Central American Elections on Network News: Cases of Cold War Framing
Salvadorans are caught in the middle of all this. In some places, the rebels are threatening to kill them if they do vote; in others, the army is threatening to kill them if they don't.
-- Correspondent Gary Shepard (CBS News, March 23, 1982)
The Salvadoran people's stunning personal commitment to the power of the democratic vision is an unanswerable repudiation of the advocates of force and violence.
-- Secretary of State Haig (ABC News, March 29, 1982)
Dan, the election appears to have been a tremendous success. Unofficial estimates put the voter turnout at about one million, which means more than seventy percent of this country's eligible voters went to the polls. It amounted to a clear repudiation of the extreme left, the insurgents. . . .
-- Gary Shepard (CBS News, March 29, 1982)
Many analysts see these election results as a crystal-clear rebuff of the rebels by the Salvadoran people.
-- Dan Rather (CBS News, March 29, 1982)
The Salvadoran election of March 28, 1982 was a complex event with ambiguous results. Yet American television journalists followed the official American line and presented the election results as a clear and simple cold war victory for U.S.-supported democracy over antidemocratic communists. Why was this complex foreign event so easily framed by the cold war schema in the news?