Muslims Well Integrated, Or Approving Of Suicide Strikes?
My buddy Optimussven, writes (way better than I could):
Right now seems to be as good a time as any to talk about “responsible journalism” or the lack thereof in the US. Take a look at the following two headlines, the first from the BBC, the later from the AP:
Two very different headlines for the same story. The story in question is a recent poll ( Muslim Americans: Mostly Middle Class and Mainstream ) done by Pew Research, which happens to be the most exhaustive poll ever undertaken concerning US Muslims.
The vast majority of the data in the poll shows that a large majority of Muslims in the US hold “American values,” believe in the “American dream,” and hold positive views of American society. The vast majority also reject Muslim extremism, al-Qaeda and the like.
The BBC chose to focus on this, the AP did not, focusing instead on one statistic from the poll that said that 13% of young Muslims in America think that suicide bombing is can be justified, nearly ignoring, however the 78% who said it is never justified.
Compare the first paragraphs of each:
“The study by the Pew Research Center says US Muslims – most of whom are immigrants – believe in the American work ethic and reject extremism.”
“One in four younger U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings to defend their religion are acceptable at least in some circumstances, though most Muslim Americans overwhelmingly reject the tactic and are critical of Islamic extremism and al-Qaida, a poll says.”
Of course if you continue to read the AP article, and have a discriminating mind, you can extract the main points of the poll that say that American Muslims are highly integrated as opposed to those in Europe. But how many people actually read that far?
The BBC article shows charts, graphs, and adds a link to the original poll. Meanwhile the AP article appeared under the headlines on msn.com, the default site for Internet Explorer, and a site millions of Americans see every day in their offices and at their homes. That means that millions of Americans opened their browsers to see the headline Some U.S. Muslims approve suicide strikes. How many of those then actually clicked on the link to read the article? How many of those then went on to read the whole article? I’m betting much fewer.
So how can a responsible journalist put a headline on an article that misses the whole point of a story and blatantly gives a false snapshot of the article’s contents?
I suppose I shouldn’t expect more from the AP, but the sad thing is the same headline will appear in newspapers across the US and on numerous websites. I’m sure FOX will have its fun, and the media across the US will continue to distort the findings of Pew’s informative poll, all to the detriment of Muslim-Americans.
No wonder 25% of Muslim-Americans have experienced discrimination.