Friday, May 20, 2005

Tag-Team Bias

The AP and Reuters, functioning in the manner of a tag team in an old-fashioned professional wrestling match, took turns providing biased accounts of Palestinian attacks in Gaza today. Both muddied up the difference between "attack" and "self-defence" in their stories.

First came Reuters, whose Gaza-based propagandist Nidal al-Mughrabi produced a story this morning headlined "Israeli forces kill Palestinian gunman in Gaza."

This headline obscures the fact this was a Palestinian murder expedition against a civilian settlement. The Reuters editors aren't dummies, by the way--they are very consciously making the headline biased. It would be a simple matter to write a neutral headline that would say and not obscure what actually happens. Such as "Settlement atttack thwarted."

Buried more than halfway in the story, the Reuters "news" service reported that "gunmen took over an abandoned building near Kfar Darom in southern Gaza and fired at the heavily fortified settlement with light arms and anti-tank rockets, the army said. A Hamas man was killed and another militant wounded in the ensuing gun battle with Israeli troops."

Note the term "heavily fortified," to make this seem like Fort Knox and not a civilian outpost that needed to "fortify," to prevent their people from being murdered.

As usual, Reuters turned over its "news" wirese to the terrorists: "'Amid continued Zionist crimes, we find ourselves with no choice but to defend our people by all means available,' Hamas spokesman Mushir Al-Masri said."

"Crimes" such as what? Being alive?

AP's turn came this afternoon with a story entitled--according to Yahoo; I'm not sure if this is the AP-supplied headline-- "Mideast Fighting Spills Over Into 3rd Day."

Whoever wrote that headline, Yahoo or AP, was deliberately obscuring the facts. So does the lead to the story: "Palestinian-Israeli fighting spilled over into a third straight day Friday with a coordinated attack by three militant groups on a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip. One Palestinian was killed during a shootout with troops."

"Spilled over" implies a back-and-forth kind of warfare, when what happened was a series of Palestinian murder expeditions.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an editorial about how far we've come since the days when Ernie Pyle, the World War II correspondent, openly sided with the U.S. forces. In fact, we haven't come too far from those days at all, not in the Middle East.

Reuters and the AP skew their coverage in favor of the Palestinians through systematic, conscious use of words and language that mimimizes Palestinian attacks, and by letting their wires to be used for Palestinian propaganda.