Saturday, April 4, 2009

Two Attacks, Two Versions

Two things happened during the Sabbath while I rested at home and enjoyed the family quiet. The first time, my phone beeped, but I was unaware of what had happened until moments ago, after the Sabbath ended, and I checked my phone. The second incident only became known after I opened my computer to learn more about the first.

A gunman opened fired in an immigration center in Binghamton, NY. He took dozens of hostages before killing 13 and turning the gun on himself. By all accounts, he was a depressed individual, unemployed, desperate, even haunted. His actions were criminal but I'm not sure whether in the end we should consider this a terrorist attack so much as yet another example of a lone individual seeming to simply reach the end of his ability to cope with life and taking others into his misery. The news is full of whatever information can be obtained about the killer and the victims, interviews with his friends, thoughts of what drove him.

Today in Israel, a young Palestinian woman, only 16 years old, decided to kill. At 2 p.m., Basma Awad al-Nabari, a 16-year-old high school student from the village of Houra, arrived at the Border Police base near the Shoket Junction (located between Beersehba and Arad). She was armed with a gun. She opened fire at the soldiers, who quickly followed their instincts and their training and were able to stop her...permanently.

In the next few days, Israeli police will find out if she's been compromised in some way and was facing social ruin (this has happened many times in the past), or was bribed by love or money (this has happened many times), twisted by religious leaders (yes, this too), or whatever. No matter what her motivation, her intention was clear. She went to kill.

This is too common a story in Israel - young Palestinians blinded and brainwashed attempt to murder innocents and, when things go well, are neutralized before they succeed. No, the story here isn't Basma Awad al-Nabari because if we let her be the story, we reward terrorism. And yet, CNN has no worry about rewarding terrorism and still didn't focus on young Basma and what drove her to attempt to murder others. CNN cares why Jiverly Wong murdered 13 people today in New York, but the sum total of CNN's story about the police reaction.

Why do CNN and probably other news networks feel they must twist the story as best they can? The answer is likely that the true story doesn't appeal to them, doesn't get across the message THEY want to portray. This is not journalism, but it is CNN.

The CNN story was published out of the Gaza City CNN office - the headlines announcing this latest attempted terrorist attack reads, "Israeli police return fire, kill Palestinian woman." (7 words) and "Police return fire on Palestinian." (5 words) . Basma is not named, nor is her age given. One would wonder about a society that sends a 16 year old to commit murder. But we aren't done there.

There was another incident today - this one on the border between Gaza and Israel. This is what CNN reports:
Earlier Saturday two members of a Palestinian militant group were killed in clashes with members of the Israel Defense Forces in Gaza, security and medical sources said.
And this is what they don't report:
IDF troops on Saturday killed two terrorists who were seen planting explosives at the Gaza border. The two were caught in the act by troops who were alerted when an alarm on the border fence went off. There were no injuries to IDF troops, and the explosive device was neutralized.

Isn't that kind of significant? That they were planting a bomb?

Back to their report on what happened today in Israel, isn't it interesting - there is a cause and a result; an incident and a reaction. Leave it to CNN to report the result almost as if it were the cause. Perhaps they were trying to save, that doesn't work, "Palestinian opens fire, police neutralize terrorist". No, wait, CNN can't call a Palestinian a terrorist...that might cause them trouble with their wealthy Muslim backers. OK, how about, "Palestinian opens fire, police neutralize gunman" - gun-woman?

Either way, the report should have covered what was done. Obviously, police are going to return fire - that is not the story. Worse, by saying the police killed a "Palestinian woman' in their headlines, they leave the casual headlines-only reader to believe that the police shot an unarmed woman. No, she wasn't unarmed - she wasn't even really a woman.

Police shot a 16 year old want-to-be martyr whose goal was to murder. Isn't that what police are supposed to do? I guess the real question is why CNN needed to twist the report? Why CNN is not held responsible for accurate journalism?


marcelo said...

Excellent your blog,I have a Blog,but i write in spanish.
Greetings from Argentina.

ProphetJoe said...

"I guess the real question is why CNN needed to twist the report? Why CNN is not held responsible for accurate journalism?"

Because, in America, The Media (which really includes the liberal politicians, academia, and traditional news outlets) consider themselves to be "the elite". As such, they answer to no one...

Yoav B. said...

Hi! Great blog and excellent writing. I enjoy it a lot. I've also opened my own blog, just a couple of days ago, and it's kinda related to yours.
May I ask you to check it out and give me some tips?

Thanks, Yoav.

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