Why is CNN Wrong About Israel So Often?

A look at one day of CNN reporting leaves anyone who knows what is happening in and about Israel with the feeling that CNN reporters spend most of their time “in the kitchen” attempting to report the news through the blur of whirling food processors, dishwashers, chatting workers and crashing dishes. It’s that…or something much more sinister.

Here are a few examples from text currently found on CNN:

“Pollard’s release — exactly 30 years after his arrest — could help ease the tensions between the United States and Israel that have grown over the Iran nuclear deal.”

There isn’t an Israeli in existence…no, let’s be honest, 99% of Israelis do not see Pollard’s release, after THIRTY years served for a crime that should have been 2-4 years, as anything that will ease tensions. And the growing threat that the US won’t even let Pollard leave the States for five years after he is released squashed most of our gratitude even for the simple act of the US finally following the law and releasing him.

Switching articles but not the beloved spot from which CNN loves to report (that noisy kitchen), here’s more of how CNN writes about Israel and Jews. Writing about the tragic murder of Shira Banki:

“Vilified through history by so many for so long, Jews are accustomed to sticking up for one another. But, in the light of Shira’s murder, the question now is: Can they still do that?”

In what world will Shira’s death at the hands of a terrorist, extremist, lunatic…split this country when we have come together as one to condemn it, to mourn for her and offer our prayers, our sorrow, and our love to her family and friends?

And another article – this one titled, “Palestinian youths and Israeli police clash at al-Aqsa site.” What happened there was that the Palestinian youth started throwing rocks (and firebombs and fireworks and were rioting) and the Israeli police had the combined job of trying to quell the riots and protect Jews praying at the Western Wall, just on the other side and down a few dozen meters below.

But CNN continues, “The site of the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, also known as the Temple Mount to Jews.” You can’t argue that this is fact but it is interesting that they chose this phrasing versus a more balanced “The site is known as Al-Aqsa to the Muslims and the Temple Mount to the Jews.” We can obviously also quibble about the order of always placing the Muslim/Palestinian concept before the Jewish one, especially when historically, it was (and is) the Temple Mount more than two thousand years before the al-Aqsa mosque was built and well over a thousand years before Islam even existed.

CNN continues, oblivious to how their words betray their slant as they explain that the Israeli police and the director of the mosque tell different stories. Does that surprise anyone? Is that really news? And notice how here, when they introduce a sense of irony, they put the Jews first. They credit the Israeli police with releasing a video showing the Palestinians throwing rocks “and other objects.” I guess they don’t know how to spell “firebomb.”

Then, lest you blame the Palestinians, CNN is quick to point out, “Eyewitnesses told CNN that Palestinians threw rocks while the police fired tear gas and rubber bullets.”

So rocks were answered with tear gas and rubber bullets? That doesn’t sound very fair and balanced. Those meany Israeli police bullies!

CNN feels it should share some history…but not too much and so as the dishwasher whirls, the CNN reporter does a quick Google search and types in. “The compound is considered a holy site in both Islam and Judaism.”

Well, technically, that’s accurate if not reflective of the truth and please note again the positioning – it is a place that is holy to both Islam and Judaism. In actuality, the area known as the Temple Mount after the first Temple, often referred to as Solomon’s Temple, was built in 957 BCE. Since then, for all the three thousand plus years, this site has been our holiest site. All over the world, three times a day, Jews turn to this spot in their prayers.

By contrast, Mecca is the holiest of places in Islam, recognized as the birth place of Mohammed in 570 CE (in other words, more than 1,500 years after our first Temple was built). Did I mention that non-Muslims may not enter Mecca…we’re infidels, after all.

Next up on the holy Islam places…no, not Jerusalem, Medina, where Mohammed created his power base and where he is buried – oh, and no infidels allowed there either.

When a Muslim bows in prayer, he faces Mecca – often pointing his…um…backside to the Temple Mount because that is the third holiest place. Interestingly enough, if you ask a Muslim, he will tell you that all truth is contained in the Koran. What isn’t contained in the Koran is any mention of Jerusalem. By contrast, Jerusalem IS mentioned in the Jewish Bible – over 650 times.

To end their article, the CNN reporter decided to put Israel first. He mentions that the police say that the youths were throwing stones and shooting fireworks and that four were injured.

And then the final paragraph goes to the Palestinians. According to Sheikh Kisswani, the director general of the mosque, it seems the Arab youth were just sitting there innocently when the police “raided” the complex, fired stun guns, used rubber bullets and tear gas and of course, injured over a dozen “worshipers.”

If this guy had bothered to come out of the kitchen, he might have heard the fireworks, seen the explosions from the firebombs. Instead, CNN’s report was filed by Kareem Khadder, Erin McLaughlin, Amir Tal, and Mohammed Tawfeeq. I assume Amir Tal is Jewish; I assume Kareem and Mohammed are Arab; and I guess Erin is not either.

Let’s take one more – here, Kareem gets to write all on his own. He writes about the death of a Palestinian teen. He ties it to the death of an innocent toddler, lest we, in the title, think the teen might have done something that caused his demise.

In the first paragraph, Kareem explains that the teen was shot by Israeli troops during clashes sparked by the killing of an Arab toddler in an arson attack.

The second paragraph tells us the youth’s age, and that he was shot twice, once in the chest and once in the abdomen. Obviously where he was shot is more important than what he was doing prior to his death. What was he doing?

Well, in the first two paragraphs, Kareem tells you the teen’s name (Laith Fadel Khaldi), and tacks on his source being an Arab medical official. In the third paragraph, he leads with the source. This is what happened, says the first two paragraphs; this is what the Israelis say, quietly announces the third.

In the third, we learn, oh yes, according to the Israelis, Khaldi hurled a Molotov cocktail at an army post. Soldiers under attack fired and Khaldi was hit.

Lest the reader begin to realize that if you attack a soldier with a Molotov cocktail, that makes you a combatant…certainly not an innocent bystander, Kareem finishes the rest of the article repeating the same news about the toddler’s death that has been printed for the last four days. Kareem quickly points out that the words “price tag” were found on the walls of the house in Duma. This is actually inaccurate.

It says “revenge” and what is not written is that there is no clear and conclusive evidence who did this and some rather suspicious elements. Even some of the news outlets that days ago concluded it was clearly the work of “Jewish terrorists” are downgrading their coverage to “suspected”.

What is important is not the coverage CNN offers on any single day, but the overall coverage it provides. Why does it place Islam consistently in front of Judaism in explaining the historical ties to this land? Historically, this is inaccurate.

Why does it take three paragraphs to explain that Khaldi was shot because he threw a firebomb at Israeli soldiers in the middle of rioting?

Why do they include background elements that are not relevant to a story but succeed in promoting sympathy for the Palestinians, but exclude background information when it might explain to their readers the Israeli side of the conflict?

CNN once used the tag line “The Most Trusted Name in News.” Clearly, those days are long gone. They’re latest tag line is “Go There” which doesn’t instill much confidence…especially when “there” seems to be that noisy kitchen.



Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.