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Covering Bin LadenGlobal Media and the World's Most Wanted Man$
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Susan Jeffords and Fahed Al-Sumait

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038860

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038860.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Muslims in America and the Post-9/11 Terrorism Debates

Muslims in America and the Post-9/11 Terrorism Debates

Media and Public Opinion

(p.211) 11 Muslims in America and the Post-9/11 Terrorism Debates
Covering Bin Laden

Brigitte L. Nacos

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses representations of bin Laden, terrorists, and Muslims in U.S. media, focusing on the “post-9/11 ‘us’ versus ‘them’” narrative structures that enable the positioning of Muslims as the enemy. It argues that depictions of Muslims as enemies were not only a commonly shared trope across mainstream media and popular culture, but that these depictions themselves shaped the attitudes toward and practices of torture of presumed Muslim terrorists by the U.S. military. By looking at the television program 24, the chapter shows the overlaps between popular narratives, mainstream media, and political discourses. With politicians, judges, and newscasters all using the program's star, Jack Bauer, as an example of what to do to stop future terrorist attacks, it is clear that the boundaries between forms of media are permeable and cross-pollinating. The chapter also analyzes the ways in which media portrayals of Muslims changed after 9/11 and the decade following.

Keywords:   Osama bin Laden, media coverage, Muslims, terrorist attacks, Jack Bauer, terrorists, media representation, 9/11

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