Daily Israel Report

Op-Ed: Fashionistas and Eurotrash

Yet another chain of biased newspapers.
Published: Sunday, July 06, 2008 11:11 PM


It is understandable if you have never heard of the Metro group of daily newspapers. What you do need to know is that there is yet another chain of newspapers whose biased coverage of news related to the Middle East and the wider war on terror is just as disturbing as that of their well heeled cousins such as the New York Times, the
A propaganda effort to romanticize Arab terrorists.
Washington Post
or the Philadelphia Inquirer. Additionally, you need to know that Metro papers reach more than 20 million daily readers worldwide and the number is growing rapidly.

Metro is a ten-year-old import from Sweden. Its US editions are in Boston, New York and Philadelphia. Combined, Metro's US editions have a larger circulation than the Washington Post or the Chicago Tribune. Metro produces about 100 papers in 20 countries and has seven local editions in Canada.

Metro's newspapers are free and aimed mainly at a commuter audience using mass transit. This is largely due in part to the questionable agreements between public mass transit agencies and Metro. It is not uncommon to see a large majority of readers on a bus or train in one of Metro's American cities reading the paper rather than a traditional paid daily. The Metro tabloid newspapers are reminiscent of the magazine-like format and content originated by USA Today.

The March 25, 2008 US Metro editions featured an article about the Arab headscarves widely known as keffiyehs. Harmless enough, right? In the hands of Metro, the subject became a propaganda effort to romanticize Arab terrorists. The Philadelphia Metro used photos of Yasser Arafat and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Leila Khaled wearing keffiyehs to accompany their story.

As background, Khaled was a leader of the PFLP terrorist unit that hijacked TWA Flight 840 on August 29, 1969, and later blew it up. The PFLP, it must be noted, introduced hijacking to the Mideast conflict in 1968 with the taking of El Al Flight 426. Khaled, the terrorist, is introduced to Metro readers as a "fighter" with the PFLP and the article states that the keffiyeh gave her a "girl gangsta edge" and that photos of her "with a rifle in hand" became "part of feminist iconography." Arafat's picture and write-up do not include any background information at all on the PLO terror chief. Perhaps we should be thankful that the Metro's editorial staff seems to consider Arafat enough of a celebrity that no explanation was needed.

The March 25, 2008, article is a part of a strange pattern by Metro of publishing one-sided human interest stories that ignore the Israeli victims of Arab terror. Here are some other examples culled from February editions of Metro Philadelphia:

February 6, 2008
A one paragraph snippet on the opinion page ran with the headline "Gaza love that falafel." It was about Egyptians buying falafel in Gaza after Hamas terrorists destroyed the border fence. There was no mention of Hamas in the snippet and the violation of international law was described as "the fall of a border wall."

February 14, 2008
A photo showing sheep eating carnations was given the title "Gaza Strip eat your heart out." The explanation with the picture read in part, "Palestinian farmers had to dispose of their flower crop due to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip...." No explanation of why Israel has "blockaded" Gaza is given. There is no mention of the deadly Kassam missile attacks on Israeli towns.

February 15, 2008
An article titled "Despite Muslim law, Valentine's still a go" told how Gazans celebrated Valentine's Day despite a closed border with Israel. Hamas was benignly described as simply "militant" and the reason the border is closed was left unsaid.

Another headline on the same day and page read "Israel prepares for vengeful violence." The article was actually about an Israeli security alert following the killing of a Hizbullah leader. From the headline you would think Israel
The subtle agenda of Metro is clear.
was going on the offensive. The article itself leads the reader to assume that Israel assassinated Imad Mughniyeh, the Hizbullah leader. Israel formally denied responsibility for the killing.

As the above example shows, even "hard news" in Metro is shockingly distorted. Another example is a ridiculous March 7, 2008, Metro headline that told readers "Seminary shooting kills 8 in Jerusalem." A casual reader may have been led to believe that the attack was a "school shooting" and not a terrorist atrocity. In the article the terrorist was termed simply "an attacker" and a "gunman." His terrorist attack was labeled a "militant attack." And the Hamas terrorist organization was called "Hamas militants." Metro refused to call a terrorist a "terrorist" and define his murderous attack.

The subtle agenda of Metro is clear: the bashing of Israel and the dissemination of an Orwellian view of terrorists. Who owns America's newspapers? What agenda do these foreign owners have? What does it mean for Israel that 1.2 million people in the United States are reading a daily newspaper with a twisted view towards Israel and Islamic terrorists? These are just some of the questions raised by Metro's bias.