Did Trump Make Another Bad Decision?
President Donald Trump recently announced the new national security adviser he hired, Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, on Monday, February 20th. Many people took to Twitter and other social media outlets to voice their opinions on the new decision. The Washington Post and The Huffington Post clearly took different sides on this action, using diction, stacking, and quotations from many sources to change the reader’s perception on how great McMaster really is.
To start off, The Huffington Post’s bias of this new decision spoke loud and clear for readers. Their title read, “Trump Finally Finds a National Security Adviser — And Even Democrats Say He’s ‘Brilliant’”. Their diction of “And Even Democrats Say He’s Brilliant” shapes the perceptions of readers by stating that even the opposing party thinks that Trump made a smart decision on hiring this security adviser. Not only does the diction prove that this choice was intelligent on Trump’s part, but the stacking of the story does as well. The article purposely placed quotes at the beginning of the article that praised McMaster. “He’s a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience,” Trump said. This is the first quote to be put into the article, giving the idea to readers that this guy is important and has had enough experience to obtain this job and should be appreciated by this country. The Huffington Post included many other kind quotes about McMaster, such as feeling “very honored and privileged to serve alongside H.R. McMaster” and “our country is lucky to have people like this.” Throughout the article, they don’t mention anything about McMaster’s past experiences and challenges he may have to face in this job position. Therefore, this leads the readers to believe he’s perfect and has had all the experience he needs in this field.
On the other hand, The Washington Post shared their opinions very differently on this case. Their title says, “Trump Taps Army Lt. Gen. H.R. As His New National Security Adviser.” Immediately, the word choice they use doesn’t sound so confident. They use “taps” instead of “chooses” or “appoints”, which may sound more formal and confident than a casual word of “taps”. In addition, readers immediately read the first paragraph and their perception on the new national security adviser is shifted. The last sentence of the first paragraph says directly, “a move meant to help put the White House on firmer footing after missteps on multiple fronts.” In regards to word choice, they use words like “meant” and “missteps” to tell readers that Trump has made many mistakes and will probably make a second one by appointing McMaster. And unlike in the Huffington Post, the author writes, “But unlike many officers, McMaster has spent virtually no time at the Pentagon or in Washington, which could prove a challenge in his new role.” This quote will definitely shape a person’s perception of McMaster negatively because they bring up a huge challenge of his — never being at the Pentagon or in Washington, which seems like essential places to go to be a good national security adviser. This straightforward fact should tell readers that this guy doesn’t know what he’s doing and that Trump made a huge mistake hiring him. The stacking of this article is very important as well because it includes negative facts and word choice that influences the reader’s thinking and shows the importance of this story.
Overall, the biased opinions between The Washington Post and The Huffington Post are obvious to anyone who reads them. With the use of diction, quotes, and stacking, readers’ perceptions on the appointment of McMaster as the new national security adviser will be shaped drastically because of their political stance. Although the Huffington Post used more quotes regarding McMaster, it was unacceptable that they didn’t include any consequences of hiring him. I felt that The Washington Post did a great job of conveying McMaster to the audience, including positive quotes about him but also adding the challenges he may face in his job and how he’s had little experience of going to the Pentagon and spending time in Washington. Including this information about McMaster is extremely important for readers to know and it’s incredibly unfair if they’re not exposed to the potential consequences of him being the new national security adviser.