This study uses discourse analysis to examine the arc of cable news media coverage of the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque", a proposed Islamic community center in lower Manhattan that sparked widespread controversy. This article analyzes both the nature and duration of mainstream cable news coverage of the controversy and the major arguments put forth by those both supporting and opposing the center in the politically charged post-September 11 media environment. Google Trends data were employed to examine the duration of the controversy both in terms of broader media coverage and search volume for the term "Ground Zero Mosque" online. This study found several consistent trends in terms of the sources present in cable coverage opposing the center, as well as a very narrow set of talking points that underline the presence of what other researchers have identified as an Islamophobic network of individuals and organizations present in American mass media discourse.
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- critical discourse analysis
- mass communication
- media and terrorism
- news media