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COMMENTARY: By Malcolm Evans

Last week’s leaked New York Times staff directive, as to what words can and cannot be used to describe the carnage Israel is raining on Palestinians, is proof positive, since those reports are published verbatim here in New Zealand, that our understanding of the conflict is carefully managed to always reflect a pro-Israel bias.

Forget the humanity of 120,000 dead and wounded Palestinians and countless others facing famine and disease sheltering in tents or what’s left of destroyed buildings, even internationally recognised terms and phrases such as “genocide,” “occupied territory,” “ethnic cleansing” and even “refugee camps” are discouraged, along with “slaughter”, “massacre” and “carnage”.

Though such language restrictions are claimed to be in the interests of “fairness”, an earlier investigation showed that between October 7 and November 14, The Times used the word “massacre” 53 times when it referred to Israelis being killed by Palestinians and only once in reference to Palestinians being killed by Israel.

By that date, thousands of Palestinians had perished, the vast majority of whom were women and children, and most of them were killed inside their own homes, in hospitals, schools or United Nations shelters.

This carefully managed use of words is deliberate and insidious and, as Jack Tame’s interview with Israel’s ambassador on last Sunday’s Q&A programme showed, even our most experienced media people are not immune to its effects.

From his introduction, “establishing” that the genocide taking place in Gaza had its genesis in the October 7 attack by Hamas, and not in the Nakba of 1948, Jack Tame and TVNZ facilitated an almost hour-long presentation of pro-Israel propaganda, justifying its atrocities.

For its appalling lack of balance, including Tame’s obsequious allowance and nodding agreement with the Israeli ambassador’s thoroughly discredited claims of Hamas atrocities; “beheadings” “necrophilia” and for describing Israelis’ as being “butchered” (five times he used the word) while Palestinians were merely “killed”, this was a new low in our media’s record of bias when it comes to the presentation of the facts about the Palestine/Israel conflict.

In the very week that we prepare to remember the horrific sacrifices made in previous wars and even as Israel‘s genocidal slaughter of Palestinians brings us closer to World War Three than at any time since the Cuban missile crisis, that TVNZ should have, pre-recorded and so had time to edit, such a disgraceful presentation is simply appalling — and heads should roll.

Republished from The Daily Blog with permission.

This content originally appeared on Asia Pacific Report and was authored by Pacific Media Watch.


[1] New York Times to Journalists: What You Can’t Say on Gaza War ➤[2] New York Times and Other Major Newspapers Skew Pro-Israel ➤[3] play ➤[4] Media bias on Palestine | Search Results | Asia Pacific Report ➤[5] War on Gaza | Search Results | Asia Pacific Report ➤[6] Impossible to entirely destroy Hamas, Israeli ambassador admits ➤[7] ➤[8] - YouTube ➤[9] ➤