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Bush's War: Media Bias and Justifications for War in a Terrorist Age (Communication, Media, and Politics) [Paperback]

Jim A. Kuypers
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 5, 2006 074253653X 978-0742536531
Immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, Americans looked to President Bush for words of leadership. In his most formal reply of the day, he said, "Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror." The stark tone of Bush's speech suggested the promise of more words to come from the president, and it is these words that Bush's War addresses. While many books have offered a take on the attacks of 9/11 and their impact upon American society, one area has been comparatively ignored: presidential justifications for war in the age of terrorism. Specifically, what did President Bush say to justify American military actions in the post? 9/11 world? And how did the public hear what he said, especially as it was filtered through the news media? The eloquent and thoughtful Bush's War shows how public perception of what the president says is shaped by media bias. Jim A. Kuypers compares Bush's statements with press coverage, arguing that the nature of American public knowledge concerning our role in the world has been changed? not by 9/11, but by the subsequent argumentative back-and-forth between Bush and the press.


Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a time of maximum danger for our country?a time of crisis. The American people historically turn to the President during these times for explanation, for comfort, and for exhortation to purpose. Yet, the President does not speak directly to the people. His speech is mediated; he speaks through the media, members of the media comment on presidential speech, and others comment on the comment. In short, the media 'frames' the presidential message, thus ensuring certain reactions to it. Jim Kuypers is the best in the business at explaining presidential crisis communication and its relationship to the media. Regardless of your partisan position on the War on Terror, Bush's War: Media Bias and Justifications for War in a Terrorist Age must be onyour reading list.. (Dennis W. White)

an important new book to examine how powerfully the president's fortunes depend not only on what the administration says but also what the media say the White House said. (Presidential Studies Quarterly)

This book is a concise and informative, even pleasurable, read....Kuypers offers a well-developed argument worthy of debate. (The Review Of Communication)

This is a skilled and thoughtful work of scholarship, well worth a careful reading. Kuypers's book is provocative in the best sense of the word: It can stimulate fresh thinking about presidential rhetoric and press reporting of it—which Kuypers shows can be two very different things. (Stephen D. Cooper)

This is a time of maximum danger for our country—a time of crisis. The American people historically turn to the President during these times for explanation, for comfort, and for exhortation to purpose. Yet, the President does not speak directly to the people. His speech is mediated; he speaks through the media, members of the media comment on presidential speech, and others comment on the comment. In short, the media 'frames' the presidential message, thus ensuring certain reactions to it. Jim Kuypers is the best in the business at explaining presidential crisis communication and its relationship to the media. Regardless of your partisan position on the War on Terror, Bush's War: Media Bias and Justifications for War in a Terrorist Age must be on your reading list. (Dennis W. White)

About the Author

Jim A. Kuypers is assistant professor of political communication at Virginia Tech.

Product Details

  • Series: Communication, Media, and Politics
  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (October 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074253653X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742536531
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,598,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim A. Kuypers is an associate professor of political communication at Virginia Tech. In addition to the books listed here he has written over 30 journal articles and book chapters. He is the recipient of the American Communication Association's Outstanding Contribution to Communication Scholarship Award, the Southern States Communication Association's Early Career Research award, and Dartmouth College's Distinguished Lecturer Award. His writing specialties include strategic communication, specifically with respect to news media influences on message construction.

Customer Reviews

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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Shocked At How The News Media Lies December 20, 2006
Format:Paperback
This author proves every statement he makes. All his evidence is cited in the back of the book. He tells us exactly what news framing is, and how the news media is using it to try to have us think about President Bush, the war on terror, and the war in Iraq in a particular way.

I must admit my mouth dropped open several times while reading the 7th chapter. I could not believe the reporting of a president's speech could be so distorted and incorrect. This author proved this was exactly the case.

The conclusion has some great charts comparing the frames used by President Bush and the frames used by the press. This really put the press coverage of the entire war on terror in a different light for me. I knew before that the press often put in its own 2 cents, but now I feel like its more like its own 20 dollars.

If this author were a news commentator, I'd feel I could trust him. He was very careful not to reveal his own politics, and I found this refreshing.

The one reservation I have about this book is that the first chapter reads a bit slowly because the author talks about rhetoric and about how framing works. This gets a bit thick at times. But I did find it very helpful. Once you get through it, the rest of the book flows well and is good reading.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
A salute to the author for an intellectual book, missing the sensationalism and playing-to-the-emotions found in much of the mainstream media.

Framing is important and the author describes what it is and how it will effect what the receiver [reader, viewer etc.] takes away from a speech.

The press is shown as having their own agenda, planned or unplanned, and taken to task for not discussing various points of President Bush's speeches.

For this reader the author comes off as saying, "The press has their own agenda and doesn't properly convey what the President is saying. The press should properly convey what the President is saying."

The framers of the Constitution added Article One [i.e. freedom of the press (as well as religion, peaceable assembly and redress for grievances).] not for the purpose of being a Presidential [or Congressional] mouth piece. It is there to interpret and help the public to better understand the powers that are at work. Perhaps this is not always well done, but most human endeavors are inefficient whether Presidential or reporting or book writing or book reviewing or reading or what-have-you.

High marks on this book for bringing dispassion and critical analysis into the press vs. the President communications. Lower marks however for not discussing the wider frames.
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