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Every day for several weeks this summer, I woke up here in New York, turned on CNN, and saw Gaza. Now that my own government is taking military action in Iraq, I woke up this morning, turned on CNN, and saw this:
Yes, that is the Kennedy family on Cape Cod, dumping buckets of ice water over their heads.
During most of July, CNN viewers would hardly have known that unaccompanied children continued to languish at US borders, that the problems at the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs continued to fester, or that ISIS continued to consolidate power and slaughter non-Muslims. It’s not as though CNN is not covering Iraq at all now, and there was a brief, calm, and not remotely contentious discussion of Iraq this morning as well. After the saturation coverage of Gaza, however, the intensity of which often reached a fever pitch, the amount and quality of coverage of Iraq seems to stand in stark contrast.
The coverage that we do see, moreover, includes a focus on who ISIS is and why it is dangerous, something conspicuously missing from the Gaza coverage.
As July wore on, with CNN commentators angrily asserting such bald-faced lies as Gaza “has not had one day of self-determination,” I wondered many times whether the volume of coverage was indicative of an obsession with Israel. I tried, however, to give them the benefit of the doubt, as there was in fact military action and there was no question that it needed to be covered. But watching what is occurring now confirms my worst suspicions about the network.