An analysis of the language employed in the Associated Press news wire report of Nov. 28, 2007 reveals a narrative compatible with the priorities of the Pentagon and powerful US interests.
As I have documented elsewhere, the Associated Press reporting upon Afghanistan has well served the Pentagon and the Bush Administration. (4) It would not be a stretch of the imagination to say that the Associated Press has acted as stenographer of the Pentagon’s version of reality and more generally speaks for the powerful. (5)Such was marvelously displayed in the early counting of the Afghan civilian dead by Associated Press special correspondent Laura King in Afghanistan in early 2002, whose effort was likely inspired to counter my own research which had documented some 3,500 innocent Afghan civilians having perished under U.S. bombs during October 7, 2001 December 10, 2001.
Such "bias" by the Associated Press (and naturally other media, e.g. talk radio, FOX News, etc.) has important implications for democracy as pointed out by Phillips et. al.,
(The) AP is a massive institutionalized bureaucracy that feeds new stories to nearly every newspaper and radio/TV station in the United States and the world. They are so large that top-down control of single news stories is literally impossible. However, our evidence clearly indicates a built-in bias favoring the powerful.
– ACLU evidence on torture is ignored by the corporate press and AP never mentions it again.
– The State Department’s position on Haiti becomes established history.
– Cynthia McKinney is bashed and marginalized.
– Coverage of the Israel-Palestine situation has a clear pro-Israel bias,
– and the national impeachment movement is totally ignored.
The American people absorb these biases and make political decisions on skewed understandings. Without media systems that provide balanced, fair and accurate reporting democracy is faced with a dismal future. ..,/b>