1. On the Aug. 21, 2003, edition of "World News Tonight," reporter Mike Lee twisted himself into a semantic pretzel: "Abu Shanab was a senior member of Hamas, a political and social welfare organization with a military wing that has launched terror attacks against Israel. Shanab was not a declared military operative and had a reputation as a political moderate, but Israel said today that all Hamas leaders are responsible for terrorism."
A "political and social welfare organization with a military wing"?
2. The late Peter Jennings frequently challenged, if only indirectly, terror connections. On the May 20, 2002, evening newscast, he said: "In North Carolina two men went on trial for smuggling cigarettes to allegedly help the group Hezbollah in Lebanon, which the government calls a terrorist organization."
3. Reporting from Lebanon on March 27, 2002, Jennings sounded like he was reading a press release: "It is Hezbollah, which means 'The Party of God,' that gets credit for liberating Lebanon from the long Israeli occupation. Yesterday, I went to see its 38-year-old leader, Hassan Nasrallah. He is a popular member of the political establishment. The Bush administration says Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. 'Hezbollah was proud to resist the Israeli occupation,' he says. 'We gave our lives. We are not terrorists.'" Later in the same report, Jennings referred to Americans slaughtered by Hezbollah but wouldn't mention Hezbollah's role: only "a man" drove a truck bomb into the U.S. Embassy, as if the attack were anonymous. Then the Marine barracks were somehow blown up anonymously.
4. On Dec. 4, 2001, other newscasts described Hamas as a terror group, but not ABC's Jennings: "The Texas-based Holy Land Foundation is accused of financing the militant Islamic group Hamas, which claimed responsibility for last week's suicide attacks against Israelis." The day before, Jennings couldn't be precise, either, in noting "there's some question as to whether Mr. Arafat can really control organizations like Hamas."
These TV-news examples all come from after Sept. 11, when ABC should have been more serious about the Islamic terror threat facing every American. But ABC is much more comfortable describing Jesse Helms as a "terrorist" (George Stephanopoulos on "This Week," Sept. 14, 1997) than in using the T-word against Hamas and Hezbollah, and any other Islamofascist groups seeking the destruction of America and her allies.
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