All too often journalists sitting across the table from Arab leaders do their utmost to avoid asking any tough questions, lest they give "offense" to people clearly unused to being challenged. But now and then an intrepid interviewer does pose the uncomfortable question to a king or potentate. NBC's Tom Brokaw, for example, in a recent interview asked the tough questions of Jordan's King Abdullah. Why did they end up on the cutting room floor?
In an otherwise moving piece, NBC Nightly News' August 3, 2003 broadcast inappropriately politicized actor Christopher Reeve's recent trip to Israel. Reeve, a quadriplegic, visited Israel to promote his cause — stem cell research. But NBC marred the report by inserting unrelated references to the Arab-Israeli conflict, always to Israel's detriment.
It seems that some members of the media are having a tough time differentiating the terms of the American brokered "road map" from Palestinian unilateral demands on Israel. Namely, while Palestinians have conditioned their cease-fire on the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons (among other demands), the "road map" plan, drawn up by the United States, European Union, Russia, and the United Nations, has nothing at all to say about Palestinian prisoners.
In their evening broadcasts of June 22, ABC and NBC reported as fact that Israel killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that the circumstances surrounding their deaths were disputed.
THUMBS UP to Martin Fletcher of NBC Nightly News for his May 8, 2001 broadcast about Palestinian television urging children to "Drop your toys. Pick up rocks." The "commercial," translated by Jerusalem-based Palestinian Media Watch, features an actor playing the slain 12-year-old Palestinian Mohammed al-Dura in paradise after death and calling on his peers to "Follow him."