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500 Demonstrate at Abc to Protest Media Coverage

January 25, 1988
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More than 500 demonstrators, spanning a city block in front of ABC headquarters, broke the silence today against what they consider one-sided press coverage against the State of Israel during the current unrest in the State of Israel during the current unrest in the administered territories.

Carrying signs demanding the news media to “show victims of Arab terrorism,” and asking “Where’s the media when Jewish mothers bury their young?” the protesters charged that the media play to the Palestinians as the underdog.

“There has been an unmistakable effort on the part of television, and to a slightly lesser extent print media, to convey a uniform impression of the recent disturbances taking place in these areas,” said Dr. Kenneth Kelner, president of the Manhattan Chapter of the Zionist Organization of America and organizer of the rally.

He objected to portrayals that Israel is “unjustifiably occupying the territories it won in the 1967-Six Day War and for no reason is using violence against the Arab inhabitants who only want to live in peaceful independence.”

The latest example of what protesters consider biased coverage occurred last Monday evening on ABC’s World News Tonight, when anchor Peter Jennings compared Israel with South Africa in connection with the disturbances in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

One demonstrator held a dummy of Jennings hanging on a pole by his tie, calling him a “killer of truth.”

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith complained about the report last week in a letter to ABC News President Roone Arledge. In the letter, the league’s national director, Abraham Foxman, noted that while “South Africa is a state founded on racism,” Israel governs Palestinians” because of a war forced on it by the Arabs in 1967.”

But it is the media in general, not just ABC, according to Kelner, that hide biased coverage behind double-standard reporting in the statement “We expect more of Israel.”

Kelner began organizing the rally about 10 days ago, before the ABC broadcast. At the rally, ZOA distributed a fact sheet detailing other one-sided and inaccurate broadcasts by the CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN television networks.

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