It’s that time of year again – time to submit your nomination for HonestReporting’s 2003 Dishonest Reporting “Award,” our annual recognition of the most skewed and biased coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Previous ignominious winners:
2002 : British media, for coverage of the IDF Jenin incursion (4/02):
“We are talking here of massacre, and a cover-up, of genocide…” — London Evening Standard
“Rarely, in more than a decade of war reporting from Bosnia, Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Kosovo, have I seen such deliberate destruction, such disrespect for human life.” — The Times of London
Israel’s actions in Jenin were “every bit as repellent” as Osama Bin Laden’s attack on New York on September 11. — The Guardian
“Hundreds of victims ‘were buried by bulldozer in mass grave’.” — Daily Telegraph
The official UN report on Jenin found that 52 Palestinians died, the great majority armed combatants. As Richard Cohen of the Washington Post said, “What got massacred in Jenin was not Palestinians but truth itself.”
2001: The BBC
In May 2001, BBC fabricated a film clip in an attempt to show Israeli brutality. When Israelis struck a Palestinian base in Gaza, there were no pictures of victims — since Israel struck at empty buildings. But BBC editors inserted a film clip of Israeli victims of Palestinian terror arriving at an Israeli hospital, to suggest that these were victims of Israeli attack. The newsreader in London, a former BBC correspondent in Israel herself, ended the segment with “These are the pictures from Gaza.”
BBC’s bias is perhaps summed up best by one of its own employees, Fayad Abu Shamala, the BBC correspondent in Gaza for the past 10 years. Speaking at a Hamas rally on May 6, 2001, he declared:
“Journalists and media organizations [are] waging the campaign shoulder-to-shoulder together with the Palestinian people.”
For a reminder of this year’s most skewed coverage of the conflict, peruse the HonestReporting archives. Then submit your nomination for the 2003 Dishonest Reporting “Award,” to be announced in mid-December.