Sunday, April 27, 2008

What Next?

In lieu of any activity on the HR front, I make a not-so-bold prediction that their next ‘media critique’ will mention one of their recent favourites – the so-called ‘al-Dura affair’. This is the one where some obsessed conspiracy theorists have been dragging France 2 TV into court to make them play the unedited footage of the incident (which they have, for no outcome of note except to feed the conspiracy) . The conspiracy theorist camp however remains divided over as to exact nature of the conspiracy. Is it a), Mahommad al-Dura is actually alive and well and the whole thing was a hoax, or b), he was shot by Palestinians, not the IDF?

You’d think that these would be mutually exclusive possibilities, but it seems not, as they continue to desperately gasp at these imaginary straws.

Update: Snap! Just after posting this I checked back at HR and guess what – the lastest ‘Media Critique’ is there, and, the ‘al-Dura’ affair is in it.

I swear that I’d checked just minutes before writing this, and there was no April 27 ‘media critique’. Honest!

Monday, April 21, 2008

April 16 ‘Media Critique’: “Abbas: A "Moderate" Honoring Terrorists”

HR is in a flap over this story, alledging that Mahmoud Abbas was going to bestow an award on two Palestinian women prisoners who are in Israeli jails for assisting in terrorist attacks.

HR demand to know why it isn’t covered in the mainstream media. Perhaps because it may not be true, given this in the last paragraph of the story,

PA Minister for Prisoner Affairs Ashraf el Ajami told Israel Radio on Wednesday that his ministry gave Abbas a comprehensive list of prisoners and his office chose the nominees from this list.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

April 15 ‘Media Critique’: “Israel 60: The Demonization Begins”

Hasn’t it just.

And in those leading media outlets, The Charlotte Observer and Bangor Daily News, of all places.

HR seem especially upset by this article, which gives a quick run down of some (just some) of the most significant Israeli misdeeds. HR try to offer some ‘explanations’ for what it describes as “supposed….criminal acts”, but it’s a pretty poor effort. The best one was the link that tried to defend the Qibya killings in 1953. It starts by referring to the killings as just a “claim” but ends by confirming the event. The ‘explanation’ is that Ariel Sharon forgot to check the houses for occupants before blowing them up with dynamite. Could happen to anyone.

The “supposed” Sabra and Shatilla – the HR link only confirms the statement in the article that Israel was guilty of “Abetting the 1982 Lebanese militia massacres”.

Mentioning Israeli misdeeds is “demonization”. I thought it was criticism.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 7 ‘Media Critique’:”Success: Times Acknowledges Photo Gaffe”

Success! Another evil media conspiracy thwarted. The Times of London says it should have put the date on the photo. A stunning victory against ‘anti-Israel media bias’.

Can you smell the delusion in the air?

What this tells us, is the true extent of media bias against Israel – there isn't any. HR has to trawl the media of the world to find a date missing on a photo.

What is much more interesting is the missing news on that same day.

The Times covered the story about a possible compensation plan for West Bank settlers located east of the Wall. But not the Peace Now report, ‘The Death of the Settlement Freeze’, that showed an increase in Israeli settlement activity since Annapolis. Nor the killing of 2 Palestinians in Gaza or the arrest of 7 others in the WB, by the IDF. Not even the commemoration of “Land Day” (the day in 1976 when Israeli security forces shot dead 6 unarmed Palestinian-Israeli protestors) to protest Israeli theft of Palestinian land. The re-confirmation of the Arab Peace Initiative only got a mention in the last paragragh of the story on the West bank settlers.

Yes, the real problem with media coverage of Israel-Palestine, is that they don’t put dates on photos and someone might get confused.

April 1 ‘Media Critique’: “Out of Context: The Times's Image of the Day”

Apparently, The Times of London has a daily feature “Image of the Day” where they stick in some picture they’ve dug up from somewhere. Could be anything.

On March 31, it was a photo of a Palestinian boy in Jenin. Enough said. The usual hysterics from the HonestReporting McCarthyists follows. There is no date, so someone might think it was today!

The date of this ‘media critique’ says it all.

18/4: I should have noted this at the time, but this and the previous HR 'Media Critique' are a perfect paried example demonstrating the idiocy and cynicism of HR. The Times has erred with this photo, in it's lifestyle supplement, because it isn't dated or identified as file photo, but in immediately preceding 'Media Critique' HR make a very similar complaint about an AFP photo, even though it is clearly identifed as a "File Photo". Don't label the photo correctly - HR complain. Do - and they still complain.

I'm quite sure that even if The Times of London had labelled the photo as file footage or dated it, HR still would have complained about it. They had their back-up complaint already formulated,

Putting aside whether such a politicized image belongs in the company of cats.....

The issue isn't ethics and standards in the media, HR obviously couldn't care less, it's about attempting to fabricate an illusion that any negative perception of Israel is not a result of Israeli actions, but is a result of biased media coverage.