Communique: 19 February 2004
TIMES REBALANCES AL JAZEERA
On Feb. 16, the New York Times
ran a highly sympathetic profile of Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based media outlet that became well-known in the West by broadcasting taped statements by Osama bin Laden. (This article was also published in the Times-owned International Herald Tribune.)
Under a headline declaring that Al Jazeera produces "Balanced Coverage," the Times article is filled with flattering quotes on Al Jazeera's effort to supply "comprehensive and accurate" news coverage, its lack of "ideological aim," and noble goal to "bridge the gap" between East and West. An Al Jazeera spokesman argues that since the station is criticized by both the Pentagon and Arab regimes, this "is a sign that what we are doing is right." The Times article supports that view Â¯ failing to cite any of the myriad examples of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, and anti-Western material that characterizes Al Jazeera coverage.
▪ On Feb. 13, the Al Jazeera website ran an article
about "the danger of Jewish power," entitled "A Look at the Powerful Jewish Lobby." Author Mark Weber, director of the Holocaust-denying Institute for Historical Review (of David Irving infamy)
approvingly quotes a "scholar" who says "The Holocaust may yet turn out to be the greatest robbery in the history of mankind."
▪ The Al Jazeera website has a special section
on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, which amounts to a slick ideological assault against Israel and the facts. Among the countless examples: President Bush
has given Ariel Sharon a "licence to kill" to eradicate "Palestinian nationalism," suicide terrorists
are euphemized as "self-sacrificing fighters," and a review of "massacres"
in the Arab-Israeli conflict contains only examples of Israeli acts, with no Arab acts mentioned. This is what the Times calls "balanced coverage"?
▪ Far from "neutral," Al Jazeera journalists actively supported anti-American forces in Iraq: In November, US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld
announced evidence that Al-Jazeera and another Arab media outlet cooperated with Iraqi forces to witness and videotape attacks on American troops. Al Jazeera's presentation
of Americans as barbaric, and Saddam Hussein's regime as heroic, were so outlandish that when Hussein was captured in a hole, an Egyptian government official
said, "We discovered that all what the [Iraqi] information minister was saying was all lies... Now no one believes Al-Jazeera anymore."
No one except the New York Times, that is.
As journalist and commentator Tom Gross
says, "This New York Times story is an example of how the paper, through the myth of 'objectivity,' subtly misleads its readers on Mideast issues on an almost daily basis." Al Jazeera, with 35 million daily viewers and plans to enter North American cable, is a growing force in propagating anti-Israel and anti-American lies under the guise of objective "news." New York Times readers, unfortunately, are left in the dark regarding this aspect of the "balanced" Arab media outlet.
Comments to New York Times: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cartoonists Cox and Forkum provide an appropriate satire of Al Jazeera's "news coverage":
REUTERS: ADL IS A 'PRESSURE GROUPâ€™
From a Reuters article on Mel Gibson's controversial new movie, "The Passion of the Christ":
In an interview with Reuters Television after he met Vatican officials, Abraham Foxman, U.S. director of the Anti-Defamation League, an independent Jewish pressure group, said the film portrayed Jews as bloodthirsty and vengeful.
In Reuters-land, the ADL is a "pressure group," yet the ADL's Muslim counterpart, The Council on American Islamic Relations is "an Islamic civil rights and advocacy group."
(Hat tip: James Taranto)
As HonestReporting continues to fight against Reuters' bias, we acknowledge the fine work of CAMERA to help bring about positive change at Reuters.