Spurious StatementsAugust 27, 2003 12:00 by ManagingTeam
Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,
Journalists covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict aim to provide readers with a balanced picture by quoting official statements from both sides.
But with Palestinian spokesmen issuing increasingly disingenuous and mendacious statements, HonestReporting asks: Do all official statements merit uncritical coverage? When spokespeople utter statements that directly contradict established facts, hasn’t a news outlet that amplifies such statements stopped reporting “balanced” news, and crossed the line into disseminating lies and propaganda?
A recent case in point: After the IDF killed Hamas leader Ismail Abu Shanab on Thursday (Aug. 21), a Hamas spokesman announced to reporters: “The Zionist enemy has assassinated the truce,” so therefore “we consider ourselves no longer bound by this cease-fire.”
It truly stretches the mind to imagine how last Tuesday’s horrific bus bombing in Jerusalem ? perpetrated by a Hamas terrorist ? fits any definition of an ongoing cease-fire.
Even before the Jerusalem bus bombing, there was no shortage of bloody terror from Hamas, which claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in Ariel two weeks ago. Additionally, the IDF has reported no less than 300 terror attacks throughout Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel proper since the beginning of the supposed “cease-fire.” A telling graphic, illustrating these attacks by daily occurrence, is available on the IDF website.
One TV reporter, Michael Holmes from CNN, did provide due comment on Hamas’ spurious claim on Thursday: “Hamas called CNN’s Gaza office and said that the cease-fire was over…if you were near West Jerusalem the other night, you would wonder what sort of cease-fire was it in the first place anyway.”
Yet many other media outlets felt compelled to report the Hamas spokesman’s statement as fact:
– The Chicago Tribune headlined its Aug. 22 report: “Hamas Abandons Truce After Israel Kills Leader.”
Comments to Chicago Tribune: firstname.lastname@example.org
– The LA Times headlined: “Truce Ended After Israeli Airstrike”
Comments to LA Times: email@example.com
– The (London) Independent stated: “Palestinian militant groups suspended their two-month-old ceasefire last night after Israel assassinated a Hamas leader in Gaza and sent tanks and infantry back into West Bank cities.”
Comments to Independent: firstname.lastname@example.org
By disseminating the Hamas statement while omitting contradictory facts, news outlets provide a mouthpiece for terrorists to brazenly deny their murderous acts, and falsely frame Israel as the “anti-peace” force in the conflict.
Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the battle against media bias.