Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Very Amanpoor Reporting on Jihad

The left screams that the media has a rightist slant. Well, I've got at least one instance where that is not true. Christiane Amanpour did essentially everything she could to misrepresent the truth in a recent CNN program entitled God's Warriors

Prior to its airing on CNN, it was said of God's Warriors by the Associated Press that

Understanding is what Amanpour is trying to promote in "God's Warriors," which takes up six prime-time hours on CNN this week.

Please...don't insult our intelligence. When someone tries to promote understanding, they try to get their facts straight. Not only did she create a great deal of misunderstanding, she caused a great deal of unneeded animosity.

One can dispute why radical Islam is so violent, but it is beyond dispute that

It is "deeply false," to equate "Jewish (and Christian) religious fervency with that of Muslims heard endorsing 'martyrdom,' or suicide-killing. There is, of course, no counterpart among Jews and Christians to the violent jihadist Muslim campaigns underway across the globe...

I wrote about this several months ago in The First Jewish Suicide Bomber. My point: there is yet to be one.

Jews and Christians, as compared to radical Muslims, almost never resort to violence to get their points across.

Much of the segment God's Christian Warriors deals with a man named Ron Luce, depicting him as representative of Christians. Ron who? I've been a Christian (Mormon) for 44 years, and I've never heard of him. I didn't check, but perhaps one of Ms. Amanpour's "fact checkers" was Rosie O'Donnell.

But much of the rest of "God's Christian Warriors" depicts the ministry of Ron Luce. His priority is battling what he views as an amoral popular culture. There's footage of one of Luce's "Battle Cry" youth rallies, which took place in San Francisco in March; in an understated and effective way, the documentary depicts how the two-day event used all the trappings of an extravagant rock concert to condemn most aspects of modern culture (of which rock concerts are part).

Amanpour made more than a few factually incorrect statements on the program, which can't do well to soften the angered feelings between Christians and Muslims and well as Jews and Muslims. For example, HonestReporting notes the following inaccuracy:

Amanpour does not hesitate to inject her own views, demonstrating occasional lack of knowledge. For example when an Israeli settler said God says Jews must live in Hebron, Amanpour interjected that the West Bank was designated by the UN to be the largest part of an Arab state. Not only is this statement factually incorrect, it is out of context. Amanpour is evidently unaware that all Arab states rejected UN partition resolution 181, to which she evidently referred and that the West Bank was included in the area designated for encouragement of Jewish settlement by the Balfour Declaration and even endorsed in article 6 of the British mandate.

The program also tended to be historically very out of context.

One of the most misleading aspects of the program, was the use of the very few isolated incidents of Jewish terror attempts over the past 15 years, to create the false impression that a Jewish terror movement exists on a par with the violent worldwide jihadist phenomenon of indiscriminate death and destruction.

I'm not sure whether Christiane Amanpour had a motive for the plethora of inaccuracies in her series, God's Warriors, nor if she did, what that motive would be. She's married to a former Clinton Administration official, but I'm not sure how that would play into the factual bias, except that Bill Clinton made a somewhat applicable statement at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing, claiming that right-wing Christian fundamentalism and talk-show hosts had created the environment in which such a bombing could have occurred.

But at least, if Christiane Amanpour does not have a motive for her inaccuracies, her professionalism calls on her to recognize those untruths and apologize for them.

Especially in issues so volatile, factuality is critical. False statements purported as fact can have the same effect as swords, rockets, and bombs.


rmwarnick said...

"Jews and Christians, as compared to radical Muslims, almost never resort to violence to get their points across."

Who has been fighting all these wars in the Middle East? Just Muslims attacking each other?

Frank Staheli said...

Well, yeah. Quite a few of them.

Frank Staheli said...

And isn't it interesting that even in Iraq, the predominance of killing is Muslims killing Muslims?

rmwarnick said...

It doesn't make any sense to say that Jews and Christians "almost never resort to violence." You have to ignore thousands of years of history.

Not to mention current events. Last summer, Israel invaded Lebanon. The U.S. continues to occupy Iraq by force. We're threatening to attack Iran, too.

Anonymous said...

Here is an interesting BBC Show about the Oklahoma City Bombing. Please watch and then pass link along to friends.



Elizabeth said...

I could have sworn we'd gone over this ground before.

Baruch Goldstein was one of the first suicide attackers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was Jewish.

Christians overall have been responsible for far more violence in the history of the world than have Muslims: The Crusades, the British Empire, America's wars in Southeast Asia and Central America...of course the Soviets, who were putative atheists, were also responsible for massive destruction, but in comparison to Muslims, Christians overall have a worse record.