Defying public indignation at their biased coverage of the Middle East, and
insulated from reform by the subsidy of tax dollars, National Public Radio
reporters and editors continue to disseminate harmfully inaccurate information.
CAMERA had hoped to find in the newly-appointed NPR President, Delano Lewis,
an openness to documented and sober criticism. Early indications seemed
promisingin late 1994, responding to a CAMERA complaint, the network
broadcast correction of reporter Linda Gradstein's inaccurate claim that Israeli
Prime Minister Rabin had called for the use of torture against Arab prisoners.
When, however, problems in coverage continued, CAMERA representatives met in
February 1995 with Lewis, Bill Buzenberg, Vice President for News, and Elizabeth
Becker, Foreign Editor. NPR gave assurances then that any future CAMERA concerns
would be addressed promptly by Buzenberg.
Shortly afterward CAMERA submitted detailed criticism of a specific NPR
segment in which Israel was erroneously charged with abusing Palestinian Arabs
by thwarting the direct export of Gaza strawberries to Europe. Like other NPR
reports, this one repeated accusations by partisan sources and failed to check
facts independently. NPR never answered the CAMERA inquiry, or corrected the
The network continues to misrepresent not only myriad facts but the broad
landscape of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In NPR's rendition Israel is responsible
for virtually every delay in the march toward peace. Reports radically downplay
threats Israel faces in the form of terrorism, military-strategic vulnerability,
and anti-Semitism promoted by Arab nations and Palestinian groups.
CAMERA's current ad campaign aims to shine light on the unprofessional
practices of the network. The first ad focuses on NPR's whitewashing of Hamas, a
group repeatedly characterized by the network as an admirable social service
agency, not a terror group.
What can concerned citizens do?
Withhold financial support from NPR until the coverage improves.
Listeners are not obliged to subsidize defamation.
Complain to Congress, which requires the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting (dispenser of tax dollars to public networks) to ensure "objectivity
and balance" in controversial programming.