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Send a Map to Jeff Fager

Tell 60 Minutes that Bethlehem is not "completely surrounded"

CBS's flagship news magazine, 60 Minutes, got it wrong when it claimed an Israeli wall encircles the entire city of Bethlehem. In an April 22, 2012 segment entitled "Christians of the Holy Land," 60 Minutes host Bob Simon claimed, "The wall completely surrounds Bethlehem, turning the little town where Christ was born into what its residents call an open air prison." This is simply not true. But more than a year has passed and 60 Minutes has not corrected the record about this and other errors that appeared in the segment.
 
Staffers at the network know about the errors. CBS News has been contacted by thousands of people about the problems with the segment; a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal drew attention to the errors; and the need for a correction has been raised at CBS shareholders' meetings. But Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and executive producer for 60 Minutes, has refused to correct the record. In fact, even after he knew of the challenges to the segment's accuracy, Fager repeated the errors before his fellow congregants at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in New Canaan in April 2013. He told his fellow congregants that Bethlehem is surrounded by a wall. It is not.
 
It is time for 60 Minutes to broadcast full and forthright corrections of the errors made. You can help by sending a map of the security barrier to Jeff Fager and insisting that CBS abide by its stated commitments to journalistic ethics.
 
Email 60 Minutes60m@cbsnews.com
Call CBS's corporate switchboard: 212-975-4321
 
Map of barrier route near Bethlehem by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (December 2012). Click on the image to open a large pdf image.

 
Map of barrier route near Bethlehem by B'tselem (June 2012). Click on the image to open a large pdf image.
Articles About 60 Minutes' Violations
of Journalistic Ethics
 
Shortly after the skewed 60 Minutes episode first aired, CAMERA published a detailed critique explaining how Bob Simon misled  viewers about Palestinian Christians.
 
CAMERA describes CBS and Jeff Fager's efforts to stonewall in the face of serious criticism and challenges to the accuracy of the 60 Minutes segment.
 
During the question and answer period after a presentation by Jeff Fager at his church in Connecticut, Fager faced a challenge from the audience: If he could prove the security fence completely surrounds Bethlehem, as he had just told the audience, the questioner, a CAMERA analyst, would donate $5,000 to a charity of his choosing.
 
Four board members of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) attended the CBS May 24 shareholder meeting in New York, arguing that the television network had used distortions, omissions and factual errors on “60 Minutes” to present the Jewish state as an oppressor of Christians in the region.
 
60 Minutes: At War With The Truth
60 Minutes has failed to issue a correction, either during its Sunday broadcast or on its website – contrary to CBS’s corporate policy which states that “significant errors of fact must be corrected clearly and promptly in the broadcast or on the web page of the program in which the error was made…”

After CBS News Chairman Jeffrey Fager disregarded detailed, substantive information presented to him and defended the distorted segment, CAMERA on August 14, 2012 published the following advertisement in the Wall Street Journal: