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4.15.2004

Fox News: Bias Against Israel?

Putting aside the LA Times and "liberal bias" for the moment, let's take a look at Fox News and "conservative bias," or more importantly "What is conservative bias?"

On April 14, Foxnews.com posted a story "Bush Backs 'Historic' Gaza Pullout Plan" by Fox writer Peter Brownfield. About one-third of the way into the article, Mr. Brownfield writes the following about Israel's actions in the 1967 Six Day War and the Palestinian reaction to subsequent Jewish settlements: "Israel seized the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in the 1967 war. Palestinians see settlements in these territories as an illegal encroachment on land they want for a future state, and refugees demand to return to the land they fled during the 1948-49 war." One might expect the "conservative bias" to be in support of Israel and its actions in 1967, in part because of so-called "conservative Christians" in the United States who provide a strong base for the "conservative movement" and support Israel.

Yet this article uses the hyperbolic verb "seized" to describe Israeli actions which one could argue demonizes Israel and lends support to the claims of the Palestinians in the following sentence that Jewish settlements following the 1967 War must therefore be "illegal." Nowhere in the article is the Israeli justification for the settlements or its invasion of Egypt, Syria and Jordan mentioned such as the false reports by the Soviet Union to Egypt that Israel was massing troops for another surprise invasion similar to that of 1956 or the artillery attacks by Jordan into Jerusalem prior to any Israeli action.

Does this article represent an unbalanced report by the reporter or does it represent a larger institutional bias against Israel by Fox News? At the very least, it may provide an example of the difficulty of determining "liberal" or "conservative" bias.

-S. Schudy



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