Friday, October 28, 2005

AP Sets Record for Most Bias Crammed into Smallest Space (IRIS Blog)

I've been very impressed with the IRIS Blog, which has become a one-stop shop for Israel news and commentary. Here is a typically excellent entry about media bias:

AP Sets Record for Most Bias Crammed into Smallest Space

Normally brevity is the rule for newspaper captions. There is a problem with this photo, however. A typical person would interpret this photo as "Iranian Children Raised on Diet of Violent Anti-Semitism." So the caption writer needed a little less than 1,000 words to attempt to undo it:

Iranian school boys shoot with their toy guns at an Israeli flag as it burns during an anti-Israeli rally marking 'Al-Quds Day' (Jerusalem Day), to support the Palestinian cause, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005. Tens of thousands of Iranians staged anti-Israel protests across the country Friday and repeated calls by their ultraconservative president who repeated the words of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, by saying: 'Israel must be wiped off the map.'
"Toy guns"
Here are hundreds of examples of Muslim children brandishing what caption writers have implausibly labeled "toys." In one particularly humorous example, the caption writer claims that the obviously real gun is "unloaded."

"To Support the Palestinian Cause"
Lest you think they were motivated by the extermination of Jews or Israel as Iran's president explicitly declared yesterday, the caption claims they are actually simply in favor of a Palestinian state.

Calling for the extermination of an entire nation needs to be linked to campaigning for tax cuts, as this post documents.

"Who Repeated the Words of Khomeini"
This is the spin of the Iranian Foreign Minister, who dealt with the outrage against the president's call for Israel's extermination by claiming "that Ahmadinejad had merely quoted what the late leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, said more than 26 years ago." A large number of news stories immediately followed suit and posted those words as fact without mentioning that it was Iranian spin. Here is a small sample.