Thursday, May 24, 2007

May 24 Media Critique: "Sderot: Still Under Fire"

HonestReporting doesn't like the term "home made rockets". Um, OK.

Truly compelling media critique.

What the media is probably trying to do is to provide some "context" (a selectively beloved term of HRs) , to their audiences about Qassams. Namely, that they are not standard military grade weapons which have an altogether different effect, as shown by the Israeli missile attack on a Hamas politicians private home, which killed 8 members of his family. He wasn't home. See the difference? One military grade missile kills almost as many people as thousands of Qassams have over several years. That's the kind of context that HR abhors.

This is the tactic that started it all.

When HR isn't just straight out lying or misrepresenting, it likes to impute intent to errors, mistakes or just routine journalistic sloppiness. The incident that lead to HRs creation remains a classic example of the genre. It was in the 2nd intifada, and a photo showing an Israel soldier standing over a bleeding man was incorrectly captioned to suggest that the man was Palestinan, when it was a Jewish man who had been assaulted by Palestinian rioters. It was an error that had occurred in communication between the photographer and an editor in a busy newsroom on a breaking story. HR, naturally, sought to explain it in terms of anti-Israel bias.

Todays example is far more dull, but essentially the same. Australia's ABC has a story with the following headline "Israel Continues Air Raids Despite new Gaza Truce". Clearly misleading (and quickly changed), but the story itself was perfectly accurate and reasonable. Just one of those editorial stuff-ups that affect all news stories from time to time, from the world news, to lost dog stories. But not to HR, where every error is a sign of malign intent and so HR screams "slanted coverage"!

HR try to have a go at regular target, the BBC , for saying,

Israel resumed airstrikes on Gaza on Tuesday after a six-month lull. It followed several rocket attacks on Israel.
But the best they could manage in response was "Several? Several?". Maybe even HR are getting bored with their script.

HR wants to, but has to avoid a significant contrast in its' effort to suggest that the IDF attack on the Jenin Refugee camp is a comparable situation. That Israel is an illegal occupying army, in contrast to the Lebanese Government being the recognised authority responsible for order and security inside Lebanon. Naturally, HR repeat their favourite lie regarding Jenin,
"This army was pilloried by the international press and falsely accused of perpetrating a 'massacre' ".

Despite that, there has been significant coverage of the civilian casualties caused by the Lebanese armies actions. Inconveniently for HR, some of the best coverage of this type has come from one of the journalists that HR has often sought to smear with its "anti-Israel" tag, Robert Fisk,
The Lebanese soldiers claim they try never to hurt civilians (I can think of another army which says that!), but did so many Palestinians have to be killed or wounded for the crimes of a few ………….Had there been feelings of revenge rather than military discipline when they first opened fire?

Pandering to their prejudices, HR say,
we do wonder if there is the faint whiff of double standards at play here?

Sadly for HR, no.

Just the stench of strident pro-Israel partisans trying to maintain the fiction of "anti-Israel media bias".