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NPR’s reporter Linda Gradstein has done it again. She has managed to take a “must report” story on Israeli-Palestinian relations – the new report by B’Tselem on the non-combatants, including children, killed by the Israeli military during the Israeli attack on Gaza – and report it in a manner which minimizes the story’s potential to create opposition to Israeli treatment of Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza.
Virtually every other published report on this story mentions the number of non-combatant children under 16 which the group B’Tselem – an Israeli human rights organization – found had been killed by the Israeli military in their most recent invasion of Gaza. Many news reports made the 320 Gaza children 16 and under who were killed the story’s lead. But not Linda Gradstein; she completely omitted that piece of information.
If this was the first time Ms Gradstein had failed to report key facts which could negatively impact the opinion of US citizens about Israel we could explain it away as unintentional – the unusual slip of a seasoned reporter in failing to report the most important part of the story. But this is not an isolated incident. It has been well documented that Ms. Gradstein consistently constructs her stories on Israeli-Palestinian issues in a manner that is as favorable as possible to the position of the Israeli Government and the actions of the Israeli military. She regularly provides official Israeli positions and interpretations of events unusual deference. Furthermore, Gradstein has accepted payment for speeches to pro-Israel organizations in clear violation of NPR policy.
Ms. Gradstein is biased and she has demonstrated time and again that she can not put that bias aside. Her biased reporting undermines the integrity of the NPR News establishment and its reporting. NPR management should reassign her; NPR listeners should question why this has not already occurred.
This view of Linda Gradstein is challenged by CAMERA – the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America – a US-based pro-Israeli government media watch organization. CAMERA regularly hammers NPR on their Middle East reporting and urges public radio donors to withhold contributions to local NPR stations in response to the alleged “anti-Israel bias” at NPR. CAMERA identifies Gradstein as “National Public Radio’s chronically pro-Palestinian Israel reporter.”
CAMERA has a very low bar when it comes to judging the anti-Israel bias of reporters. It has even found Scott Simon – host of NPR’s