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December 11, 2018

LA Times, Places Not Banned, and Inaccurate Terminology

Trump travel ban.jpg

Not on Trump's travel ban list: Egypt, Afghanistan, 'Palestine'

At least eight times in the last 14 years, The Los Angeles Times has corrected the inaccurate use of the term "Palestine," but that fact did not stop the paper from again misusing the term.

Most recently, the Calendar article Friday (Dec. 7, page E4) by Mark Swed (online here), the article states:

With the house lights down, it was not possible to read the program and thus keep track of what came from Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, Somalia, Palestine or elsewhere ("Kronos Quartet aims to transcend borders; The string group lines up pieces from 'banned' nations. The result: universal").

On at least half a dozen occasions, The Los Angeles Times has corrected references to Palestine relating to Israel, the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, post 1948. Considering that the article last week is referring to the contemporary Palestinian music group Ramallah Underground (located in the West Bank), the reference to Palestine is inaccurate. The most recent correction, June 28, 2018 (also concerning a calendar article), stated:

German art exhibition: An article in the June 24 Arts & Books section about a German exhibition called “Unbuilding Walls” at the 2019 Venice (Italy) Architecture Biennale said it features video testimonials gathered by architects at border walls around the world, including Israel and Palestine. It should have said Palestinian territories.

Earlier corrections of the same error were:

"Roger Waters: An article in the June 22 Calendar section about Roger Waters' new album said Waters supports Palestinians' rights but incorrectly referred to tensions between Israel and Palestine. It should have said tensions between the Israeli government and the Palestinians" (June 28, 2017)

"Gerald A. Larue: In the Sept. 22 LATExtra section, the obituary of USC religious scholar Gerald A. Larue referred to archaeological digs in Palestine. The digs occurred in Israel and the West Bank." (Sept. 22, 2014)

"Carter speech: An article in Friday's California section included a subhead saying former President Carter urged students to travel to Palestine. The area referred to is the Palestinian territories." (May 5, 2007)

"Istanbul Biennial -- An article in the Dec. 11 Calendar section about an international art exhibition included Palestine in a list of nations from which artists had contributed works. It should have said the Palestinian territories." (Dec. 23, 2005)

"Bail bonds investigation–An article in the California section Sunday about the arrest of American Liberty Bail Bonds owner Adnan 'Dan' Yousef and members of his family reported that they had ties to Palestine. The reference should have been to the Palestinians territories." (Sept. 29, 2004)

"Palestinian film–Articles about Palm Springs International Film Festival that ran in Calendar on Dec. 20 and Jan. 8 referred to the movie 'Divine Intervention' as coming from Palestine. They should have said the Palestinian territories." (Jan. 13, 2004)

Accurate language would have been to refer to music which came from "the Palestinian territories," or "the Palestinian West Bank."

Moreover, in a separate error in the Dec. 7 piece, the subheadline claims that "The string group lines up pieces from 'banned' nations," and then goes on to discuss music from Egypt, Afghanistan and "Palestine" [sic], none of which was on the travel ban list. As The Los Angeles Times reported June 27, 2018 ("Justice vote to uphold president's travel ban"):

The current ban covers five Muslim-majority nations -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen -- as well as North Korea and some government officials from Venezuela.

lat bannedcountries.jpg

The digital headline of the online article likewise misleads: "Review: In defiance of Trump, Kronos Quartet plays music from banned countries." An accurate headline would read: "Review: In defiance of Trump, Kronos Quarter plays music from Muslim-majority countries."

CAMERA has contacted The Los Angeles Times about corrections. Stay tuned for an update.

Posted by TS at December 11, 2018 02:36 AM


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