MEDIA WATCH: US public takes latest terror threat in stride

The US media portrayed a fearless public after Tom Ridge's August 1 announcement that "iconic" financial institutions were being targeted by al-Qaeda.

The US media portrayed a fearless public after Tom Ridge's August 1 announcement that "iconic" financial institutions were being targeted by al-Qaeda.

While early coverage conveyed alarm at the level of detail in terrorists' hands, a stock-price increase prompted media conclusions that Americans were taking the terrorist upgrade in stride. Bush opponents focused on the need to implement recommendations from the 9/11 commission and speculated that political motives influenced the alert. Most frequent messages 1. Americans have already accounted for the heightened risk of terror 2. Information on terrorist surveillance was chilling in its detail 3. Stock prices increased following the terror-alert upgrade 4. Information underscores the need to implement 9/11 commission's recommendations 5. The terror-alert upgrade is a political move by President Bush Based on 37 US newspaper and wire stories appearing August 2-3, 2004 Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International

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