While there certainly has been a tremendous amount of media bias in the last round of fighting between Israel and Hamas, there have also been some voices in the media who have recognized the problem and are speaking up in defense of Israel.
John O’Sullivan from the National Review claims that the bias is there for a very simple reason: the media likes it.
“How is it that we in the media seem to make the same mistakes again and again?” he asks. “The technical term for it is ‘confirmation bias.’ The reason for it is because we like those mistakes,” he writes.
Confirmation bias against Israel is not new. It has been happening for well over a decade if not even longer. From the time of the infamous fraudulent New York Times caption of Tuvia Grossman being injured during an Arab riot, claiming that it was a Palestinian Boy on the Temple Mount, to the Jenin “massacre” of 2002 that never happened, major western media outlets have been staunchly anti-Israel in their reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
What’s new is that there are voices in the media, bloggers as well as respectable news sites, that are not only reporting a more accurate picture, but freely reporting the anti-Israel bias for what it is: staunch anti-Israel sentiment, bordering if not caused by anti-semitism, both in the media as well as in the populace who read it.
However, the bias does not need to be limited to fraudulent images which most respectable papers and news outlets do try to stay away from. It can simply be by telling only half of the story. Both are shameful and reproachable acts, and both emanate from the same source, a yearning desire to see Israel, the region’s only democracy, fail.
In one of the latest stories of anti-Israel media bias to be exposed, the New Statesman‘s almost 4,000 word report from Gaza by Donald Macintyre graphically illustrates the unreliability of Palestinian casualty reports. The report includes this paragraph:
At least Yasser did not suffer the fate of another single survivor brought into al-Shifa Hospital, ten-year-old Mohammed Badran. He was blinded in an Israeli air strike but at the hospital he seemed unaware that his entire family had been killed when a missile destroyed their home at the Nuseirat refugee camp. Not understanding the nature of his injury, he repeatedly asked staff, ‘Why have you switched the lights off?’
However, at the very end of Macintyre’s piece, is an update which tells us that Badran’s “entire family” were not, in fact, killed in that air strike:
Update, 12 August: Mohammed Badran’s family turned out not to have been killed in the strike on his home, as had been reported here. In the confusion of a packed Shifa Hospital, the doctors treating him in the burns unit thought he had lost his parents and all his siblings. In fact, although seven of the Badrans’ nine children were also injured in the attack, including their 17-year-old daughter Eman, who is now also in Shifa with serious leg injuries, Mohammed’s parents Tagorid and Nidal Badran both survived to take care of him. That is until Nidal, 44, a policeman, was killed in another air strike, this time on the Qassam mosque in Nusseirat refugee camp, in the early hours of Saturday, 9 August, as he prepared to attend dawn prayers. On 12 August, I was told that Mohammed was being referred to a Spanish hospital for treatment.
Between the fog of war, the media’s known readiness to accept as fact any story told to them that makes Israel look bad and Hamas’s known tendency to deliberately distort casualty figures, one must throw a grain of salt upon the stories and statistics we are hearing coming out of the war, even from otherwise reliable news sources.
“You cannot trust anything Gazans tell a reporter. Too bad reporters are so eager to believe the lies,” the Honest Reporting’s website stated.
One blogger by the name Elder of Ziyon investigated the story of the Badran family further. They discovered that while Macintyre’s report in the New Statesman claimed that Nidal was killed in a mosque at morning prayers, he was actually killed in a mosque while meeting with two other Hamas terrorists to plot an attack on Israel.
“It is clear that the destroyed mosque held some other secrets that Hamas was trying to keep reporters away from,” the blog site confirmed.
The three terrorists killed in the mosque were Nidal Badran, Maaz Zayed and Tariq Jadallah.
In line with similar tactics aimed to confuse readers, Arabic media does not refer to the three Hamas members killed at the mosque as being anything other than civilians, and much of western media follows suit. PCHR and AP at least mention that they were militants, but they fail to mention their names thus allowing for more conjecture and confusion.
Elder of Zion goes on to point out how Macintyre should clearly have known that Badran was a terrorist, as it had been reported by news agencies, before Macintyre printed his article. The blog site chalks up the situation to yet another case of “Media whitewash of Hamas”.
It is a very sad state of affairs when the people whose job it is to tell a true and accurate account of goings on in the world prefer to distort truth or tell outright lies. It makes a laughing stalk of the profession and cast a shadow of doubt upon any peened article by any of these news outlets.