“POINTERS for Sharon” (editorial, July 29) points in the wrong direction. To say that if Ariel Sharon takes the “measures” of releasing more prisoners, suspending work on a security fence, taking down more checkpoints, and freezing settlements, then “Palestinian action should be to disarm militant groups” disregards completely the basic imperatives of the peace endeavor the Globe has repeatedly praised.
The road map is not a long or difficult document, yet some in the media have an astonishingly hard time keeping its basics straight. Key written provisos, prepared by an international "quartet" of the E.U., UN, Russia and the US, are regularly cast as irritating "demands" laid down by Israel.
Among the stunning side-effects of the past three years of Middle East violence has been the flood of crude, defamatory attacks on Israel in influential European media.
In a familiar syndrome, many otherwise impartial American journalists, newly posted in Israel, slip quickly in their reporting into unmistakably hostile views of the country. Why?
Like CNN, the New York Times aims to cover the globe, even from inside despotic regimes. Yet ethical compromise is inevitable in the controlled realms of dictators and medieval monarchs. Language must not offend, nor can there be reminders of unflattering policies and events. Watchful officials keep records, and journalists pay a price for perceived infractions.
Nothing underscores National Public Radio's shoddy Middle East reporting and evasion of accountability quite like its official rejoinders to criticism. News Vice President Bruce Drake replied to a Jerusalem Post column critical of NPR coverage ("National Public Radio Off the Map," May 23, 2003) dodging and obfuscating in familiar style
The New York Times has trouble reporting the facts straight about Middle East documents, repeatedly distorting their terms and shifting responsibility — and fault — to Israel. Recent misinformation about the road map by correspondent Steven Weisman is fuel for critics who see the paper increasingly marshaling its news pages to advance an editorial agenda.
Newspaper headlines about the Hamas terrorist bombing in Jerusalem — for which the death tally has now reached 17 — and Israel's strike against Hamas in Gaza that killed four members of that organization and five bystanders have very often failed to represent events clearly.