MEDIA WATCH: Capture of Saddam boosts spirits in US

The humiliating capture of a dirty, disheveled Saddam Hussein, who was found cowering in a rat-infested hole, dominated US media upon announcement. Initial reports represented a wide range of sharply contrasting reactions. Elated troops, Wall Street analysts, and many Iraqi-Americans celebrated the news, while many concerned Americans, including soldiers' families, expressed fears about continued violence in Iraq. Most agreed that the capture would bring a welcome short-term lift for US troops and President Bush.

The humiliating capture of a dirty, disheveled Saddam Hussein, who was found cowering in a rat-infested hole, dominated US media upon announcement. Initial reports represented a wide range of sharply contrasting reactions. Elated troops, Wall Street analysts, and many Iraqi-Americans celebrated the news, while many concerned Americans, including soldiers' families, expressed fears about continued violence in Iraq. Most agreed that the capture would bring a welcome short-term lift for US troops and President Bush.

Most frequent messages: 1. Hopes have been raised for Iraqi stability 2. Saddam's capture will not end insurgency 3. Relief is mixed with concern 4. President Bush will receive a boost 5. Saddam was caught like a rat Based on 200 articles appearing in major US news and business titles from December 14-15, 2003. Evaluation and analysis by Cymfony.

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