Jewish Right To Israel

Jewish Right To Israel
Jewish Right To Palestine (click on image)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pallywoodland

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance
Thomas Jefferson

Caroline Glick has written a must-read article in the Jerusalem Post that puts gives the kind of perspective that you get blinded to when watching the mind-numbing media go through its paces.

Glick fleshes out the point made by Mere Rhetoric in reaction to the New York Times' gratuitous invocation that Centanni and Wiig "were released unharmed". As Mere Rhetoric responds:
You idiot! You total blistering idiot! Being forced to convert is a harm. It might be the oldest harm short of death - being forced to renounce your faith and your god. Millions of people - literally millions - have died rather than deign to utter words that would force them to give up their faith. No wonder liberal journalists are utterly baffled by fully half of the United States - they don't think having to give up your religion is harmful. We are beyond certain that if Muslim prisoners at Gitmo were forced to convert away from Islam as a condition of their release, the New York Times would not be putting the phrase "released unharmed" into their lede. Way beyond certain.

There's a deeper explanation for how paragraphs like this can get written. It's not really bias, as much as it is the blind spots imposed by any ideology. And within that dynamic are questions about the degree of myopia and the room for self-reflection that particular ideologies allow.
Glick also notes this myopia in the coverage of Centanni and Wiig, and it is not limited to the New York Times:
While their remarks were covered extensively, no one seemed to think that the fact that their first post-release statements were made at a Palestinian Authority sponsored media extravaganza in Gaza was significant. No one noted that the men were flanked by Palestinian "security forces," and stood next to Hamas terrorist leader and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

No mention was made of the fact that the two were initially kidnapped by just such PA "security officials," or that Haniyeh is one of the leaders of one of the most fanatical jihadist organizations in the world, an organization that the majority of the "beautiful, kind-hearted and caring" Palestinians voted into office last January.

That is, no mention was made of the fact that until the two men left Gaza, they remained unfree. No one asked whether they had been given the option of not giving a press conference in Gaza. And now that they have spoken, there can be little doubt that a second press conference by the two men, in Israel or the US where no one will force them to convert to Judaism or Christianity or threaten to kill them, will draw far less media interest. After their press conference, the two men became yesterday's news.
But that was not the only item that was in the news that day. Reuters claimed that Israel had fired missiles at their reporter, Fadel Shada.

Yet it is unclear why anyone should believe either Shana or Reuters. Shana told Reuters that as he was driving to the battle scene, "I suddenly saw fire and the doors of the jeep flew open." He claims to have been wounded by shrapnel in his hand and leg. These are minor injuries for someone whose vehicle was just hit by a missile.

But then, the photographs taken of his vehicle after the purported missile attack give no indication that the car was hit by anything. There is a gash on the roof. The hood is bent out of shape. But nothing seems to have been burned. Cars hit by missiles do not look like they have just been in a nasty accident. Cars hit by missiles are destroyed.

Yet the glass on the windshield and the windows of Shana's vehicle isn't even shattered. In the photographs taken of Shana on the way to the hospital in Gaza, he lies on a stretcher, eyes closed, arm extended in full pieta mode. He is not visibly bleeding although there are some blood stains on his shirt, but then his undershirt is completely white.

I did not see these pictures in the media coverage of the purported IDF attack on the Reuters and Iranian cameramen. I saw them on Powerlineblog Web site [see here and here]. I did not see any questions raised from either the Israeli or the international media on the veracity of Shana's tale, which of course, provides a nice balance to the Centanni-Wiig hostage story.

All of this of course brings us back to the problem of the manipulation of the media by Hezbollah and Hamas, as well as the complete willingness of the media to be led by the nose in what information is available and how it should be presented.

AS IS the case with the Palestinian war against Israel, one of the most notable aspects of Hizbullah's latest campaign against Israel has been the active collaboration of news organizations and international NGO's in Hizbullah's information war against Israel. Like their rogue state sponsors, subversive sub-national groups like Hizbullah, Fatah and Hamas, see information operations as an integral part of their war for the annihilation of Israel and defeat of the West. And their information operations are more advanced than any the world has seen. As becomes more evident with each passing day, they have successfully corrupted both the world media and the community of NGOs that purportedly operate in a neutral manner in war zones.

Glick sees this as part of a wider problem.

It is not a coincidence that I saw the pictures of the Reuters' vehicle on Powerline and not in the media coverage of the purported attack. Both the global media and the international NGO community abjectly refuse to investigate themselves. As democratic governments and their militaries have proven incapable of dealing with the phenomenon (in part because they seek to curry favor with the media and the international NGO community), the blogosphere has taken upon itself the role of media watchdog.

The role of the blogosphere in all this is helpful, but a citizenship that is more critical and skeptical of its media is essential.

Some say that the falling readership of the newspapers is a sign of this.
But what if that just means they are reading the same newspapers online?

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