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March 09, 2016

LA Times Headline Double Standards

Like CNN, The Los Angeles Times opts for the passive voice in a headline about the murder of American tourist Taylor Force, obscuring Palestinian culpability for violence. In print, today's headline is:

lat Taylor Force headlineJPG.JPG

Similarly, the online version reads:

lat US tourist killed in Israel.JPG

Both of the headlines are in passive voice and neither identifies the Palestinian assailant who murdered Taylor Force on a peaceful street.

Now, let's compare with a recent case involving a Palestinian fatality. After two Israeli soldiers last week took a wrong turn into a Palestinian refugee camp, and residents pelted their vehicle with firebombs and rocks, forcing them to flee for their lives, the Israeli army sent in troops to rescue them. Residents battled the troops trying to save the soldiers, and in the course of the violent clash, there was one Palestinian casualty, Iyad Sajadiyya.

When it comes to a Palestinian killed as he participated in a gun battle, does The Los Angeles Times resort to the passive voice, as it did in the case of Force's murder? Hardly. The Times' headline in print was:

lat Israelis kill Palestinian.JPG

Here, Times headline writers find the active voice. If they can write "Israelis kill Palestinian" (even though the killed Palestinian was involved in clashes with Israeli troops trying to rescue soldiers at the time he was killed), why can't they say a "Palestinian killed U.S. tourist"?

In another instance of obscuring Palestinian responsibility for violence, Kate Shuttleworth writes in the article today about Taylor Force:

The violence Tuesday made it one of the bloodies days in a five-month wave that has left 33 Israelis and nearly 200 Palestinians dead.

She fails to note that the vast majority of the Palestinian fatalities were attacking or attempting to attack Israelis when they were killed. The rest were involved in violent clashes with Israeli troops. As the Associated Press reports:

The wave of near-daily Palestinian assaults on Israeli civilians and security forces erupted in mid-September and is showing no sign of abating. The bloodshed - mainly stabbings but also shootings and car-ramming attacks - has killed 28 Israelis. During the same time, at least 179 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire. Most of the Palestinians have been identified by Israel as attackers, while the rest were killed in clashes with security forces.

Posted by TS at March 9, 2016 07:50 AM


In another instance of obscuring Palestinian responsibility for violence, Kate Shuttleworth writes in the article today about Taylor Force

Her name should be Shuttlewords

Posted by: Michael Orlinski at March 13, 2016 04:16 PM

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