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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Sunday, June 16, 2002
12:56 PM

Rocky Mountain news columnist Dave Kopel's item today is a fine piece of journalism, not least because he mentions PostWatch. (Links to his column, the Post story I blogged and the blog itself are in the post immediately below this one). I'd noticed a one-sided account of environmental changes observed by Inuits.

He writes about stories that mislead more than they inform. His first example is an AP story that mentions the surprising role of MidEast politics in an Alabama election, but never explains what that role is. I think the most important example is this one:

Another article that revealed less than it obscured was the June 1 Associated Press report in the News on the previous day's events in Israel. Reporter Mohammed Daraghmeh wrote: "Just a few miles from Nablus, a Palestinian gunman was shot to death after infiltrating a Jewish settlement."

This was an amazingly antiseptic description of a very dramatic incident, as reported by the left-wing Israeli daily Ha'aretz ( On the morning of May 31, a man entered a kindergarten where classes were just beginning and opened fire with a machine gun and began throwing grenades. The man then began shooting through the open windows of neighborhood houses. A nearby grocery store owner grabbed a rifle and wounded the attacker twice. The killer hid, but the grocer pursued him and shot him dead.

Daraghmeh's version left out the attack on the schoolchildren and homes, the use of grenades and grocer's heroism. Just as the AP refuses to call Palestinian terrorists "terrorists," Daraghmeh describes the man who tried to murder kindergarteners with machine guns and grenades as an "infiltrator." The Denver media, of course, would never describe the Columbine murderers as "infiltrators."

The News should stop relying on its Mideast coverage from sources that hide the real story about homicidal attacks on schoolchildren.

Exactly so.

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