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December 08, 1989 - Image 101

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I MEDIA MONITOR

CAMERA's Eye Is
On Mideast Coverage

LAWRENCE HARMON

A media watchdog group contends
that. U.S reporting is out of focus
and unfair to Israel.

Special to The Jewish News

T

he Committee for Ac-
curacy in Middle East
Reporting in America
(CAMERA) has been de-
scribed in terms ranging from
"clown show" to "intrepid
truth squad." But regardless
of perception, it is clear that
the Washington D.Gbased
media watchdog group is
growing in strength and
starting to make its presence
felt in the editorial offices of
major metropolitan newspa-
pers and electronic media
outlets.
CAMERA activists, who
boast 4,000 members in seven
chapters nationwide, contend
that an insidious anti-Israel
bias has infected reporters
and editors throughout the
U.S. during the past decade.
As a result, they believe,
Israel is now unfairly cast in
the role of Goliath opposite
that of David played by the
Palestinians.
"A media war is being
waged against Israel," ex-
plained Win Meiselman,
CAMERA's co-founder and
national director. "There is an
incredible need right now to
confront this situation and
that is our top priority"
By all appearances,
CAMERA will not be satis-
fied with the traditional
Jewish organizational
response of private, off-the-
record meetings with editor-

Meiselman: a media war against Israel.

ial boards. CAMERA's troops
also show absolutely no reluc-
tance about tackling the big
ones. During a gathering of
the group's supporters in
Boston on Oct. 29, CAMERA
speakers lashed out at the
New York Times, the Boston
Globe, the Public Broad-
casting Service and the major
television networks. "I used
to be a hero worshipper of the
New York Times and Public
Television," explained Balti-
more native Dr. Louis Offen.
"But when you're exposed to
the omissions and distor-
tions, it really makes you
angry"
Through analyses of head-
lines, measuring of column in-
ches devoted to various

Keyes: Media blinded to Arab violations.

aspects of the Middle East
and comparative studies of
how different papers cover
the same story, CAMERA
speakers expose what they
perceive as escalating bias
against the Jewish state.
"America's Most Trusted
Anchorman???" asks one
CAMERA display with a pic-
ture of ABC newscaster Peter
Jennings. The poster answers
its own question: "We can
trust him to distort the news
about Israel!" The CAMERA
response continues: "On May
3, 1989, Peter Jennings,
ABC's finest, introduced the
story of the stabbing murder
of two Israelis, 90-year-old
Nissim Levy and 76-year-old
Kalman Verdi . . . this way: 'In

AUGUST

Israel today the government
tried to use a Palestinian act
of violence to discredit the
PLO.'CAMERA's analysis:
"For Jennings and ABC,
murdered Israelis apparently
count for nothing compared
to the political fortunes of the
PLO."
Even stronger CAMERA
exhibits target the Boston
Globe, which the group
perceives as one of the most
consistently imbalanced
newspapers on Mideast cov-
erage. Andrea Levin, Boston's
CAMERA director, is respon-
sible for a series of ads which
ran earlier in the year with
claims that "In the Boston
Globe, Israelis are a people of
lesser humanity whose suffer-

89.

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PUS IN TIIE PROMISED LAIVO: •

The Case of -The Covert Connection"

NE WSPAPERS,

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Cartoons: Adding Insult to

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Arafat Supports:
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CAMERA was founded in
1982 by Meiselman and Dr.
William Perl in a living room
in suburban Beltsville, Md.
Meiselman, a child psycholo-
gist, and Perl,. a Holocaust
survivor, were increasingly
concerned about the negative
portrayal of Israel following
the invasion of Lebanon.
"The dream we had was that
ordinary people have a right
to be heard and that the truth
can prevail in the war of
ideas," Meiselman explained.

THE COMMITTEE FOR ACCURACY IN MIDDLE EAST REPORTING IN AMERICA

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MEDIA REVIEW

80.0N GMER.A REPORT

T akeActioni

ing and pain is sharply under-
played." Boston CAMERA
members further assert that
New England's largest- daily
newspaper "doctors" wire
service stories to promote the
. Palestinian viewpoint and
manipulates headlines and
photographs to present a por-
trait of Israel as "irrationally
aggressive."
Although the conference in
Boston drew 1,000 people
from across the country, it did
not rate coverage in the next
day's Globe. It is clear,
however, that the message is
not going unheard. Following
an earlier CAMERA ad cam-
paign, Boston Globe editor
John Driscoll countered with
his own claims that CAM-
ERA ads "twist the facts"
and "distort the truth." He
further asserts that the
group's complaints are
grounded in "sheer opinion
and selective interpretation."

U.S. Offieials Fault
MiSreP01111f4„
Of Right:, Report

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS 101

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