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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 21 line religious forces could rise against his military junta,” Time, Oct.1 On the Edge). At the same time, the army, whose chief commander is Musharraf, was portrayed as the only stable institution in the country. Musharraf’s remaining in power was interpreted both as the best interest of the United States in the region (“it may be a good thing for the antiterror coalition that Pakistan is ruled by a friendly military dictatorship, rather than what could be a hostile democracy,” Newsweek, Oct.22, A Fine Balance) and as the best interest of the global community in general because Pakistani president was presented as the only guarantee that his country will not use nuclear weapons (“As long as Musharraf stays in charge, the weapons are well nailed down. (…) [I]f power should fall into the hands of extremist factions the situation could change fast,” Time, Nov. 12, Osama’s Nuclear Quest). The Pakistani leader was also portrayed as reliable and obedient in terms of the Western interests in South Asia (“Musharraf fell smartly in line with Bush doctrine,” Newsweek, Jan. 14, Stop Crossing the Lines). Less salient were the arguments that Pakistani leader’s preserving of power is positive for his own country because of the “pro-democratic” political course he is taking (“it’s now less likely anyone inside the military can sabotage or ignore Musharraf’s pro-Western policies, leaving him freer to pursue his goal of transforming Pakistan into a progressive state”, Time, Oct. 22, The World’s Toughest Job; “Musharraf seems to be singlehandedly shifting his country’s course”, Newsweek, Jan. 28, This Time It’s Personal.) Finally, Musharraf’s publicly stated intention to remain the president of Pakistan regardless of the results of the democratic elections in October 2002 was reported in the newsmagazines but it did not become a part of the frame.

Authors: Obad, Orlanda.
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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani
President Musharraf After 9/11
21
line religious forces could rise against his military junta,” Time, Oct.1 On the Edge). At
the same time, the army, whose chief commander is Musharraf, was portrayed as the only
stable institution in the country.
Musharraf’s remaining in power was interpreted both as the best interest of the
United States in the region (“it may be a good thing for the antiterror coalition that
Pakistan is ruled by a friendly military dictatorship, rather than what could be a hostile
democracy,” Newsweek, Oct.22, A Fine Balance) and as the best interest of the global
community in general because Pakistani president was presented as the only guarantee
that his country will not use nuclear weapons (“As long as Musharraf stays in charge, the
weapons are well nailed down. (…) [I]f power should fall into the hands of extremist
factions the situation could change fast,” Time, Nov. 12, Osama’s Nuclear Quest).
The Pakistani leader was also portrayed as reliable and obedient in terms of the
Western interests in South Asia (“Musharraf fell smartly in line with Bush doctrine,”
Newsweek, Jan. 14, Stop Crossing the Lines). Less salient were the arguments that
Pakistani leader’s preserving of power is positive for his own country because of the
“pro-democratic” political course he is taking (“it’s now less likely anyone inside the
military can sabotage or ignore Musharraf’s pro-Western policies, leaving him freer to
pursue his goal of transforming Pakistan into a progressive state”, Time, Oct. 22, The
World’s Toughest Job; “Musharraf seems to be singlehandedly shifting his country’s
course”, Newsweek, Jan. 28, This Time It’s Personal.) Finally, Musharraf’s publicly
stated intention to remain the president of Pakistan regardless of the results of the
democratic elections in October 2002 was reported in the newsmagazines but it did not
become a part of the frame.


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