Palestinian Factions Try to Observe New Truce

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on February 14, 2007

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-Read the 2 excerpts below from James Tarantos's "Best of the Web" posts at
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

1.  ‘Do or Do Not. There Is No Try’ (posted 1/31/07)
“Palestinian Factions Try to Observe New Truce” reads a New York Times headline: “After five days of clashes in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian factions today mostly observed the latest cease-fire, although one Hamas member was shot dead.”
Suppose the story had been that Israel and the Palestinians had called a truce, but Israel had shot one Palestinian dead. Can you imagine the Times headlining it “Israel Tries to Observe New Truce”? The paper treats the Palestinians like children; it gives them credit for trying.

2.  A Funny Way of Worshipping (posted 2/9/07)
“Israeli police stormed the grounds of Islam’s third-holiest shrine Friday, firing stun grenades and tear gas to disperse thousands of Muslim worshippers who hurled stones, bottles and trash in an eruption of outrage over Israeli renovation nearby.”–Associated Press, Feb. 9

Go to for the original “Best of the Web” postings.


Which type of bias best describes these examples?

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


The blurbs are examples of bias by spin.  Bias by spin occurs when the story has only one interpretation of an event or policy, to the exclusion of the other; spin involves tone – it’s a reporter’s subjective comments about objective facts.