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20 years

Media Bias

November 5, 2001

By Jon Christian Ryter
Copyright 2005 - All Rights Reserved
To distribute this article, please post this web address or hyperlink

Reuters reported on November 3, as fact, an unconfirmed report that the Taliban had shot down a U.S. Blackhawk helicopter. In fact, on November 3 the Pentagon reported that a Blackhawk helicopter had crashed in southern Afghanistan due to inclement weather at 1830 GMT on Friday. The Pentagon further reported that the helicopter’s crew, four of whom were injured, were picked up by another helicopter. When the crew was rescued from hostile territory, Navy Tomcats from the aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt destroyed the high tech helicopter to make certain that the Afghans would not find anything in the crashed copter that could be used by either the Taliban or the Al Qaeda. Yet, in face of the Pentagon report, Reuters posted a bylined story written by an Islamic reporter, Sayed Salahuddin, for the privately-owned Pakistan-based Afghan-Islamic Press [AIP] which disputes the Pentagon version and claims that Taliban forces shot the helicopter down during the nighttime operation south of the Afghan capital, Kabul. Salahuddin claimed in his story that the Taliban killed 50 American soldiers in the attack. The statistics used by Salahuddin came from Taliban Information Ministry official Qari Fazil Rabi who claimed that “...the aircraft was brought down after the Taliban opened fire on the helicopter in the Nawoor District of Ghazni province around 11:00 p.m. (1:30 p.m. EST Friday) while it was trying to rescue another aircraft that had crashed in the area.” “Altogether,” the Taliban official told Reuters, “between 40 to 50 Americans died in both of those incidents.” The only problem with the Taliban report is that it was completely false.

Reuters is not the only news agency that has been taking the Taliban’s word for astonishing victories it fabricated in order to bolster morale with Afghan Islamics at home. CNN, which decided last week that it would now require confirmations from the Taliban in the future before reporting their “victories” as fact—or their casualties as realities—continues to report them as “fact” with an addendum at the conclusion of their news reports that their “reporters” never saw any evidence to substantiate their reports. The same “qualifications” are now added to Reuter and AP wire services to the print media. Reuters, after reporting banner headlines which suggest the Taliban is winning against the most powerful nation in the world when in fact they are not, adds a one sentence clarification at the bottom of their news reports, where most editorial “cropping” takes place when newspapers find the story is a half inch too long and is interfering with ad space: ”None of these claims could be independently verified.”

When the Taliban claimed its latest air victory, CNN asked the U.S. Central Command which denied the Taliban claim saying, “No US helicopters were shot down in Afghanistan.” The Central Command added that the details it provided to the media about the crashed helicopter “speak for themselves.”
Not only did the Taliban claim to have shot down a Blackhawk which came to rescue the helicopter that crashed due to weather-related mechanical problems, killing 40 to 50 US soldiers, the Taliban also claimed to have also shot down a B-52 bomber, which drops its payload from above 30,000 feet—well above the range reachable by a stinger missile. Reuters, which chose not to try to confirm the story, used it as fact. Information Ministry official Rabi said that since the start of the conflict four weeks ago that the Taliban has shot down six American planes: one reconnaissance aircraft, one jet fighter-bomber and four helicopters.

This claim was necessary because of the success of B-52 carpet bombing over the past few days in which the Taliban front lines and the Taliban headquarters (see photo on right) were devastated. The Taliban is now experiencing what Saddam Hussein’s crack troops experienced during Desert Storm. In Iraq, when the bombing finally stopped, Saddam’s crack fighting forces who were going to wage the “Mother of all Battles” surrendered to CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC news teams. Yet, according to those same news organizations, when the United States was “forced” to engage the fearless Iraqis on the ground, the death toll on both sides would be devastating. And, a point to consider is that those same news organizations condemned their own government for carpet bombing the Iraqi lines. To them, it was somehow not fair that America had decided to wage war from on high where America’s sons and daughters were immune from retaliation from Iraqi bullets.

The Politically-Correct Media

The mainstream media tries hard to convince the American people that they have no bias in how they report the news. Unfortunately, the mainstream media is biased beyond the pale. That bias has translated into the redefinition of public opinion in America, with the media determining the “correct views” that Americans are supposed to hold on a myriad of subjects that cover every aspect of life not only in the United States, but their world view as well. It is their position that those Americans who do not hold the “proper” view are politically-incorrect and should be ostracized from society as unfit role models of society. In their utopian world, there is no room for nationalistic patriotic conservatives since their core objective is to assist the utopians in creating a stateless global government. Blindly agendized, their bias is concealed beneath the politically correct rhetoric that poses as the news.

ABC News’ president David Westin who has been touted by that network as a conservative Christian, is better known for his socialist news pandering since winning his job last April. Speaking at Columbia University recently, Westin declared that reporters cannot consider themselves unbiased if they believe the attack on the Pentagon (a military target in his opinion) was a terrorist act. Westin, who philosophically fits Ted Turner’s al-Jazeera al-Qaeda satellite TV network in Qatar [that broadcasts all of Osama bin Laden’s propaganda] far better than he fits an American television network, told his Columbia University audience that while the Twin Towers attack was a terrorist attack, the attack on the Pentagon (where most of the loss of life was suffered by the passengers and crew of Flight 77) was a legitimate military target, and the act itself was a military action and not a terrorist act. Westin somehow justified in his own mind the deaths of women and children as collateral damage in a weapon of mass destruction can be ignored because the “target” was the U.S. military’s headquarters.

Westin also banned ABC News from using the American flag in its news broadcasts, and has also banned ABC News personnel from wearing red, white and blue ribbons on air to symbolize the banned flags because (once again in his opinion) flapping the flag suggests that ABC is prejudiced in favor of the United States. When the American public learned what Westin said at Columbia University, the protest reached the corporate board room of ABC and Westin was forced to publicly recant what remains his private view. In a revised admission, Westin admitted that both the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were terrorist attacks. However, Westin’s ban of the American flag has filtered down to affiliate stations and is now spreading like an infectious disease to NBC and CBS. CNN, of course, has discarded the American flag as the symbol of anything long ago. If Ted Turner had his “druthers,” the only flag displayed at CNN would be the UN flag.

The American news media, like America’s Fortune 500 corporations, has been “internationalized,” and now function as the media wing of the New World Order. As such, their job is to shape the views of the American people to fit the perceptions of the 21st century—and in that world, who are the villains and who are the victims.

Deliberate Media Bias

At its annual convention in Seattle, Washington on October 6, 2001, the Society of Professional Journalists discussed the issue of racial profiling—in particular the profiling of Muslims as a result of the World Trade Center/Pentagon tragedy. Guidelines were established that are to be followed by the American media in its coverage of the war on terrorism.

The media organization insists it is merely attempting to prevent patriotic bias from creeping into its own view of he news. To accomplish this, the SPJ asks those in both the print and electronic media to use language that is informative but not inflammatory by portraying Muslims, Arabs, Middle Easterners and South Asian Americans “...in the richness of their diverse experiences.” The Society also encourages the media to present the views of the terrorists so their “...audiences understand the complexities of the events in...New York City and Washington, DC.”

Perhaps that is why New York Magazine chose to use a blatantly false image on the cover of their October 29 issue. The photograph on the cover of that issue depicts a six-year old boy holding up a “school” drawing of the World Trade Center on fire, as it is about to be hit by the second jet airliner. Only, the second plane—as indicated by the Star of David on its wings—is an Israeli aircraft. New York Magazine—like many of the pro-Arab publications that created the myth that 4,000 Jews had offices in the World Trade Center and that none of them were in the building on September 11 appears, from its cover, to blame Israel for the World Trade Center bombing in face of empirical evidence that the terrorists who hijacked the four jet airliners were Islamic extremists and not Israelites.

The photographer who sold the photo to New York Magazine is a Scotsman named Nigel Parry. An Israeli watchdog group reported that Nigel Parry is an anti-Israeli extremist who used to work at Birzeit University near Ramallah, Palestine until the road to Biezeit was closed by the Israeli military. Parry is a Palestinian sympathizer whose prejudice shows on his website. He is also a contributor to the pro-Palestinian website, Electronic Intifadah. Parry’s website, nigelparry.com, identifies him as both a political activist and a news photographer. When the Israeli watchdog group inquired about the New York Magazine cover, the magazine’s management claimed that the Nigel Parry who took that photo was a different Nigel Parry. Pressured by the Israeli group, New York Magazine said it would acknowledge, in its next issue, that the October 29 cover was “inappropriate.”

The issue here is not Nigel Parry. Like many Europeans who remain anti-Jewish, Parry is an anti-Israeli activist whose financial interests are vested in the Arab world. The issue here is the credibility of the management of New York Magazine who would knowingly select a photograph for the cover of their magazine that depicted Israel as the perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center when the identities of all of the terrorists have been confirmed—and all of them are Islamics from Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

The question that needs to be answered by the management of New York Magazine is why they chose to use a photo on the cover of their magazine that implied Israel was the culprit in the September 11 tragedy. Their admission that the photo was in bad taste is not enough. Any patriotic American—or any American that expects the magazine they read to be based on credible evidence—that subscribes to New York Magazine, should cancel their subscription. And any New Yorker who picks the magazine up at the newsstand, needs to find something with more journalistic integrity to read.

The decision by New York Magazine fits into the “mold” cast by the Society of Professional Journalists. “Remember,” the guidelines state, “when writing about terrorism...include white supremacist, radical anti-abortionists and other groups...” such as, one imagines, the Jews “...who have a history of such activity.” This, one also imagines, is how New York Magazine “...seeks truth through a variety of voices and perspectives.”

The SPJ, in order to paint Islamics in a better light, advises the media to “...seek out people from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds when photographing Americans mourning those lost in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Seek out people from a variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds when photographing rescue and other public service workers and military personnel. Do not represent Arab Americans and Muslims as monolithic groups...” (even though they are). “Cover the victims of harassment, murder and other hate crimes as thoroughly as you cover the victims of overt terrorist attacks.”

This “guideline” resulted in the media completely brushing aside the fact that over 6,500 people (5,000 of whom were American citizens) perished in the World Trade Center; 189 people died in the Pentagon crash and 39 passengers and crew members died in the Pennsylvania crash as they attempted to wrest control of the airliner from the hands of the terrorists. Instead, the media has chosen to report, as fact, unsubstantiated reports from the Taliban as to the number of civilians killed by American and British aerial attacks on Taliban strongholds.

On February 14 a Palestinian terrorist, Khalil abu Olbeh attacked an Israeli bus near Tel Aviv, killing eight. Instead of focusing on the heinous crime that cost eight Jews their lives, a front page photo on the Los Angeles Times depicted a wounded Olbeh behind the wheel of the hijacked bus after leading police on a 19-mile chase. The Times reported that “...family members said that [Olbeh] was distraught over financial problems and upset by current unrest.” In the view of the Los Angeles Times, Olbeh was the victim of “Israeli aggression.”

ABC, for some reason, did not think the killing of 8 Jews was worth reporting. They ignored the story completely even though it was the most deadly terrorist act in Israel in four years. Elaine Friedman, who had heard about the attack but did not have the details, tuned into World News Tonight with Peter Jennings expecting to learn more about what had happened only to discover that Westin, who controls the flow of news that is fed by teleprompter to reporters like Jennings, didn’t feel the story was worth mentioning. Disturbed, Friedman sent an email to the media critique section of aish.com where she said: “On February 14, my family and I tuned into World News Tonight on ABC with Peter Jennings. We had a few details about the bus attack and were eager for news. We were surprised that the story was not mentioned at the start as one of the news items to be covered, but there was much news from Washington and we figured they’d get to it in the second half of the show. We patiently sat through the entire half-hour program, but not a mention was made. Perhaps this was a busy news day? Well, there was apparently time for ABC to do several Valentine’s Day features, including a clip on a nude wedding and another on the reproduction of slime mods. But no Mideast news. Not a word. We turned next to the McNeil Report on PBS. There, they led with the Israel bus story, complete with video and the response from President Bush, who took time from his day to make a statement from the Rose Garden. So, it was indeed seen as quite newsworthy by reputable journalists and heads of state.”

Adding insult to injury, a week later the Washington Post, in doing a follow-up on the bus incident, claimed that the murders were an unintentional accident. The article, entitled “Bus-Stop Killings in Israel an Accident,” was written by Post reporter Keith Richburg. In his follow-up, Richburg asserted, based on comments made by Olbeh’s wife, his 12-year old son and Yassar Arafat,that the killings were unintentional. It is important to note that the articles which appear in the Washington Post, like the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, has a definite pro-Arab, anti-Israeli bias.

Tragically, nowhere in the Washington Post article did Richburg note that Olbeh bragged to the Israeli General Services investigators that what he did was intentional and premeditated. He would be rewarded by Allah for his actions. Olbeh’s wife and son were doing damage control because, under Israeli law, when a resident within a territory controlled by Israel commits a terrorist act, not only is he arrested, his home is razed and his family is evicted from Israel.

On March 1, 2001 a Palestinian terrorist detonated a bomb on a taxi-van near Moshav Mei Ami in northern Israel, killing one Israeli and wounding nine others, including the terrorist. Reuters chose, in reporting the incident to send it to the wire service accompanied with a photograph of a Palestinian woman walking by a graffiti-covered wall at the Deir El Balah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. Six other photos, all of a similar vein, were sent with the article. None of the photos had anything to do with Palestinians killing Jews. The innocuous photo captions included phrases like: “A Palestinian woman weeps as she views her damaged home.” “Palestinian youths duck for cover as Israeli soldiers open fire.” “Palestinians wait on main road in Gaza after Israelis stop traffic.” A couple of the photos, and their captions, dealt with the car bombing, but without identifying who was the aggressor and who were the victims. “Woman is loaded into ambulance after car bomb explodes in northern Israel.” “Injured woman awaits medical attention after car bomb blast in Umm Al-Fahm.” And, finally: “An injured man is carried away after car bomb blast in northern Israel.” While car bombs are one of the better known weapons of the Palestinian and Arab terrorist, none of the captions identified the victims as Jews and the terrorists as Islamics.

Reuters’ website carried no photos of the Israeli victims—who, as mentioned, were never identified by Reuters as Jews—but it did show the photograph of a hospitalized Palestinian who was beaten by some Israelis after the bombing. The following day when the Associated Press and other wire services carried photographs of the funerals of the Israeli victims, Reuters distributed five photographs of Palestinian funerals and the graveside mourning of Palestinians at those funeral services. To those who knew a terrorist event had occurred the previous day and saw the photos of the funerals of Palestinians would likely assume that the victims of bomb blast were Palestinians and that the terrorists were Israeli.

On February 8, 2001a powerful car bomb—triggered by a timer—exploded in the normally crowded Beit Yisrael section of Jerusalem. Miraculously, nobody was killed. Had the bomb exploded ten seconds earlier the destruction would likely have been devastating because a truck carrying gas canisters had just passed the booby-trapped car. As it is, few people were in the area. Four people were slightly injured. When news of the miraculously averted disaster spread, thousands of yeshiva students and residents gathered in the street to celebrate. On February 23 the Jerusalem Post International Edition carried a Reuters’ photo of the celebration over the following caption: “Moments after the car bombing in Jerusalem’s Beit Yisrael neighborhood earlier this month, yeshiva students waved a piece of the car’s wreckage and celebrated that attack’s to kill anyone.” Interestingly, on February 9 the New York Times carried the Reuters’ photograph with a slightly different caption: “A crowd of Israelis chanting anti-Arab slogans in Jerusalem yesterday as one held a jagged piece of metal from the explosion of a car bomb.”

What is interesting about Reuters’ political philosophy and isequally as shocking about their treatment of the news concerning the Jews and Arabs in the Mideast is the fact that N. M. Rothschilds, the British division of the vast Rothschild banking empire bought the news service at the turn of the century as the Rockerfellers, the Morgans, the Astors, the Mellons, the Carnegies, the Vanderbilts, the Guggenheims, the Waldorfs, the McCormicks and several other wealthy American families including the Jewish banking house of Kuhn Loeb bought control not only of the Associated Press in the United States but also of the 25 most influential newspapers in America—those which have proven to be, today, the most anti-Israel newspapers in the United States. Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty, was a very pious Jew who lived his entire life in the Frankfort, Germany ghetto. Even when Rothschild’s wealth as a numismatics collector and broker rose to phenomenal heights, he refused to leave the ghetto fearing that the impoverished Jews he left behind would suffer. Today, the news service his offspring purchased has become the primary purveyor of anti-Jewish news in the world. There is no doubt that if Mayer Amschel Rothschild could view Reuters website, read the news articles sent over the Reuters wire service, view the news photos on the Reuters photo wire service (the largest news photo service in the world), or listen to Reuters news clips on CNN, ABC, or CBS he would turn over in his grave and bury his face in shame.

Media Patriotism

I have to admit that other than CNN, which I find to be the poisoned, biased news coverage in the entire world (CNN could be merged with Ted Turner’s al-Jazeera al-Qaeda satellite TV network in Qatar and nobody would see any difference in the news slant), I was less inclined to watch the national news on CBS than any other network until Dick Westin took over the helm at ABC News. At that moment, CBS looked middle-of-the-road compared to ABC. While I always viewed Peter Jennings as spinmeister rather than a newscaster, he was middle-of-the-road compared to Dan Rather who was, in my opinion, the most liberal newscaster in the United States. My opinion of Dan Rather changed 180º a few days after the World Trade Center and Pentagon tragedies when Rather appeared on the David Letterman Show to talk about the Twin Towers. During that period, Dan Rather proved, at least to me, that he was a giant in an industry that needs some genuine Goliaths. When Rather broke and cried before Letterman’s normal liberal audience I sensed the heartfelt sorrow he experienced. His stature grew ten feet in my eyes during that program, and Rather has done nothing since that evening to diminish it.

It is my fervent prayer that more American journalists—whether print or electronic—will realize that the United States of America is engaged in a struggle for its right to exist without the threat of terrorism. This nation cannot afford politically-correct news reporting, nor can its citizens tolerate members of the media who believe patriotism is an ugly form of bias. Nor can America tolerate those same members of the media who believe they are obligated to ignore the 6,500 humans (5,000 of whom were American citizens) who perished in horrendous, fiery deaths in either the Twin Towers or the Pentagon—and after forgetting these tragic deaths, report as fact, the exaggerated casualty claims of the Afghan Taliban in order to provide them with the international public relations spin they need to remain in power...thereby aiding them in continuing their war against the United States.

American journalists, America’s newspapers and America’s electronic media need to hold America’s enemies to the same journalistic standards of “proof” that they hold Americans. If The Taliban claims that American bombs directed at a Taliban operations bunker or at front line troops hit the home of an Afghan family, or hit a hospital and killed sixteen people, then there should be sixteen corpses in a bombed-out hospital (that can be distinguished as a hospital and not a Taliban storage facility) for the media to see. And, when the Taliban proudly claims to have downed four Blackhawk helicopters and killed 40 to 50 American military crew members, they should be prepared to take the international media to those downed weapons of war. It is not sufficient that Reuters, the Associated Press, CNN or ABC reports the Taliban claims as fact...and then, almost as an afterthought, adds that there is no evidence that the Taliban claims are factual.

If it can’t be verified as fact, it doesn’t belong on the news in any legitimate news medium in the United States, Europe or Asia.


Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved