Shalom Life | August 10, 2014

Hundreds Protest Anti-Israel Media Bias at CNN

In NYC, a rally against CNN’s unfair coverage of the Gaza conflict

By: Emma Mazerall

Published: August 8th, 2014 in News » World

On Thursday evening, several hundred people gathered outside Time Warner studios to rally against what they perceived to be biased journalism.

The protesters in attendance were there to claim that CNN and other US news outlets are unfairly slanting their coverage of the conflict in Gaza.

One of the rally organizers, Jeremy Dery, had recently returned from working in the Israeli parliament. “We decided it’s time to take a stand against bias in the media. The media has ignored the Israeli side of the conflict,” Dery said. “The world believes that Israel targets innocent people.”

Earlier this week, in fact, both the BBC and the New York Times admitted that numbers released from health officials in Hamas-ruled Gaza could actually be 'premature,' confirming that Israel in fact does not target civilians. Israelis have argued since the start of the war that Hamas' 'statistics' are merely a propaganda tool, that has worked in manipulating others to perceive Israel negativity.

Dery blamed CNN for skewing the opinion of its viewers through their coverage of events. “Their news anchors have reported deceitful stories that favor the Palestinian side, while ignoring the Israeli point of view during this whole operation,” he claimed.

Such an occurrence took place in late July, when Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer slammed CNN for "doing a disservice" to their viewers. “It would be a disservice to your viewers for a reporter from Gaza not to mention that in the last week we had two different UNRWA schools where we had actually rockets found in the schools and handed over to Hamas,” he said.

Another protester, Joe Hyman, works with an advocacy group in Jerusalem, and also spoke out against a double standard in news coverage. “I won’t apologize to the international media that we didn’t bleed enough,” said Hyman, in regards to Israel's Iron Dome defense system that intercepted nearly 3,000 rockets fired into Israel during the conflict.

Another activist, Chloe Simon Valdary, questioned the number of reported Palestinian casualties. She noted that reports often mention civilian casualties, without noting that Hamas fighters are included in the figures. “The coverage has gotten worse, especially from The New York Times. There is no context,” she stated, calling for greater journalistic integrity.

A representative from The New York Times responded: “We support their right to protest, even though we obviously disagree with their point of view. The conflict in the Mideast is a sensitive topic with strong feelings on both sides. We recognize that and strive to provide on-the-ground coverage that is factual, fair and comprehensive.”

“We are not asking [the media] to wake up and sing ‘Hatikvah’ tomorrow. We are just asking them to be great journalists,” said Hyman.

This protest followed a similar rally last Friday, during which hundreds gathered to protest just the opposite: that CNN and other news outlets were covering the conflict with a pro-Israel bias.

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