For the past few days CNN has been looping an image of reported Hamas rockets being shot from Gaza into Israel.
One CNN news package played a series of rocket firing images at least four times in one 2 minute report:
But where were the images of multi-million dollar Israeli missiles, fired from US-made helicopters, tanks and jets?
Does CNN not have any images of that?
If CNN feels it newsworthy to show images of Hamas launching acts of violence, why don’t they balance those images by showing video of Israel launching its bombs, which are much bigger, more effective and far more deadly than those produced by Hamas.
And while the Palestinian side was represented by the screaming mourners or masked gunmen:
…the Israeli military machine was concealed behind a calm and collected female officer, who looked more like an art teacher.
The absence of Israeli militants and missile fire from CNN’s reporting creates a very skewed image of the battlefield, one that visually disassociates Israel from the brutality of its weaponry– and their connection to US viewers– who are footing much of the bill for them.
A similar trend took place in the 2006 Lebanon-Israel war, where pundits regularly tallied Hezbollah’s daily rocket fire, but almost never counted the number of Israeli Air Force sorties or even estimated the tonnage of munitions they dropped across Lebanon every day. I documented this pattern in a piece I wrote for Al Jazeera at the time.
Years later, skewed reporting of Israel’s battles continued during the siege of Gaza in 2009, which I also covered for Al Jazeera.
Tonight, as the wheels of war seem to be turning once again, viewers should be keenly aware of this disparity in media images. Now with the advent of Facebook and Twitter (which did not exist during previous operations) perhaps it will be easier to point these out and hold the mainstream media more accountable.