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Covering the Intifada: How the Media Reported the Palestinian Uprising Paperback – July 31, 2003
About the Author
Joshua Muravchik is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and an adjunct scholar of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He is the author of six books and he has written widely on U.S. media coverage in the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.
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Muravchik looks at ten different periods of time from the start of the latest intifada at the end of September, 2000 through the battle for Jenin in April, 2002. And while he finds some consistently biased reporting by some individuals at CNN, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, only ABC had a consistent overall bias without any balance from less tenditious individuals. This was presumably due to the power of Peter Jennings in determining what ABC would report.
Muravchik does a superb job of spotting inconsistencies in stories and illogical jumps from a set of facts to unwarranted conclusions. He points out serious omissions of facts that could be expected to give viewers and readers very distorted views of each topic. And he shows how three major factors have worked to make Israel look bad. First, Arab spokesmen, even many of the "people on the street," have shown a remarkable capacity for telling lies, far more so than Israeli ones. Second, the Arab press is not a free one at all, and simply says what it is told to say. Third, Arab thugs menace reporters who portray them in less than a flattering light; those reporters who cooperate with the Arabs are given scoops and interviews. These asymmetries make it easier for authoritarian regimes to pervert the profession of journalism and to twist it to serve their purposes.