US network prime-time news programmes covered Israeli children's deaths at rates up to fourteen times greater than they reported on Palestinian children's deaths
While hardly a week has gone by without activists, politicians or independent media outlets pointing an angry finger at corporate media America for their blatant and biased coverage of Israel’s war on Gaza, and all other Palestinian related issues for that matter, few people and organisations have actually taken the time to quantify and label such bias, as has Alison Weir, an American journalist turned activist.
Although Alyson Weir has often been portrayed as a pro-Palestinian militant, a harsh critic of Israel, and, to some extent, an American traitor for relentlessly denouncing the Pentagon’s funding of Israel’s imperialistic ambitions in Palestine, she remains, to this day, one of the few impartial parties to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. "Neither a Jew nor a Muslim, neither a Palestinian nor an Israeli,” as she often described herself, Ms. Weir’s quest has been one of truths and tangible facts.
It is actually her dedication and scientific approach to America’s coverage of Israel’s wars, which can finally allow us to understand the extent of Israel’s media manipulation, its lies and downright mass deception techniques.
It has become increasingly clear that corporate media America has no interest in painting a fair and objective account of events unfolding in the Middle East, least of all, in Palestine. Built to cater and serve Israel’s PR needs, it would be fairer to say that US mainstream media have not only consistently and systematically failed to report on Israel’s abuses against Palestinians, but that they have colluded with Tel Aviv to demonise and dehumanise Palestinians, equating them to terror elements, to better promote, justify and further Israel’s territorial ambitions in the region.
But if one can understand that in the world’s political game of chess, propaganda and PR manipulations are occupational hazards, and one might want to draw the line at the promotion of ethnic cleansing on account of one’s macabre religious hegemonic claims. By acting as Israel’s mouthpiece, US mainstream media are increasingly appearing to be enablers of Palestinian genocide.
Looking at the piles of bodies lying in Gaza’s morgues, the majority of which are civilians, the idea that this was not designed, engineered and carried out seems exceedingly unrealistic.
Did you know that US network prime-time news programmes covered Israeli children's deaths at rates up to fourteen times greater than they reported on Palestinian children's deaths?
It essentially means that while every Israeli death has been mourned and decried - as it should, as all death should - Palestinians have been ignored and swept under the rug, in order to preserve Israel’s moral ground.
After all, before the sheer imbalance of it all, before the senseless, illegitimate and unlawful, evictions, expulsions, arrests, killings; before the systematic brutalities and the horrors of a life under Israeli occupation, Americans might have demanded for their government to withhold all aid to Israel - Israel has received over $100 billion in US aid since the end of World War II.
In her attempt to expose US media bias against Palestinians, Ms. Weir stumbled across some rather unsavoury realities. For example, she established that back at the time of the First Intifada, in 2000 -2001, there was “a significant disparity in the likelihood of a death being reported based on the ethnicity of the person killed.” Adding insult to injury, “This disparity was compounded by the fact that while the networks periodically reported on deaths more than once, through follow-up stories and mentions in later news reports, such repetitions were found to be more frequent in reporting on Israeli deaths than in reporting on Palestinian deaths.”
This repetitive technique actually led networks to report on Israeli deaths in greater rates than they had actually occurred, thus making Palestinian’s deaths and casualties appear insignificant, thus distorting realities to the point where media sold Americans fiction over truth.
As it was true over a decade ago, so it is today.
Regardless of one’s political standing or religious beliefs, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the elephant sitting in the room; Israel has been lying to the world and US corporate media has assisted.
When Israel is not rejecting the very notion of a Palestinian identity, it has tried to hide its mass-killing sprees and its army’s abuses against civilian populations.
Americans have been conditioned to believe that Israel is facing extinction, when in truth and in fact, one might add, it is Palestinians who have been decimated since 1948.
While Americans have been told by their press that Palestinians are the villains, they were fooled into believing that the land upon which Israel laid its claim back in 1948 belonged not to one very real Palestinian people, but the people of Zion.
But if US media outlets have locked on their narrative, unwilling and probably unable to offer fair coverage to their audience, the now glaringly visible divide in-between realities on the ground and mass manipulation and deception have prompted Americans to look elsewhere for the truth, mainly independent media.
Until US media actually face up to their responsibilities before the American people and their audience in general, little things like Israel’s bombing in 1967 of the USS Liberty - an act of war under US law - will remain a mystery, yet another cover-up commandeered by Tel Aviv to please its Zionist crowds.
It might be time to reach for the TV remote.
Catherine Shakdam is a political analyst/commentator for the Middle East with over 7 years of experience. She has written for many publications among which Foreign Policy Association, Russian International Affairs Council, Your Middle East, Majalla, Open Democracy, the Middle East Monitor, and the Guardian. She is also a regular analyst for NewsMax TV and Etijah TV. In 2014 she became the Associate Director of the Beirut Centre for Middle East Studies.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.
Sean Hannity on set of FOX's "Hannity With Sean Hannity" at FOX Studios on 21 April in New York City (AFP)