Bush, the Media & the New American Way

Louise Montgomery
InSITE 2003  •  Volume 3  •  2003
The run-up to a full-scale U.S. military attack on Iraq - “shock and awe” -- provided an unusual and ideal test the effectiveness of a parsimonious content analysis methodology designed to determine when a national leader made or would make a decision to go to war. As W. Ben Hunt’s work that is the model for this study anticipated, editorials in The Wall Street Journal clearly ramped up war fever with not only the number of “get to it, George” editorials but also with the language. Critical editorials ad-vised/urged/demanded Bush to get on with the second phase of the long-planned remaking of the Middle East -- taking out Saddam Hussein. The paper links several aspects of post-Cold War, postmodern American life -- low levels of knowledge, use of poll data throughout society, declining news consumption and others -- to paint a picture of a newly vulnerable society, one willing - polls would indicate - to listen to and follow clear, perhaps simplistic, policies even to the point of a pre-emptive strike on a small nation that many could not locate on a map.
The Wall Street Journal, Newspapers, Media, public opinion, war, W. Ben Hunt, Iraq, President George W. Bush, United States
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