Friday, July 21, 2006

CNN downplaying Lebanese civilian suffering

(originally posted by touwais on LebanonUpdates July 19th at 2:44 pm)

http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/mediocrity/displayCall.asp?essayID=383

PMWATCH - July 16, 2006 -- CNN is at it again: choosing its words and images carefully to remain safely well within the officially accepted and sanctioned storyline: Israel is reacting to provocation -- perhaps a bit heavy-handedly -- but reacting all the same.

We just placed a call to their International Desk a few minutes ago complaining about their lack of coverage of civilian suffesring on the Lebanese side, and the person answering the call, a Jennifer, explained that the reason for that was that they did not have enough equipment and could not be everywhere all the time!

The phone number for the International Desk is:

(404) 827-1519. When you call, do ask for Jennifer.

We explained that when showing us the toll on Palestinians or Lebanese, we are treated to the usual pile of rubble, twisted metal, and smoke, with a backdrop of healthy, young men running around defiantly, or the occasional wide shots of civilians fleeing in confusion. When showing us the toll on the Israeli side, we are taken inside the homes of terrified Israeli civilians, with whom the reporter engages in a reasoned exchange, or are shown the bloodied bodies of the dead and the wounded attended to by civilized and orderly medics.

To no avail. The reason why we are not shown the human suffering is because CNN is not well equipped!

An absurd proposition, obviously, since the same heavy bias applies to their web site!

If you go to CNN's web site now, you will see this headline: "Hezbollah rockets kill 8 in Haifa".

And you will also find, "Israel strikes back after Haifa attack," "Israel pounds Beirut after Haifa hit by rockets," "Israeli tanks, aircraft hit Gaza targets: IDF says it is targeting 'terror infrastructures'," and "Two Palestinian militants killed in Gaza air strike: 'Israel says it is targeting 'terror infrastructures'"

In other words, the Arabs kill people, but Israel merely "strikes" and "pounds" (after being hit), "hits targets" and kills "militants" (in its attempt to "target 'terror infrastructures').

When a crisis like this develops, CNN is the place that most people who care about what is happening go.

Please call them right now and demand that they show the real human toll on the Lebanese and the Palestinians.

The phone number for the International Desk is: (404) 827-1519. When you call, do ask for Jennifer.

In 1982, Israel killed more than 17,500 Lebanese CIVILIANS. Not "militants" and "armed men" -- but civilians, including women and children. They were able to do that because the images that the American people saw were those of mangled building and charred cars, not of killed and maimed civilians, or wailing children.

Let's make it our mission to focus our media efforts on ensuring that the human toll of Israel's new offensive is covered to the maximum extent.

Do not let your local newspaper get away with headlines like, "Israel pounds Hezbollah targets," or "Hezbollah strongholds hit hard".

Insist on the human story, on humanizing language and telling images -- on treating the Lebanese and the Palestinians like the full human beings that they are.

For tips on writing letters, go to: http://www.pmwatch.org/pmw/tools/T_WritingLetters.asp

Please also feel free to share with us your letters or a summary of your conversations with editors at letters@pmwatch.org

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