SUPPORTER INFO
ANNOUNCEMENT (May 12, 2003)

Dear MAT supporter,

If you are planning to attend today’s protest (see original e-mail below) please take in consideration that this is the road construction season and provide extra time to arrive to the event. Please see www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/construction/ for construction information.

We also would like you to know that there are many parking lots nearby, please see the map on www.saintpaulparking.com/html/frame.html and click on the parking lots around East Seventh Street and Cedar.

See you at 5pm!

Dear Minnesotans Against Terrorism Supporter,

This message provides detailed information about the NPR demonstration being sponsored by MAT next Wednesday, May 14th, at 5:00PM, at KNOW, Minnesota Public Radio, at 45 E 7th St in St. Paul. We will be protesting National Public Radio’s (NPR) distorted coverage of Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians. Our protest is in conjunction with a coast-to-coast series of protests scheduled that day against NPR’s coverage.

We will provide pre-printed signs with the carefully focused message we wish to communicate – NPR’s coverage of terrorism against Israelis is seriously distorted. We need all the signs to communicate the same focused message. If you bring your own sign, we request that you please use ONLY the following slogans: a) NPR: Tell the truth on Palestinian Terrorism against Israelis; b) When it's terrorism, call it terrorism; or c) NPR Covers up Palestinian Terrorism.

We will meet to prepare signs for the protest on Monday, May 12th, 7pm, at the offices of Living Legacy, 2857 Hedberg Drive, Minnetonka. WE NEED YOUR HELP. Please see directions at the end of this e-mail.

Our immediate goal is to increase public awareness that NPR's coverage of terrorism against Israeli civilians, and Israel’s response to it, is biased and untrustworthy. Israel is protecting itself from terrorism by carefully targeting terrorists and their leaders, while Palestinian terrorists deliberately target innocent civilians - women, children, teenagers and shoppers. NPR covers all these actions as though they were morally equivalent, part of a “cycle of violence”.

There is no moral equivalency, and NPR’s coverage must point out the difference, or else it simply misses the story. NPR reporting on Palestinian terrorism should include the same terms and style as it uses to report other terrorism attacks in other parts in the world and the victim’s response to it, e.g., the World Trade Center attack. By not doing so, NPR implicitly suggests that terrorism directed at Israeli civilians is somehow more acceptable than other terrorism targeted against other civilians.

If you cannot attend our protest in person, we urge you to do the following:


I. Please help MAT cover the cost of organizing this protest. Send your donation to: Minnesotans Against Terrorism, P.O. Box 368, Hopkins, MN 55343-0368. We sincerely thank you for any support you can provide.


II. Write or e-mail your dissatisfaction with NPR’s coverage of terrorism against Israelis to Mr. Jeffrey Dvorkin at NPR, his e-mail address is ombudsman@npr.org or mail to 635 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001, Phone: (202) 414-2000 Fax: (202) 414-3324 and don’t forget to cc Mr. Bill Buzenburg at MPR, his e-mail address is bbuzenberg@mpr.org or send him a letter to 45 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, MN USA 55101 .

Background information for the May 14th protest on NPR of Palestinian terrorism: How Biased is NPR?


NPR's Middle East coverage features repeated omissions of fact, misleading lack of context, and sympathetic coverage of Palestinian grievances. This is coupled with dismissive and incomplete reporting of the difficulties faced by Israel in its war against terrorism. It all adds up to a pattern of serious distortion.


Although blatant falsehoods have been broadcast, the real problem with NPR's Middle East coverage is an invidious pattern of double standards. NPR has invariably countered criticism of individual, one-sided programs by claiming that its coverage is balanced over time. In response, CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) has undertaken multiple, in-depth studies that have confirmed the severe lack of balance "over time." In three separate studies in less than two years, CAMERA found NPR programming severely skewed, giving substantially more air-time to Arab/Palestinian and pro-Arab speakers than to Israeli and pro-Israel voices, often omitting entirely any Israeli or pro-Israel voice. Here are some details.


September 26 -- November 26, 2000
After the first two months of the current Palestinian Arab terror war against Israel, CAMERA issued a 32-page report, "A Record of Bias: National Public Radio's Coverage of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Sept. 26-Nov. 26, 2000." Arab and pro-Arab speakers were given 77% more time on the air (in words spoken) than Israeli and pro-Israel speakers. Entirely one-sided programs were commonplace, whether devoted to assailing Ariel Sharon as a "war criminal," to characterizing Israel as a "Jim Crow" nation that should be done away with in its "apartheid" form, to blaming Israel for excessive violence, anti-American riots in Arab capitals, and erosion of a supposed Arab commitment to peace. There were 41 segments in which only Palestinian/Arab or pro-Arab speakers were heard and just 24 programs in which only Israeli or pro-Israel speakers were heard.


March 27 -- April 10, 2002
In a ten-day review of all major news and interview programs during a time of unprecedented terrorism, including the Passover massacre of 29 people, the Matza restaurant attack in Haifa that killed 14, and multiple other lethal terrorist bombings and shootings, 62 Palestinians or other Arabs were heard on NPR, often expressing bitter accusations against Israel, while just 32 Israelis were interviewed. Numerous anti-Israel speakers, some extreme, were also heard denouncing the Jewish state. Adam Shapiro, notorious for defending Yasir Arafat in his Ramallah compound, was featured in a segment, and Jeff Halper, who advocates the end of Israel as a Jewish state, was heard. Not a single Jewish victim of the terrorist onslaught was mentioned by name, not one bereaved family was interviewed, and not one injured survivor was the focus of a story.


June 1 -- July 31, 2002
In a two-month review of all major news and interview programs, CAMERA found, again, only 41% of the speakers in Middle East related stories were Israeli or pro-Israel while 59% were Palestinian/Arab or pro-Arab. Even smaller percentages of actual time allotment were given to the Israeli side, which received only 35% in terms of words spoken compared to the Arab/Palestinian's 65%. Segments that excluded any Israeli voice while presenting exclusively Arab or pro-Arab views numbered 29, compared to just 9 in which only Israeli views were heard with no Arab voices.


Partisan Language
According to NPR, the only "moderates" in the Arab-Israeli conflict are Palestinians and other Arabs. In CAMERA's June-July 2002 study, only Marwan Barghouti -- now on trial by Israel for his involvement in terrorism -- Sari Nusseibeh, Khalil Shikaki, Madi Abdel Hadi, along with Egyptian officials and the government of Saudi Arabia, were termed "moderate." No Israeli or Israeli leader was described as “moderate”. Israelis were called "hard-line" or "hard-liners." Hamas officials were never described as "hard-line," or “terrorists”. They were referred to as "Hamas official," "Hamas leader," "Hamas spokesman," or "Hamas founder." The founder of Hamas, one of the world's premier terrorist organizations, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, was termed a "spiritual leader" who is "charismatic" and "popular."


Although various Arab leaders were labeled "popular" or "prominent," including Marwan Barghouti, Sheik Yassin, Sari Nusseibeh, and Hanan Ashrawi, no Israelis were characterized as "popular" or "prominent" During this time, the New York Times ran multiple articles noting the popularity of the Israeli government.


NPR's response to documentation of its biased coverage has been to hire a public relations firm (the DCS group) to improve its image. We would all be better served if NPR spent publicly donated money to remove the bias from its coverage.

Here is another egregious example of NPR bias as described by Alex Safian in an article entitled Two Rules for Terrorists at NPR that appeared in FrontPageMagazine.com on March 12, 2003:


An Islamic extremist explodes a bomb amidst a crowd of civilians on March 4th, killing more than 20, including himself. Less than a day later another Islamic extremist explodes a bomb on a civilian bus, killing more than 15, including himself.
Parallel stories, but not covered in a parallel way on National Public Radio. In consecutive news segments on the March 5th broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition, the first attack was described as a "terrorist bombing," with "Muslim insurgents" the likely perpetrators. The report offered no explanation why the attack might have occurred, and in particular nothing that might have been construed as justification.


The second attack was reported without using any form of the word “terror”, and included nothing about who the likely perpetrators might have been, describing them only as "militants." The attack, and similar attacks in the past, were implicitly justified as a "campaign against . . . occupation."


Why the gross disparity, with straight news reporting in the first case, and clear advocacy in the second? Of course, the answer is that the first attack was in the Philippines, and was carried out by the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, while the second attack was in Israel, targeted Israeli civilians and was carried out by Palestinians.


Because Palestinians are virtually a protected class at NPR, the perpetrators of the attack in Israel are described not as Islamic extremists, or Muslims, or even Palestinians, but as "militants," who are said to be pursuing a "campaign against Israeli occupation." The fact that Hamas, which carried out the attack, considers all of Israel to be "occupied" was not deemed worthy of mention by NPR, nor the fact that the Palestinians had rejected at Camp David and Taba Israeli offers to end anything that could reasonably be called an "occupation."


Talking to the Press About NPR
There may be media present at the protest on Wednesday. MAT will have a designated spokesperson on site to answer media questions and you should feel free to refer all reporters’ questions to the MAT spokesperson.
Alternatively, you may feel compelled to answer some questions yourself. Please keep these pointers in mind:


Boil your years of outrage over NPR's pro-Palestinian slant down to a few simple facts:


- Our demand is that NPR cover Palestinian terrorism accurately and without bias. We are not asking for censorship, only for fair, honest reporting.


- Terrorism is terrorism whether it happens in the Philippines, New York, or Haifa. To call a terror bomber an "activist," as NPR does when the bombing takes place in Israel, is to tacitly condone terror bombing as a legitimate tool of political activism.


- NPR fails to tell the truth about the Palestinian Leadership. We want to hear reports about what is being taught to Palestinian children about Israel.


- MPR is buying the news from NPR and therefore it is MPR responsibility to demand from NPR to change their unfair reporting of terrorism against Israel.


Remember that whatever you are asked, those are the things that you want to say.


Facts that it may be useful to know when being interviewed.


- These rallies are being organized by both Christians and Jews.


- Our goal is to have NPR reexamine its coverage of Palestinian terrorism and begin to provide news about the Middle East accurately and fairly. If asked why you are trying to destroy a fine radio network - or something to that effect - respond that all you want is for NPR to cover fairly and accurately.


- This nationwide rally is coordinated by a loose alliance of grassroots organizations, each part of a group based in the city in which the rally is being held. However, each group selected the message that specifically fits its mission and believes. MAT’s message is in regards to terrorism against Israel and the way that NPR reports it.


- If you are asked why the large Jewish defense organizations such as the JCRC and the ADL are not sponsoring the rally, a good answer would be that it is not just a Jewish issue, MAT has many non-Jewish supporters that are concerned with NPR reporting on Israel. If the reporter persists by asking why they are not, suggest that the reporter should ask them.


If you can help us prepare signs (we will provide the materials) please join us on Monday, May 12th, 7pm, at the offices of Living Legacy, 2857 Hedberg Drive, Minnetonka. Directions from 394:

Take Hopkins Crossroad (CR-73) Exit

Turn left at the end of the exit to head South on Hopkins Crossroad

Turn Left (East) on Greenbrier Road (Greenbrier Road is the first left turn just after the light on Cedar Lake Road)

Take the first turn right (South) into Hedberg Road

The 2857 building will be on your right just when Hedberg Road curve to the left. Drive to the front of the building, parking is available in front of the office.

If you have any questions, please call Stephanie Digby at (651) 387-1484.