Thursday, January 17, 2008

January 16 Media Critique: “A Barrage of Bad Reporting”

Many media outlets fail to add significant context to a day of violence.”

A barrage of bad behaviour is more like it. HR is up to it’s old tricks, resorting to blatant lies to fabricate charges of bias.

HR says,

Too often, major media outlets downplayed the salvo of more than 40 missiles that hit Sderot that day and wounded four people.

It links to a Ynet news item which actually says,

More than 40 rockets were fired at southern communities Tuesday afternoon and evening….

Only 4 rockets hit Sderot. Lie No.1

HR then provide a list of what it calls the “worst offenders”,

Incredibly, The Scotsman failed to acknowledge the latest Qassam barrage at all, while at the same time omitting the crucial detail that the majority of those Palestinians killed in the Israeli raid were armed Hamas terrorists.

Here’s The Scotsman story doing both,

Hamas immediately stepped up its involvement in the daily barrage of rocket and mortar fire on southern Israel. While allowing other militant factions to attack southern Israeli communities with impunity, the Islamic militant group has not taken the lead in the assaults in recent months……The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said that five civilians were among the dead.

Lie No 2.

The Times of London,

muddied an otherwise good piece of reporting by not giving enough detail regarding the nature of the Palestinian casualties.

Not enough like this?

Israeli troops targeted the Hamas units that operate close to the border fence as a first line of defence. As they fought them, more Hamas fighters rushed to the scene and the fighting spread….

Clutching at straws. Lie No. 3.


in a dreadful case of moral equivalence, The Daily Telegraph's Tim Butcher makes it clear just how lightly he perceives the suffering of Israeli civilians targeted by Palestinian missiles:

It simply won’t do to note basic facts, such as that less than a dozen Israelis have been killed, while hundreds of Palestinians have. Apparently that is “moral equivalence”, which following from HR’s use, must be the assumption that an Israeli and Palestinian life are of equal worth. HR seems to think this is “dreadful”.

And AFP “barely acknowledged the issue of Qassams”. Which means that it did just that,

Hours after the operation Hamas claimed for the first time in several months that it had fired rockets into Israel, saying it had fired 11 rockets and lightly wounded eight Israelis.Witnesses and the army said one projectile had landed in the coastal city of Ashkelon and several in Sderot, without causing casualties.

Lie No. 4

And the BBC,

muddled the situation even further, leaving the mistaken impression that Sderot had been spared from attack for many months:

Well, not really. HR “muddled” the situation by displaying a total failure of reading comprehension. The BBC made it quite clear that it was saying that this was the first time Hamas had targeted Sderot, not that Sderot had not been free of rocket strikes,

the first time in several months that Hamas has targeted the town.
Disingenuous and Lie No. 5.

For some obscure reason Britian’s tabloid wastepaper the Mirror was deemed to be the absolute worst for a tiny 3 para item that is typical of its almost non-existent international coverage.
Media distortion” screamed the twits at HR!

And after HRs five lies noted above, criticising others for "distortion" takes the prize for audacity.

A striking feature of HRs ‘media critique’ is how it carefully avoids explicit mention of the chronology of events on Tuesday, only hinting at it by the repeated calls for “context”. The sequence of events were that an undercover IDF unit (“cowardly blending” anyone?) was spotted inside Gaza. The IDF then sent the tanks in to support them which left over 20 Palestinians dead. Hamas then launched its barrage into Israel. The only “context” HR wants is that the IDF unit was targeting Qassam launch crews. But as usual with HR, calls for context are strategically limited. The context of Palestinian groups vowing to continue rocket launches while Israel maintains its siege of the entire population of the Gaza Strip cannot be mentioned. That would be too much context.