Tuesday, May 29, 2007

May 29 Media Critique: "Cartoons and Conspiracies"

HonestReportings theory is that if you fire enough shots, you must hit something. Fine in theory, but as HR show today, if the targets are mirages, no number of shots help.

First, HR turn their mighty intellects to a cartoon in a South African newspaper. They seem to think it's not 'balanced'. This is farcical. Cartoons are the epitome of 'point-of-view' in newspapers. Next HR will be complaining that the sports section has too much sport.

Well, if anyone should know about conspiracies, it's HR. They remain convinced of a world wide "anti-Israel media bias" conspiracy, despite the underwhelming evidence.

This one shocks me. Imagine, in my own backyard, and via Tim Fischer, the former Deputy Prime Minister, no less. The conspiracy is that Tim Fischer suggests that Israel deliberately attacked the USS Liberty. As everyone knows (except Tim apparently), it was an accident. Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats repeatedly, for over an hour in broad daylight, accidentally attacked the USS Liberty, killing 34.

HR know this claim is a "canard" because someone wrote a book saying so ('The Liberty Incident' - Ahron Cristol). It was the "definitive study", so they say. I think it's a definitive study in the same way that Joan Peters' 'From Time Immemorial' was the definitive study of population movements in Mandated Palestine. Fischer and his evil conspiracy rejected this "definitive study" by a retired judge in favour of the evidence presented by such people as a former Lieutenant on the USS Liberty, James Ennes who wrote 'Assault on the Liberty', detailing the extensive evidence in support of the contention that the attack was planned and deliberate.

But, just as 'From Time Immemorial' managed to do the opposite of what it intended, so too did 'The Liberty Incident' backfire rather badly, spurring old hands from the USS Liberty to denounce the book as a fraud and to again demand a real inquiry. So strong was the reaction to the book that new witnesses emerged to provide evidence. Stephen Forslund, who was an intelligence analyst working on the day of the attack, related how he read the intercepted transmissions that showed Israel knew the USS Liberty was an American ship, and had deliberately set about attacking it.

How appropriate. HR launch a 'pre-emptive strike' on likely media coverage of the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War. Purely defensive of course, as HR prepares for the 'imminent' attack by the media with their "anti-Israel agenda".

HR warn,

Some historical analyses will be perfectly legitimate. Others may be simply a rewriting of history in order to promote a politicized anti-Israel agenda. Be on the lookout and make full use of HonestReporting's resources, which will be appearing shortly.

It doesn't take much imagination to know what these resources will consist of. I'm sure Ahron Cristols book will be there. You have to laugh.

It's poor form to self-reference, but here's a brief overview of the Six Day War that won't figure in HRs 'resources'.