Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Dismal Corrections

ABC

Error (ABC World News Tonight, Peter Jennings, 3/20/02): In northern Israel today, a suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus. Seven people died, most of them Israeli Arabs.

Attempted Correction (05/23/02): We have a correction for the record. Two months ago we reported that most of the seven people killed in a bus bombing in Israel had been Israeli Arabs. This was based on all the initial reporting on the scene. It turns out that those who died were Jews. Most of the passengers on the bus and most of the wounded were Arabs.

CAMERA: There was not a single report CAMERA found that supports the ABC statement. The names and identities of the Israelis were public before the broadcast. An AFP story available to ABC before air-time quoted the Arab mayor of a town near the site of the attack who said: “the five victims so far identified are Jewish, while only eight of the 35 people injured are Arab Israelis.”



Error (ABC World News Tonight, Ron Allen, 10/06/95): After Abeer Wahidi was jailed the Israeli army bulldozed her family's home, part of its policy of collective punishment.

Attempted Correction (01/22/96): And we have a correction to make tonight. In a story some time ago about Palestinian prisoners our reporter said that this house [video of bulldozers knocking down Wahidi home] was destroyed by the Israelis as a matter of government policy. In this case it was destroyed during what the Israelis said was a raid on suspected terrorists. There were no terrorists in the house, and the Israeli government paid to rebuild it. And we regret the error.

CAMERA: The home had been torn down because it was seriously damaged during an IDF search for wanted terrorists and the IDF paid full compensation--over $400,000--for the collateral damage, allowing the Wahidis to rebuild their home. There was no punishment, collective or otherwise. Furthermore, ABC had used the same footage of the home's destruction one year earlier to illustrate an entirely unrelated Hamas story. ABC's Jennings ignored this fact and did not provide full details in his correction.



Error (ABC World News Tonight, David Ensor, 10/2/95): The party out of power in Israel is Likud, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, who calls Prime Minister Rabin a traitor because of his deals with Arafat.

Attempted Correction (ABC World News Tonight, Peter Jennings, 10/6/95): We have a correction to make this evening. Earlier this week in a report on how the Israeli opposition party is lobbying in Washington against the Israeli government's peace negotiations with the Arabs, our reporter said the opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu had called the Israeli prime minister a traitor. Though there are numerous references to him doing so in press reports from the region, and though he has spoken at anti-government rallies where Prime Minister Rabin has been loudly condemned as a traitor, Mr. Netanyahu informs us he has never used those words himself.

CAMERA: Contrary to Jennings invocation of "numerous references [to Netanyahu calling Rabin a traitor] in the press reports from the region," CAMERA could find none in standard news databases and asked ABC to provide citations for the press reports in question. Of the two provided, neither was signed nor substantiated and both had been proven to contain the "traitor " reference erroneously.