AP’s Snow Job

Take a look at the following photo caption from the Associated Press, and see if you can pick out the one word of bias:

“A Jewish man prays at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site in east Jerusalem’s Old City, Tuesday Feb. 25, 2003. About 7 inches of snow has fallen in a rare snow storm that swept across Israel, closing major highways and schools and cutting power.”

The word is “east” Jerusalem. The caption could just have easily read without that word: “the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site in Jerusalem’s Old City.” By adding the word “east” Jerusalem, AP subtly suggests that the Western Wall is part of disputed territory, open to negotiations to be given to Palestinians.

Such politicizing has no place in a caption about a snowstorm.

(Additionally, AP mistakenly notes that the Western Wall is Judaism’s “holiest site.” Actually, the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site. The Western Wall is a remnant of the retaining wall surrounding the Temple Mount.)

The bias is subtle, but there nonetheless. And that makes it all the more insidious. HonestReporting encourages members to watch for such subtleties of language, and to complain where appropriate.

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The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports this headline:

“Israelis Gun Down Two Palestinians”

The violent tone of “gun down” implies Israel as the aggressor. Yet as the article goes on to clarify, one of the Palestinians threw grenades at soldiers as he tried to storm a border crossing, and the other Palestinian tried to infiltrate a settlement.

The headline conveys a much different story.

See the headline at:

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