Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 27 Media Critique: "CNN's 'God's Warriors': Hard on Jews, Soft on Islam"

We must be thankful for small mercies.

At least this is not another interminable whine about the BBC or The Guardian. No, it’s an interminable whine about CNN.

To be fair, HR haven’t actually bothered boring us with their views, but reproduce someone else’s take on it, as well as providing a link to CAMERA. HR post some drivel by a bloke called Maurice Ostroff. Here are a few examples,

Amanpour does not hesitate to inject her own views, demonstrating occasional lack of knowledge. For example when an Israeli settler said God says Jews must live in Hebron, Amanpour interjected that the West Bank was designated by the UN to be the largest part of an Arab state. Not only is this statement factually incorrect, it is out of context.

Err…that is completely factually accurate. All one has to do is too take a look at a map of the UN Partition Plan. Ostroff waffles on about the British Mandate and Balfour, neither of which alter the factual accuracy of Amanpours’ statement.

One of the most misleading aspects of the program, was the use of the very few isolated incidents of Jewish terror attempts over the past 15 years, to create the false impression that a Jewish terror movement exists on a par with the violent worldwide jihadist phenomenon of indiscriminate death and destruction. For example she interviewed Yehuda Etzion who was convicted and imprisoned for involvement in a foiled bomb plot way back in 1984.

I believe that CNN wanted to interview Baruch Goldstein, but he was unavailable. Ariel Sharon was also too busy to appear to discuss his 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the killing of thousands of Lebanese civilians, not to mention minor incidents like Sabra and Shatilla. Maybe the complaint is that CNN should have probed later incidents like this, this, this, or these?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

August 23 Media Critique: “The Independent's Foul Play”

“Criticism of a UK Foreign Office decision turns into an excuse for hateful Israel bashing.”

When it’s not the evil BBC, it’s the evil Independent. What is it with those Brits??

Writing in the UK's Independent, Mark Steel criticizes the British Foreign Office, which is his right, before launching an astonishing diatribe against Israel, based not on facts nor reason, but on overt hate and disinformation.

The usual measured response from HR.

What indicates his “overt hate” for Israel? It’s Steels' suggestion that the Israeli Foreign Ministry might have pressured the UK to refuse the visa’s. I think it unlikely, but as Steele pointed out, the British FO initially supported the tour, so it is a little odd that they would then change course. HR seem to find it difficult to believe that Governments attempt to influence each other. Such wondrous naivety.

All Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip may encounter problems exiting crossings at Israeli and Egyptian borders, particularly following Hamas' violent takeover of the area.

Ah, the joys of the deletion of the active agent.

Palestinians simply can’t find the doors, that’s why they “encounter problems exiting crossings”. And it has been a little worse since Hamas won democratic lections, but Israel has been making it increasingly difficult over the last 15 years. It’s nothing new, just the continuation of the trend.

the latest incident is simply part of the process of petty vindictiveness that occupying forces often dish out. Even if there's no obvious military or political advantage to be gained, you can imagine them passing a law that no one in Gaza is allowed to hum, or on Mondays everyone has to speak in a Geordie accent.

HR remain suitably calm and objective by describing this quote from Steels' article as “simple hatred and demonization of Israel”. Conveniently, they miss, or ignore, Steels’ completely reasonable observation that this is typical of “occupying forces”, the plural form obviously referring to all occupying forces, hence not ‘demonizing’ Israel but being appropriately critical of occupying powers. To enhance the effect of this lie, HRs quote leaves out the preceding sentence which provides the context and background for Steels’ observation. The phrase “latest incident” gives it away, but HR readers are probably beyond such critical appraisals,

And during the Asia Cup, which the Palestinian national team had started with an 8-0 win, the Israelis detained the five players who came from Gaza so they couldn't get to their match against Uzbekistan

Oh, so it’s happened before!!

And it’s not just in sport that Israeli vindictiveness can be witnessed. Remember the saga of the greenhouses in Gaza? The wingnut-o-sphere frothed at the mouth over the destruction of greenhouses after the Gaza ‘disengagement’. Only 20% were affected, but they had a lovely time vilifying all Palestinians over the incident. It was a major economic goal to get the horticultural industry going. There were problems but crops were raised and goods set to be exported. But in the first season only 10% could be exported due to repeated Israeli closures of the Karni crossing for 'security' reasons. Never happened when the goods were Israeli.

Just bad luck I’m sure, and anyone who suggests otherwise is guilty of “overt hate”.

Cooked To Imperfection”

And they don’t like Jonathon Cook for writing articles like this .

They particularly don’t like him saying this,

a relentless campaign to target, discredit and silence critics of Israel.

The existence of HR makes that just a statement of the bleeding obvious. But not for HR, who indulge in the routine piece of sophistry that greets this observation, namely that since critics like Cook “are able to spread their flawed charge the claim that their voices have been silenced” is simply untrue. The sophistry comes in with the assumption that critics are saying that this has been 100% successful. But as Cook says, the pro-Israel partisans like HR have a “relentless campaign” to try and achieve this. The degree of success is not the issue.

Then it gets truly comical,

Jonathan Cook's agenda and that of others, it seems, is to delegitimize and silence the very legitimate opinions held by those in opposition to theirs

Now it’s all clear: Cook, and “others” in the media, have an agenda to “silence” HR, who are valiantly fighting to simply express an opinion the opposite of Cooks, which they do by attacking Cooks opinions. Makes sense doesn’t it? Jonathon Cook and “others” are anti-Israel partisans who, almost every week, write articles asking readers to send “informed correspondence” to HonestReporting in order to balance the one-sided debate in the media.

One wonders if even the script-writers at HR believe this stuff.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

August 2 Media Critique: “Gaza 'Under Siege'?”

“Is the Gaza Strip really under siege or is the reality quite different?”

Of course not, HonestReporting is quick to tell us. To say so is “somewhat misleading”, while quietly acknowledging that Israeli restrictions on goods entering Gaza are killing patients there.

But what are a few dead Palestinians when there are bigger fish to fry?

False claims” of a siege are the real issue.

Who’d make such a wildly inaccurate claim? HR directs us to a dictionary definition to prevent confusion. And to the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry for an independent opinion on the wonderfulness of Israeli support of Gaza. If that isn’t quite independent enough for you, try this.

Imagine if someone was to say that Israel was under siege. Something like this perhaps,

……Israelis who are under daily siege…..

Misleading, false, I hear you cry. Who would say something so obviously…..err……dishonest?

Why, it’s HonestReporting of course!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

July 26 Media Critique: “Terror Propaganda: LA Times Publishes Responses”

HonestReporting continues with the recent fight against free speech and the role of the media to report. Of course HR are all for free speech and ‘honest’ reporting’ as long as that excludes views that it doesn’t like. This time it’s the evil Washington Post upsetting HR by publishing the writing of Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, a Lebanese Shi’i cleric, in its ‘On Faith’ section.

This is a “soap box to terror” gasp HR. Someone get the smelling salts!

Why won’t these media types censor themselves more effectively? Don’t they know how delicate sensibilities may be offended by the wrong thoughts?

But, as usual, HR is deceptively selective in how it reports this single item. It was, in fact, part of a week long series called “Muslims Speak Out: What Islam Really Says About Violence, Rights and Other Religions”, where Newsweek and the WP invited over 50 Muslim scholars and clerics to discuss the issue. It’s well worth a read, giving a broad range of opinions and ideas that the bigoted idiots at HR would benefit from reading in its' entirety.


Oh, do tell.

we have to ask why the BBC has given prominence to a feature "In pictures: The work of Naji al-Ali.

Maybe it was something to do with the 20th Anniversary of his assassination?

But no, for the paranoids at HR, there is a world-wide anti-Israel media conspiracy that explains every mention of a Palestinian by the BBC.

Does the BBC pay as much attention to prominent Israeli cultural figures, scientists, musicians, innovators and Nobel Prize winners? Why then does Naji al-Ali warrant the BBC's attention other than to promote his political cartoons (which may fit the BBC's political worldview)?

They really are a bit thick.

Al-Ali’s murder is unsolved, but most people think he was killed for his political cartoons, which were highly critical of Arab regimes and leaders. An agent of one of them is the most likely culprit.

But to answer HRs question, does the BBC pay as much attention to prominent Israelis? Well how about a 3 part series on “Israel’s Generals”? Or a profile of Tzipi Livni? Or music in Israel?

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.