July 28, 2006
The Subtle Anti-Israeli Biases of an AP Reporter
Cross-posted at Mein BlogoVault.
I recently wrote a lengthy NewsBusters post on Syrian advocate Sami Moubayed and his forum at the Washington Post. My primary concern was the bias of the writer, which was decidedly from the standpoint of an advocate. My primary concern was the “journalist” description that the Post attached to Moubayeb, when Moubayeb’s own website identified him as an advocate for the Palestinian cause (among other things). I also clarified that I have no problem with the man’s biases, as long as they are described or revealed as such. They weren’t, in that particular case.
I was directed by a reader to another such individual – this time, an AP writer named Bassem Mroue. The writing he does for the AP has tinges of anti-American bias throughout (in this instance, for example.) Mroue's biases are even more pronounced at his blog.
I wonder if this graphic is more commonplace amongst AP and Reuters M.E. correspondents than we might think (also, a screenshot):
From another recent post on his blog entitled “More Crimes Against Humanity” :
In the southern village of Srifa 27 people were killed in the brutal bombardment by Israel, the country that American officials like to call the only democratic country in the Middle East. It is not surprising why the United States does not want to work for a cease fire because they want to give Israel more time to kill more Lebanese.I can't begin to tell you how inaccurate and one-sided that is. Here's a little bit from yesterday - compare his passage about Hezbullah to that of his pontifications about Israel:
On Hezbullah: On the political front, U.S. and European officials met in Rome but failed to call for a cease fire between Hezbollah and Israel. Hezbollah accused the United States of being behind the failure of the conference.No negative connotation. No condemnation of the terrorist group. Nothing. And now on Israeli action:
The violence will end the life or more and more people tomorrow and the days after now that the cease fire seem to be far.Notice the lack of condemnation or even a mention of Hezbullah's actions, except for an earlier repetition of "Arab news sources" reporting on a Hezbullah ambush on two Israeli units. Hezbullah, of course, touched off this current engagement by kidnapping two Israeli soldiers and killing a third (along with launching rockets into Israeli towns, targeting civilians). This doesn't even factor in the Palestinian rocket attacks that have been a near daily occurrence since Israel withdrew completely from Gaza last year.
Reports in Israeli newspapers are more and more mentioning that Israel is getting stuck in the Lebanese quagmire again and that the war was not well-planned. As days will pass there will be more opposition to the war in Israel.
A television report from a bunker in northern Israel showed a young women arguing with her mother. "Arabs want peace," she shouted.
Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said it during the news conference today that Arabs made it clear in the 2002 Arab summit in Beirut that they want peace.
All the people of this region have the right to live in peace. People are tired of war.
Now, it bears repeating that writers of all stripes are entitled to their opinions. This is not an indictment of the biases that the writer holds (with which I happen to disagree.) It is necessary, however, to note that this individual writes for the AP.
The AP provides much of the filler in every major, mid-sized and little paper in the country. They are published quickly, and in great abundance. It is easy, therefore, for the biases and slants of reporters and stringers to get lost in the great mélange of news stories ‘minestroned’ together each day to compose the news cycle that most people see on television and read about in newspapers.
The problem arises when these people are called “journalists.” Judging from the writings on Mroue’s blog, he has some pretty pronounced biases - anti-Israel biases. He has been keeping tabs on the situation in Lebanon from Baghdad, and his most recent posts reveal his ongoing editorial assessment of the confluence of events in Lebanon. I suggest you give it a read, familiarize yourself with the reporter's name and watch out for his stories printed in papers or on the AP wires.
Nothing dangerous. Just biased.