As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues to unfold, with an Israeli ground offensive into Gaza becoming increasingly likely, Rupert Murdoch has some words for the American media: Stop being so anti-Israel.
Murdoch took to Twitter on Saturday, condemning the U.S. press for its coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict:
@rupertmurdoch: "Why is Jewish owned press so consistently anti-Israel in every crisis?"
Earlier in the day, he also tweeted:
@ rupertmurdoch: "Middle East ready to boil over any day. Israel position precarious. Meanwhile watch CNN and AP bias to point of embarrassment."
Murdoch is wading into a long-standing debate, which flares up every time tension escalates in Israel-Palestine, as to whether the U.S. media is biased toward Israelis or Palestinians. If you ask pro-Israel people, they'll tell you the American news is anti-Israel. By contrast, if you ask pro-Palestine people, they'll tell you the media is biased against Israel.
Here's an excerpt on this topic from Charlotte Silver over at Al-Jazeera, who writes the western media "can't get Palestine right."
The New York Times and the BBC have always been reliable mouthpieces for Israel's line of justification for bombarding Palestinians, and they have not failed the Zionist state in this instance. However, their so-called liberal counterparts have scarcely hit a different tone. On November 16, former spokesperson for the US State Department, James Rubin, appeared on MSNBC host Alex Wagner's programme. During the chummy discussion, Rubin described Netanyahu as a "sharp character" and placed a "huge chunk" of the blame on Palestinians for why there are currently no "peace negotiations" between Israel and Palestine, while carefully displaying his judicious side by ascribing "some part" of the blame to the Israeli Prime Minister.
... On November 15, Mother Jones published their one and only piece on the recent attacks, which focused entirely on the Israeli army's novel use of social media to tweet their truce-breaking assassination of Hamas leader, Ahmed Jabari. National Public Radio's All Things Considered explained that "the strikes were in retaliation for the launching of more than 100 rockets at Israel in recent days", as noted by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.
A focus on "who started it?" consumes the mainstream media's discussion on the latest violence, leading commentators to discuss timelines as though they were opinions rather than verifiable facts to consider and, to a one, even getting that wrong, with media outlets from NPR to the NYT declaring that Israel's - rather than Hamas' - strikes were retaliatory."
Weigh in: Is Murdoch right? Is he just trying to stir up controversy? What have you thought of the U.S. media coverage of the conflict in Israel Palestine?