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July 10, 2014

NPR Suggests Israel Fired 160 Rockets, Hamas Fired 2


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The rockets are flying in the Middle East. Yesterday morning, NPR listeners were told that Israel had hit 160 targets. And they were informed that Hamas had fired... two missiles?

The introduction to a July 9 Morning Edition segment described the "violence that unfolded overnight" as follows:

Renee Montagne: Hamas claimed responsibility for two rockets fired at Tel Aviv. Both rockets were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.

Steve Inskeep: Israel says it has struck more than 160 targets in Gaza. Officials in Gaza say at least three dozen Palestinians have been killed this week.

Not exactly. It is true that at 8:45 AM Israel time – the middle of the night in the US – Israel shot down two Palestinian rockets. But it's also true that from midnight in Israel through the time the Morning Edition program aired on the east coast (4 PM in Israel) 48 rockets struck Israel and another 14 were intercepted by the country's missile defense system. During the week, hundreds more were fired at Israel.

Numerical comparisons can be interesting, but can also be unhelpful if the data is divorced from the details. (What type of targets does Israel try to hit with its rockets? What type does Hamas hope to hit?) But if journalists nonetheless choose to compare numbers, they should be a representative sample, and should certainly compare apples with apples. The comparison of one minute of Hamas rocket fire with one night of Israeli strikes and one week of Palestinian casualties is, at the very least, unhelpful.

This post has been updated to note that the Morning Edition segment aired on July 9, not on July 7. As it was a typographical error, the figures remain correct.

Posted by GI at July 10, 2014 05:20 PM

Comments

I can't listen(or support financially) NPR because they never report fairly about Israel. Today I figured how bias could they be so on the way to work, I listen to the news summery.

Not only did the Israel report start with the "bombings' of gaza, the gaza death count, the homes destroyed.... but I waited...waited ...waited not one mention of rockets fired at Israel. If you did not know the context you would think Israel is just bombing gaza.

Can NPR be more anti semitic? It goes beyond anti Israel.

Posted by: Gerson at July 14, 2014 09:42 AM

"Not only did the Israel report start with the "bombings' of gaza, the gaza death count, the homes destroyed.... but I waited...waited ...waited not one mention of rockets fired at Israel. If you did not know the context you would think Israel is just bombing gaza. "


WCBS NY report wasn't any different.

Posted by: one of em at July 15, 2014 01:39 PM

NPR's on-site correspondent reports without context, digging up what I term "weepies" that invariably seem to demonstrate Palestinian suffering. That's superficial reporting. Why not do a piece on the insitutionalised UNWRA whose employees have a very good thing going and invariably comment from the Palestinian view.

Posted by: Anonymous at July 16, 2014 05:41 PM

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