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Media Critique #39 - Classic CNN Bias

May 9, 2009 | by

CNN mentions the name, age and hometown of the suicide bomber -- but not of the Jewish victims.

Over the past 18 months, CNN has been a primary target of complaints for its coverage of the Mideast conflict. Jewish victims are consistently downplayed, while Palestinians -- even the heinous suicide bombers -- are humanized with vivid personal descriptions and photos of their funerals.

On Saturday night, February 16, a Palestinian terrorist attacked Israeli teenagers sitting at a pizzeria in the town of Karnei Shomron. The suicide bomber killed Keren Shatsky and Nehemia Amar, both 15 years old. Several other teens, hit by flying nails placed in the bomb, remain in very critical condition.

CNN's website coverage, however, curtly mentioned the "killing of two Israelis" -- failing to reveal the Israeli victims' names, or the fact that they were teenagers. Furthermore, a large percentage of CNN's audience is American, yet CNN did not report that Shatsky was a U.S. citizen.

A detailed report on children sitting in a pizzeria mowed down in a terrorist attack would presumably be of reader interest. But no such report could be found on CNN's website.

The Palestinians lost a lot of public support after suicide bombers hit teens at a disco and blew up a Jerusalem pizzeria. Now it almost seems that labeling Israeli victims as "teens" or the target as a "pizzeria" is too pro-Israel. We can already hear some pundit saying, "One man's teen or pizzeria is another man's eventual soldier or target."

Incredibly, CNN did find it important to report the suicide bomber’s name, age and hometown: "20-year-old Sadek Abdel Hafez... from Qalqilya."

Read the CNN coverage at:

A detailed profile of the children sitting in a pizzeria mowed down by a terrorist would presumably be of reader interest. But it was only five days after the attack, when -- due to heavy reader complaints -- CNN added two profile articles to its site. These articles are commendable, though a bit too late...

* * *

The same CNN article reported that: "Israeli police shot and killed a Palestinian in a gun battle Sunday near an army base in northern Israel, and another Palestinian died nearby when a car exploded, a police spokesman said."

CNN makes no mention that the two Palestinians were in the process of an attempted double-suicide bombing. According to the Jerusalem Post, the terrorists fired shots at Israeli policemen, threw pipe bombs, and were strapped with explosive belts. They had planned to carry out a combined suicide attack, with one of them shooting and detonating explosives, and the other detonating explosives while security forces and rescue squads arrived at the scene to tend to the wounded.

CNN says they just died "in a gun battle."

Read CNN's website and monitor its news broadcasts. If you object to CNN's characterization of Israeli casualties and Palestinian terrorists, send your comments to:

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