Headline Fails: “Wounded Palestinian,” “Suspect” or “Attacker?”


Following our complaints, CNN’s headline and text now refer to a “wounded Palestinian assailant” rather than a “wounded Palestinian knife attack suspect.”


While The Times of London still refers to a “wounded Palestinian,” it has amended its headline following a complaint from HR. The headline, in an important change of nuance, now says that Azaria “could be free this year” instead of “set to be free this year.”


Today’s sentencing of Israeli soldier Elor Azaria, convicted of manslaughter for the killing of an incapacitated Palestinian terrorist, has generated numerous headlines.

Many of them refer to the Palestinian terrorist who was initially wounded in the course of carrying out a stabbing attack in Hebron. How the media refer to the Palestinian is revealing.

CNN‘s headline and opening paragraph refer to a “wounded Palestinian knife attack suspect.”




Yet CNN’s own story states that “The Israeli soldier who had been attacked suffered a minor injury.”

The attack certainly took place. So how is the Palestinian attacker still a “suspect?”

Some media, however, failed to acknowledge that the Palestinian terrorist was even an aggressor. Take the AFP‘s story, which was also republished in the Daily Mail and The Australian:



The above reference to a “Palestinian” was also repeated by Voice of America.

National Public Radio (NPR) was not much better referring only to a “wounded Palestinian”:



As did the LA Times:



The Financial Times‘ headline, meanwhile managed to call the attacker simply a Palestinian in its headline as well as a “wounded man” in the sub-header:



The Times of London‘s headline didn’t only simply refer to a “wounded Palestinian” but also stated as fact that Azaria is set to be released this year even though this is speculative and unconfirmed.



In all cases, the casual reader is led to believe that a wholly innocent Palestinian was involved in the incident.

At least other media outlets such as Reuters, Washington Post The IndependentThe Telegraph and Sky News at least made sure to refer to a “wounded” or “disarmed Palestinian attacker,” while the New York Times went with a “wounded assailant.”

Why do headlines matter? See here for more.

If you see a failure in your local media to provide accurate context as to the identity of the Palestinian in the Elor Azaria case, let us know by contacting us through our Red Alert page.

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