> Israel > Media Objectivity

Media Critique #30: Terror in Jerusalem

May 9, 2009 | by

Mass carnage of Jewish civilians is not enough for CNN to stop parroting the Palestinian line.

As we go to press, the victims of the August 9 Jerusalem bombing are still being identified and prepared for burial.

We shares shock, rage, and profound sadness with the families of the bombing victims, and with all the people of Israel.

In the first hours of reporting after the attack, we could not find any reference to "terrorism," "terrorist," or "terror," except for direct quotes from Israeli leaders. Not CNN, nor BBC, MSNBC, CBS News, Fox News, ABC News, Reuters or Associated Press could bring themselves to use the "T" word. If the act of blowing up innocent civilians at a pizza shop -- mostly women and children -- is not terrorism, then what is?

Of all the major media outlets, one particular report was so biased that it borders on immoral:

CNN's main Mideast article on Thursday, posted 8 hours after the Jerusalem bombing, devotes the main body of the article to the back-and-forth rhetoric of the "peace process," including all the background to the Mitchell Report, and Arafat's hot air about calling for a cease-fire.

CNN has the reader wade through 16 paragraphs and 550 words, before beginning to report any details of today's Jerusalem bombing victims and massive carnage. CNN editors surely know that by that point, 90 percent of its readers will have clicked on to another web page.

Furthermore, this same CNN web page features a section (on the right side) labeled "video." Rather than lead with the major story of the bombing, CNN gives top billing to a run-of-the-mill report by Mike Hanna on "settlements." The breaking news video of the Jerusalem bombing is consigned to the bottom spot.

Under the "audio" section as well, CNN gives the top spot to Palestinian cabinet member Hanan Ashrawi’s criticism of Israeli government policy. The breaking news audio of the Jerusalem bombing is given second billing. (Further, on its international cable TV broadcast, CNN interspersed coverage of the Jerusalem bombing with photos of Hamas funerals.)

Meanwhile, CNN's online report proclaims that "Israeli and Palestinian officials each blamed the other for the attack" -- an obscenely warped equivalence.

CNN also presents a Palestinian assertion that the junction of Jaffa Street and King George is in "occupied Jerusalem." As CNN surely knows, this section of land was the center of Jerusalem even before the 1967 war, and was never part of what Palestinians call "occupied east Jerusalem." But CNN allows this outright Palestinian lie to go completely unchallenged.

If you believe this CNN report demonstrates bias, complain to:

======= Points for Responding to the Media =======

  1. Thursday’s bombing of a Jerusalem restaurant was a blatant act of mass murder committed by a terrorist. Your failure to label the act as "terrorism" serves to mitigate the Palestinians' heinous bombing of innocent civilians, mostly women and children.


  2. In the Tenet ceasefire agreement of June 13, Yasser Arafat pledged to arrest Palestinian bombers and masterminds. His refusal to stop these activities makes him an accomplice to the bombing. According to the Tenet agreement, Arafat committed that: "The PA will move immediately to apprehend, question, and incarcerate terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza... In keeping with its unilateral cease-fire declaration, the PA will stop any Palestinian security officials from inciting, aiding, abetting, or conducting attacks against Israeli targets, including settlers."


  3. Any attempt to compare the Palestinian terrorist bombings to Israel’s policy of attacking terrorist bases is a gross distortion. Palestinian bombers are committed to killing the maximum number of innocent civilians; Israel is merely trying to protect its citizens by stopping those same bombers.



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