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January 10, 2006

IBD Questions Media Inconsistency

Inconsistent reporting is one powerful way in which the media—intentionally or not—distorts the public's understanding. We've recently pointed out, for example, inexcusable double standards in reporting by Margaret Coker and the Associated Press.

An editorial in today's Investor's Business Daily argues that, in contrast with the media's pointed condemnations of Pat Robertson's recent "stupid remarks," news stories and editorials "pretty much ignored" anti-Semitic remarks by Hugo Chavez:

Robertson, a fundamentalist Christian televangelist and founder of the 700 Club, infamously suggested last Thursday the massive stroke suffered by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was divine punishment for "dividing God's land." ...

For his remarks, Robertson was roundly criticized ...

Contrast that with comments that were far more harsh, outright anti-Semitic and hateful, and that the media pretty much ignored.

We're referring to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's diatribe against Jews, delivered on Christmas Eve.

Chavez called Jews "descendants of those who crucified Christ" and, using another false old anti-Semitic trope, stated they "took the world's riches for themselves."

Unlike Robertson's comment -- whose indefensible content won't be defended here -- Chavez's hate speech won blase acceptance in the media, with the honorable exception of a handful of bloggers. For the media, it was: gee, what will that zany Chavez say next? ...

It's hard to imagine, given Chavez's "Mein Kampf"-like diatribe, that Jews will feel very comfortable in Venezuela now. It's even harder to understand why we in the media just don't seem to care.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

Posted by at January 10, 2006 10:38 AM


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