Sunday, June 25, 2006

"Alleged" Covers a World of Sins

It's interesting to note how often NPR uses the word "blames" or "alleged" when the US or its close allies are accused of crimes or atrocities--but simply reports as facts what are cleary "alleged" or "claimed" events.
  • Today in covering the Palestinian attack on an Israeli outpost, Linda Gradstein mentions that one of the reasons given by Hamas for the attack was the June 9th killing of seven Palestinian civilians on a beach which impartial evidence indicates was casued by an Israel artillery shell. Gradstein states that Hamas "blames" Israel for the deaths and that Israel "blames" it on a Palestinian landmine--which is exactly what the IDF wants reporters to say.
  • Earlier in the week I heard NPR state that in Haditha, Marines are "alleged" to have killed unarmed civilians, when--in fact--there is no disputing that about 24 unarmed civilians were killed by Marines. The allegation is that the civilians were massacred in cold blood and not killed in a firefight in which Marines were taking hostile fire.
What you will NEVER hear on NPR is that the US Military killed "alleged" Taliban fighters or "alleged" insurgents or "alleged" terrorists. Instead NPR simply reports as facts the numbers given by the US Military (and its allies) even though there are frequently differing accounts given on the ground by local victims, doctors, etc.

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