The Effect of Media Bias on the U.S. Bombing of the 11th of September, 2001 Essay
In the modern world, the media are important for the transmission of information. In fact, it is a highly esteemed sector that provides the public with first-hand information concerning occurrences around the world. For example, the September 11th, 2011 bombing was a chief episode in the history of America. The media had the responsibility of updating the public concerning the progress and fatality of the terror attack. Nevertheless, it is evident that there are situations in which media portray bias. In essence, they display pictures that give unbalanced views of various incidents (Junod; Grimes 1). Consequently, the information shapes the public opinion towards the administration or leading groups. The following paper analyzes the causes and effects of media bias towards the September 11th US bombing.
On the 11th of September 2001, an airline armed with missiles crashed into two vital buildings in the United States. The bombings were carried out in New York and Washington D.C. They caused massive destruction of lives and property. Over 3000 people died. The Al-Qaeda through the leadership of Osama Bin Laden took responsibility for the action. They were the Islam extremists. There was diverse media coverage all over the world. Nevertheless, they were not void of bias. Consequently, they helped with shaping up different views concerning the incident. For example, it is responsible for the religious divide between the Muslims and non-Muslims.
Consequently, the media had a detrimental effect on the act of terrorism in the US. They had a direct influence on people’s perception. First and foremost, there was bias in the transmission of information. They framed their preferred definition of occurrences to aid the public understand the events. As Tom Junod put it in his article, it was a “feeling of history being manufactured”. It is apparent that the terror attack was a tragic incident that required official response from the United States administration. CNN, BBC, Fox News and the local American media stations acted as the key media houses. They manipulated the public feelings and presented opinions that the September 11th, 2011 was orchestrated by the Al-Qaeda group. In essence, these sectors used diverse terms for the presentation of the news (Niven 1). For instance, the BBC famously brought out that ‘America was under attack’. Such captions were tormenting. It gave a depiction concerning the state of the nation. People in the rest of the states were not safe. It revealed the fact that the government failed in securing the American nation.
There were shocking images of people that depicted body parts and blood of people jumping off the twin towers (Junod). All the pictures culminate into the collective iconicity of the fallen towers. Moreover, even before the Al-Qaeda took responsibility for the action, there were different channels that were already highlighting the fact that they were the sources of the airline missiles. Censorship and propaganda characterized the work of most journalists. Niven (1) reaffirms that media coverage of current events is no longer full of a balanced depiction but rather made of harrowing incidents and captivating images that give them a competitive advantage over their colleagues.
Consequently, the public developed a contemptuous attitude towards the Al-Qaeda. The media coverage during the period also influenced public emotions in different ways. Firstly, it gave unauthenticated statistical data concerning the victims of the attack. The numbers were high, and evidently they would move anyone into thinking unconstructively. The media entailed a detailed and analytical coverage of the world trade center and the pentagon building. While the pictures were horrifying, such images were presented on the television networks for hours. It is apparent that images provide a long-lasting impact of the event (Junod). For instance, the CCTV capture of the Airline missile bombing the US was promoted. While the media had limited information concerning the details, they went ahead to discuss the specifics of the aircraft. It is also evident that the coverage took a span of close to four months. In other words, the US bombing remained the substantial news for a long time. Therefore, the public had an opportunity to think and analyze the event. Needless to say, most of the media houses shifted their attention to focus on the Al-Qaeda group.
The Al-Qaeda group emanates from Kabul. However, most of the Al-Qaeda group ended up hiding in Iraq. The media gave a divergent aspect concerning the leader Saddam Hussein. In essence, research indicates that 69% think that Saddam Hussein was a critical financier of the Al-Qaeda group. In fact, the media portrayed direct involvement of the president of Iraq. 57% of mainstream viewers held the opinion that the country gave substantial support. The reason is the weapons of mass destruction that had their origin in Iraq (Bush 1). The FBI believes that they were fatal. Moreover, most stations focused on the negative impact of the Saddam Hussein’s regime. Consequently, the emotions of the public became outrageous towards Iraq and Syria. Media houses carried out critical research analysis on the American view of the bombing. It was obvious that the media has created an adverse picture of Iraq and Syria, where most people were pro-war. In fact, there was an increasing pressure on the US to eliminate the weapons and execute Saddam Hussein. Few media houses focused on the anti-war campaigns. It is vital to note that the public opinion is shaped by media news. According to Tom Junod, “truth is subordinate to the facts that emerge slowly, pitilessly, frame by frame”. Moreover, most of the analysts that were present in the news during the period emphasized the fatal weapons that were in the possession of Iraq. Consequently, the Iraq War was inevitable. Needless to say, the US desired to remain supreme. However, the US administration did warn other countries such as Syria and Iran to avoid involving their troop in the war (NPR 1).
Religion differences were one another issue that had the influence of coverage. For instance, ‘Islamophobia’ is one of the detrimental effects propagated by the media. It means that the public develops a contemptuous attitude towards the Muslim population. Halim and Jacqui (142) presented significant challenges of the audience’s responses and analyzed the events. This analysis impacted the perception of the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Most media houses put much emphasis on the background of the Al-Qaeda. Fox news, for instance, took a lot of airtime to explain the various bombing acts that the Al-Qaeda group did in different parts of the world. The news linked these acts to the Muslim religion. For instance, many cartoons made sarcastic comments on how the fallen Muslim Al-Qaeda group members had taken part in executing the airline missile and would access the inheritance of eternal life (Cary 1). They emphasized a perception that terrorism was a holy event for the Muslim community. In other words, the Jihad war was a source of service to Allah and protection of the faith.
Unfortunately, the media houses generalized their understanding of the Muslim communities all over the world. For instance, CNN was categorical by highlighting the belief system of the Muslims. The condemnatory tone spread all over the world. Everyone, who emanates from a different religion, developed a different view concerning Muslims (Ewart & Halim 139). For examples, Christian leaders all over the world condemned the act. They felt that it did not uphold the integral values of human life. They held prayers for healing and reconciliation. Nevertheless, the hatred was spreading. The news and evidential images caused a long-lasting impression (Junod).
Many communities segregated themselves from the Muslim. For instance, the social media became full of the messages of hatred towards the Islamic beliefs. The effect went as far as influencing student relations in schools and other learning set-ups. Islamophobia became an apparent discrimination. It extended to other developing countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, which in the earlier decades faced terrorism. In spite of Muslim leaders condemning the attacks, there was limited positive response from the public. Elimination of generalization was impossible using few interviews of the Islamic communities. Moreover, the Al-Qaeda through their website did acknowledge that that the attack was a part of their jihadist activities.
Media coverage also had had an impact on other issues of public concern. In essence, until September 2011, domestic spying and remote drone attack were the forms of technology that had limited support from the public. In fact, it was viewed as the government’s efforts to exercise too much control over the private life of citizens. However, the media coverage of the terrorist attack caused the society to swing towards a different direction. In other words, it instilled the need for routine spying with the help of the technology. Therefore, remote drone attack is a form of aircraft technology that is used to monitor and rebutting the potential attack. Such approach exposes the public to the governmental investigation. The results are lack of privacy and confidentiality. The media featured a documentary on the government’s ill-preparedness to counter the assailants at the World Trade Center. They presented images of an airline missile invading the country without an alert and quick response. They convinced the public that the lack of domestic spying accounts for the terrorism. In other words, there was a need for the government to expedite their spying activities.
Moreover, the media left a permanent mark of the attack. Up to this day, when one mentions the September 11th attack, people are folded with the memories of destructive scenes. The shambles that remained after the incident, the numbers of people who post their lives, all make up the terror attack. The media continue to show memorial documentaries concerning the events. In fact, most of the images from the networks act as a collective remembrance of the scenario. While there are individuals, who think the media did the best in its coverage of the attack, the bias is still continues to draw heated debate.
All things considered, it is apparent from the discussion that media play a critical role in the formulation of people’s views concerning any event. According to the argument, the media bias influenced the Iraq war. It emphasized the involvement of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi government in funding of the Al-Qaeda. It also gave a lot of news concerning mass weapons that in the possession of Iraq. Secondly, the networks enhanced Islamophobia. They spent much time discussing the Islamic extremists who took part in the invasion. They also explained how the Muslim beliefs were directly linked to the activities of Al-Qaeda. The society became divided along the religious lines. The bias also propagated the acceptance of domestic spying and remote drone attacks. In other words, people embraced the system in order to veil themselves from the acts of terror. As a result, the government faces less criticism in its efforts to secure the country. Consequently, media bias has a long-lasting impression on the public.