CNN takes its position as a global news provider very seriously and while criticism is always healthy it has to be fair, put into context, researched properly and either written without prejudice or with the writer’s obvious bias well flagged.
None of which applies to Yaakov Lappin’s article, ‘The Anatomy of Bias,’ published last week.
Ignoring the fact that he could not even spell the names of our correspondents correctly or even get their gender right, it dismays us that out of the 118 Israeli- focused reports on CNN and more than 40 one-on-one interviews with Israeli spokespersons in just 31 days, Yaakov Lappin chose just a single report to base his eccentric critique of CNN’s coverage of the Israeli/Lebanese conflict.
The facts are very simple. CNN had more than 100 staff working in Lebanon and Israel including senior correspondents such as Christiane Amanpour, Nic Robertson, Wolf Blitzer, Paula Hancocks, Anderson Cooper, Ben Wedeman, John Vause, John Roberts, Fionnuala Sweeney, Brent Sadler, Becky Anderson and Jim Clancy. These correspondents, and others like them, make CNN the most reliable, watched and trusted international news organization in the world.
Yaakov Lappin fails to mention reports by Paula Hancocks on the Haifa train station and subsequent rocket attacks on July 16th, 17th and 19th . He Over looks John Vause’s report on life in Israeli air raid shelters on July 24th and a behind-the- scenes report on Israeli “first responders” on July 26th. And I don’t recall any other networks actually having a doctor file reports from inside a hospital as CNN did with Sanjay Gupta on July 26th . There are many, many, others like these and I could go on at great length.
Did Mr. Lappin see any of those reports? Or did he just fail to mention them ?
What about our interviews with Azi Israeli (General Manager of the Israeli Health Ministry), Isaac Herzog (member of the Israeli Security Cabinet), and Avi Dichter (Israeli Internal Security) and scores more like it?
This conflict resulted in more than 240 packaged reports from Israel and Lebanon alone, not to mention the hundreds of live reports and coverage from Syria, Iran and Cypress. With hundreds of people dead or injured and with thousands of families displaced in Israel and Lebanon, our job as an international news network is to report on what is happening. CNN is proud of its journalism from both sides of this conflict and won’t be deflected from doing our job.
Nick Wrenn is CNN Managing Editor of Europe, the Middle East and Africa