Recently, president Donald Trump issued an executive order banning travel from 7 countries in the Middle East, which were noted as high risk threats to national security. But soon after, the travel ban was frozen by U.S. courts. The Washington Post and CNN both covered this news from clearly different political stances which brought bias into the articles. The use of techniques such as diction, stacking, and gatekeeping in each article create the bias which gives the readers a different perspective on Trump’s travel ban.
To start off, the Washington Post’s bias shifts the reader’s perception to seeing Trump’s ban as a good thing. This is seen right away in the title of the article, which states that of the travel ban, “Texas just asked it be restored”, which shows their focus and agreement with Texas on the issue. Next, the first two paragraphs of the article detail how Texas thinks Trump was within its limits, and also lists other states that believe the travel ban should be reinstated. After this, the article mixes in opposing views, that restore some fairness into the article, for example quotes showing how freezing the ban is good, and how “nearly 100 Silicon Valley tech companies argued that the ban could hurt their business”. But through the mixed and even viewpoints presented, the article still follows through with Texas being the main idea, and they present the viewpoint that “Trump’s ban was not discriminatory, but, rather, grounded in real national security concerns”. A last point of sway the article has is seen in their picture at the top, which shows a Texas attorney who is fighting to restore the travel ban.
On the other hand, CNN’s bias heavily shifts the reader to thinking the travel ban is bad and should stay frozen. This can easily be seen in their stacking as the first paragraph states how democrats are challenging the ban, “arguing it violates the Constitution”. CNN immediately presents their stance on the issue by the first paragraph. A look further into the article, and CNN presents a paragraph on how two people from the Middle East were detained at an airport right after the travel ban was signed, and how they think this was unfair. This shows gate keeping at work, as this information was not presented in The Washington Post’s article. The article continues to give views on how the ban was unconstitutional and had the intent to “discriminate”. Besides one short paragraph from Trump’s viewpoint at the end of the article, which shows stacking, CNN almost never presents an opposing viewpoint on the Travel Ban’s legality and purpose.
In conclusion, The Washington Post and CNN both clearly show their stance on the topic and try to sway the reader towards their belief. While they both give off bias because of this, CNN is significantly more biased as they focused on their viewpoint the whole time, while The Washington Post showed more fairness by presenting their stance, but also giving the opposing argument a fair enough share in the article. So overall, The Washington Post did a better job presenting the story because no political controversy is one sided like how CNN presented the issue.