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CNN's framing of September 11: Suggesting an appropriate response to terrorism
Unformatted Document Text:  22 only meaningful option. Evidence of this has already been seen in the keywords, sentences and images that established the terrorist attacks as an act of war. Some CNN sources were direct in their advocation of a strong military response, others were subtle and often spoke through the reporters. Two different examples: • Former Secretary of Defense Lawrence Eagleburger: What you do is you strike at them militarily. I mean, I know this is going to sound awful, but my point is there is only one way to begin to deal with people like this, and that is you have to kill some of them even if they are not immediately directly involved in this thing. • David Ensor, CNN’s National Security Correspondent: There’s a certain amount of black humor also now setting in … when I asked (intelligence officials) whether there were considerations being given to some sort of retaliation against targets in Afghanistan, one official said, "I wouldn't be planning your vacation there if I were you." Some of CNN’s sources discussed the military response against an international backdrop. It seems quite possible that, given the incredible number of references to the need for international support, many government sources were using CNN to send messages to other world leaders and vice-versa. For example, foreign minister Shimon Peres told CNN: And I am sure that as bitter and painful the event is, the only one that can save humanity from this terrible danger is the United States of America. It was not an attack only upon America, but an attack upon civilization, an attempt to introduce the wolves of the jungle in our life, not to permit people to fly freely, to walk safely, to be assured at the places they live. It is like a declaration of war, or an introduction of a terrible arm, and we have to draw all the conclusions fully, uncompromisingly and right away. In an example of a more general appeal to an international effort, former UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke said, “ To find the people responsible is going to take a unified international effort. No one nation, not even the United States, can do it on its own.” This kind of comment was heard often during the first 12 hours of coverage.

Authors: Reynolds, Amy. and Barnett, Brooke.
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only meaningful option. Evidence of this has already been seen in the keywords,
sentences and images that established the terrorist attacks as an act of war. Some CNN
sources were direct in their advocation of a strong military response, others were subtle
and often spoke through the reporters. Two different examples:
• Former Secretary of Defense Lawrence Eagleburger: What you do is you
strike at them militarily. I mean, I know this is going to sound awful, but my
point is there is only one way to begin to deal with people like this, and that is you
have to kill some of them even if they are not immediately directly involved in
this thing.
• David Ensor, CNN’s National Security Correspondent: There’s a certain
amount of black humor also now setting in … when I asked (intelligence
officials) whether there were considerations being given to some sort of
retaliation against targets in Afghanistan, one official said, "I wouldn't be
planning your vacation there if I were you."
Some of CNN’s sources discussed the military response against an international
backdrop. It seems quite possible that, given the incredible number of references to the
need for international support, many government sources were using CNN to send
messages to other world leaders and vice-versa. For example, foreign minister Shimon
Peres told CNN:
And I am sure that as bitter and painful the event is, the only one that can save
humanity from this terrible danger is the United States of America. It was not an
attack only upon America, but an attack upon civilization, an attempt to introduce
the wolves of the jungle in our life, not to permit people to fly freely, to walk
safely, to be assured at the places they live. It is like a declaration of war, or an
introduction of a terrible arm, and we have to draw all the conclusions fully,
uncompromisingly and right away.

In an example of a more general appeal to an international effort, former UN
ambassador Richard Holbrooke said, “ To find the people responsible is going to take a
unified international effort. No one nation, not even the United States, can do it on its
own.” This kind of comment was heard often during the first 12 hours of coverage.


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