Jan
06
2009

Kurtz: Maybe U.S. Reporters in Gaza Won't Be So 'Selective'

One of the facets of the Gaza crisis not getting enough media attention is the fact that Israel has barred reporters from entering the Gaza Strip to report on the war–despite an Israeli Supreme Court ruling that stated that foreign journalists should be allowed into the territory.

It was good, then, to see the issue raised on CNN's media program Reliable Sources on January 5. Not so good, though, were host Howard Kurtz's comments:

And when we do see video of the attacks in Gaza or the aftereffects, much of that video, as my understanding, is supplied by Arab media outlets, so it may be very selective.

Yes, the Arab channels tend to not show the buildings that haven't been destroyed in airstrikes–a clever propaganda trick indeed. Kurtz followed up on that by saying to his guest:

Your point about civilian casualties, Paula Hancocks–I heard interviews yesterday with Palestinian officials on CNN, MSNBC and elsewhere; they were using words like "massacre" and "bloodbath." Obviously, it's in their interest to portray the Israeli incursion in the harshest light. And as you just noted, you have no independent way to check that, or do you have at least limited ways to try to check that?

It's hard to miss the point that Kurtz is trying to make about how media should cover the Gaza conflict: Journalists should be allowed into Gaza to show that Palestinians (and Arab TV stations) are exaggerating the level of suffering.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.