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by on May 16, 2014

The 9/11 attack on what symbolized the economic power of America (The World Trade Centre) received a lot of media coverage. Consequently, America embarked on some form of backlashing based on what was claimed to be on the grounds of political repression and intervention using military means.




Many argue that the Bush – Cheney administration manipulated the fear experienced by the U.S citizens in order to justify the action to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq and it was all made possible through the U.S mainstream media (Bruce P. Montgomery 2009). Subject to the overall fear-fuelled news it is arguable that the public of the United States were highly shaken, as they had the revelation of the high levels of vulnerability they were exposed to.


America clearly capitalizes on the effects of the global communications network. Douglas M kellner emphasises that images of the 9/11 attack were clearly inscribed into social memory but the background of the attack was not. The administration had taken the opportunity to force through an agenda which included in it an attack on Iraq, and yet the origins and effects of the attack were not made clear to the public (Douglas M kellner 2010).


While there was no evidence to validate Bush’s claims with regards to Iraq being in possession of WMD’s or the link between Iraq & Al-Qaeda, media outlets created a ‘hype’ about the threat of AL-QAEDA and former leader Saddam Hussein’s supposedly ruthless regime, justifying the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq. The failure to find any linking evidence just showed how the media told white lies and in this instance it is clear to see that this action shaped and or reshaped public opinion. This is an effect of the power that the media possesses and shouldn’t as their sole purpose is to inform unbiasedly, unless ofcourse they are directly influenced by politicians themselves which does not come short of an assumption in this current age of world politics (PNAC, 2000 Report)


A two part film titled ‘the Path to 9/11’ that began 5 years after the incident is what played a key role in the construction of a right-wing account of the origins and meaning of the attack. It was broadcast by the American based channel ABC that sought to blame and expose the flaws of the Clinton administration while presenting them selves as the saviours of America. America’s diplomacy tactics are diversifying as they are utilising celebrity diplomacy to showcase their political stature, particularly to the American public. Further Hollywood films have been created, one of those being called ‘DC 9/11: Time of Crisis’ another tactic which George Gedda views as Pro-Bush propaganda in the façade of a documentary (Douglas M kellner 2010)


To conclude, the representations of 9/11 blurred the lines between ‘war’ and ‘terrorism’ In this entire process, viewers got sucked into an abyss of fear that created uncertainty. Nevertheless, the emergences of new media in the Arab regions such as Al Jazeera are certainly opening new doors for dialogue as well as information dissemination as they are known to be more transparent. As new forms of communication are emerging, it would be interesting to see how this will affect U.S’ foreign policy within its publics and also how information will be transmuted to the global audience.







Brigitte L. Nacos and Oscar Torres-Reyna, Fueling Our Fears. Stereotyping, Media Coverage, and

Public Opinion of Muslim Americans, 2007



Bruce P. MontgomeryRichard B. Cheney and the Rise of the Imperial Vice Presidency – (BUSH & CHENEY ADMINISTRATION



Douglas M. Kellne , Cinema Wars: Hollywood Film and Politics in the Bush-Cheney Era


Tomasz Pludowski, How the World’s News Media Reacted to 9/11: Washington: Marquette Books, 2007



2000 report prepared by the neoconservatives -Project for a New American Century- (PNAC)



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  1. jonssonigul permalink

    It would have been nice to hear a bit about what impact big media conglomerates had regarding public opinions around the world when it comes to 9/11, but also if the Realist theories gained more influence again in comparison to Liberalist theories within contemporary IR because of this. 🙂

  2. Pefecrt answer! That really gets to the heart of it!

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