Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The 'Hezbollah' That Wasn't There

(UPDATE, Dec. 21: A Times editor explains, in an email to a reader, why the newspaper whitewashes terrorists. Caution: Only for those with strong stomachs.)

The New York Times really pulled out all the stops today, in its reporting of Germany's release of the Hezbollah airplane hijacker who murdered Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem in 1985. The Times has hit new lows just about every day in its coverage of terrorism, but its article today exceeded the most cynical expectations.

The Times reported on the release of the hijacker without mentioning that he was from Hezbollah!

Just as its report the other day on Hamas failed to describe the group's use of "suicide bombing," the Times's rather lengthy story was alone, among all other media outlets, in omitting the hijacker's Hezbollah membership and not even mentioning the group at all.

By contrast, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and even Reuters considered Mohammed Ali Hammadi's Hezbollah membership important enough to mention it in their lead paragraphs. The rest of the world's media at least mentioned the Hezbollah connection, including al Jazeera (albeit qualified as "said to be" a member). Yep, as it did with Hamas, the Times has out-al-Jazeerad al Jazeera.

This is not the first time that the Times, this time by not connecting the group to one of the most notorious hijackings in history, has bent over backwards to whitewash this notorious terrorist group, describing their murder operations --such as slaughtering 241 Marines in 1983 -- as "resistance" and as the work of an "army."

What gives at the Times? Why do they persist, alone among the major media, in withholding pertinent details about terror groups? What's behind this in-your-face bias? I think I may have found a clue. Actually, better than a clue -- an explanation from the Times itself. Click here (if you haven't already......).

UPDATE: See this neat takeout in Soccer Dads on the Times whitewashing machine.

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