INF Treaty: Who’s Right? Obama or Trump

On February 15th, 2017, United States officials confirmed that Russia deployed missiles that violated the INF treaty. The treaty created in 1987 declared the elimination of long and short range missiles between the Soviet Union and the U.S. Both The New York Times (https://tinyurl.com/jp9yv6s) and Fox News (https://tinyurl.com/zupt4kp) wrote articles regarding the treaty violation. However, The New York Times’ article was far more informative and less biased in comparison to Fox News.

To start, the Fox News article used poor sourcing throughout the story. Since Russia violated the treaty, the question of if the U.S. should still comply with INF has come into question. Fox News only quoted and mentioned senators who are in favor of dropping the treaty and building up the United States’ nuclear forces. It is clear that Fox News believes that the United States should stop abiding by the treaty. By only quoting senators like Tom Cotton and John McCain (who avidly believe in increasing the amount of nuclear arms), readers are only learning about one side of the story, and are gaining a biased perspective of the situation. Additionally, the diction that Fox used in the beginning of the article shows a bias towards the Trump administration. They used words like “difficult moment” and “mislead the vice president” to describe the situation in the white house regarding, Michele Flynn’s resignation. The words used to describe Flynn minimize the severity of the situation and gives the reader the perception that the defense secretary scandal is not that big of a deal.

The New York Times article is far more informative and less one sided than the Fox News article, however The New York Times story did have a bias towards the past Obama administration. Within the first page of the story, the author describes the relationship between the INF treaty and Barack Obama. The story continues to compare Trump’s views regarding the treaty and what the Obama administration argued was the right thing to do. The consistent mentioning and comparison of Obama’s views to Trump’s shows a bias to the past administration in the article, and changes the perception to the reader. Thus, it is clear that The New York Times favors the opinion of Obama rather than Trump. Additionally, The New York Times article used excellent sourcing throughout, making it a much more factual and fair than Fox News. Even though they continuously went back to Barack Obama’s opinion, they interviewed a variety of sources. The article quoted those in favor of the treaty, those opposed, and people working in the current administration. This variety gives the reader a look at both sides of the argument, and allows them to accurately form their own opinion about the situation. As a result, The New York Times story is less biased and one sided than Fox, however, still shows some bias towards the past administration.

In the end, it is evident to the reader what each news organization was attempting to achieve. The Fox News article was much more biased towards Trump and used poor sourcing, while The New York Times story provided a much more, well rounded information. Despite the well rounded information, The New York Times still displays some bias towards the previous presidential administration. However, despite this discrepancy, The New York Times news article presents the treaty violation in a far less biased way in comparison to Fox, however, both articles are biased.

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