Joe Elinoff: Misleading headline

November 12, 2013 

The News & Observer is occasionally careless with its choice of headlines for articles. The headline either does not reflect the substance of the article or is simply confusing.

The headline of the Nov. 9 news article “Official: Israel killed Arafat” makes it appear, to those who do not get beyond the headline, and many do not, that it is “official” that Israel killed Arafat, rather than, as is apparent in the article itself, that a Palestinian “official” has claimed that Israel killed Arafat. That claim is baseless and somewhat absurd.

We do not know for sure that Arafat was poisoned, and, if it turns out that he was, there is no evidence that Israel committed this act. Arafat was already politically irrelevant at the time of his death. There was no reason for Israel to kill him. It is much more likely he was assassinated by someone within the Palestinian community.

However, the point here is that The N&O needs to be more careful to match its headlines to the substance of the articles. Not doing so can be very damaging to innocent persons.

Joe Elinoff


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