Israeli newspapers, in addition to accusing Reuters of biased "anti-Israeli" coverage, also went after CNN. It was their belief that CNN (along with the BBC), continually showed civilian casualties in Lebanon while basically ignoring the civilian suffering in Israel. They further felt that CNN, either on its own, or because it fell prey to Hezbollah propaganda, constantly aired footage of a "leveled" Beirut when only a small part of the city was affected.
Does Israel have a case against CNN? Many conservatives here in the United States certainly think so. I for one, am greatly disturbed that they have made Michael Ware, formerly of Time Magazine, a Middle Eastern correspondent. It is my strong opinion that for years, Mr. Ware has glorified the acts various insurgents and terrorists while questioning the honor of American troops and their mission. A reading of his fawning story on these terrorists for Time, "Meet the New Jihad," should send chills down the spines of anyone who is trying vanquish these killers.
In spite of this, and in spite of numerous stories questioning his objectivity, CNN decided to pluck him from Time and give him a much bigger bullhorn from which to spew his anti-American rhetoric. In light of such a move, what conclusions can one draw regarding the motives of CNN?
I have friends at CNN, I have been on CNN a number of times, (maybe not anymore), and I think they often do incredible news stories with amazingly courageous journalists. That said, it doesn't mean they are above reproach or can't make mistakes.
Recently, someone from the network told me that CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour "hated" George W. Bush and considered him an "idiot." If that is the case, she is certainly entitled to her opinions. But if that is the case, should this woman be covering stories that involve Bush policy in the Middle East? Commonsense and journalistic ethics would scream "no," and yet, she is on the air "reporting" on such policy.
The Free World, and most especially the United States and Israel, are at war with cowardly, shadowy terrorists who continually twist Islam to fit their demented vision for an apocalyptic future. As such, it is imperative that news organizations recognize this threat, do not take sides because of political bias, and report to their viewers and readers the facts as they are presented.
It's bad enough when segments of the United Nations become derelict in their duty in the face of such a growing threat. It's quite another, when journalists, either by omission or commission, bring aid and comfort to those who hate liberty and true religious expression.
Worse than bad, it's dangerous. Lives can be taken or saved because of words in a story. Post-September 11, it's imperative that those words reflect the truth.
Douglas MacKinnon served as press secretary to former Sen. Bob Dole. He is also a former White House and Pentagon official and the author of the forthcoming novel, “America’s Last Days.”
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