Journalist Sparks French Ire Over Biased ‘Headline’ About Paris Attacks Parodying Coverage of Terror Against Israelis (VIDEO)
An Israeli reporter was met with indignation from French citizens and tourists whom he presented with a biased headline about the recent Paris terror attacks, Israeli website nrg reported on Sunday.
Zvika Klein, the Makor Rishon/nrg journalist — whose viral video about walking the streets of Paris illustrated a rise in antisemitism in France — filmed passersby in Paris’ Place de la Republique (Republic Square) reacting to a screenshot of a slanted headline reporting on the November 13 ISIS attacks that resonated around the world.
The format of the headline – purposely fabricated by nrg as an experiment — emulated that of certain international media outlets’ coverage of recent terror attacks against Israelis, creating the impression that terrorists are victims as well. The phony screenshot was a virtual replica of a BBC headline that appeared following the murder of two Israelis, and serious wounding of a mother and her baby, in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on October 3.
The BBC headline read: “Palestinian shot dead after attack kills two.”
The headline cooked up by nrg a few days after the Paris attacks was: “7 men shot dead during Paris attack; 129 dead.”
Klein is seen in the edited under two-minute video clip conducting man-in-the-street interviews with a cross section of people walking through the famous Parisian square. Holding out his phone to show passersby a fake website, “The Damascus Daily,” on which the ostensible news story and headline are featured, Klein receives the following comments:
“I’m surprised to read the… that way,” one young man says.
“It’s very shocking,” says a woman.
“This is false,” says an older man, whose voice slightly shakes in anger. “It’s just lying. Yes.”
“All the terrorists should be mentioned as terrorists,” another man responds.
“We have to call them terrorists,” someone else asserts. “I don’t know why they don’t call them like this. It’s important to call them terrorists, because they are not people like us, you know?”
“I’ve been focusing on some terrorist attacks – sometimes the Da’esh [ISIS] things,” says a self-described journalist from Iran. “They are terrorists. They are terrorists.”
“Seven people – eight people – performed an outrageous act on a community. And I think what we see in that article is a reflection of a mind state of a people that needs to change,” says a man with an American accent.
“I think that’s just taking the complete wrong angle,” a British woman residing in France says. “I think we shouldn’t be focusing on the terrorists themselves; it’s the victims here and not the perpetrators that we should be focusing on. And so I think that headline is irrelevant.”
Klein told The Algemeiner on Sunday afternoon — shortly after the clip was posted to YouTube for the first time, and following a morning of stabbing attacks in Jerusalem — that the purpose of the video “is to convey a message to the world media about Israel reportage. There are many mistakes, as we saw in the BBC headline on which we modeled our own.” (After exposure on the part of watchdogs the Committee for Accurate Middle East Reporting in America and HonestReporting, Israel’s Government Press Office demanded a correction and apology from the BBC, threatening to rescind its press accreditation in the country. The BBC complied.)
“This kind of thing happens all the time in relation to Palestinian terrorism committed against Israelis,” Klein said. “Where terrorists aren’t considered terrorists, but rather victims of the Israeli army or police.”
Klein said the aim of the video is twofold: “To make journalists more accurate and accountable; and to show that terror suffered elsewhere in the world is the same terror that we suffer from in Israel. It has the same agenda; the same goals; and the same mosques teaching the same hatred.”
This, Klein bemoaned, is “not how the average European sees it. Many simply think that
Israel is targeted because of the ‘occupation.’ They don’t realize that we are actually just trying to live our lives in peace; at the moment have no partner on the other side; and are subjected to terrorism on a daily basis.”
Indeed, said Klein, nrg decided to embark on the headline experiment after Israelis “immediately draped themselves in French flags and wept over the horrible tragedy that befell the people of Paris a couple of weeks ago — while the Western world doesn’t seem to be behind Israel in the same way. We don’t feel the reciprocity.”
Klein added that because France was a nation in mourning, he did not consider it appropriate to tell the people he interviewed that they were part of an experiment, and to ask them if they now understand why Israel gets angry when treated that way by the media.
“Everyone was still in a state of trauma,” he explained, adding that the effect of the newly posted video remains to be seen. “But in its first few hours on line, it has been viewed by approximately 50,000 people worldwide.”
Watch the video below: