"Gitmo" As The Least Worst Place? Orientalism and The Representation of Guantánamo Bay Detainees in U.S. Public Media
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This thesis argues that the U.S. detention center Guantánamo Bay is “other” because of its location and the lack of rights of its prisoners. It analyzes whether and to what extent U.S. newspapers adopted an Orientalist perspective in their coverage and representations of Guantánamo Bay detainees. It does so by looking at news coverage of the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Post, and The Washington Times on the opening of the prison, the incident of the (alleged) desecration of the Koran, and President Obama’s promise to close Guantánamo. Using Edward Said’s notion of Orientalism, this thesis found that especially the two conservative newspapers (The New York Post and The Washington Times) “othered” the Guantanamo detainees as they assumed power in representations of the detainees. The newspapers made assumptions about the detainees and their religion, they simplified the prisoners and depicted them as subordinate.