the way they present their stories probably already fit your narrative. On the other hand, I’ve never heard of ABC being slanted towards liberalism or conservatism, so I’m not sure if they consistently present their stories with any sort of political slant to them or not, but if I had just this one viewing to base an opinion on, I would say that they lean more towards the liberal end of the spectrum. Where am I supposed to get my fair and balanced news?


Moore, Brooke N., Parker, R. (01/2014). Critical Thinking, 11th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from…...

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