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June 10, 2010

'The World' is strangely small on Public Radio

A partisan source and leading interview questions made for an unreliable June 3 segment on “The World,” a one-hour weekday radio news magazine co-produced by the British Broadcasting Corp. and WGBH Boston for Public Radio International. Anchor Marco Werman interviewed Lara Lee, a U.S.-based Brazilian filmmaker who was on board the “Mavi Marmara” as it attempted to run Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, precipitating a fight in which nine Turkish men were killed.

“We didn’t have weapons,” Lee claimed. “Our ships were fully inspected before departure.” This despite video footage of Israeli soldiers being attacked by passengers with iron bars and clubs and wire service photographs showing passengers holding knives and standing over wounded commandos.

“These Gazan people be completely, like, locked in where they cannot have access to food, medication and cement and all sorts of basic products and people are injured or have diseases and they can’t have medication in the hospitals,” Lee alleged. Werman didn't ask Lee about the hundreds of tons of aid, including food and medicine, Israel allows into Gaza weekly or the thousands of Gazans it treats annually in Israeli hospitals.

Instead, like a prosecuting attorney leading a willing witness, he asked questions including, “Israel has said its commandos fired in self defense after they were clubbed, stabbed and fired upon by activists who had snatched the commandos’ pistols. At any time did you see any fighting between the activists and the commandos?” and “And did the Israelis confiscate your cameras?”

“The World’s” overall coverage of the Gaza flotilla managed to avoid interviewing a single Israeli. In addition to Lee, Werman chatted with Jeffery Goldberg (June 2), a correspondent for Atlantic Monthly magazine, BBC’s Jon Donnison (June 2) and Bethany Bell (June 3), and Magdi Abdelhadi, an Arab Affairs analyst at the BBC (June 4) regarding the flotilla. Journalists talking to other journalists about news generally is not news. And even with inclusion of Goldberg, “The World’s” Lara Lee-BBC line-up was anything but balanced. – Traci Siegel, research intern.


Posted by ER at June 10, 2010 05:42 PM

Comments

In fact it is widely reported in Israel that 10,000 to 15,000 tons of supplies are brought into Gaza weekly, not just "hundreds".

Posted by: Will48 at June 10, 2010 08:00 PM

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