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Watch the AP Spin

This is a regular feature of my blog, but Jewcy readers may not be familiar with it. Watch the AP spin a story more positively for Palestinians as time passes. The first headline and lede: Militants: Captured Israeli in Good … Read More

By / January 9, 2007

This is a regular feature of my blog, but Jewcy readers may not be familiar with it. Watch the AP spin a story more positively for Palestinians as time passes.

The first headline and lede:

Militants: Captured Israeli in Good Health

 One of the Palestinian militant groups that captured an Israeli soldier last summer said the serviceman is in "good health," the first time it has given details about his condition.

The headline doesn't stay that way long. In the latest version, "Captured" becomes "Held," a word that means essentially the same thing, but that has far less negative connotations. "Kidnapped," you notice, isn't used at all.

Palestinian Militants: Held Israeli OK

One of the Palestinian militant groups that captured an Israeli soldier last summer said Tuesday that the serviceman is in "good health," the first time it has given details about his condition.

The lede is essentially the same. Something that you may not know is that the first two to three paragraphs are the ones that get into the average paper's "International" section. Most of the rest of the story is discarded. In the case of the wire services, they tend to push Israeli statements down in the middle or end of the stories. Here are the first four grafs of the above story:


One of the Palestinian militant groups that captured an Israeli soldier last summer said Tuesday that the serviceman is in "good health," the first time it has given details about his condition.

But Abu Mujahid, spokesman for the Palestinian Resistance Committees, said Cpl. Gilad Shalit would not be freed until Israel gives in to demands to release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

"Gilad Shalit is in good health and is being treated according to Islamic standards of dealing with prisoners of war," he said. "He has been in custody for 6 1/2 months and we are ready to keep him for years, so long as our demands are not met."

He did not elaborate on the "Islamic standards" of treating a prisoner, nor did he offer any proof about Shalit's condition.

Now, let's review: The headline changes from "captured" to "held," the fact that there is no proof offered other than a terrorist's word is buried in the fourth paragraph, which is cut out of most newspapers' "International" sections, and, well, let's read on, shall we?

The PRC was one of three militant groups linked to the Islamic militant group Hamas that tunneled into Israel from the Gaza Strip on June 25 and captured Shalit. The abduction triggered a five-month Israeli offensive in Gaza, but Shalit has not been publicly seen or heard from since his capture.

If you only read this AP article about why Gilad Shalit is in the hands of Palestinian terrorists, you would not know that they tunneled into Israel, threw grenades and bombs, killed two Israeli soldiers, kidnapped Gilad Shalit, and hid in the warrens of Gaza with the consent of the ruling Palestinian government, Hamas–which took part in the attacks in the first place. This is important background information, yet the deaths of the two Israeli soldiers are rarely mentioned in the AP (or Reuters) boilerplate.

End of Lesson One. I'm sure the AP will allow us to move on to Lesson Two, wherein we show the constant dehumanization of Israelis by the mainstream media. Anyone wishing to do extra credit work can click on the "Media Bias" category over at my place.

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