Apr
03
2013

Misreporting Israel/Gaza Cease-Fire

Wreckage from Israeli bombing of Gaza, November 2012 (cc photo: Norsk Folkehjelp)

An Israeli airstrike on Gaza yesterday is being reported as a breach of the cease-fire agreement that was reached after violence last November between the Israeli military and Hamas forces. But the new accounts are misleading: They give the impression that Israel hasn't regularly violated the agreement already.

Mar
21
2013

How to Read Stories About Israel in the NY Times (Hint: Very Carefully)

FireShot Screen Capture #401 - 'Israel’s Iron Dome System Is at Center of Debate - NYTimes_com' - www_nytimes_com_2013_03_21_world_middleeast_israels-iron-dome-system-is-at-center-of-debate_h

Some days the Newspaper of Record says a lot–not always in ways you might expect. Today (3/21/13) a story by Mark Landler and Rick Gladstone about allegations of chemical weapons in Syria includes something you see often–anonymous government sources. That can often be a bad thing; but today it's pretty useful: Two senior Israeli officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak, said that Israel was sure that chemicals were used, but did not have details about what type of weapons were used, where they came from, when they were deployed, or by whom. […]

Mar
20
2013

Two Peoples, Two Pictures

Photos of Palestinians and Israelis reacting to Obama visit from USA Today

There was a pair of pictures on the front page of USA Today today, meant to illustrate a story about President Barack Obama's visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories. It actually illustrated the very different ways Israelis and Palestinians are depicted in U.S. media.

Mar
12
2013

'What Palestinians Said Was Israeli Aggression': The Death of Omar al-Masharawi

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A new report from the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights tallies the extent of the death and destruction from Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip last November. But the headlines generated by the report focused on one child in Gaza, 11-month-old Omar al-Masharawi, and the claim that he was not killed by Israelis.

Feb
12
2013

PBS Goes to Israel and Palestine–Mostly Israel

warner-westbank

When NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill said, "We will hear more from Margaret [Warner] as she travels through Israel, the West Bank and Gaza over the next week and a half," That sounded like it could be be an interesting opportunity for TV viewers to get a glimpse of Palestinian life. But that's not what PBS chose to put on the air.

Feb
08
2013

FAIR TV: Big Papers Withhold News, Curious 'Confirmation' of Israeli Gov't Claims, 60 Minutes Plays Softball

This week on FAIR TV we take a look at the the "informal arrangement" between several media outlets–including the New York Times and the Washington Post– to not report news about a CIA drone base.

We also talk about the curious standard for "confirming" news from Israeli government officials, and we take a look at the 60 Minutes softball interview with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Feb
04
2013

When 'Confirmed' Means 'An Official Told Me So'

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NBC's Richard Engel report that "what we've been able to confirm" is that a Syrian convoy attacked by Israel "was packed with fairly sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missiles." It is highly doubtful that Engel could "confirm" any such thing–unless by "confirm" he means that NBC is confirming that government sources are claiming what they are claiming.

Jan
18
2013

FAIR TV: France vs. Spain, NYT Erases West Bank Occupation, Wall Street Journal's Tax Graphic

On the new FAIR TV: The Washington Post says France had better slash wages and benefits in order to be more like Spain. Why would they want to do that? The New York Times erases a headline referring to the occupation of the West Bank. And when the Wall Street Journal wanted to show  what the new tax deal meant for "you"–who exactly did they have in mind?

Jan
18
2013

Are Israeli Arabs 'Apathetic'–or Second-Class Citizens?

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For a variety of reasons, Arab citizens of Israel don't seem all that excited about voting in next week's elections. And, for some reason, this strike the New York Times' Jodi Rudoren as "apathy." But the Arab sentiments she reports sure don't sound like apathy.

Jan
14
2013

NYT Rewrites Accurate Occupation Headline

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Non-violent protesters came up with a novel way to protest Israeli plans to build more settlement colonies in the occupied West Bank: They occupied the land themselves. The New York Times reported the news on Saturday. But the most remarkable thing is what they did with the headline.

Jan
07
2013

Chuck Hagel, Dove?

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Barack Obama nominated Republican ex-Senator Chuck Hagel to be his next Defense secretary today. The story can seem a little bit confusing–often because of misleading recaps of Hagel's career, which can make him sound like more like Dennis Kucinich than like the Republican who voted in favor of the Iraq War.

Nov
29
2012

AP's Iran Bomb Drawing Hoax

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Crack open USA Today (11/28/12) and you saw this headline: Diagram Suggests Iran Working on Bomb The story was short–short enough for a careful reader to see that it in no way lived up to that alarmist headline. But the piece still tried really hard to frighten people. Here's the lead:  Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a diagram obtained by the Associated Press. The diagram was leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program […]

Nov
21
2012

Palestinians and the Proper Way to Grieve Dead Children

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When a family of nine is killed in an airstrike, what is the proper way to grieve? That question might not occur to you, but readers of the New York Times (11/20/12) were treated to correspondent Jodi Rudoren's unusual critique of a funeral for members of the Dula family, whose home in Gaza City was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on Sunday. "There were few if any visible tears at the intense, chaotic, lengthy funeral," she wrote. "Instead, there were fingers jabbing the air to signal 'Allah is the only one,' defiant chants about resistance and calls for revenge, flags in […]