Honest Reporting gives Christiane Amanpour and CNN a C- for her reporting of the six-hour series “God’s Warriors,” in which she looks at religious fundamentalism in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. However, I would give her and her producers an F.
As a former journalist myself, I am not sure what upset me more: Amanpour playing ominous “bad guy” music only under the interview with a pro-Israel fundamentalist minister and in reference to AIPAC. Or her equating the one Israeli fundamentalist who, in 1984, tried to bomb a Palestinian girl’s school (but was shadowed and arrested by the Israeli police before he could do any harm) with the popular and numerous terrorists who planned, participated in, and support the murder of innocent people around the globe–specifically in England, Israel, and the United States. Terrorists who are funded and protected both by our Arab allies and our enemies like Syria and Iran.
Yes, we Jews do have our fundamentalists and some of them are very scary. Israel bravely took on its fundamentalists last year when they pulled out of Gaza. Israel could do more to confront them in the West Bank as well. But there is no equivalence between the threat Jewish fundamentalists present in Israel or around the world compared to the threat that the world wide Islamist revolution is presenting to Western democracies. The best proof is that there are no Jewish suicide terrorists attacking Muslims, or anyone else, around the world. The same cannot be said of Muslim fundamentalists. But the viewer would not know that based on Amanpour’s report.
A complete list of the inaccuracies and editorializations I found would take up pages. Phyllis Chessler identifies some of the most blatant problems in the series.
I agree with CAMERA’s observation that, “While in reality Jewish “terrorism” is virtually non-existent, the program magnifies at length the few instances of [Jewish] violence” comparing it to “violent jihadist Muslim campaigns” when indeed there is no such comparison “either in numbers of perpetrators engaged or in the magnitude of death and destruction wrought.”
What is most dangerous about the inaccuracies in Amanpour’s series is that she masks the real dangers that Islamic fundamentalism presents to the West and, by comparison, demonizes all religious fervor. She feeds a growing trend to see all religion as the cause for war and violence in the world, rather than offering a thoughtful and thought provoking way to see religious faith as distinguishable from the hate-filled, violent fundamentalists who would hijack it.
I expected better from CNN. If you did, too, let CNN know about it. Hopefully it will be more careful next time it takes on an issue that deserves the best, rather than the worst, of investigative journalism.