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CNN's framing of September 11: Suggesting an appropriate response to terrorism
Unformatted Document Text:  13 situation room, a president or a vice president can direct a war, can direct a full scale war.” The war theme also arose in other contexts. Just before 2 p.m. Judy Woodruff was interviewing Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd who observed, “in a day like this, which rivals if not exceeds the attack on Pearl Harbor almost 60 years ago … we stand totally united behind our president and our government.” Once Dodd offered a Pearl Harbor analogy journalists brought this into their questions and discussions with other sources more than a dozen times. A local New York City journalist interviewing an eyewitness to the collapse offered: “A lot of people acquainted this to something like Pearl Harbor. You were there (today). Nothing has ever happened like this.” Sources also used it to underscore the war point. James Kallstrom, former FBI assistant director said, “I think (this is) clearly an act of war. … it’s a different time, but it’s everything that Pearl Harbor was and more.” CNN’s sources also repeatedly connected the keyword America with freedom and other American ideals, which included the implied notion that it would be un-American to voice political dissent given the magnitude of the day’s events. This, of course, runs contrary to First Amendment values and ideals, yet it was clearly tied to notions of what it means to be a “good” American. By this definition, good Americans stand united and always support the views of the president in times of crisis. Two statements by former government officials illustrate this and help to build on a theme of American unity: • Former FBI assistant director James Kallstrom: People that hate us and hate what we stand for and hate our way of life have demonstrated that over and over again. … and today they've brought that terrible hatred to the United States of America and we, as a country, as a nation, need to stand together.

Authors: Reynolds, Amy. and Barnett, Brooke.
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situation room, a president or a vice president can direct a war, can direct a full scale
war.”
The war theme also arose in other contexts. Just before 2 p.m. Judy Woodruff
was interviewing Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd who observed, “in a day like
this, which rivals if not exceeds the attack on Pearl Harbor almost 60 years ago … we
stand totally united behind our president and our government.” Once Dodd offered a
Pearl Harbor analogy journalists brought this into their questions and discussions with
other sources more than a dozen times. A local New York City journalist interviewing an
eyewitness to the collapse offered: “A lot of people acquainted this to something like
Pearl Harbor. You were there (today). Nothing has ever happened like this.”
Sources
also used it to underscore the war point. James Kallstrom, former FBI assistant director
said, “I think (this is) clearly an act of war. … it’s a different time, but it’s everything that
Pearl Harbor was and more.”
CNN’s sources also repeatedly connected the keyword America with freedom and
other American ideals, which included the implied notion that it would be un-American
to voice political dissent given the magnitude of the day’s events. This, of course, runs
contrary to First Amendment values and ideals, yet it was clearly tied to notions of what
it means to be a “good” American. By this definition, good Americans stand united and
always support the views of the president in times of crisis. Two statements by former
government officials illustrate this and help to build on a theme of American unity:
• Former FBI assistant director James Kallstrom: People that hate us and hate
what we stand for and hate our way of life have demonstrated that over and over
again. … and today they've brought that terrible hatred to the United States of
America and we, as a country, as a nation, need to stand together.


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