* A letter to CNN from Moscow: your coverage of the Gaza conflict
To CNN International Edition
I am an American citizen living and working in Moscow, Russia. My choice of western TV News here is limited, and I spend a fair amount of time watching the CNN International Edition. During the height of the conflict in Gaza I watched more than the usual, and became so disappointed with your unbalanced coverage, that I decided to write this letter.
If I were totally unfamiliar with the issue, by watching your channel I would have formed the opinion that Israel is a terrorist state that has no mercy for “Palestinian” women and children, and even specifically targets them. No other conclusion is possible when 90% of the coverage is devoted to pictures of destroyed houses, schools and mosques, and to funerals, without mentioning that: · Hamas strategically places women and children in harm’s way (for your cameras) · Hamas produces amateur weapons in residential buildings, schools and mosques · Since Israel left Gaza, over 3000 rockets were fired at it from this Hamas-controlled territory · Israel continues to supply Gaza with water and electricity (for free)- even during the hostilities
Israel’s point of view also makes it into your cameras, but it has no chance to register being so overwhelmed by the Arab side of the story. Is it possible to fairly report on a conflict while devoting 90% of the coverage to the sufferings of one side? Would you consider it fair and balanced today to report in great detail on the sufferings of the German people during the 1945 bombing of Berlin, with no mention of the Nazi atrocities and only a fleeting mention that the Nazis did something bad to start the war?
Your news programs are a significant factor in forming opinions around the world. Many of the people watching are open-minded and may have no prior knowledge of the issue, and it is no surprise that some of them participate in anti-Israel demonstrations, including ones with openly fascist rhetoric. These people don’t know that Israel left Gaza with infrastructure, including agriculture that could be cultivated– but Hamas is not interested in growing food, only in making bombs and rockets and shooting them at Israel. I know that because I visited Israel and talked to people – but I would never have learnt it if I relied only on your reporters for information.
I tried to understand why your coverage is so biased. Do pictures of dead people bring good ratings? Is it easier to paint Israel as the aggressor rather than Hamas? Certainly it is true in all moslem countries and most of Europe by now (thanks in part to you). My explanations seemed to be incomplete until I paid attention to the commercials between your newscasts: · Traveling to Egypt · Qatar Airlines · Royal Jordanian Airlines · Bank of Kuweit · ORASCOM Companies
Is it a coincidence or does the fear to offend your Arab sponsors take priority over fairness and balance in reporting the truth? The answer seems obvious to me.
I hereby accuse you, CNN, of unfair reporting for the sake of your bottom line. I hold you, CNN, partially responsible for the demonstrations held around the world and for the financial support your coverage will bring to terrorists like HAMAS.
I am not a radical and I know my limitations. I cannot fight CNN, but I will make every effort to share this information with as many people as possible.