Veteran NBC correspondent on why Israel/Hezbollah war coverage is so slanted

Posted by: ST on August 9, 2006 at 11:05 pm

Ike Seamans at has written a piece explaining why he believes the news reporting of the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is so slanted. He opines:

Because almost none of the American television networks have a vast stable of experienced reporters any longer who understand the region, they employ the old “parachute them in” philosophy, i.e. dispatching perfectly good — and frequently very young — journalists, few of whom have any experience in covering this story and don’t stand a snowball’s chance in Gaza of getting it right initially. They engage in what I call “nerve end journalism.” reporting what they think they see in one of the most confusing places on earth, with very little context. Their movements are also very restricted by both sides.

In the case of Beirut and other parts of Lebanon under the control of terrorists, Hezbollah usually runs daily press tours, making sure reporters and photographers see the worse that Israel has inflicted — killing civilians, etc. — in order to slate the coverage, but never reveals that Hezbollah uses private homes, mosques, schools, hospitals and other public buildings for their headquarters or to launch their lethal missiles.

Then there’s the danger factor if a reporter angers his terrorist tour guides. Christopher Albritton, a freelance contributor for Time magazine, wrote in his blog a couple of weeks ago, “To the south, Hezbollah is launching Katyushas, but I’m loathe to say too much about them. The Party of God has a copy of every journalists’ passport and they’ve already hassled a number of us and threatened one.” They also take pictures of all journalists, warning they better follow the ground rules or else. Terrorists in that part of the world have been doing this for years.

I don’t doubt that what he says is true. Ignorance of the region your covering, as well as restrictions put on you by those you are covering, can and do indeed have an impact on what you write. But he ignores another – and what I think is the primary – reason why the reporting on this conflict is so slanted: media bias against Israel. Bias against Israel is standard operating procedure in the press, and we’ve seen some glaring examples this past week on that front with the doctored photos (along with other pictures that appear to have been staged) – these were photos that passed through the hands of news editors obviously without questioning their authenticity.

Mr. Seamans may be aware of the anti-Israel bias in the media, or he may not be. I don’t know. What I do know is that while he provided you part of the story as to why coverage of this conflict has seemed to be so one-sided, I felt obliged to give you the rest of it. I may not work for the MSM, but I’ve studied it enough to know where its biases are most prevalent: with conservatives, the US under a Republican president, and Israel.

Hat tip: Captain Ed

Update: Via Tammy Bruce, here’s proof positive that there are those in the MSM who harbor clear biases against Israel (emphasis added):

Of Ahmadinejad, [CBS veteran newsman Mike] Wallace said, “He’s an impressive fellow, this guy. He really is. He’s obviously smart as hell.”

Wallace said he was surprised to find that the Iranian president was still a college professor who taught a graduate-level course.

“You’ll find him an interesting man,” he said. “I expected more of a firebrand. I don’t think he has the slightest doubt about how he feels … about the American administration and the Zionist state. He comes across as more rational than I had expected.

Wonder if Mike Wallace finds this rational? Or this?

Google News link roundup on Israel/Hezbollah conflict –

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7 Responses to “Veteran NBC correspondent on why Israel/Hezbollah war coverage is so slanted”


  1. david foster says:

    “he was surprised to find that the Iranian president was still a college professor”…I’m not.

  2. david foster says:

    Also: note Wallace’s use of the phrase “the Zionist state.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard this phrase used by someone who was not strongly anti-Israel.

  3. Drewsmom says:

    That Ike guy from the local station in the States had it right — Shepard Smith, Tucker Carlson, Anderson Cooper, none of these twerps have it right — they are not reporting anything but the fantasy the hezzies want em to sew while treatening them and they show so much of Isreal footage that the poor soldiers have to follow the cameras around putting their hands up so Shep, Anderson and Tucker don’t give too much away, The older reports aren’t much better.
    I hate most of the press and Mike Wallace should be in an Assited Living Center playing and probably cheating at bridge.[-x:-@

  4. Great White Rat says:

    It shouldn’t surprised anyone when Mike Wallace toadies up to enemies of the U.S. Back in the late ’80s, there was a bit of a controversy when he boasted that he would NOT warn American soldiers if he knew of an enemy ambush, but he WOULD make sure he got the story, because, after all, journalism is more important that patriotism.

    The story is here, including how he browbeat the late Peter Jennings into going along with him.

  5. Marshall Art says:

    Mike Wallace is very, very old. He’s a very, very old ass.

  6. G Monster says:

    Mike Wallace is an ass. And it looks like he’s always been an ass.

  7. Severian says:

    Mike Wallace is just disappointed that Dan Rather gets all the publicity and will act more and more outrageous until he manages to come up with his own personal “fake but accurate” story. He’s a terrorist sympathizer, anti-American, despot butt kissing fool, and even his son, Chris Wallace, says it’s time for him to head for the retirement home.