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Two Rules for Terrorists at NPR By: Alex Safian
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, March 12, 2003

An Islamic extremist explodes a bomb amidst a crowd of civilians on March 4th, killing more than 20, including himself. Less than a day later another Islamic extremist explodes a bomb on a civilian bus, killing more than 15, including himself.

Parallel stories, but not covered in a parallel way on National Public Radio. In consecutive news segments on the March 5th broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition, the first attack was described as a "terrorist bombing," with "Muslim insurgents" the likely perpetrators. The report offered no explanation why the attack might have occurred, and in particular nothing that might have been construed as justification.

The second attack was reported without using any form of the word terror, and included nothing about who the likely perpetrators might have been, describing them only as "militants." Moreover, the attack, and similar attacks in the past, were implicitly justified as a "campaign against . . . occupation."

Why the gross disparity, with straight news reporting in the first case, and clear advocacy in the second? Of course, the answer is that the first attack was in the Philippines, and was carried out by the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, while the second attack was in Israel, targeted Israeli civilians and was carried out by Palestinians.

Because Palestinians are virtually a protected class at NPR, the perpetrators of the attack in Israel are described not as Islamic extremists, or Muslims, or even Palestinians, but as "militants," who are said to be pursuing a "campaign against Israeli occupation." The fact that Hamas, which carried out the attack, considers all of Israel to be "occupied" was not deemed worthy of mention by NPR, nor the fact that the Palestinians had rejected at Camp David and Taba Israeli offers to end anything that could reasonably be called an "occupation."

NPR's March 5th news report is yet one more example of the truism that at NPR facts take a back seat to a European-style anti-Israel agenda, which is pursued with an almost religious fervor.

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