Iraq-article_Gershkoff_Kushner.pdf

We coded whether the terms terror and iraq fell in

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We coded whether the terms terror and Iraq fell in the same sentence or paragraph, and whether the term terror preceded the first mention of Iraq. We also coded whether the speech placed terror and Saddam Hussein in the same sentence or paragraph, and whether 9/11 and Saddam Hussein and/or Iraq were referenced together.The speeches range from the assurances given to the country on Sep- tember 11, to weekly radio addresses and speeches to inter- est groups, and from nationally televised prime-time speeches to addresses given to small groups of Republican supporters. The source was the White House Web site (), which posts all public talks given by the president. Additionally, we coded articles from page A-1 of the New York Times for the two days following each presiden- tial speech about Iraq. There are 35 articles from January 2002 (after the state of the union address) to May 1, 2003. The newspaper coding scheme included informa- tion about the date, length, and author of each article. Each article was coded with 0/1 dichotomous variables to reflect its being positive/accepting, negative/critical, or neu- tral toward the Bush rhetoric. This decision was made based on our assessment of the language used by the article’s authors. We also coded for whether articles accepted the September 2005 | Vol. 3/No. 3 533
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Iraq-al Qaeda connection and Iraq as part of the war on terror. We coded who was quoted as well as the overall tone of the quotation on a scale of 1–5, with 1 being the most positive. A story that used language critical or skep- tical of the Bush rhetoric or that did not accept the Iraq-al Qaeda tie or the connection between Iraq and the war on terror was coded as negative or slightly negative in tone. For example, a story by Patrick Tyler stated, “Bush made no case today that Mr. Hussein’s government was con- nected in any way to the terrorists who plotted the hijack- ings and assault on the United States”; it quoted Bush, but also Kofi Anan and Democrats, and was coded as slightly negative. Stories that interviewed only or almost solely administration officials, used positive language about the Bush speech, and accepted the Iraq-al Qaeda link or did not discuss the validity of the link were coded as positive or very positive. Stories with balanced sources (some Dem- ocrats, some Republicans, and some foreign leaders) and balanced language were coded as neutral. Final decisions about tone were based upon the judgment of the tenor of the article based upon the language used by the author. Notes 1 Erikson, MacKuen, and Stimson 2002. See also Mueller 1970; Mueller 1973. 2 ABC News/ Washington Post Afghanistan Attack Poll 2. 3 In fact, mention of bin Laden dropped completely out of speeches after February 2002 and only ap- peared in one speech prior to that, in the September 2001 address to a joint session of Congress. White House 2001; White House 2002a.
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