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Sunday, February 22, 2004

What's supposed to be "fair and balanced" -- the news, or the reporting of the news?

To: comments@foxnews.com
Cc: special@foxnews.com; newswatch@foxnews.com
Subject: It's the REPORTING that's supposed to fair, not the events themselves!
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2004 09:44:39 -0700

I was watching FoxNews last night when the terrorist attack occurred in Jerusalem. I couldn't believe it - standing near the very spot where people had just been blown up by Palestinian terrorists, Jennifer Griffin couldn't say "both sides" enough times. . . "civilians on both sides" . . .

This was obscene. It is NOT THE SAME ON BOTH SIDES. Israel does not target civilians! If Arab civilians are killed, it is considered a dreadful mistake. In this case, on this bus, right where your reporter was standing, civilians were killed intentionally. They were the target. It was omitted from the report that in Jenin, Arabs celebrated afterward, shooting into the air and handing out candy (see Maariv: www.maarivintl.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleID=3365 ). The MAJORITY of Palestinians support suicide bombings, but this doesn't make its way into Griffin's reporting at the scene of such an attack, because it wouldn't seem "fair."

"Fair and balanced" is a wonderful goal for a news organization, but what is happening in the Arab war on Israel is not fair. If a Poor Palestinian has to travel three hours to high school, around the wall, they are still alive. You can't "balance" that against a kid who will never live to finish high school by mentioning both "equally." It's the reporting you're supposed to make fair, not the situation! Fox distorts the news to make the events themselves appear "fair and balanced" -- when they're not.

Griffin's report struck me as comparable to someone standing near the Trade Center 9/11, talking about the Poor Saudis . . . can you imagine?! Her report was a desecration of the deaths apparent just over her shoulder.

Fox should assume responsibility by re-examining what is meant by "fair and balanced."

Anne Lieberman
Boulder, CO