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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Washington Post; Media no obligated to publish Arab Views to counter pro-Israel views

from the Village Voice, February 2001

Last fall, (Khalil) Jahshan met with Washington Post editorial-page editor Fred Hiatt to discuss that paper's "dismal" editorial coverage of the Middle East—and persuaded him to solicit op-eds by prominent Palestinians. "I don't think it's my job to match opposing political views column for column," says Hiatt, "but I do think that we should try to have other points of view represented on the page."

But to hear Jahshan tell it, the media's pro-Israeli bias is not restricted to newspaper editors. In the last few months, he believes, ad departments have treated his submissions to intense scrutiny, while giving pro-Israeli ads a free pass. "I see ads that are so irresponsible, that are published without any scrutiny at all," says Jahshan, "and I have asked friends in the Jewish community and in the media if they apply the same standards to both camps, and the answer is no." He attributes the bias to a desire on the part of media companies to avoid conflict with the Jewish community—and with advertisers who have strong pro-Israeli views of their own. He says the U.S. media has no such fear of offending Arab Americans.

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