The writers of newspaper stories virtually never write the headlines over their stories. If there is bias, inaccuracy or imbalance in a headline, the responsibility rests with the newspaper, not the writer.
A headline on Page One of the Denver Post this week caught our eye. It did not reflect the content of the story. It put an anti-Israel slant, not justified by the facts of the story, on the news about the war.
The facts were rather simple and straightforward. Last Tuesday morning, a ceasefire in the current war between Israel and Hamas was proposed by Egypt.
Fact 1: Israel accepted.
Fact 2: Hamas did not.
Fact 3: Despite Hamas’ rejection of the ceasefire, Israel gave Hamas time to change its mind, so that while Hamas continued to fire on Israel, Israel withheld its fire on Hamas for some six hours.
All this is laid out in the Denver Post story, but here is Wednesday morning’s headline: “Israeli, Hamas truce plan unravels.” This implies equal fault for the absence of a truce. That is inaccurate.
Above this main headline is a smaller head: “Netanyahu: ‘Our answer is fire.’” Since that which Netanyahu is answering — Hamas’ rejection of a ceasefire — is not stated, this smaller head paints Israel as the aggressor. That was inaccurate.
Underneath the main headline is a smaller head: “Militants pushing both sides as Egypt’s role questioned.” This implies equal pressure by both sides. However, those opposed to a ceasefire on Israel’s side lost; their pressure was rejected by Netanyahu. Those opposed to a ceasefire on Hamas’ side won; their pressure was accepted by Hamas. Again, an inaccurate picture.
The sum of these inaccuracies is to paint Israel as against peace, when the reality was the opposite. We expect better from the Denver Post.
Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News