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Grading TV’s War Coverage

Due to pressing post-holiday obligations, the Monitor yields this week to the Media Research Center's Brent Baker and Rich Noyes, who prepared the following summary of MRC's assessment of war coverage by American television:

Monitor’s Top Ten

The responses are finally slowing to a trickle, but the columns on Israel's friends in the media certainly elicited plenty of feedback from readers. Here's a sampling, followed by the Monitor's very own Media Friends Top Ten list (as distinguished from the earlier two lists which reflected the votes of readers).

Bernie, You Could Have Done Better

The Monitor likes Bernard Goldberg, it really does. And the Monitor despises the smugly insular media types who've been lambasting the former CBS News correspondent for his bestselling (#1 on this week's New York Times list) expose of the liberal bias that pervades the nation's news media.

Israel’s Surprising Defender

Bill Maher isn't exactly the Monitor's cup of tea. The host of ABC's "Politically Incorrect" is smarmy more often than smart, his jokes run the gamut from the juvenile to the jejune, and, contrary to what one might think from the name of his show, he's actually quite politically correct on a number of social and political issues.

Business As Usual

It was too good to last. The news media, which by and large performed admirably for about a month after the events of Sept. 11, are showing clear signs of reverting to old habits. The sour cynicism directed at American officials, the credulous reporting of enemy claims, the shallowness and sensationalism that once were the province of cheesy local stations but have long since become a staple of the network news departments - all of these are slowly coming out of hiding and reasserting themselves as the driving forces of American journalism.

Muslim Population Myth

A startling population report has just been published by the American Jewish Committee debunking the myth of potent Muslim voting power.

The New York Times Chooses A Picture

One expects to see harrowing pictures of Palestinian civilians caught in the middle of the crossfire between Israeli forces and the Palestinian Authority terrorists chosen as illustrations for stories about the intifada. These instances certainly abound, especially since the Palestinian leaders cynically place their own people in harm's way to elicit sympathy in the world media. And the media, in any event, seem hell-bent to spin the story of Palestinian provocation and Israeli response in terms of the hardships visited on Palestinian civilians. Thus, although Israeli territory is far more open to journalists than Palestinian controlled areas, it is rare that pictures of Israeli civilians under fire ever accompany any of the stories. But last Thursday, The New York Times "picked a beaut" to illustrate a story about Jews under fire in Gilo.

More Reaction To Enemies List

The letters just keep coming in response to the Enemies List column and its follow-up. The responses by and large have been friendly in tone, with the majority of respondents agreeing on all or most of the names submitted by their fellow readers. And then there was this, from an e-mail submitted by some mammal identified as Rashid Monsour:

Tragedy Within A Tragedy

So many images keep crowding my mind. Images that do not allow me to rest or feel at peace.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/grading-tvs-war-coverage/2003/05/28/

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