Take a look at the following headline, strap line and photo in a Feb. 18 Guardian story:
The title, image and caption would leave many readers with the false impression that ‘Israeli agents’ may have played a role in the recent terror attack on a civilian bus in the Egyptian Sinai that killed four tourists. In fact, you’d have to read pretty far into the report to determine that this isn’t of course the case.
Here are the first six paragraphs:
Egypt’s public prosecutor has charged two men said to be Israeli intelligence agents and two Egyptians with conspiring in Israel’s interests, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.
“The public prosecutor ordered Ramzy Mohamed, Sahar Ibrahim, Samuel Ben Zeev and David Wisemen – two officers in the Israeli Mossad – to be sent to a Cairo criminal court for spying for the interests of the state of Israel,” the statement read.
The two Egyptians are already in jail pending investigation, the statement said. The public prosecutor ordered the arrest of the two Israeli officers. It was not clear from the statement if the Israelis were in Egypt. There was no immediate reaction from Israel.
The Egyptians are accused of providing information about Egypt to the Israeli officers with “the intent of damaging national interests in exchange for money and gifts and sex”.
The statement accuses Mohamed of sleeping with women who work in Israeli intelligence. He is also accused of recruiting the accused woman, Ibrahim, to work for Israeli intelligence.
The statement said the two Egyptians had admitted during investigations that they had spied for Israel.
Here are the subsequent paragraphs:
Earlier on Tuesday, a militant group claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on a Egyptian bus that killed three South Korean tourists and an Egyptian driver close to the border crossing into Israel in the volatile Sinai desert.
Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, Arabic for Champions of Jerusalem, said in a statement posted on militant websites late on Monday that one of its “heroes” carried out Sunday’s bombing in Taba as part of an “economic war” against the army-backed government.
Egyptian officials have called it a suicide attack, but the Ansar statement did not use any language that would suggest the perpetrator was dead.
The al-Qaida-inspired group has claimed responsibility for previous attacks, but has previously targeted primarily police and the military.
The authenticity of the statement could not be verified but it was posted on al-Qaida-affiliated websites.
As you can see, following the headline and image – which evoke the recent terror attack in the Sinai – we immediately learn that Israeli Mossad agents were arrested by Egyptian authorities. Then, with no transitional text, we learn that “earlier in the [same] day”, there was an attack near the Israeli border.
So, we’re left with two completely different stories which almost seem connected based on the report.
As you can see by opening these links to other news sites (including in the Arabic media), the Guardian seems to be the only major news site conflating the two events, and juxtaposing a photo the burned bus with the arrest of Israeli ‘agents’. Indeed, if you want to get an idea of how egregiously misleading the Guardian headline and photo truly is, even the anti-Zionist conspiracy-minded ‘journalists’ at Iranian PressTV showed greater restraint in their report on the story:
Though the Guardian report is attributed to news “Agencies”, someone at the paper had to review and approve the headline, photo and text – an editor who clearly failed to abide by basic journalistic standards requiring that the media “take care not to publish “misleading or distorted information”.
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