This morning (August 14th) we once again had to listen to a report about an Israeli raid into Gaza reported by Linda Gradstein from Jerusalem. Why is it that NPR regularly reports about events in Gaza from Jerusalem; and why is it that Ms.Gradstein, who has reported for NPR on Middle East issues for several years now, rarely if ever has set foot in Gaza?
As usual, Ms. Gradstein’s report was carefully crafted to satisfy the Israeli government’s desire that its illegal occupation of the West Bank, collective punishment of the Palestinian People and military raids into Gaza be reported in terms that present it in the best possible light. They must positively love Ms. Gradstein who apparently has never seen an Israeli Press Release that she did not endorse and mimic.
This morning Gradstein described the illegal military raid as an “incursion”. MS Word lists the following synonyms for incursion: raid, night raid, attack, sortie, invasion, storming. Has Ms. Gradstein ever used any of these words to describe an Israeli attack into Gaza? When reporting these “incursions” has she ever pointed out that they are a violation of international law? Has Gradstein ever taken the time to interview any of the thousands of innocent victims that these illegal raids have killed and maimed?
I challenge NPR to take Ms. Gradstein’s reports over the course of years and do an analysis of terms used. I did a search on the name “Gradstein” at NPR’s web site and found over 1700 entries; most are reports by Linda Gradstein originating from Israel or interviews with her about Israel-Palestine issues. How often has an illegal raid been described as an “incursion” and how many times have the synonyms been used? How often are favorable terms associated with Israeli actions and unfavorable terms with Palestinian actions? Then, when you have done this analysis, publish the results.
This is the sort of investigation in the interest of journalistic integrity that an independent NPR listener Ombudsman would do. But NPR apparently does not want that sort of scrutiny since it has failed for many months now to fill the position of Ombudsman.
Why can’t NPR muster the courage to report honestly about Israel-Palestine and how do those NPR reporters and editors who do want to practice their craft with journalistic integrity live with the contradiction of NPR’s overwhelmingly biased reporting on all things Israeli and Palestinian?
FELICE PACE lives in Klamath, California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org