Assistant Professor, English Department, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran



This study of political media discourse, following Van Dijk's multi-disciplinary (2006) framework, takes a closer look at the manipulation of realities in texts through discursive strategies of euphemization and derogation (praising and criticizing). Taking a critical discourse analysis (CDA) perspective, this paper analyzed textual data from sixteen opinion articles and editorials published in four American newspapers (The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The New York Post, and The New York Times) concerning the actions taken by the US President, Barack Obama, to control the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. The findings revealed that these opinion articles and editorials represent the same social actors and events differently by choosing such discursive features as euphemistic and derogatory terms, phrases and strategies. Moreover, the critical text analysis revealed that the political approach of each newspaper is materialized and can be traced in the language it produces. In other words, depending on the political party it is supporting, each newspaper manipulates its readers to either praise or criticize the actions taken by president Obama concerning the Gulf oil spill. It seems that The Washington times and The New York Post support the opposing political party and mostly criticize the president of their country, while most of the actions taken by the president concerning this issue are approved by The New York Times. As for The Washington Post, it criticizes some actions of the president, but not as much as The Washington times and The New York Post.