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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 9 Pakistan, South Korea, El Salvador, Chile, Turkey and Honduras, will not be covered negatively in the American media in spite of the “acts of repression, torture, and assassination” that they perpetrate (p. 177). American media, according to Parenti, are more likely to frame dictators, coups, and massacres in client countries with the terms like “the country’s strongman,” “tough,” “severe,” “firm,” “no-nonsense,” and “clampdown” (pp. 176-179). According to Parenti, military leaders of these countries are often portrayed as brave saviors who took power in the middle of chaos. 6 In their comparative study of the New York Times coverage of the 1996 Indian and Israel election, Jayakar and Jayakar (2000) argue that the influence of foreign policy on the press is not direct, but that the reporters often become excessively dependent “on the ‘digested wisdom’ of the national foreign policy establishment or the local diplomat of the home country” (p. 129). The authors argue that, when the media take on the dominant news frames as offered by the foreign policy officials, they inevitably transmit certain “hegemonic frames,” which results in mobilizing support for foreign policy actions. Framing Entman (1993) defines framing as a fractured paradigm, a theory that needs to be reconstructed and synthesized in order to avoid casual definitions. Entman suggests a broad definition of framing by saying: To frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation for the item described. (p. 52.) Entman argues that there are four stages of framing an event: (1) defining the problems, (2) diagnosing the causes, (3) making moral judgments (evaluating actions)

Authors: Obad, Orlanda.
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Framing a Friendly Dictator: U.S. Newsmagazine Coverage of Pakistani
President Musharraf After 9/11
9
Pakistan, South Korea, El Salvador, Chile, Turkey and Honduras, will not be covered
negatively in the American media in spite of the “acts of repression, torture, and
assassination” that they perpetrate (p. 177). American media, according to Parenti, are
more likely to frame dictators, coups, and massacres in client countries with the terms
like “the country’s strongman,” “tough,” “severe,” “firm,” “no-nonsense,” and
“clampdown” (pp. 176-179). According to Parenti, military leaders of these countries are
often portrayed as brave saviors who took power in the middle of chaos.
6
In their comparative study of the New York Times coverage of the 1996 Indian
and Israel election, Jayakar and Jayakar (2000) argue that the influence of foreign policy
on the press is not direct, but that the reporters often become excessively dependent “on
the ‘digested wisdom’ of the national foreign policy establishment or the local diplomat
of the home country” (p. 129). The authors argue that, when the media take on the
dominant news frames as offered by the foreign policy officials, they inevitably transmit
certain “hegemonic frames,” which results in mobilizing support for foreign policy
actions.
Framing
Entman (1993) defines framing as a fractured paradigm, a theory that needs to be
reconstructed and synthesized in order to avoid casual definitions. Entman suggests a
broad definition of framing by saying:
To frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a
communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal
interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation for the item described.
(p.
52.)
Entman argues that there are four stages of framing an event: (1) defining the
problems, (2) diagnosing the causes, (3) making moral judgments (evaluating actions)


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