UPDATED: CNN Ignores Hit Jeep, Injured Israelis

Nov. 11 Update: Following communication from CAMERA, CNN.com improves story, highlights jeep attack, Israeli injures

Nov. 10 — In an attack today claimed by Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Palestinians from Gaza launched an anti-tank missile at an Israeli jeep patrolling within Israeli territory, 500 feet from the border. Four Israeli soldiers were injured, two seriously, and the Israeli army responded by shelling Gaza, killing four and wounding dozens, according to reports. Here’s how CNN reports the story:

The problems in this highly selective and distorted account are manifold. First, nowhere does the story mention that four Israeli soldiers were wounded, two seriously, when their jeep was hit. In fact, the story does not even make clear that the Israeli jeep was hit — it only says that it was “target[ed]” via “the detonation of a devise by a Palestinian militant group.”

Second, CNN reverses cause and effect, noting the Palestinian casualties in the headline and lede, when in fact the Israeli strike on Gaza was carried out as a response to the anti-missile attack on the jeep. The AP got it right with the headline “After attack on jeep, Israeli army kills 4 in Gaza,” and the first two paragraphs:

Palestinian militants fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli jeep patrolling the border with Gaza and the Israelis fired back into the Palestinian territory, killing four civilians, officials and witnesses said.

Israel’s military said four of its soldiers were wounded in the missile attack, including one seriously. Ashraf al-Kidra, a Gaza health ministry spokesman, said all four Palestinians killed were civilians. . . .

The Israeli jeep was hit on the Israeli side of the border, 500 feet away from the border, and yet the article says the “targeting” of the Israeli vehicle occurred “near the border between Gaza and Israel.” It does not make clear that the vehicle was hit in Israel. Nor does it indicate that the “detonation” was an anti-tank missile, claimed by Hamas and the PFLP. 

The byline attributes the article to CNN wire staff, and at the bottom of the story we learn that Talal Abu Rahman, Michael Scwartz and Kareem Khadder contributed to the story. Talal Abu Rahman first became known to many for his role in the Mohammed Al-Dura affair.

Nov. 11 Update: Following communication from CAMERA, CNN revises story, highlights jeep attack and Israeli injuries

Following communication from CAMERA staff, CNN editors commendably revised the headline, article, and article highlights. The article now makes clear that an Israeli jeep was hit, four Israeli soldiers were injured, and that this attack prompted the Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip. Here is a screen capture of most of the revised article:
The changes that CNN has made in the headline, text, and story highlights are significant.
Before: After:
Medics: Palestinians killed in Gaza shelling Violence flares as Israelis, Palestinians trade fire
Opening Paragraphs
Before: After
Three Palestinians were killed and 22 injured when Israeli tank fire hit a building east of Gaza City where hundreds of mourners were gathered for a funeral, Palestinian medical sources said Saturday.
Ten of those injured are in a serious condition, the medical sources said, and the number of deaths is expected to rise.
Four Israeli soldiers were wounded and five Palestinians, including a militant, were killed Saturday as the two sides traded fire.

An anti-tank missile was fired at an Israel Defense Force patrol, wounding the soldiers, according to the IDF, which targeted several sites in the Gaza Strip in retaliation.
Story Highlights (bullet point information accompanying the article)
Before: After:
CNN has also added a photograph showing Israelis in the south fleeing for cover as another rocket alarm is sounded. CAMERA commends CNN editors for the timely and significant revisions to the article.
Please see here for another correction at CNN that CAMERA prompted within the last 24 hours.

Comments are closed.