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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani President Musharraf After 9/11 17 Islamic militants. The “Sadat” frame emphasized Musharraf’s positive role in the conflict and his courageousness. Pro-Western leader in a fundamentalist country The U.S. newsmagazines repeatedly emphasized Pervez Musharraf’s personal and biographical characteristics that depict him as a modern, pro-Western leader. In terms of catchphrases, Musharraf was described as “secular-minded” or coming from a “secular- minded” family. He was labeled as “progressive”, “modern” and “liberal in his private life.” In terms of depictions, the U.S. magazines repeatedly emphasized his Western clothes (“dressed in an Armani suit,” Newsweek, Jan. 28, Pakistan’s Striving Son; “wearing a dapper blue suit rather than his usual earth-tone uniform,” Newsweek, Nov. 19, This is Not a War). His usual outfit, a brown military uniform, was omitted from the frame. As opposed to the long beards of the “Islamic fundamentalists,” Musharraf’s moustache was “neatly clipped,” (“a low-key soldier with a neatly clipped moustache and tolerant views,” Time, Oct. 1, On the Edge: A Nation With Nukes”), his pets were dogs, animals considered unclean in Islam (“pet dogs, regarded in Islam as unclean,” Time, Oct. 22, The World’s Toughest Job) and his new army vice chief of staff was described as a “moderate general whose friends call him Joe” (Time, Oct. 22, The World’s Toughest Job). Musharraf’s biographical data were framed in a way that those facts that reinforced his “Westerness” were more salient than those pertinent to the Islamic culture. The parts of his biography that would not fit within that “Western” frame were either reinterpreted or completely omitted. Most of the information about his military career,

Authors: Obad, Orlanda.
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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani
President Musharraf After 9/11
17
Islamic militants. The “Sadat” frame emphasized Musharraf’s positive role in the conflict
and his courageousness.
Pro-Western leader in a fundamentalist country
The U.S. newsmagazines repeatedly emphasized Pervez Musharraf’s personal and
biographical characteristics that depict him as a modern, pro-Western leader. In terms of
catchphrases, Musharraf was described as “secular-minded” or coming from a “secular-
minded” family. He was labeled as “progressive”, “modern” and “liberal in his private
life.” In terms of depictions, the U.S. magazines repeatedly emphasized his Western
clothes (“dressed in an Armani suit,” Newsweek, Jan. 28, Pakistan’s Striving Son;
“wearing a dapper blue suit rather than his usual earth-tone uniform,” Newsweek, Nov.
19, This is Not a War). His usual outfit, a brown military uniform, was omitted from the
frame.
As opposed to the long beards of the “Islamic fundamentalists,” Musharraf’s
moustache was “neatly clipped,” (“a low-key soldier with a neatly clipped moustache and
tolerant views,” Time, Oct. 1, On the Edge: A Nation With Nukes”), his pets were dogs,
animals considered unclean in Islam (“pet dogs, regarded in Islam as unclean,” Time,
Oct. 22, The World’s Toughest Job) and his new army vice chief of staff was described
as a “moderate general whose friends call him Joe” (Time, Oct. 22, The World’s
Toughest Job).
Musharraf’s biographical data were framed in a way that those facts that
reinforced his “Westerness” were more salient than those pertinent to the Islamic culture.
The parts of his biography that would not fit within that “Western” frame were either
reinterpreted or completely omitted. Most of the information about his military career,


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