Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jan 21 Media Critique: “Lights On, Nobody Home”

The media leaves the false impression that Israel has completely cut Gaza's electricity.”

Does it?

HR says so,

Today's headlines include the LA TIMES's 'Gaza dark amid Israeli blockade' and The Guardians's 'Gaza plunged into darkness as Israeli fuel blockade takes effect'. Similar headlines appear in many media outlets. You could be forgiven for thinking that Israel has cut off the entire electricity supply to the Gaza Strip.

The first 3 words of The Guardian story that HR link to suffice to demonstrate the total dishonesty of their allegation,

Parts of Gaza…..

You could be forgiven for thinking that Israel had cut off the entire electricity supply”, but only if you are a complete idiot (or shameless liar) and don’t understand what “parts” means.

And the LA Times story,

GAZA CITY -- The Gaza Strip's only electric power plant shut down Sunday evening after Israel halted the shipment of diesel that fuels it, plunging most of this city into darkness…………….The power plant supplies electricity to 70% of Gaza City and about one-third of the Gaza Strip, which has a population of 1.5 million. ……. Officials in Gaza said as many as half of Gaza's homes were hit by blackouts Sunday.

Yes, you could be forgiven for believing what you want to believe so that you can fabricate allegations of media bias. That’s another 2 lies from HR.

And this is just plain sneaky,

Despite ongoing Qassam attacks from the territory, Israel has not switched off the electricity. In fact, Hamas itself shut down Gaza's only power station after inviting the media to watch it do so.

Nothing's wrong, Hamas just shut down the power plant for a photo op, or so HR would have its dim-witted readers believe. Yes, the power plant was shut down – before it stopped due to lack of fuel, a necessary move to prevent ‘brown-outs’ that occur as the power falls while demand doesn’t, a situation that can damage electrical equipment. (And why would it shut off the electricity? Israel sells the power to Gaza.)

HR then uses this deliberate misrepresentation to criticize other media stories for having failed to mention this alleged “fact”.

It’s a non-stop feast of self-serving fantasy from HR,

While Gazans are undoubtedly suffering, the dark picture painted by the mainstream media is different from the reality.

Perfectly reasonable, as long as you avoid actual reality, which is that the various media agencies quoted by HR have covered the story accurately by noting that Gaza receives 75% of it’s power from Israel and Egypt. HR can only make this bizarre statement by completely ignoring the content of the stories.

HR again trips over itself, and casts the truth aside, in its rushed attempt to draw attention from what Israel does, to how the media reports what Israel does. The constant refrain from HR is that there is no blockade/siege/humanitarian crisis in Gaza caused by Israeli actions, it's all media bias.

Read the latest UN report and see otherwise.