Top 5 Media Fails: The Media War Hall of Shame

HonestReporting's Media War Hall of Shame

4. Palestinian Propagandists

for stooping to new lows in disinformation by exploiting wounded babies.

While Palestinian propagandists have never been shy about parading images of their dead and wounded in order to gain sympathy from the world, the current conflict marks a new low. One of fastest spreading images of the conflict showed a dead girl in the arms of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. The only problem was that the girl wasn’t killed by Israel, but rather by an errant rocket fired by Haniyeh’s own organization.

But that’s not all. Not content to spread pictures of Palestinian children, propagandists filled Twitter and Facebook with images of an Israeli child wounded by Palestinian rockets  – claiming it was a Palestinian girl wounded by Israeli attacks.

Then there is the abundance of images of Syrian children exploited yet again as Palestinian. At least the Syrian conflict is finally getting some attention.


5. Steve Bell, The Guardian

When it comes to building a Hall of Shame in coverage of the media war against Israel, you can always count on The Guardian to compete for a high place on the list. And this year is no exception.

This cartoon of Benjamin Netanyahu published on the first days of the war offers so many different aspects of media bias, it’s hard to pick out the worst ones. Start with a classic anti-Semitic trope of Israel manipulating and controlling Western leaders. Then there is the strong implication that the real motive behind Israel’s operation is to manipulate the election.

Apparently, it isn’t possible for Guardian cartoonists to consider the fact that US and British leaders genuinely support military action to stop attacks on Israeli civilians.

But what may even be more disturbing than the cartoon itself is the discussion that took place about it on the Letters page of The Guardian a few days later. Instead of recognizing the anti-Semitic nature of the cartoon and demanding its retraction, a significant number of Guardian readers supported the cartoon and claimed that accusations of anti-Semitism were nothing more than a reaction to the “legitimate criticism” of Israel.

Click here to see #6 – 10 of our Hall of Shame.