Media Critique #9: CNN
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Media Critique #9: CNN

Media Critique #9: CNN

CNN continues to misrepresent events in Israel and create a climate of public opinion against Israel.

by

http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/11/18/mideast.04/index.html

Bias#1 Israel is depicted as the aggressor.

The headline reads: "Israel threatens retaliation for soldier's death."

The headline is misleading. Despite the Palestinian terrorist attack and a number of Israeli casualties, the emphasis of the story is that the threat of continued violence is from Israel and not the Palestinian gunmen.

Bias #2 Israelis are dehumanized whereas Palestinians are depicted as victims.

Notice how the leading picture in this article is of a grieving Palestinian mother. Seldom does CNN show grieving Israelis. Where is the photograph of the grieving mother of a fallen Israeli son?

Emphasis is an important tool in creating bias. Notice that the gunman, Baha Said, is named within the second paragraph of the article whereas his Israeli victim’s name is left until the sixth paragraph before being mentioned in passing.

Bias #3 Inaccurate information is presented as fact. Palestinian opinion is presented as fact.

"The lone gunman was identified as Palestinian security officer Baha Said, a 30-year-old resident of the al-Maghazi refugee camp. The Fatah Hawks, an armed militia faction of Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for Said's actions."

..."The Fatah Hawks said Said's assault did not contravene Arafat's orders, issued on Friday, to stop shooting from Palestinian-controlled areas since Said attacked an Israeli-controlled outpost."

If you read carefully, the article contradicts itself. A lone gunman suggests that he acted by himself. Yet clearly the Fatah Hawks sanctioned the attack. Indeed the article seems to agree with the justification of the attack provided by the Fatah hawks. This statement is not written in Italics in the article or placed in quotation marks

The author prefers to resort to a favorite tactic of CNN namely presenting Palestinian opinion is presented as fact.

 

Bias #4 Omitting or understating fact that is detrimental to the Palestinians.

Let us consider the following paragraph:

 

"Clashes were also reported on Saturday in the West Bank towns of Ramallah and Hebron, where Palestinians said the Israeli army fired on them following the funeral of two of six Palestinians killed in clashes on Friday.

 

The Israelis, however, said that the Palestinians fired first."

 

Let us try rewriting this sentence more accurately. Providing, rather than omitting, the information detrimental to the Palestinians:

Following a barrage of rockets and gunfire from Palestinians attending the funeral of two rioters killed Friday, the Israeli army used rubber bullets and tear gas when they found themselves in a life-threatening situation.

Bias #5 Arafat is legitimized as a leader.

"Arafat's Israeli counterpart, Prime Minister Ehud Barak..."

The wording is rather curious. By introducing the Prime Minister of Israel as "Arafat's Israeli counterpart" CNN manages to increase the standing of Arafat, injecting a healthy dose of PR for the chairman on the Palestinian Authority.

Take Action

CNN continues to provide an unbalanced reporting of what is happening in Israel. Please take two minutes of your time to send your own letter of complaint. We have found that this is more effective than sending the same letter.

In your letter we suggest you emphasize the following points:

The article reference is:

"Israel threatens retaliation for soldier's death." http://www.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/11/18/mideast.04/index.html

You are appalled at CNN’s unfair coverage of the current crisis in the Mid East.

You would like to bring to your attention what the following:

  1. Despite the terrorist attack and serious Israeli casualties the emphasizes of the story is that "Israel threatens retaliation for soldier's death." The threat, according to the headline is from Israel and not the Palestinian gunmen.

     

  2. In this story Israelis are dehumanized whereas Palestinians are depicted as victims.

     

  3. Inaccurate information is presented as fact.

     

  4. Palestinian Opinion is presented as fact and is not presented as opinion.

     

    The Fatah Hawks said Said's assault did not contravene Arafat's orders, issued on Friday, to stop shooting from Palestinian-controlled areas since Said attacked an Israeli-controlled outpost.

    This statement is not written in Italics in the article or placed in quotation marks.

  5. The author prefers to resort to a favorite Bias of CNN. Namely: Palestinian opinion is presented as fact.

     

  6. The report becomes more malicious when it omits or understates fact that is detrimental to the Palestinians.

     

Recall the following paragraph:

 

Clashes were also reported on Saturday in the West Bank towns of Ramallah and Hebron, where Palestinians said the Israeli army fired on them following the funeral of two of six Palestinians killed in clashes on Friday.

 

The Israelis, however, said that the Palestinians fired first.

 

No explanation is offered for why the Israelis opened fire.

As a reader of CNN ask them to cover the Mid East in a more balanced fashion.

Send your email to:
http://www.cnn.com/feedback/

 

 

Published: December 31, 1969


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