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Media Bias against Israel

Chacham (981) writes | more than 10 years ago

News 20

There is a general leftist media bias. Conservatives see it, Liberals deny it. I think Liberals deny it, not because they're lieng, rather, because they see their views as normal, and thus the media is reporting exactly what they think it should.

There is a general leftist media bias. Conservatives see it, Liberals deny it. I think Liberals deny it, not because they're lieng, rather, because they see their views as normal, and thus the media is reporting exactly what they think it should.

There is another note though, the media is anti-Israel. you just canot deny it. Even the papers is Israel are anti-Israel, but for different reasons. The ones in Israel are leftists (easily noticed by their views on religion) and most believe that peace with the Arabs is the answer. Unfortunately, that means that anytime an Arab kills someone, not to blame them. Outside of Israel, it's just plain bias.

In order to recognize the bias, a website called http://www.HonestReporting.com is dedicated to watching the media and reporting on it. It all started when the New York Times got a picture of an Israeli policeman saving a Jew from an Arab mob. The Jewish boy is full of blood. Unfortunately, the paper identified the Jewish victim of the Arab mob, as an Arab victim of the Israeli policeman.

Well, they gave out their "awards" now for dishonest reporting. With the background they provide, you can see the unbelieveable viciously anti-Israel bias of the British media, Reuters, and the general anti-Israel bias of most media outlets.

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I think it's biased both ways... (3, Insightful)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 10 years ago | (#5001080)

Yeah, the Arabs around Israel are being violent. Yeah, the Israelis are being violent to the Arabs. Who starts it is always a debate though. Maybe that jewish boy threw a rock at an Arab.

Maybe he didn't, you never know. I know I see a lot more articles defending Israels actions that chastizing them, even when it seems to be over-use of force.

I find it best to keep a clear opinion of both sides, and not believe either one unless I see it with my own eyes. There are too many layers of corruption for any degree of truly, "honest reporting"

Re:I think it's biased both ways... (3, Interesting)

Dannon (142147) | more than 10 years ago | (#5001388)

I know I see a lot more articles defending Israels actions that chastizing them, even when it seems to be over-use of force.

Perhaps... but then, I see a lot more 'over-use of force', if you can call it that, from groups like Hamas than from the Israelis.

I had a few very good responses on a recent journal entry [slashdot.org] of mine asking questions on a similar topic. Neocon posted two links that did a rather fine job of clarifying the position of Arafat and his supporters, while Interrobang gave me a link which led me to a more thorough understanding of the history of the state of Israel. Very good stuff.

I reassert my questions from my last post in that entry: Can you point me to a Jew who has either committed or called for the wholesale murder of non-Jews? Can you point me to anyone who has crossed the boundary of lawfulness and been rewarded for it the way Arabic leaders have rewarded the families of suicide bombers?

You're right, you can't trust all reporting at face value. But in my view, that doesn't discount the existance of a true story, or the possibility that we can know some approximation of it. Rather than giving up on finding a single 'truthful source' from that region, I prefer to gather all information I can. Convincing half-lies must still hold a kernel of truth to be convincing, and with enough information, I should be able to extract that kernel and learn from the lie.

Re:I think it's biased both ways... (3, Interesting)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 10 years ago | (#5001652)

But in my view, that doesn't discount the existance of a true story, or the possibility that we can know some approximation of it. Rather than giving up on finding a single 'truthful source' from that region, I prefer to gather all information I can. Convincing half-lies must still hold a kernel of truth to be convincing, and with enough information, I should be able to extract that kernel and learn from the lie.

I definitely agree with you on this. If you put together a mesh of lies against a same event, the contradictions will yield the truth.

But please don't take it that I'm sympathizing with either side, I'm not saying that the Jews are right, nor are the Arabs. I think that both sides are pretty messed up. I don't know enough to state any opinion on it.

I do know that both side obviously thinks they are right. I can't judge what they believe, only disagree.

Re:I think it's biased both ways... (3, Interesting)

neocon (580579) | more than 10 years ago | (#5002600)

With due respect, I'd argue that saying that you're not sure if the side which is a free democracy where all citizens of all religions have equal rights or the side which is a dictatorship which sets of human bombs in the childrens areas of restaurants is in the right isn't being open minded, it's being blind.

Surely you aren't claiming that the two approaches are equally valid, are you? It's not like the Palestinians are denying that their goals (and methods) are genocidal -- it's right there in their own statements, as you can see by spending a few minutes reading the translations of the Arab media at the MEMRI [memri.org] .

Re:I think it's biased both ways... (3, Interesting)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#5002820)

I'd argue that saying that you're not sure if the side which is a free democracy where all citizens of all religions have equal rights or the side which is a dictatorship which sets of human bombs in the childrens areas of restaurants is in the right isn't being open minded, it's being blind.

I'm not saying that, what I'm saying is they both believe they are right. Purely objective, you believe that freedom of religion and all that mumbojumbo is more important than the purity of your religion. They [Radical fundamentalists] simply don't.

Surely you aren't claiming that the two approaches are equally valid, are you? It's not like the Palestinians are denying that their goals (and methods) are genocidal -- it's right there in their own statements, as you can see by spending a few minutes reading the translations of the Arab media at the MEMRI.

Equally valid to who, is the question I raise. Who am I, with "Western" (or Eastern, whichever) beliefs and lifestyle, to criticize their religion and beliefs, whether it tolerates genocide or not. I believe genocide, and murder, is wrong. They do not. I cannot fault them for their beliefs, only for their actions.

The right to swing your arm cedes at the tip of my nose, so to speak. Kill everyone you want, it's your "right", but know my religion does not allow me to stand by when I can do good and help someone who has asked. So I will kill you in turn, because that's my right.

I hope you get my point, and know that I am not sympathizing with anyone. The way I mostly see the Israel Vs. Palestinians is Israels government waging their bigger dick at the Palestinian "government"'s bigger dick.

With politicians and men in power wag their bigger dicks, the underlings die.

Re:I think it's biased both ways... (2)

neocon (580579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5003010)

And what does it tell us if both sides believe that they are in the right? Very little.

If the Palestinians believe, as they often say (again, don't take my word for it, read what they themselves are saying [memri.org] , that Israel has no right to exist, and that it is acceptable to send their own children to detonate themselves as murder-suicide bombs on buses full of schoolchildren, why would they pretend that they are as correct as the Israelis are when they believe in equal rights for all?

The fact is, these values are not equal, and there's no use pretending that they are.

If we fall into the type of sophistry which claims that we can never judge the values of another, we are simply abdicating all moral distinctions.

Re:I think it's biased both ways... (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#5004584)

Yeah, the Arabs around Israel are being violent.

And this is well documented. Not only by the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces (army)), but by the leaflets claiming that they did it from the various Arab terror groups.

Yeah, the Israelis are being violent to the Arabs.

Not really.

Firstly, the attacks by arabs are from all types of arabs, and against all types of Israelis. (i.e. Jewish, not Jewish, army, civilian, men, women, elderly, and children.). Except for a few skirmishes here and there (very rare, like about one or two a year) which are dealt with harshly by the Israeli police, the only real terror by an Israeli civilan was Boruch Goldstein. He was frustrated, snapped, and killed about 20(?) arabs in the Cave of the Patriarchs. Other than that, everything is done by the army, against armed militants. Thus, there is no comparison between the two, and that is *exactly* what HonestReporting.com was complaining about. The equation, when there is none.

Who starts it is always a debate though.

Generally, it is known what happened when. Order is irrelevant here. Because the sides won't agree, either will see the drop of a feather as a provocation. The only way to see it now, is who wants to *stop* it, with a ceasfire. The US brokered about ten cease-fires in Israel. In all ten cases, Israel had to stop first. In all ten cases the Arabs broke the ceasefire. Regardless of the squabbling, the facts remain, and the facts should be the focus.

Maybe that jewish boy threw a rock at an Arab.

And that is cause for the Arab to blow himself up on a bus?

I know I see a lot more articles defending Israels actions that chastizing them,

Where? I have not seen these article outside a foxnews article (when the news comes from them, and not associated press, which is rare), and from religious Israeli news.

even when it seems to be over-use of force.

"Overuse of force" is an oxymoron. When the Al Qaeda used terror and hid in Afghanistan, did the US "overuse force"? Well they bombed an killed and many civilians died. The general rule is, that when fighting terror, you must catch the terrorist at all costs.

And, even with all that, the Israelis still try to minimize force. When they went into Jenin, instead of bombing everything, they put units into Jenin itself. A rare thing. And, they paid the high price of thirteen soldiers dying together, which is an unbelievable thing for the IDF. Yet, were they praised for not using so much force? Nope, in fact, they were condemed by the world for a "massacre". Though the facts proved that to be a lie. There were about fifty-two dead, and all but about five were known terrorists.

I find it best to keep a clear opinion of both sides,

To not want to get involved, is one thing. But to keep a "clear mind" when a bloodbath is going on, is shameful, not honorable.

and not believe either one unless I see it with my own eyes.

Oh well. I would propose that you believe that WW1 and WW2 were wrong too? Were you there to verify who did what?

There are too many layers of corruption for any degree of truly, "honest reporting"

Honest reporting doesn't report, as much as they show how others' reporting was bad. Certainly you can understand the one with the picture of the Israeli policeman and the Jewish boy. The Post even agreed they made a mistake in that one.

Re:I think it's biased both ways... (2)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#5007293)

For all your points, I think they can be summarily answered, if not let me know:
I'm not saying that the Arabs or the Israelis are innocent. What I am saying is that this is a conflict that has gone on since shortly after WW2. Who threw first stone? Well, I suppose you could say the state of Israel did, by merely existing. Perhaps the Arab states did, by merely not acknowledging Israel. Then they attacked.

The difference, especially in western eyes, of the Arabs is dying in pursuit of a righteous cause (ridding the Holy land of Israel) is a great blessing, and you will be smiled upon in Heaven. Blowing up a bus to them is there greatest tribute, and the most important thing in their life.

In many ways, their customs and beliefs are so alien that we cannot understand at all. It leads to a lot of subjective right/wrong debating (Like this one)

The "Palestinian State", if one were to exist, is the under-dog here. Look at nVidia vs. 3dfx, when nVidia was the under-dog, everyone rooted. Then they won. Now, it seems more people are rooting for ATI. Israel is very good at one thing, kicking the shit out of people who attack them. Israel has never attacked without provocation, but when they do, they don't fuck around. I give them great respect for this, but just because my views align with the actions of Israel does not mean that I can discount the Fundamentalists as wrong. They are right in their own mind, and I must acknowledge that and instead of acting against them as a wrong -- act against them as an enemy with a different objective than mine and are pursuing theirs violently so I match with force.

I hope this makes sense.

Oh well. I would propose that you believe that WW1 and WW2 were wrong too? Were you there to verify who did what?
I believe the entire concept of those wars was wrong. I believe that the US acted very wrong as well, and waiting for so long to get involved. I try to never label things as right or wrong, because very seldom to people actually do things that they believe are wrong. People believe right is whatever they believe it to be, just because I believe it is wrong doesn't change that.

Right and wrong are only a label, consequences and truth are what matter.

Honest reporting doesn't report, as much as they show how others' reporting was bad. Certainly you can understand the one with the picture of the Israeli policeman and the Jewish boy. The Post even agreed they made a mistake in that one.

That last remark was actually just a pun. I always appreciate a source pointing out the incorrect statements of a news source.

Re:I think it's biased both ways... (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 11 years ago | (#5008922)

What I am saying is that this is a conflict that has gone on since shortly after WW2.

Actually, that is incorrect. The first war between Jews and others on the land was in about the Jewish y ear 2488 (~1273 BCE). The first war between Arabs and others would be about 700 CE (?). The first war betwen the Christians and the Arabs would be the First Crusade about 1100 CE. The first fights betwen the Arabs and the Jews would be the Hebron Massacre, in 1929. After WWII there was an all out war.

The difference, especially in western eyes, of the Arabs is dying in pursuit of a righteous cause (ridding the Holy land of Israel) is a great blessing, and you will be smiled upon in Heaven. Blowing up a bus to them is there greatest tribute, and the most important thing in their life.

Incorrect. First, Arabs to not consider Israel to be a "holy" land. Only the media seems to think that. Jews consider the Temple Mount to be the holiest site, and all of Israel to be holy. Christians consider it of great importance, though not necesarily holy. With Muslims, it is not so clear.

Muslims have three holy sites. The first, and "holiest" is Mecca. The second holiest, is Medina. The third holiest is undisclosed, and a matter of dispute.

It comes from the Qu'ran, specifically the first verse of the 17th sira (chapter). Here's three translations of it from where I foudn online [usc.edu] .
YUSUFALI: Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things).

PICKTHAL: Glorified be He Who carried His servant by night from the Inviolable Place of Worship to the Far distant place of worship the neighbourhood whereof We have blessed, that We might show him of Our tokens! Lo! He, only He, is the Hearer, the Seer.
SHAKIR: Glory be to Him Who made His servant to go on a night from the Sacred Mosque to the remote mosque of which We have blessed the precincts, so that We may show to him some of Our signs; surely He is the Hearing, the Seeing.


This "Sacred Mosque" is not explained. Some say it is the Temple Mount. When that gained popularity, Islamists conquered the area and built the Dome of the Rock. Some will tell you that it is the point where Mohammed went to heaven. IIRC, that was a dream, and is not in the Quran itself.

Either way, Islam believes only the rock itself to be holy, and nothing else. Israel is no better than any other area that is not Mecca or Medina.

Now, on top of that, Muslims don't care necessarily to have Israel, the Arabs do. Arafat is not religious. Arafat didn't even try to get Israel first. He tried taking over Jordan but it was thwarted. He tried residing in Lebanon, but was kicked out under a deal with Israel, he finally made it to Israel and started making problems. There is nothing holy about it. However, some Islamists do believe in killing Jews no matter where they reside.

because very seldom to people actually do things that they believe are wrong.

There's hope for you yet. :-)

But, that can be said with certainty. Nobody ever does anything unless they believe it is the correct thing to do.

That last remark was actually just a pun. I always appreciate a source pointing out the incorrect statements of a news source.

Ah, it just didn't sound like it.

Re:I think it's biased both ways... (2)

Xerithane (13482) | more than 11 years ago | (#5009022)

Ah, it just didn't sound like it.
I'm way too sick to be funny, or to handle debates of this measure. :)

We can talk more if you are interested, I am interested in learning what you know, after I recover.

hmm (2)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#5001198)

I think, if anything, the media is generally pro-Israel and anti-Palestine. My personal opinion is that both sides have a decades-long record of shameful behavior, so whichever one you decide to dislike is fine by me. But it seems like what gets reported most frequently are Palestinian terrorist acts and Israeli military acts. That's definitely an accurate way of describing the situation, it seems, but it's easy to see how it can blur the line between objectivity and bias.

On the other hand, I don't buy the general "the media is liberal" theory. It's the media's job not only to report the news but to be somewhat critical of it. (Whether that should be the media's job or not is another argument.) If you're just generally critical of everything, then you're going to come across as sounding more liberal than conservative. The conservative position is pro-status-quo, while the journalists' position should be generally mildly anti-everything. So it's not so much that there's a bias, per say, as it is that there's a natural tendency of conservatives-- the pro-status-quo crowd-- to be on the defensive.

And I say this, of course, as a social, political, and economic conservative.

Re:hmm (2)

Dannon (142147) | more than 10 years ago | (#5001577)

My personal opinion is that both sides have a decades-long record of shameful behavior

A fine opinion, to be sure, but can you show me fact behind it? I've posed this challenge [slashdot.org] before, and I've gotten some rather informative responses, but nothing factual that indicates that Israeli government is guilty of anything more than self-preservation.

As for the media-is-liberal thing, I would say that the 'conservative' position is no longer necessarily pro-status-quo, nor is the liberal position necessarily anti-status-quo. For example, I think the status quo ain't all that great, and I want change, but in my evaluation, the changes proposed by liberals in general will only make things worse.

Actually, the worldview of a "classical liberal" now matches better the worldview of a modern conservative. Neocon started a couple of interesting discussions in his journal, searching for modern definitions of conservative [slashdot.org] and liberal [slashdot.org] worldviews.

Also, today's Best of the Web [opinionjournal.com] from the self-admittedly conservative Wall Street Journal editorial pages makes a good point in their second item:
Well for crying out loud, guys, why not dare to dream big? American liberalism is pretty pathetic if its highest aspiration is to mimic Fox, Heritage and Rush. Here's a much more ambitious goal: Why not counter the vast right-wing conspiracy by taking over the "mainstream" media? And if it's research you want, maybe you should set your sights on America's system of higher education. If you could get liberals onto college and university faculties, they would have the opportunity to mold young minds as well as influence the political debate.


Imagine a world in which more than 80% of journalists vote Democratic, and in which left-liberal scholars vastly outnumber conservatives at colleges and universities across the country. It'd be a liberal dream, right?

Savvy readers will note that we are describing the world as it is, rather than as it might be. (And we haven't even mentioned Hollywood.)

Re:hmm (2)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 10 years ago | (#5001695)

A fine opinion, to be sure, but can you show me fact behind it?

I'm certainly not going to get into an argument over which I have no strong opinion with a person who obviously has a very, very strong opinion. Long story short, the situation in the area could be a lot better than it is.

Re:hmm (2)

Dannon (142147) | more than 10 years ago | (#5001902)

Not trying to start a fight, and I'm sorry if I give that impression. My goal is to actually find if there's truth to this statement that I've heard from so many people. The only way I know is to challenge people, to ask why they say what they say, and hope that they can point me at a new fact, some verifiable piece of information of which I didn't know before, which I can use to test my own worldview.

Re:hmm (2)

neocon (580579) | more than 10 years ago | (#5001671)

I'd say that the liberal bias of the media is well-documented. Recent surveys, for instance, report that 80% of reporters for national media outlets are registered Democrats, with much of the remaining 20% being greens, left-leaning independents, and so forth.

Show me any such conservative presence in the media. Are there networks such as Fox, which strive to show both liberal and conservative points of view? Absolutely. Are they a small percent of a media environment where conservative positions are hard to find? Also true.

All of this is discussed at length, by the way, in Bernard Goldberg's Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News [barnesandnoble.com] and William McGowan's Coloring the News: How Crusading for Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism [barnesandnoble.com] , by the way.

Re:hmm (1)

memfree (227515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5002895)

I'm looking for a liberal-biased report from a U.S. news source that deals with the North Korea situation. My reason for wanting to find such is simply because I find it odd that I haven't seen one.

Here's what I would expect it to say:
  • U.S. continues badgering North Korea
    After the U.S. did failed to fulfill its 1994 promise to build two light water nuclear reactors in exchange for a cessation of nuclear development in N. Korea, N. Korea saw no reason to hold up their end of the bargain. As they resumed work at advancing their technologies, the U.S. accused N. Korea of violating the very pact that the U.S. had itself already violated. The U.S. took steps to further harm N. Korea by cutting off their oil supply. Facing an energy crisis, N. Korea is now forced to try to get its old reactors running.

    In short, the U.S. promised that if N. Korea abandoned their old reactors, the U.S. would build new ones, but when N. Korea closed its reactors, no new ones were built. When the U.S. said, "You're violating our agreement!" North Korea replied, "Did you hold up your end? No? Well, what do you expect?" Thus was the current crisis born.

Have you seen any media coverage that takes that stance? I haven't. See CNN summary [cnn.com] for an example of even handed reporting. See a bevy of other sources for reports that are supposedly more liberal [sfgate.com] , yet still don't take this tact.

The biggest debate I've heard is whether to talk (Bush's plan) or negotiate (i.e., give N. Korea something in exchange for stopping nuclear development).

On the "media is too liberal" side, I've also been bothered that most the sources I've seen are side stepping the fact that this may have been a non-issue if Clinton had honored the agreement HE made with them! Then again, we're talking about North Korea, so they still may have proceeded with a nuclear weapons plan, but if Clinton had held up his end with North Korea, the U.S. could have just smacked them silly for restarting their nuclear weapons program.

Re:hmm (2)

neocon (580579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5003055)

Umm, hello? This in the same week as we saw fawning and preening as Jimmy Carter accepted his Nobel peace prize for brokering the agreement with the North Koreans which they admitted to breaking only days before the ceremony? Instead, you claim that there is no bias simply because the slant to the left is not as far as you would like it to be.

See, arguing, as you seem to, that we should give North Korea another decade of rewards in return for a promise that they might do what they promised to do originally isn't mainstream -- it's bonkers.

But again, don't take my word for it. Eighty percent of reporters for national media outlets call themselves Democrats. Are you claiming that this doesn't tell us something?

Re:hmm (2)

memfree (227515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5003712)

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were a person open to critical thinking rather than a reactionary. You seem to miss my point. Namely, the media isn't doing a good job of covering MANY things.

Did you miss where I said, "we're talking about North Korea, so they still may have proceeded with a nuclear weapons plan"? North Korea can't be trusted. We know this. If we give them something, they will take it, sure, but they won't honor their side of an agreement. My point was that I expect the media to cry and whine over how unfair Bush has been when the fault lies with Clinton .

I *don't* think the media covers news very well. I think the media is owned by Big Business, and it only prints that which its owners' consider appropriate. I think that is *exactly* why I haven't heard any boo-hooing about an unjust treatment -- it would alienate the readers.

You seem to be on a witch hunt against liberals. That'd be fine if you'd just look before you shoot. Perhaps you should consider changing your name to RadCon.

Re:hmm (2)

neocon (580579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5003894)

With due respect, you're the fellow who says he hasn't seen a liberal bias in the media at a time when conservative voices are quite difficult to find (and are always carefully labeled as `far right' or `hardline conservative', while liberal positions are presented without label), and at a time when 80% of reporters for national media outlets belong to just one political party.

I disagree. You can come out and say that this makes me irrational if you want, but since the only counterargument you've brought so far is that the media are not even more slanted (hint: where are the questions about Clinton's failure to insist on verification that the North Koreans were living up to their side of the bargain (they weren't)? where are the questions about the fact that Clinton refused three offers from the Sudanese to hand over Osama bin Laden?), this is a rather unsupported claim, no?

another bias example (1)

memfree (227515) | more than 11 years ago | (#5034179)

To back up your point about media anti-Israel sentiment, see this editorial cartoon [uclick.com] by Tony Auth, and these complaints [philly.com] about it.

The cartoon depicts Sharon hovering over the ruins of Gaza and the West Bank. He's saying, "We're in favor of a Three-State solution... The State of Israel.... and the States of Wrack and Ruin."

The comments on it are all outraged. Quotes from each person follow.
  • Lee S. Bender calls the cartoon "breathtakingly and venomously mendacious, biased and ignorant."
  • Bernard B. Cohen says it is "an excellent example of the great disconnect that pervades the media, college campuses, and the international scene today."
  • H. Zigerman says, "Tony Auth flies past the norms of liberal cartoon artistry into the realms of outright bigoted and malicious distortion of the truth."
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