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September 16, 2002
Katie Wright (703) 683-5004, ext. 132

Bozell Responds to Jennings on Denial on Middle East Bias

Videotape Examples Prove Charges Are Serious, Not “Silly”

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ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Media Research Center President Brent Bozell today responded to ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings’s dismissal of MRC research showing that Jennings’s Middle East coverage is biased. Jennings called the MRC’s proof “silly” Friday on CNN’s Larry King Live:

LARRY KING: “How do you react, by the way, before taking the next call, to some of the controversy that surround you? And I know Brent Bozell, a columnist, has criticized you as being kind of pro-Arab, and I've heard this for years.” 

PETER JENNINGS: “Well, I think it's a bit silly.”

     “We have a library of evidence that documents Mr. Jennings’s pro-Arab bias on the air, bias to the point where he will not even call obvious terrorists the terrorists they are. His pro-Arab spin on terrorism and the Middle East misrepresents the facts and misleads the public. It’s a grave disservice especially in a time of war,” Bozell said.

Evidence of Peter Jennings’s Bias In Middle East Reporting

April 20, 2002 …ABC covered a pro-Palestinian rally in Washington, D.C., but Jennings ignored a pro-Israel rally in Washington held just six days earlier.

April 15, 2002 … Jennings apologized for Palestinian terrorist coordinator Marwan Barghouti when he was captured by Israeli Defense forces. Jennings: “Today in Ramallah the Israelis arrested a Palestinian who’s been central to the Palestinian uprising against the occupation. His name is Marwan Barghouti. He was in favor of the peace process until, as he told an Israeli newspaper, the Israelis didn’t withdraw from the territories and went on building Jewish settlements.” Jennings then went on to describe how two Palestinian girls were “trapped” in California because they could not return to their homeland.

April 11, 2002 …Jennings neglected to report that a Saudi Arabian telethon was providing money for the families of homicide bombers, something widely reported by other media.

April 2, 2002 … Jennings opened the broadcast by lamenting how “at least a dozen people died ... all Palestinians,” as “the Israeli campaign in the occupied territories became more aggressive.” But in conflict with Jennings’ intended implication, they weren’t all caused by the Israeli army. As CBS’s Dan Rather noted, one was a Palestinian bomber who blew himself up. 

March 28, 2002 … Jennings on Hezbollah: “The Bush administration says Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. ‘Hezbollah was proud to resist the Israeli occupation,’ [Nasrallah] says. ‘We gave our lives. We are not terrorists,’” Jennings translated. It was Hezbollah that blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 in an obvious terrorist attack. 

December 4, 2001 …When the Bush administration froze the assets of the Arab terrorist group Hamas, both NBC News and CBS News correctly labeled Hamas as a terrorist organization, but Jennings refused to do so. In the same newscast, Jennings blamed Israel for an “explosion of violence in the Middle East,” while CBS’s Rather noted it was “Israel’s latest answer to a wave of Palestinian terror attacks.”

December 3, 2001 … After the terrorist group Hamas claimed responsibility for a murderous terrorist attack on Israel, Jennings could only call Hamas “an organization.”

     “If Dan Rather can see that it is terrorists who are murdering innocent people why can’t Peter Jennings?” Bozell said. “Even as a reporter covering the Palestinian terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics, Jennings would not refer to the murderers of those 11 athletes as terrorists. He called them ‘guerrillas’ and ‘commandos.’ Unfortunately, some things never change.”

To examine the examples of Jennings’s Middle East bias visit www.mediaresearch.org, and click on Profiles in Bias and select “Palestine Pete.”

To schedule an interview with Mr. Bozell contact Katie Wright at
(703)-683-5004, ext. 132.




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