EyeOnThePost, Inc., Exposing Media Bias and Advocating Journalistic Standards to Serve the Public Interest
About EyeOnThePost.Org Background Journalistic Ethics Resource Center Media Bias Community In The News Media Center Events Subscribe to Media Alerts Home

Writing Workshop
Names & Addresses at The Post
Media War - Palestinians versus Israel
Palestinian Intimidation of a Complicit Press
Palestine Facts

Media Alerts

EyeOnThePost.org offers direct Media Alerts. Click here to sign up.


Statue of Israel In Palestinian Colors pierced by Dagger and Dripping Blood
Arab Countries Surrounding Israel

Palestinian Shooting at Israeli From Behind Palestinian  Baby Carriage - Israeli Shooting at Same Palestinian from In Front of Israeli Baby Carriage

There are two narratives driving the descriptors of the events in the Middle East. One is Muslim Arab and/or Palestinian Arab, and the other is American and Israeli. As Mark Regev, spokesman for the Israeli Embassy, points out in his June 5, 2002 Washington Times commentary "Lord of the Lies," all too often the media fails to consider the source. (The Washington Times, Mark Regev, Lord of the Lies, June 5, 2002, Section: OPED, Page: A17) When it comes to Israel, journalists tend to treat information releases from extremist, political or terrorist entities such as The Palestinian Authority, Hamas or Islamic Jihad on equal footing as those from a legitimate state with a demonstrated respect for truth and accuracy.

For example, Washington Post reporter Molly Moore, stationed in the Middle East,  relied upon Hamas' web site to report that Israeli troops fired into a crowd of Palestinian civilians following the January 14, 2004 Gaza bombing. This supposed "fact" was not reported or corroborated by any other sources at the scene and never appeared in any other media outlet's news report. Despite the absence of any report of deaths or even injuries associated with the supposed shooting, the reporter never questioned the accuracy of the Hamas web site and reported the unsupported and highly suspect allegation as fact.

Writers and editors refuse to make the judgment distinguishing between propaganda from the Palestinian side, demonstrated over and over again to be unreliable, and Israel's official spokespeople - who hold positions in a democratic system that, like the US, is largely transparent to the rest of the world. That is not to say that inaccuracy is not possible from Israeli or US sources, but with Israeli and US sources there is nowhere near the degree of behind the scenes orchestration, coordination and manipulation of the media widely known to take place with  Palestinian information sources. Mark Regev, in the article noted above, called it the "controlled and sanitized message of the PA" and notes that "given recent documented Palestinian distortions of the events in Jenin and Bethlehem, it is necessary to question why today's American media still insists on granting credibility to Palestinian spokespeople."

On the other hand, the press routinely makes such judgments with regard to the credibility and reliability of news reports coming out of other repressive and closed societies that have proven track records of manipulating the media and engaging in propaganda. The press routinely views news releases from these societies with suspicion. This is true with regard to news reports from Iran, Syria, Libya, Iraq (under Saddam) and Cuba. Why then does the press not make this distinction between Israeli news sources and Palestinian news sources? The explanation for this double standard applied to journalism in the Israeli Palestinian conflict lies in the ideology of most reporters and editors that impels them to construct an artificial equivalence between both sides in the conflict. It is a "see-no-evil," hands over the eyes, blindness to the daily manipulation of the news by Palestinian sources. This twisted view holds that fairness requires that both sides be treated equally, even in terms of treatment of the credibility of news sources, even if that equivalent treatment flies in the face of the truth. It results in a willingness to report as fact whatever information is spoon fed to them by the Palestinian side, regardless of its accuracy. It is a scandal in journalism waiting to be exposed.

Copyright ©2002 EyeOnThePost.org
Reuse of this and other material issued by EyeOnThePost.org is permitted provided that it is for non-commercial, non-fee-based purposes and that EyeOnThePost.org is given credit when quoting an excerpt, distributing by email, linking from another website, or referencing any of the organization's contributions that are designed to serve the Public Interest.