CNN has apologized for one of several errors in its reporting of Tuesday morning's brutal terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
In one particularly jarring error, the headline presented for the story broadcast live to tens of millions of viewers read: "Israeli... Police Shot, Killed 2 Palestinians." The headline sparked outrage, with one prominent Israeli activist calling for the CNN reporter responsible to have his press credentials removed.
Several hours and countless angry responses later, the international news corporation finally apologized.
"As CNN updated its reporting on the terrorist attack on the synagogue in Jerusalem earlier today, our coverage did not immediately reflect the fact that the two Palestinians killed were the attackers. We erred and regret the mistake," said a statement.
But the particular headline in question was just one of a raft of CNN bloopers surrounding the attack - leading many Israelis suspicious that the "mistake" had more to do with the corporation's editorial line than human error, with some accusing reporters of bending over backwards to play-down Palestinian violence.
One particularly embarrassing, headline aired shortly after the story broke, read "Deadly Attack on Jerusalem Mosque," while another seemed to play down the role of the "2 Palestinians" (i.e. terrorists) who were killed by police by equating their death with those of their victims, blandly proclaiming: "4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians Dead in Jerusalem."
Yossi Dagan, the head of media relations for the Samaria Regional Council, filed a formal complaint Tuesday with the Government Press Office (GPO) in response to the headlines.
"There is no reality elsewhere in the world where journalists can report a terror attack in this style," he stated. "This rule should also apply to foreign reporters in Israel. There is good and there is bad, there are killers and there are victims."
"The media arena in recent years has become an equally important battlefield for Israel, and it must use all the tools at its disposal to demand certain baselines in its media coverage," he continued. "Coverage like this legitimizes the next murder; whoever loses in this loses the next war as well."
"CNN's strange headline is a direct continuation of a series of other reports in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that appeared recently," the letter said, noting by way of example the report on the car rampage near the Jerusalem light rail last month by the Associated Press which began with the title "Israeli police shot a man in East Jerusalem."