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Thumbs Up to Neil Macdonald

THUMBS UP to CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp) correspondent Neil Macdonald for his Sept. 13 report about Palestinian death threats against the Associated Press after the AP filmed Palestinians in Nablus celebrating the Sept. 11 attacks against America. Macdonald also reported the APís ensuing refusal to broadcast the film.

He noted that while images of cheering East Jerusalem Arabs had been repeatedly aired, viewers had not seen "pictures of thousands of people celebrating in the streets of the Palestinian city of Nablus. Reportedly, Palestinian police even joined in that rejoicing. The television division of the Associated Press has that tape but has refused to release it. The AP says thatís because it has received death threats from Palestinian organizations."

While confronting the obviously uncomfortable AP bureau chief Dan Perry about the suppressed images, the following unusual exchange transpired:

Perry:"This is totally unprofessional. Iím asking you to turn off the camera."

Macdonald: "Is it professional to suppress those images?"

Perry: "Iím asking you to turn off the camera."

Macdonald: "Is it professional to suppress those images?"

Macdonald also reported that "Palestinians do not deny making the threats." Seeking out a Palestinian viewpoint on this incident, he talked with Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi, who stated: "We are living in a situation of crisis. I do not justify anything."

This rare exposť of the threats and abuses that Western journalists face in the Palestinian areas goes a long way towards helping viewers understand that the news they receive is often skewed and incomplete.

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