Tuesday, July 19, 2005

More headline wars

Left I on the News notices another egregious example of burying the lede, and burying it under an obscenely misleading headline, in the Washington Post. The headline is "Israeli Strikes Kill 7 in Hamas As 5-Month Truce Comes to End". Buried at the end of the second paragraph is the sentence: "More than a dozen bystanders were also killed, according to hospital officials here." Needless to say, if this had occurred anywhere else in the world besides Israel, the headline and the main thrust of the story would be that innocent civilians were killed in an illegal targeted assassination attack. If the story is about Israel, everything is turned upside down. More than a dozen dead Palestinian civilians are barely worth a mention. This type of thing is so ubiquitous in the American media that it is no longer noticeable. Can you imagine a similar approach being taken to the London bombs? The headline would be: "Four die in bomb attack in London." At the end of the second paragraph there would be the sentence: "More than fifty bystanders were also killed, according to hospital officials here."

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