BOSTONCiting its new, in-depth study of National
Public Radios coverage of events in Israel and the Palestinian
territories, CAMERA has renewed its denunciation of the network for skewed and
inaccurate reporting. Entitled A Record of Bias, National Public
Radios Coverage of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, September 26November
26, 2000," the analysis traces reporting during the first two months of
the recent violence.
Terming NPRs coverage a genuine scandal that
violates the basic precepts of responsible journalism, as well as statutes that
govern disbursement of funds by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,
CAMERA Executive Director Andrea Levin called for public and Congressional
examination of NPRs reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Those responsible have to finally be held
accountable, she said, the reporters, the editors, the producers
all the way up to the President. The network is broadcasting outright
misinformation and bias to listeners. Its gone on for years and its
time for it to stop.
Levin said network coverage regularly minimizes or omits
Palestinian incitement and aggression, while blaming Israel for the violence
and repeating Palestinian grievances without question. The study found
egregious uncorrected error as well as sharply disproportionate time allotted
to Arab/Palestinian or pro-Arab speakers.
In addition, according to CAMERA, during the period of the
study NPR reporters used language that was inflammatory and prejudicial to
Israel. One correspondent, for example, said Israel is creating
Bantustans in the West Bank and she characterized the Jerusalem
neighborhood of Gilo as a settlement built in occupied east
Whereas Palestinian rioters were said by NPR to lob
stones at an Israeli military outpost, Jewish rioters were described as
engaging in mob-style aggression. Whereas Ariel Sharon was labeled
hard-line or right-wing more than twenty times, in
addition to being attacked repeatedly in entirely one-sided programs,
Palestinian Marwan Barghouti, orchestrator of violence that has caused death
and suffering for both sides, was called the main organizer of the street
protests. Sheik Ahmed Yasin, a leader of Hamas, a group responsible for
numerous terrorist attacks killing Israelis, was called simply a
Levin noted that NPR frequently airs programs entirely
omitting Israeli or pro-Israeli voices. In many of these, Israel is
subjected to unsubstantiated and false charges without any opportunity to
respond. In one, a speaker who campaigns regularly for the so-called ?right of
return of all Palestinians to Israel and who advocates the dissolution of
the country as a Jewish state, was given an uninterrupted, unchallenged
monologue to present her views.
Levin noted that in the past National Public Radio attempted
to deflect numerous substantive complaints from CAMERA by claiming the
media-monitoring group had raised only occasional objections to the
networks voluminous coverage. While CAMERA rejected that false assertion,
noting the extensive record of complaints submitted, the group made clear that
the new study should put to rest any questions about the gravity and
pervasiveness of NPRs biased reporting.
The study will soon be available on the CAMERA website. It
will also be distributed to the public and to Members of Congress as a part of
a stepped-up effort by the media- monitoring group to redress the anti-Israel
tilt of the network.