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Thursday, March 24, 2011


Today's studies in media bias

In Libya, there were funerals for 33 victims of "coalition" air attacks. Excuse me, alleged victims. So the CNN headline informs me, backed up by the text of the article which informs me "CNN could not independently verify the circumstances of the deaths or who the victims were." And to emphasize the doubt in the reader's mind, we have the unchallenged blanket denials of the U.S. military:
Coalition leaders have reported no civilian casualties so far and said that Western jets have dropped precision bombs on military targets.

"It is not likely that civilians were a part of any airstrike today," said Joint Task Force Operation Odyssey Dawn Lt. Cmdr. Jim Hoeft.
No "CNN could not independently verify the preposterous claims of the historically untrustworthy U.S. military" accompanies that statement, as it should.

The rest of the article is filled with claims of victims of the Gaddafi regime. You'll search in vain for the word "alleged" in that part of the story, or for any disclaimers about how "CNN could not independently verify..." Instead, you'll simply find each claim attributed to someone: "a witness," "a resident," etc.

In Israel and Gaza, it's a different story. There, the key word used by AP is "retaliation," and, you won't be surprised, it applies only to Israeli actions. Even though there has been a clear "cycle of violence" even in the short-term, and both sides have clearly described their actions as in response to actions of the other side, AP (as essentially all Western corporate media) only considers Israeli actions as "reprisals" or "retaliation," never those of the Palestinians. Making matters worse, we hear another common (and thoroughly racist) phrase: "Two years of relative calm have been unraveling in recent weeks with acts of violence against Israelis." Palestinians, of course, have had no "relative calm," and have had continuous acts of violence against them, day after day, week after week, month after month. The AP reporter does have a good excuse, though, since virtually none of that violence has been reported in the corporate media.

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