Pro-Israel watchdog groups were furious after CNN published an article Monday about a terrorist attack on a bus in Jerusalem that killed 21, referring to the bombing as a “bus fire.”
“CNN continues to expose its anti-Israel colors with a despicable headline about Monday’s Jerusalem bombing,” the Daily Wire wrote Tuesday.
The CNN headline, allegedly published after officials confirmed that the explosion was in fact an attack, read: “Jerusalem bus fire injures at least 21, police say.”
— Zvi Lando (@zlando) April 19, 2016
Simon Plosker, managing editor of the pro-Israel watchdog site, HonestReporting, called the news outlet’s decision “absolutely appalling.”
CNN eventually modified the headline to “bus blast” and finally to “bus attack,” but the complaints came in response to allegations that the outlet intentionally glossed over the fact that the bombing was an act of terrorism, information that CNN’s accusers say the outlet had already received.
According to the Daily Wire, the headline ran even after CNN tweeted that police had confirmed the motive behind the attack, and the article itself called it a “deliberate attack.”
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 18, 2016
HonestReporting claimed that CNN didn’t change the suspect headline until the following day.
The watchdog site asked readers to join in signing a letter the CNN president Jeff Zucker. An excerpt of the letter reads:
How can CNN publish an inaccurate headline hours after tweeting what the police were really saying? Why aren’t those responsible for the headlines checking with what the reporters are saying before publishing?
We call upon you review the facts, acknowledge the problem, and take the appropriate steps to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future.
The pro-Israel watchdog group United With Israel has noted past instances in which it claims CNN headlines displayed an anti-Israel bias. The group claimed that in those cases, CNN eventually changed the headlines, but only after receiving complaints from pro-Israel organizations.
As of Wednesday, CNN had yet to release an official statement on the headline controversy.