On June 1, 2001, the Associated Press issued its first report of the heinous suicide bombing at a Tel Aviv disco that killed 20 young Israelis. The AP headline declared:
"EXPLOSION KILLS BOMBER IN TEL AVIV"
This one is so hard to believe that you have to read it twice. As initial reports from the scene showed scores of Jewish casualties, AP incredibly downplayed this bestial act as an "explosion," and focused on the suffering -- not of the innocent teens -- but of the evil bomber.
One can only imagine what distortion ran through the mind of the AP editor who wrote this headline -- and then sent it out over the AP wire to 8,500 newspapers around the world.
A few days earlier, the Associated Press pulled another one. May 29 was a difficult day in Israel. Three Israeli civilians were murdered by Palestinian gunmen in two separate attacks on roads near their homes. Elsewhere, two Palestinians attacked an Israeli army post in Gaza. One of the men was a suicide bomber who blew up before he reached his targets. The other was shot and killed as he threw grenades at the Israeli post. A third Palestinian, reportedly a bodyguard for a wanted Palestinian terrorist, was killed near Jericho.
It was also a difficult day for honest reporting, as the AP's Mark Lavie filed this story:
"In violence Tuesday threatening to overshadow attempts to arrange a cease-fire, three Jewish settlers, including an American immigrant, were killed in drive-by shootings and two Palestinians died from Israeli fire. Another Palestinian was killed when he blew himself up at an Israeli checkpoint in the Gaza Strip."
In the interim, a reader complained to Associated Press that the labeling of the Israelis as "settlers" gave legitimacy to their murders, and that the drive-by shooters were never identified as Palestinians.
The next day, Mark Lavie filed a new story, identifying the murderers as Palestinians, and deleting the cynical reference to the murdered Israelis as settlers:
"Two Israeli women killed in a Palestinian drive-by shooting in the West Bank were buried Wednesday."
If you believe the AP reporting represents bias, send your complaints to:
======= SAMPLE LETTER OF COMPLAINT =======
To the Editor:
On June 1, AP's first report of the heinous suicide bombing at a Tel Aviv disco carried the headline: "Explosion Kills Bomber in Tel Aviv."
Initial reports from the scene showed scores of Jewish casualties. So why did AP downplay this bestial act as an "explosion," and focus on the suffering -- not of innocent teens -- but of the evil bomber?
I trust by now you have fired whoever wrote this horrendous headline.