According to media analysts at CAMERA, CBS’s newsmagazine 60 minutes has failed to correct several factual errors about Israeli Christians that were presented during a news segment aired in April.
During the Broadcast, 60 Minutes reporter Bob Simon allegedly accused Israel of “oppressing” Christians in Bethlehem by forcing them to dwell in “an open air prison” surrounded by a “wall.” The CBS program also reported that there were 30,000 Christians living in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1964, and now there are 11,000 living under Israeli sovereignty. In an advertisement placed in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, CAMERA refuted the claim, stating that there were in fact just 11,000 Christians living in the Old City in 1964 and that the Christian population in Israel has increased nearly four-fold from 34,000 in 1949 to 122,000 in 2009.
In addition to allegedly misreporting the number of Christians in Israel, 60 Minutes also seemed to cast positive light on the Kairos Document “as an honest attempt to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” according to CAMERA’s press release, when the document has in fact come under fire from an American rabbinic group for being “anti-Semitic.” In another perceived failure to keep the news report fair and balanced, the news program failed to mention the Christian homes in Taybeh torched by Palestinian Muslims in 2005.
CBS News Chairman and Executive Producer Jeffrey Fager reportedly ignored the call to correct the inaccuracies pointed out by CAMERA, according to the media watchdog. “It was fair and accurate reporting about a newsworthy subject,” said Fager.