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March 09, 2016

How Well Did Your News Source Cover the American Murdered by a Palestinian on March 8, 2016?

Taylor Force.JPG

The Knoxville News provided a brief biography of the American graduate student, Taylor Force, who was murdered in Jaffa, Israel by a Palestinian terrorist. The article's lead sentence stated, "A West Point graduate who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan was the Vanderbilt University student stabbed to death during a series of attacks in Israel, officials said." It also provided a photograph of Force (above).

A Reuters article identified Force as the victim of the attack, but offered no information except that he was a "tourist."

The Huffington Post, relying upon the Reuters report supplied no further information.

An Associated Press (AP) report appearing on Yahoo News identified Force as a graduate student at Vanderbilt, but did not mention his military service or that he was a graduate of West Point.

National Public Radio had not covered the tragic murder at all at the time this blog item was posted.

PBS's Gwen Ifill reported "In the day’s other news: An American tourist was killed and a dozen Israelis wounded in a fresh wave of Palestinian attacks. The tourist, identified as a Vanderbilt University student, died in Jaffa, where an assailant stabbed seven people, before being killed by police."

Evidencing a disturbing detachment from the shocking incident, the Newshour proceded with an interview by Judy Woodruff of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman about Vice President Biden's trip to Israel. After briefly noting the stabbing attack, the interview moved on and never mentioned it again. Friedman demonstrated exquisite poor timing with an analogy about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, stating,

It’s actually been dead for a while. I just called it by its real name. It’s clear to me, Judy, that both sides have conspired. This was like “Murder on the Orient Express.? There were so many stab wounds in this body, hard to tell exactly which one was the fatal blow.

Friedman closed the interview with his oft-repeated and tired analogy, "friends don’t let friends drive drunk, and we have been letting a lot of people drive drunk."

In contrast, CBS News ran a segment providing information about Force, his military service and a photograph.

The BBC report identified Force as a Vanderbilt graduate student but did not mention his military service or that he was a graduate of West Point.

A USA Today report provided the information that Force was a graduate student at Vanderbuilt and that he was a graduate of West Point who had served as an Artillery officer in Iraq.

The International Business Times published a report at approximately the same time as the other sources listed above identifying Force as a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan and also noting that a pregnant woman was among the other seriously injured victims of the stabbing attack. The article included a photograph of Force.

London's Daily Mail carried the most extensive report on the incident. Its coverage included photographs of Force and his sister. Force's wife was also seriously injured in the attack. It included numerous photographs and video footage of the attack.

None of the early reports appear to have included statements by Fatah, the ruling party in the West Bank, praising the attacker as a hero and martyr. A New York Times article published around 9:00 AM on March 9, quotes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as stating, “But unfortunately President Abbas has not only refused to condemn these terrorist attacks, his Fatah party actually praised the murderer of this American citizen as a Palestinian martyr and a hero.? The Washington Post also reported on Abbas's praise for the attack. It will be interesting to observe which, if any, of the above-mentioned sources will provide updated articles with this information.

Posted by SS at March 9, 2016 10:24 AM


I find your piece on the Arab murder spree in Jerusalem well done.

In today's Wall St. Journal, right after noting that V.P. Biden complained that the P.A. leader failed to condemn the latest murderer, PM Netanyahu complained that the P.A. leaders praise the murderer. V.P. Biden's failure to condemn that praise indicates an inaccuracy that undermines his stance as an honest broker in trying to reinstate peace talks. Can't make peace without knowing who causes the war.

IMRA reports that Biden used his visit to condemn statements by Donald Trump and to associate those statements with the Republican Party, which actually does not endorse them. It is not proper for a U.S. official to play partisan politics abroad.

Posted by: Richard H. Shulman at March 10, 2016 02:02 PM

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