portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

human & civil rights | imperialism & war

CNN BIAS IN ISREAL/PALESTINE COVERAGE

A good article by Palestine Media Watch about the biased reporting on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. 50 Organizations join protest against CNN's double standards
Check out all the information at  http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/cast/cnnbias2.asp :

50 Organizations join protest against CNN's double standards

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PMWATCH -- July 5, 2002 -- Our dialog with CNN continues, but so far, CNN still refuses to do a 5-part special on Palestinian suffering and set up a web memorial for every single Palestinian child, woman, elderly, and other innocent civilians killed by Israelis. A 5-part special on Israeli victims of suicide bombers was aired last week, while a web memorial of the victims was set up to go along with it. (See also our call of June 24, 2002)

Indeed, CNN has now gone on the record justifying its refusal on the following two grounds: (1) CNN's current coverage of Palestinian suffering is as adequate and as thorough as the 5-part series and the Web memorial, and so there is no need to do a similar series and Web memorial for Palestinians, and (2) Suicide bombings intentionally target civilians, while Palestinian civilians are not intentionally targeted.

Indeed, as much was said in a revealing, on the record, exchange between PBS anchorman Terence Smith and CNN executive Eason Jordan (see full transcript at:  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/july-dec02/media_7-3.html):

TERENCE SMITH: Eason Jordan, let me ask you what changes you've made in response to some of the complaints. We mentioned a couple in the setup, the series that you did on some of the Israeli victims. Are you going to do a comparable series, for example, on Palestinian victims?Eason Jordan had to say in his appearance on PBS's Newshour, July 3, 2002:

EASON JORDAN: Well, I think we've done many, many stories on Palestinian victims, and we will continue to do so. Just in the week I was in Israel over the past couple of weeks, we actually did a series of reports out of Jenin. There was a really tragic incident where an Israeli tank fired on a marketplace. Some civilians were killed. Israel said it was an accident. We reported it with that attribution, as Israel said it, but it was a tragedy and innocent civilians were killed. We did, of course, did a week- long series of reports on Israeli victims, but there's a big difference, I would state, between what's happening in Israel and what's happening in the Palestinian territories, because while it's disputable whether Israel is targeting civilians, there's certainly no irrefutable evidence of that in the territories. There's no doubt that suicide bombers are going into Israel and intentionally killing civilians at random.

In other words, not mincing his words, Mr. Jordan is saying no, we will not do a 5-part series, and yes, the Israeli spin on what is taking place is considered by CNN to be a good basis for making story choices.

The simplest way to answer this is to point out that: (1) Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, among other organizations, along with Chris Hedges report on IDF shooting of Palestinian children "for sport", provide strong evidence that the IDF has targeted civilians; (2) whether an innocent civilian was killed intentionally or not, the effect is the same: their lives are snuffed out, their families are torn by pain and grief, their friends are traumatized, etc.; if CNN thinks that it is important to show its viewers the consequences of death and destruction on innocent Israeli civilians, then it has no moral or journalistic grounds for not doing so for Palestinians; (3) CNN is in the news business, not in the business of deciding who is more innocent or more guilty than another; its selection of stories should be based solely on grounds of whether the story will provide the viewer with better insight into what is taking place in the conflict; and (4) if CNN thinks that their current reporting is just as good as a 5-part special series and a web memorial, then this implies that a 5-part special series and a web memorial is just as good as their usual reporting, and therefore then CNN should not care whether it does or does not do the series and the memorial: they are just as good as the reporting. Given that a large segment of its viewership wants this series and the web site, why is not CNN catering to this audience and refusing to give them what they want?

Meantime, as CNN stalls and buys time to deflate our efforts, momentum is building in our protest over CNN's double standards. To the original 15 organizations that have signed on the protest, another 20 have signed on, for a running total of 35 organizations supporting our push.

Meetings with CNN officials in Atlanta are being scheduled. Please help us face them with a firm footing with your strong backing behind us. It makes a huge difference if they receive a sustained stream of emails and phone calls that tells them that they had better nip this in the bud rather than let it spiral out of control. What they are counting on, as usual, is for us to get tired and go away - sort of exhaust ourselves. A one line email or a two minute phone call would be a great help. If each one of you who is reading this would do that, it will mean thousands, if not tens of thousands, of emails and phone calls!

You can send an email by entering your letter and contact info in the interface below and clicking "send".

Please also give them a call at: (404) 827 - 2030

Please make sure you read the original call at:  http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/cast/cnnbias.asp

Let CNN know that we will not let sleeping dogs lie, that there is no rest for the weary, and that we will escalate our protests, until we get exactly those two things. Anything short of that is not acceptable.

Palestine Media Watch
 http://www.pmwatch.org

=================================================


If your organization wishes to sponsor this call, please send an email to:
 aps@atlanta4palestine.org or to  ahmed_bouzid@yahoo.com

Original call issued JUNE 24, 2002
Latest update, JULY 4, 2002

CNN: TELL THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT VICTIMS OF TERROR!

CNN (Cable News Network LP, LLLP.) has bowed to political and financial
pressure from Israel and its supporters in the US after the recent comments
made by Ted Turner on the situation in the Middle-East. CNN has responded by
producing a five-part documentary series called Victims of Terror. The
program considers ONLY Israelis to be victims of terrorism. CNN has also
developed extensive on-line resources about Israeli victims that notably
ignore the innocent deaths on the Palestinian side. Palestinian deaths rate
no mention.

According to the Palestine Red Crescent Society in a report released
6/24/02, there has been a total of 1,626 Palestinian deaths, and 19, 549
injuries since September of 2000. Of those killed directly by Israeli
attacks more than 234 have been under the age of 18.

CNN has compromised the most basic journalistic standard of BALANCE. Are
Palestinians lesser humans? Do not Palestinians bleed too?

CNN News MUST be honest and fair. CNN must cover Palestinian victims of
Israeli attacks by immediately providing its viewers:

** A full and complete tally of every single Palestinian child, woman, and
elderly man killed by the Israeli army and settlers.

** A five-part series on the Palestinian victims of terror.

DEMONSTRATE FOR FAIR AND HONEST COVERAGE OF THE WAR ON PALESTINE

WE DEMAND EQUAL COVERAGE FOR ALL VICTIMS

Bring your friends, neighbors, and family. CNN must understand we are its
public and we will not stand by silently.

Directions: From I-75/85, exit on International Blvd. exit (248 C), turn
left on International Blvd, then take another left onto Centennial Olympic
Park Drive. Cross over Marietta Street -- CNN Center is on your right.
(Parking available in surrounding areas) MAP:
 http://www.cnn.com/StudioTour/directions.html

Sponsored by: Atlanta Palestine Solidarity, Al-Awda, Palestine Right to
Return Coalition, Palestine Media Watch, International Action Center,
Students Organizing for Justice at Georgia Tech, Refuse & Resist-Atlanta,
and the Green Party of Chatham County.

Atlanta Palestine Solidarity and other local groups hold a weekly protest
against the Israeli occupation every Monday from 4:30-6:00PM at the Israeli
consulate (1100 Spring St.)

ENDORSING ORGANIZATIONS

Al-Awda-MASS
Al-Awda-Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Al-Bushra (  http://www.al-bushra.org )
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee - Georgia Chapter
Arab-American Catholic Community of San Francisco
Arab-American Christians for Peace (AACP) San Francisco
Association for Socially Minded Americans (A.S.M.A.)
Atlanta Palestine Solidarity
Bethlehem Families
Bir-Zeit Society
Bristol Palestinian Solidarity Campaign
Citizens for Fair Legislation
Council for the National Interest (Headed by former congressman Paul Findley)
Delaware Valley Justice
Forum of India Leftists
Green Party of Chatham County, Georgia
Houston Chapter of American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee - www.adchouston.org
International Action Center
International Solidarity Movement
Islamic Association for Palestine
Islamic Society of Atlanta
JAA, Jordanian American Association
Jerusalem.org (  http://www.Jerusalem.org )
Jews Against The Occupation --  http://www.jewsagainsttheoccupation.org
Jifnah Club
Nazareth.net
Palestine Action Network
Palestine Human Rights Campaign
Palestine Media Watch
Palestine Solidarity Committee (Seattle)
People for Justice and Peace
Playgrounds for Palestine
The Progressive Student Alliance of New Jersey
Ramallah Club
Refuse & Resist-Atlanta
Sahel Club
St. George Orthodox Church, SF
St. George Orthodox Church, Sta. Rosa
St. James Orthodox Church, San Jose
St. John of God, Justice and Peace Committee
St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, SF
St. Thomas More Arab American Catholic Community
Students Organizing for Justice at Georgia Tech
SUSTAIN (Stop U.S. Aid to Israel Now) -
Taybeh Association
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
United for Peace and Justice, DFW, TX
Voice of Reason - VoxRx
Voices Of Palestine
Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press (WIFP)