Media Blindness to Anti-Israel Incitement Tops Watchdog’s ‘2014 Media Mangles’ List
As 2014 draws to a close, media watchdog CAMERA has published its “top ten list of Middle East mangles” over the last twelve months.
At the head of the list is the entrenched media habit of ignoring the incitement against Israel waged by Palestinians and the wider Arab and Muslim world. “Instead of reporting the hate-indoctrination prominently and continuously for what it is — a central driving force for violence and fundamental threat to peace — media outlets such as the New York Times typically ignored the phenomenon or characterized it as merely an accusation by Israelis rather than an objective reality,” CAMERA declared.
Next on the list is the war in Gaza between Israel and the Hamas regime over the summer, which CAMERA says promoted “numerous myths.” Quoting the former Associated Press journalist Matti Friedman’s observation that a “hostile obsession with Jews” informs the views of “the educated and respectable people who populate the international news industry,” CAMERA decried the “hugely disproportionate focus on relatively modest faults of the Jewish state and at the same time journalistic neglect of the suffering of millions across the globe and of their tormentors.”
CAMERA also underlined the tendency in the media to quote Hamas casualty figures as facts. “The statistics were promoted by the Gaza Health Ministry and reported at face value by many journalists, despite the fact that this ministry is run by Hamas and has every incentive to inflate civilian casualty figures to garner world sympathy,” it said.
Television comedian Jon Stewart also came in for heavy criticism, following a show in which he portrayed Israel and Hamas as equally happy to be engaged in conflict. “To the extent that viewers – many of them young – rely on Stewart as a legitimate news source, his know-nothing attempt at humor could have serious consequences,” CAMERA declared.
Other “mangles” include what CAMERA calls “CNN’s confused journalism,” as well as National Public Radio’s interview with Philip Weiss, the editor of the anti-Semitic “Mondoweiss” website, in which he was misrepresented as a “mainstream, credible expert,” and the blatant bias of the New York Times’s oped page, where anti-Israel commentary is seven times more likely to appear than commentary in favor of the Jewish state.