Bizarre Ignorance of Israel at the Washington Post

Today’s Washington Post includes a story about a meeting among Muslim and Jewish Democratic members of Congress that took place on March 5. The story got a lot of play, but it included an extraordinary error–an error that was mostly covered up, rather than revealed, by the correction the Post subsequently ran:

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story did not make Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s position on Israel clear. The story has been updated to explain that she is critical of the Israeli government’s treatment of the Palestinians.

Rashida Tlaib is the newly-elected Michigan Congresswoman who is, among other faults, viciously anti-Israel. But the Post’s correction didn’t explain what, exactly, was wrong with the original story. That was left to Omri Ceren, and to a commenter who who published a screen shot of the original article on Twitter:

Here is the commenter’s screen shot of the original WaPo story:


Anyone who knows anything about the Middle East is well aware that Israel is not a “Jewish-only state.” Arabs not only live in Israel, but play a prominent role in Israeli political life. For a long time, Israel was the only place in the world where Arabs could vote. Now it is Israel and Iraq.

It doesn’t really matter whether Tlaib or the Washington Post reporters (there were two on the story) originally came up with the description of Israel as a “Jewish-only state.” The Post printed that characterization as though it were a fact rather than a ridiculous lie. And the Post’s correction papered over, rather than acknowledging, the reporters’ and editor’s ignorant error.

It’s just another day in the world of media bias, i.e., the world we all live in. It is reasonable to estimate that more than 99% of the press’s mischaracterizations of current events–some subtle, many not–go unacknowledged and uncorrected.

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