Tuesday, October 30, 2001


I can't believe what I'm hearing tonight on NPR's Fresh Air. Literally, I cannot believe it.

New York Times correspondent Chris Hedges -- apparently, he's the go-to guy when you want a pro-Palestinian interview -- is being interviewed at considerable length this evening about, among other things, the plight of the Palestinians. No matter how he paints it, I still find it hard to dredge up much sympathy for those who would intentionally jump off a cliff and then insist that the force of gravity is to blame for their injuries. But, okay -- the Middle East is a complicated problem, and the Palestinians do have a side. I'm open to hearing it.

But tonight, Hedges is going on, and on, and on, and on ... about how we just cannot imagine how incredibly horendous it is to be living in occupied Palestinian territory, where Israeli soldiers can be seen routinely taunting, baiting and shooting 11- and 12-year-old Palestinian rock-throwing kids for sport.

That's what he said. Here's the exact quote (my transcript):

"I watched the solidiers open fire, and it was -- I mean, I've seen kids shot in Sarajevo ... the snipers would shoot kids in Sarajevo... I've seen death squads kill families in Algeria and El Salvador ... but I've never seen soldiers bait or taunt kids like this, and then shoot them for sport!"

Never mind balance. Never mind historical context. Why is interviewer Barbara Bogaev just sitting there and listening to this drivel without challenging a word of it? I thought Glenn (Instapundit) Reynold's readers might be overreacting a bit to NPR's sympathetic pro-Palestinian tone. But this is the some of the most offensive, overtly biased reporting I've ever heard.

By the way, Chris Hedges -- whose main claim to fame was having been among the group of forty reporters captured and detained by Iraqi soldiers at the end of the Gulf War -- has quite a well-documented track record for factual error, tactical ommission, careless research and wholesale disregard for the truth when it gets in the way of a good story. (Thanks to CAMERA -- the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America -- for the research!)

I wonder -- From exactly whom does NPR expect to receive donations during their pledge drive this week? I understand that a certain Saudi diplomat has a $10 million check that's looking for a home...


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