Trump & Kim Meeting: CNN V. Fox News
June 30, 2019
CNN and Fox News, both major American news media organizations, are reporting on the historic meeting between United States President Donald Trump and the Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un. In this article, we will attempt to briefly compare the different coverage of the event.
Reports’ status as of 9:30 AM CST
- Title: Trump meets Kim in DMZ, becomes first sitting US president to step into Hermit Kingdom
- Approximate Words: 505
- Synopsis: President Trump became the first sitting U.S. leader to set foot in North Korea when he took 20 steps into North Korea on Sunday. The event occurred along the North-South Korea DMZ and was followed by a roughly 50-minute meeting behind closed doors. This action is a return to face-to-face contact between the two leaders after talks broke down during a summit in Vietnam in February. Trump appears optimistic, and people like the Pope approved of the meeting.
- Title: Trump takes 20 steps into North Korea, making history as first sitting US leader to enter hermit nation
- Approximate Words: 1093
- Synopsis: President Trump became the first sitting U.S. leader to set foot in North Korea when he took 20 steps into North Korea on Sunday. The event occurred along the North-South Korea DMZ and was followed by a roughly 50-minute meeting behind closed doors. Other presidents have visited North Korea, but not like this or while still in office. The meeting was unexpected, catching both North Korea and allegedly even US Government Officials by surprise. Nothing substantial besides Trump and Kim promising to revive staff-level talks.
Both Fox News CNN gave objective facts about the news event. However, CNN offered additional information and a flavored perspective compared to Fox’s short and somewhat bland reporting.
Fox news gave very straight information on the Trump-Kim meeting, with a positive tone. Trump is shown to be optimistic. Quotes from the report:
The president said, “speed is not the object” in trying to reach a deal but noted he believes both sides want to get the job done.
“We’re looking to get it right,” Trump said.
Pope Francis praised the meeting on Sunday. According to Reuters, he said he prays “such a significant gesture will be a further step on the road to peace, not only on that peninsula, but for the good of the entire world.”
CNN on the other hand was less than optimistic, but also gave more details about the report. Some notable information CNN included that Fox News left out was the continuation of staff level talks and Kim’s apparent surprise about the meeting. CNN also says U.S. officials were surprised too, but gave no evidence any that should know about the diplomatic move actually were surprised.
Additionally, a CNN analyst also pointed out how small a step this was in the grand game. From the report:
“I’m not sure what it is that President Trump is trying to accomplish, because while all this engagement has gone on, there has been no decline in the stockpile of North Korean nuclear weapons or missiles,” said Joseph Yun, a former US special representative for North Korea under Trump and now a CNN analyst.
CNN also could not resist taking a swipe a Trump. In a very CNN like fashion, they tacked on near the bottom of the report:
“Other presidents have made the same journey — all peering into the North through binoculars — but none have actually met the despotic leaders who rule it.”
Is information about who else has visited North Korea useful for reporting on the story? Arguably not. It just helps to pander to CNN’s audience with a small factoid that tries to suck the air out of Trump’s balloon.
Overall, I am disappointed in Fox’s report. Progress being shown would have been something nice to feed the pro-trump audience, and would have also provided additional information the public should know. CNN did what CNN does, but props must be given to them for providing more information in their report than the report published by Fox News.