Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Wednesday,
Jul 30th

Journalistic offenses in times of crisis

E-mail Print PDF

Journalists are taught to be fair and accurate. Reader and watcher, beware.

Jews surprised by the slanted coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, particularly at this dangerous intersection, better get used to it. Some anchors (we stress some) and journalists are engaging in debates and writing articles that are so lopsided that they strain not only our eyes and ears but our credulity as well.

On the July 8 broadcast of CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” Burnett wedged Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the US, into a verbal boxing ring. Fortunately, we have CNN’s transcript for an edited but accurate description of the match.

Burnett:“I mean, let me just ask you, in terms of what’s next. You heard [CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman in Gaza City] saying it’s a couple steps from a ground war. But are you prepared, are you planning to send in ground troops?”

Dermer:“Well, first let’s understand what happened today. We had 150 rockets fired at our cities. We had them fired at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. That’s our Washington and New York . . . That’s what happened today in Israel.”

Burnett: “But when you look at the other side, there are Palestinian sources that say two of those killed today by an Israeli attack were children.” [Death is a fact of war — regrettable but undeniable. People will die, on both sides.] “And obviously, even if they were part of a human shield” [and Israel was targeting a Hamas militant], “there were children there. Is it still worth air strikes when you’re going to have to kill children?” [How many Israeli children have blown to bits by suicide bombers?]

Burnett: “The air assault that’s happening does follow the recent killings of teenagers on both sides. That’s important to emphasize, it has been on both sides, and of course the beating of Tariq abu Khdeir by Israeli police. And Tariq, as you know, Ron, is an American teen. He was the cousin of a Palestinian victim.” [Murdered Israeli teen Naftali Frenkel was a dual US-Israeli citizen.]

Later, Burnett tried to prove that Dermer lied when he said Israel would investigate: “This is where I get confused. Because on the one hand you said excessive force isn’t justified, but then you say wait until you hear what happens. It sounds like you’re saying it’s going to be justified.”

This was not an interview. It was an inquisition. Burnett is a fine journalist — just not when the subject is Israel. Time to reread the Journalism 101 chapter on fair and accurate reporting . . . within our lifetime.

Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 July 2014 01:04 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

Op-Ed: Learning to argue on Tisha b’Av

Daniel Treiman We can have passionate disagreements without descending into hatred, Yehudah Mirsky writes. ... [Link]

Israel, U.S. deny account of tense Obama-Netanyahu call

Ron Kampeas U.S. and Israeli officials sharply denied an account of a tense conversation between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ... [Link]

Amid uncertainty of an open-ended war, U.S.-Israel tensions rise

Ron Kampeas Rapidly changing events on the ground in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza are accompanied by volatility in the U.S.-Israel relationship. ... [Link]

France extradites Brussels Jewish museum shooting suspect

Marcy Oster The Frenchman suspected of killing four people at the Jewish Museum of Belgium was extradited by France to Belgium. ... [Link]

4 videos on the Gaza war that have pro-Israel viewers cheering

Uriel Heilman Amid the fighting in Gaza and Israel, video clips of Joan Rivers, Howard Stern, Ron Dermer and Hillel Neuer are cheering the pro-Israel crowd. ... [Link]

U.K. supermarket chain to stop carrying West Bank products

Anthony Weiss The largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom has announced that it will cease to sell products sourced in the West Bank by September. ... [Link]

Poll: Less than 4 percent of Israeli Jews believe firepower on Gaza excessive

Marcy Oster Less than 4 percent of Israeli Jews believe the Israel Defense Forces has used excessive firepower in Gaza, an Israeli survey found. ... [Link]

In U.S., Gaza conflict reverberates on air and in the streets

Uriel Heilman American supporters and critics of Israel are battling it out over the Gaza conflict — with commentary, slogans, demonstrations and some notable rants by Joan Rivers and Howard Stern. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com