Not just Israel

Although the majority of Western media is heavily biased towards the Israeli perspective – especially during the recent war in Lebanon – the Los Angeles Times should be applauded for printing an article with the following disclaimer:

An occasional column in which we invite outside critics to take their best shot at the Los Angeles Times

The article, by two American Muslims, accuses the LA Times and other media outlets of seeing the Arab world solely through the eyes of the Bush administration:

The Times has a daunting task in covering an unexpected and brutal war such as the one spiralling out of control in Israel and Lebanon. By and large, its news pages have fairly and accurately reported the conflict — Israel’s claims for and execution of its military assault, the rising toll of Lebanese civilian casualties and the destruction of Lebanon’s newly rebuilt infrastructure.

The problem is what’s not reported, particularly when it comes to Hezbollah. True, the group is on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. But there is scant mention in The Times that the Muslim world does not equate Al Qaeda with Hezbollah, which was founded in 1982 when Israel last invaded Lebanon. Nor is there much mention of growing Muslim opposition to the U.S. because of its perceived blanket endorsement of Israel’s policies.

And Muslims are outraged as anyone by the targeting of civilian lives by Hezbollah and Israel. But you wouldn’t know that from reading The Times either.

If only some Australian newspapers were as honest about their prejudices.