Monday, May 2, 2011

You're against torturing people? That means you're pro- Osama.
In this article that appears on the front page, entitled "Cheney says Enhanced Interrogation Probably Led to UBL Death," the author employs the classic media bias tactic of issue framing. "I would assume that the enhanced interrogation program that we put in place produced some of the results that led to bin Laden's ultimate capture," the author quotes former vice president Cheney. The article then argues exactly this, that water-boarding and other tactics used led us to Osama and eventually enabled the US to kill him. 
 Right now, with Osama having just been killed, every major news outlet in America is running stories about the families of 9/11 victims that are relieved and how great a day it is for America. The author of this article is using these emotions and linking them to a different issue, the controversial interrogations that occur at Gitmo.  By doing so, anybody that comes out and says that the interrogations are wrong can be now be shot down with, "Oh, so you'd rather Osama still be alive?"
This is similar to when in early 2003, the Bush administration mentioned 9/11 every time they spoke about going into Iraq. This incited emotions of the atrocities to get people in the the gung-ho pro war mindset, and also attempted to make anybody that came out against the war as being pro 9/11.


  1. I'll bet many people who are ecstatic over the recent killing of bin Laden are some of the same people who have decried the use of enhanced interrogation. But Cheney is probably right in this case, that the use of enhanced interrogation led to Osama's capture. It is a perfect situation for Cheney and supporters of an enhanced interrogation program to frame the issue and make things like water boarding look absolutely necessary in the war on terror.

  2. Yup...Issue framing is a great way to make viewers equate one issue with another one that is completely tangential. And playing on peoples' emotions is a common ploy to drum up supporters. Its exactly like that Regan ad, where it was "morning in America again". How could you possibly have disagreed with that? Its just disheartening to see how much the media and polticians play on people's emotions to illicit an response.