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7/25/2006 10:26:00 PM | Jared Alessandroni

New York Times and Other Israel Bias


There is an excellent post from The Huffington Post's Tom McCarthy about the New York Times' coverage of Lebanon. Mr. McCarthy writes of the 7/14 lead headline, Israel Blockades Lebanon; Wide Strikes by Hezbollah:

On that morning, a Friday, the civilian death toll in Lebanon (as supplied in the third paragraph of the Times story, a skillfully reported piece whose co-authors, Hassan M. Fattah and Steven Erlanger, are at work in a war zone 6,000 miles away from the copy desk on West 43d Street where the headline was presumably written) was 53; the toll in Israel (as supplied in the first sentence of the story) was two.

With those numbers I'll take a strike over a blockade any day


According to McCarthy, the paper has shown bias in favor of Israel several times. I have seen this several times, especially in the choices of photographs where there seem to be more close-up, injured child shots of Israelis and more long-shot corpse shots in Lebanon. This might be just an example of victimizing Israel, or, ironically, might just be a result of the fact that the death toll is almost a factor of ten greater for Lebanon.

A perfect example of this is here, where an AP wire story in the Wilmington Star reports the death toll as follows:

At least 381 people have been killed in Lebanon, including 20 soldiers and 11 Hezbollah fighters, according to security officials.

At least 600,000 Lebanese have fled their homes, according to the World Health Organization - with one estimate by Lebanon's finance minister putting the number at 750,000, nearly 20 percent of the population.

Israel's death toll stands at 36, with 17 people killed by Hezbollah rockets and 19 soldiers killed in the fighting.


Note that the Israel figures specify that the the 17 people were killed by Hezbollah rockets, as if to emphasize that they were innocent, staying on their side of the fence, as opposed to the 19 soldiers. In fact, the Lebanon numbers are seemingly exclusive to their side, all of these people were killed in Lebanon. In making this distinction, they also distinguish, essentially, the innocents in the Israeli numbers. 17 people were killed by rockets. The Lebanese numbers, though, do not. They do not make any effort to say that 350 non-soldiers, non-Hezbollah, non-fighters were killed. Of course, this could be something other than Israel-bias - it could be just that the numbers on the Lebanese side are so skewed that it seems redundant to distinguish them. In a way, it's true - while more than half of the people who died in Israel were fighting intentionally, a disturbing 92% of the casualties in Lebanon were civilian. To argue anything short of an Israeli blood-orgy would be a perversion of sense.

Of course, the title of the article is, Hezbollah tough foe for Israel.



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