Media Largely Misses Yemeni Passenger Story

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on May 11, 2011

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Directions

-Read the excerpt below (posted on May 10th at AccuracyinMedia.org by Don Irvine).
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

There was more to the story of the passenger who disturbed an American Airlines flight on Sunday than was reported by most of the media.

While these and most other media reports did state that Rageh Almurisi had a Yemeni passport and California identification card, they somehow managed to miss reporting on what he said on the plane that startled passengers as well.

According to the AP, passenger Angelina Marty said that as Almurisi was moving to the front of the plane he was shouting “Allahu Akbar” which is usually translated to “God is Great,” not something you want to hear on a plane.

The media took great pains to state that authorities were unsure of Almurisi’s motives and that he had no clear ties to terror groups. Any mention of what he was shouting was largely overlooked, as the video shows.

Normally the media love eyewitness reports. But not in this case. An eyewitness report could lead to politically incorrect conclusions because Almurisi is from Yemen and was shouting the same words that were heard on the Flight 93 cockpit voice recorders as the plane was going down on 9/11.

With the death of Osama bin Laden last week at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs, the possibility of retribution is very real. The media chose to treat this case as just another disturbed airline passenger – rather than as the potential threat to our safety and security that it was.

Watch the video montage below, first the local ABC affiliate report,
which includes the fact that Almurisi was yelling “Allahu Akbar”
and then many others that omit that fact:

 

Read the original post at aim.org/don-irvine-blog/media-largely-misses-yemeni-passenger-story.

Questions

1.  In his post regarding the video clips, Mr. Irvine states “The media took great pains to state that authorities were unsure of Almurisi’s motives and that he had no clear ties to terror groups. Any mention of what he was shouting was largely overlooked, as the video shows.”  Is this bias by omission and/or spin, or not an example of media bias?  Explain your answer.

2.  Mr. Irvine also states: “The media chose to treat this case as just another disturbed airline passenger – rather than as the potential threat to our safety and security that it was.”  Do you agree with this assertion?  Explain your answer.

3.  Why do you think the media went out of their way to play down or omit the fact that Almurisi was shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he was trying to force his way into the plane’s cockpit?


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1.  Opinion question. Answers vary.

2.  Opinion question. Answers vary.

3.  Opinion question. Answers vary.