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May 31, 2008

One Moore Example of Bias!

On May 27, 2008, the Washington Post published an article by longtime reporter Molly Moore about the crisis over Iran's failure to cooperate with United Nations nuclear inspectors ("Iran Withholds Key Nuclear Documents; Program Still Peaceful, U.N. Agency Says"). In her lead paragraph, Moore states that International Atomic Energy Agency

"inspectors have found no evidence that Tehran is currently attempting to divert its nuclear program to military uses."

Moore's analysis of the dispute over Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons is limited to a single paragraph that states:

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last year that Iran stopped weapons research in 2003; Iran has denied it ever conducted such research.

From this, a reader would have the clear impression that IAEA inspectors found no evidence of an ongoing Iranian nuclear weapons program, and that its latest report was essentially a valentine to the Islamist regime. But Moore's version of events reflects a completely different reality from that reported elsewhere.

For example, consider the New York Times article "Atomic Monitor Signals Concern Over Iran’s Work" (also published on May 27, 2008), by Elaine Sciolino. Sciolino's piece took a strikingly different tone, reporting that:

The nine-page report accused the Iranians of a willful lack of cooperation, particularly in answering allegations that its nuclear program may be intended more for military use than for energy generation. Part of the agency’s case hinges on 18 documents listed in the report and presented to Iran that, according to Western intelligence agencies, indicate the Iranians have ventured into explosives, uranium processing and a missile warhead design - activities that could be associated with constructing nuclear weapons.

Say what? How is it possible that Moore can insist there was

"no evidence that Tehran is currently attempting to divert its nuclear program to military uses"

when, according to the New York Times, the agency report listed "18 documents" indicating that "the Iranians have ventured into explosives, uranium processing and a missile warhead design"?

Unfortunately, Moore is an all-too-familiar figure to longtime critics of Washington Post bias against Israel. She and her husband, fellow Post reporter John Ward Anderson, were for many years the Post's Jerusalem bureau correspondents. During their tenure, Moore's reporting was frequently criticized for its anti-Israel bias by media watchdogs including CAMERA. Even the Post's former ombudsman, Michael Getler, occasionally took note of Moore's habitual downplaying of the Israeli side in her reports. (See, e.g., "A Town Meeting, a Tape and Terror," Feb. 16, 2003; 'Stories That Had Readers Writing,' Dec. 12, 2004; "For a Few Stories, a Grade of Incomplete," March 20, 2005) Anderson's reporting, too, has been the subject of repeated criticism by media watchdogs, including CAMERA.

Moore and Anderson are now reporting for the Post from Paris, France, where they have dutifully ignored the recent vindication by a Paris Court of Appeal of Philippe Karsenty. Karsenty is a French media critic who helped expose an infamous video clip, purportedly showing the killing of a Palestinian youth by Israeli soldiers, as a hoax (See reports by CAMERA and The Canadian Jewish News).

One would expect more from the Post.

- Stephen A. Silver

Posted by LG at May 31, 2008 06:56 PM


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