Typical CNN Bias

Today, CNN published an article which was supposed to be about the important topic of online Holocaust denial, specifically on Facebook. While we appreciate the fact that the issue we brought to light is getting covered, we are saddened as CNN blatantly tried to discredit our organization through its inaccurate portrayal of the JIDF and our effort, as they decided to focus upon an outdated and informal interview we gave for another article last year.

Most legitimate news organizations we have dealt with have done their own homework and have chosen to not to rely upon the work, interviews, and research of others. CNN, on the other hand, is a sloppy news organization, apparently incapable of getting stories right.

Here we will provide relevant excerpts from the both articles and our interview with CNN to put it into context, clarify our points, and correct the many inaccuracies, which are unfortunately typical of CNN "reporting."

First of all, CNN focused the first third of the piece on Mark Cuban's brother, Brian, who has taken an interest in these issues after the JIDF educated and inspired him through our many campaigns.

In Cuban's original piece about Holocaust denial on Facebook, he stated and referenced that it was our article which brought these issues to his attention.

While we celebrate and appreciate Mr. Cuban's effort, CNN makes it appear that he is leading this campaign. That is false. He wrote a couple articles on his blog about it, largely referencing our material.

Meanwhile, the JIDF inspired him and thousands of others to send emails to the media, the government, and to Facebook, as well as report material promoting Holocaust denial, antisemitism, and terrorism to Facebook, YouTube and other companies through multiple campaigns and action alerts.

We believe CNN tried to destroy our credibility (as you'll soon see) and that credit to the JIDF for being the only organization to get these issues into the spotlight is rarely given.

In the article, CNN claimed that we are "a group that monitors and tries to eradicate anti-Semitic online content." This is true, however, we gave CNN much more information about our effort, as it certainly is not limited to antisemitism (we're also especially concerned with content that promotes Islamic terrorism, sharing important news and information, etc.)

Continuing to avoid the bigger picture, CNN went on to say:

The Jewish Internet Defense Force.....was successful in removing a Facebook page for the group "Israel Is Not A Country! Delist It From Facebook As A Country,"

While this is true, we have actually been responsible for the removal of hundreds of antisemitic and terrorist groups on Facebook, with hundreds of thousands of members, as well as hundreds of YouTube channels with thousands of videos.

CNN tried to discredit us further by even going so far as trying to create moral equivalency between us and Holocaust deniers and haters of Jews, claiming that the JIDF is:

outspoken in its own right and sometimes guilty of sweeping generalizations of its own.

And they felt the need to highlight this quote from an outdated and informal interview:

In an article on Brian Cuban's site published during the 2008 presidential campaign, a representative from the Jewish Internet Defense Force was quoted as saying that "99.9 percent of Muslims hate us."

When CNN asked us about this, we explained:

We'd rather not focus on those specific quotes as:

  • It was a very informal interview
  • It was during the campaign
  • The 99% figure was obviously not scientific
  • Mr. Cuban would not let us correct any of our statements after we quickly answered him to help him meet his deadline

However, we do feel Islam itself overwhelmingly preaches Jew hatred, based on Koranic verses, interpretations, and traditions, and various Muslim clerics stating that, "the Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals" (http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Area=sr&ID=SR01102)

With the amount of hatred directed at Jews and the Jewish state throughout the Arab and Muslim world, it certainly feels the majority of Muslims don't love us. Their hatred is taught throughout their media, schools, mosques, and religious materials, and of course, many Jews are experiencing all sorts of online attacks from Muslims on the internet daily.

CNN continued outside the important topic of Holocaust denial online, choosing instead to focus the early and informal article, despite our request:

The article went on to quote JIDF spokesman on the last Presidential campaign: "We hope to continue to highlight the issues surrounding [then-candidate Barack Obama's] terrorist connections as well as his racist and anti-Semitic church, which has supported Hamas and the Rev. Louis Farrakhan."

In the interview, we explained to CNN:

Regarding Obama, being that the JIDF is a pro-Israel organization which takes a hard line against antisemitism and terrorism, we are deeply concerned by many of his associations and policies. Unfortunately, that puts us a little at odds with the 78% of American Jews who helped put him into power, but that's a risk we take standing for the things which are important to us.

By the end of it, they finally managed to get to the topic in which interview was supposed to be about:

But on the matter of Facebook and Holocaust deniers, the Jewish Internet Defense Force has a clear stance.

As if our stance on the other issues were not clear? They continue to quote us:

"Facebook should not provide a platform for hatred, especially as it is against their TOS [terms of service]," David said. "Holocaust denial is illegal in 13 countries and represents a form of Jew hatred and hate speech in general.

In our final correspondence to CNN we wrote:

All we ask is for CNN to try to be fair....We've had some very bad experiences with the press not being fair to us and just hope CNN will not follow in their footsteps. Unfortunately, we do not have and cannot yet afford professional PR folks or press agents who know how to answer all questions perfectly, so we do the best we can and hope for the best.
By the end of the piece, CNN threw in the token "ADL blurb" which is appearing in most of these articles about JIDF campaigns (as if the ADL has done anything at all on this front), and that was that.

Ultimately, we're happy that the issue is now out there even more, we only wish CNN would have:
  • Not chosen to focus upon an outdated and informal interview
  • Not worked so hard to try to discredit the JIDF and our work
  • Described our organization and effort accurately
  • Honored our request to be fair
  • Kept their piece on the topic at hand, which again, was supposed to be about Holocaust denial on Facebook.
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