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September 10, 2013

Doing It Again: 'Our' terrorists are 'your' Islamists; Semi-Secret Identities at The Washington Post

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Remember phonograph records, and how playing needles stuck in scratches–sometimes rendering the recording unlistenable? If so, you’ll understand the “stuck-in-the-groove” problem typified by two examples from the September 9 print edition of The Washington Post.

“In ancient Christian town, war makes sudden appearance at convent; Nuns unharmed by extremists fighters, mother superior says” appeared on page A-9. It mentioned the Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra and noted that al-Nusra “is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government because of its declared affiliation with al-Qaeda.” Correspondent Liz Sly filed The Post’s report.

In contrast, the front page article, “Gaza lifeline is in peril as Egypt aims at Hamas,” referred to “the Islamist movement Hamas” and reminded readers that “the group is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood ....” But the otherwise informative dispatch, which reported that Israel “considers [Hamas] a terrorist organization,” did not tell readers that the U.S. government does as well–not to mention Canada and other countries.

Post Jerusalem Bureau Chief William Booth, and Cairo correspondent Abigail Hauslohner paraphrased an Egyptian source as noting that “ ‘terrorist’ groups were clustered” in the Sinai desert near Egypt’s border with Israel. They also referred to “a Sinai-based militant group” that claimed responsibility for trying to assassinate Egypt’s interior minister and said “militants have launched deadly attacks on military and police positions almost daily in the north.”

If it’s worth The Post telling readers that the United States has designated Jabhat al-Nusra a terrorist group, why is it not important to remind them of the same regarding Hamas (and, in Israel-Lebanon stories, Hezbollah)? Habits, especially bad–or uninformative ones–are made to be broken.

Posted by ER at September 10, 2013 05:17 PM

Comments

What this note doesn't say about the WaPo piece, but should say, is that not only does the piece neglect to inform readers that the US regards Hamas as a terrorist organization, it also suggests that the citizenry of Gaza are to be seen as innocents being made to suffer ("lifeline is in peril") for what they have no responsibility for. And part of their "suffering" is that they are seeing their supplies of cheap, subsidized Egyptian gasoline being cut off, forcing them to pay for more expensive Israeli gasoline. Well, Egypt is in very serious economic trouble in part because it subsidizes gas purchases by Egyptians, and it is obliged to subsidize gas and bread for Gazans, most especially not Gazans under Hamas' control.

Posted by: dcdcoc [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 11, 2013 04:24 PM

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