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Media Critique #30: Terror in Jerusalem

Media Critique #30: Terror in Jerusalem

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.



August 11, 2001

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Visitor Comments: 11

(11) Anonymous, April 12, 2002 12:00 AM

palestinian terrorist

I don't understand how the United States boost that it "will root out terrorism" but does nothing to rid the terrorist in Palestine- particularly Yassar Arafat. If Israel can prove Arafats' involvement in the suicide attacks, can not the United Nations over throw the government. He is equivalent to Bin Laden only he is not an "official".
I don't agree with Israels attack on civilians but they do need to rid that nation of terrorist. Perhaps the civilians should stand up and take a stand against terrorism also, so the Palestinian people can be freed from that environment.
They can't keep blaming the Israeli people for "creating" suicide bombers.
These people must be brainwashed into doing this-it is not normal for people to blow themelves up. It has become a learned behavior that the government needs to take control of and return dignity to these people. Suicide bombers are not helping the country. Can't these people see that it has not helped them in any way.
How many times is Arafat going to get chances to condemn the suicide attacks? He has done nothing to help his people. If he wants to die a martyr then why doesn't he blow himself to pieces? Time and again I have seen Israel make small jestures towards peace and have seen absolutely nothing from the Palestinian people.
I am not jewish, or muslin - just a concerned American that would like to see peace and an end to the death of innocent people.

(10) Dan The son, August 20, 2001 12:00 AM

Rage against the machine

i'm jewish and french
every time i read a newspaper or watch tv, i feel hatred filling my heart against the French press. I have cousins working for our National Network and they cannot bypass the rules that compel them to blame Israel and to pity PLO.
Here, our victims are merely statistics whereas bombers are called soldiers instead of terrorists, murderers, butchers...
I understand the concept of diplomacy but i don't understand how can people around the world can feel sympathy for terrorists that killed our athletes in Munich, our fathers in Paris, our sisters in Tel Aviv.
Anyway, how can a mother be proud to send her son to death ? My mother would rather kill herself and the rest of the world than to let me die.
I'm sad, sorry and scared.

(9) Mark Rabkin, August 19, 2001 12:00 AM

Hockstader's back at it

Lee Hockstader. This yellow journalist is a front line fighter for Hamas and Islamic Jihad dilligently waging the media war that has been carefully managed by the palestinian authority. They have made no effort to hide the fact that palestinian terror is carefully managed and photographed to juxtapose Israeli reaction. The use of such blatantly and consistently biased reporting has as much impact on the layman as the visual images broadcast to the west under the auspices of Arafat and Ashwari.
Another article has been printed today, 8/19/01 explaining torture inflicted upon poor, unsuspecting palestinian teenagers by members of the Israeli security force. The article evokes sympathy for the potential suicide bomber by portraying the protestor as an innocent victim of police brutality. What are the appropriate measures to bringing an end to this violence? How do you stop the philosophy of hate being taught to young palestinian children? What measures woould you take, Mr Hockstader if your family was blown up by a suicide bomber as they dined in a crowded cafe? Or waited on line at a nightclub?

(8) Anonymous, August 18, 2001 12:00 AM

It saddens me

I visited Israel in 1997 while i was at school, at which time our rector was certain we were not allowed to go because on the constant threat of troouble, luckly my dear teacher persuaded him to let us have an unmissable chance at seeing the Beautiful country of Israel. Whilst i was there i decided i would be back due to the warmth and friendliness of its people. Your country is beautiful and worth holding on to and i truley believe you should stand up for everything that is yours, I just wish it could be in a more peacefull environment. Your country is outstanding and anyone that understands the truth to your proud fight for your country will truely ignore such ignorant bias from opposing news stations. Jacquie Barraclough(Scotland)

(7) Louis Rosenberg, August 14, 2001 12:00 AM

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