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May 19, 2005

Front Page News?

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There appear to be serious news judgment problems at the Bergen County Record. The paper prominently featured an Associated Press non-story by Mark Lavie on its front page. The story reported on the interrogation of a few Jewish extremists who briefly discussed attacking the Al Aqsa mosque before abandoning the plan.

But not only did the Bergen Record inflate the importance of a non-event, it also omitted key information from the original story.

The Record reported that:

Three Jewish extremists considered firing a missile into Islam's third-holiest shrine in hopes of unleashing mayhem across the Middle East and halting Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank this summer, police said Monday.

Officials admitted that hard evidence in the case was weak...

The plot apparently did not progress past the stage of discussion.


But the paper deleted this sentence from from Lavie's original story:

Israel's Justice Ministry said the suspects would not be indicted because there was no evidence they carried out any part of the plot, and they had second thoughts about it even before they were detained.

The Record exaggerated potential actions by Israelis while ignoring real incitement by the Palestinians.

Posted by CameraBlog at May 19, 2005 10:56 AM