(April 20, 2020 / JNS) A background graphic on MSNBC last week showed “Palestine” in a rolling list of countries depicting numbers associated with the coronavirus pandemic, despite it not being an independent nation.
The graphic was displayed during “The 11th Hour With Brian Williams” on April 16 while internal medicine physician Lipi Roy was analyzing the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as discussing the debate over whether or not some parts of society should reopen.
Media critics criticized MSNBC for the background listing “Palestine” as a country.
“Now, more than ever, it’s important for the media to engage in careful and thoughtful reporting,” Sean Durns, senior research analyst at CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, told JNS. “And the facts are clear: ‘Palestine’ is not, and has never been, an independent state.”
He said “that’s what negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are about—negotiations that the media has reported on for years, and which the P.A. [Palestinian Authority] has, in recent years, declined,” he continued. “MSNBC’s decision to grant de facto recognition of statehood is but another example of careless reporting at a time when we can least afford it.”
HonestReporting CEO Daniel Pomerantz told JNS, “When news outlets prematurely recognize a Palestinian state, they are not only being factually inaccurate, but also undermine prospects for peace by rewarding unilateralism and intransigence by the Palestinian government. Journalists have a duty to behave responsibly and to ground their work in factual reality: Israelis, Palestinians and news audiences deserve nothing less.”
Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the Media Research Center, a media watchdog group, told JNS that “even the ‘breaking news’ on MSNBC ends up as propaganda.”
“There is no place called ‘Palestine,’ yet MSNBC wants to include it in the official list of places because it’s not news, it’s agenda,” he said. “The interesting question is what place does MSNBC consider to be part of Palestine? Gaza? Or is it claiming Jerusalem?”
An MSNBC spokesperson told JNS that the listing was “an error that has been corrected and will not be included in the graphic moving forward.”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.