The Presidential Speech Concerning Syria
While I did not watch the speech, I am looking forward to reading an un-biased article about what was discussed. I am exploring both the NYT and the WP. The very first thing I am noticing is on the WP site is I’m having a hard time finding a non-opinionated view from their writers.
I have found a blog entry:
I have found another article, but again it is only the writers’ perspective:
The opinions from the staff are endless and if I were a regular reader of the WP, I might be interested to see what my favorite writers thought about his speech.
Digging a little deeper, I find an article I can use:
The very first thing I notice is the way the writer is depicting the people that the president is speaking to. The author uses words such as “convince a skeptical United States”. While it is true the people of the US have been primarily against invading Syria, I still find it interesting the author used two separate words to give the reader this vibe. The writer feels the US needs to be “convinced” that what the President said is valuable. This is just in the first paragraph and I believe it has set the tone for the article. The author continues to uses words that would appeal to the sensitive side of the US. “emotional appeal to Americans’ basic sense of right and wrong”. These few words make me feel like I should know in my heart that chemical killings are an obvious “wrong”. And yes, it seems it would be wrong, but I’m not in Syria and I do not have all the details. This article seems to be swaying me to be against the President’s ideas to invade Syria. The President went on the say that we cannot look the other way while other countries use weapons of mass destruction. The author then takes a back seat to his emotional words and finishes the article with the basic facts from the speech. The author spent the first page using emotional words and used the next two pages of the article to state the facts.
Moving on to the NYT, I find an article written about the Presidential speech immediately and this article is not an opinion article. That makes me wonder if the WP is more concerned with their writers’ opinions to sway the reader. Comparing the first paragraph in the WP and the NYT, it is very evident in the words they both choose that the NYT is simply writing the article to give the facts and not appeal to emotions by using words like “convince” or “skepital”.
Reading some more, the author continues to state the facts about the speech and does it quite nicely. The sentences form good paragraphs that are easy for someone like me to understand. Me being someone who is not a huge political follower of situations and words used in politics.
As I continue to read the article, I am noticing the tone is changing. The author is starting to use words that I would consider emotional. “Mr. Obama found himself struggling to redefine the terms of the debate.” This word makes me feel like the President is having a very hard time. Should I start to feel sympathetic for him? “Even in the face of widespread opposition, Mr. Obama made an impassioned case for a retaliatory strike, saying in starkly emotional terms that President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons could not be tolerated.” What is considered “impassioned” to the author may not be how I view the word or the President. The article backs off emotional appeal and ends with just the facts.
I found this journal entry to be quite interesting. The difference between the two newspapers writing styles covering this particular article was evident in the layout of the article. While the WP started their article with emotional words, the NYT seemed to be cleverer and added them in the middle. If I had to choose which article I prefer, I would pick the NYT coverage.