Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nov 24 ‘Media Critique’: “Alibhai-Brown's Media Outrage”

HonestReporting are in a spin over this in The Independent. An accurate if somewhat mild take on the situation , which of course outrages HR into a fit of spinning.

Contrary to Alibhai-Brown's accusations, food aid and medical supplies have been allowed into Gaza
‘Have’ being the operative word. For the edification of the reader, HR direct them to a impartial observer for clarification of Alibhai-Brown's calumny – an Israeli Govt website.
Here’s the story – Israel refused all crossings from Nov 5 to Nov 16. Some trucks were allowed through on the 17 th, then closed again till “As recently as today (Nov. 24), the Gaza crossings have been reopened for supplies.” But unfortunately, as recently as the day after (25th) they closed again.

But it’s all the Palestinians fault anyway,
crossing points have only been shut due to persistent Palestinian rocket attacks

See, they fired rockets on the 5th, so Israel had no choice. Nevermind the why of it. Oh heck, I’ll tell you anyway. On the 4th the IDF invaded Gaza and killed a few Palestinians. Minor detail. Anyway, I’m sure you can see that then cuting off food and medical supplies to 1.5 million people, of about which 800,00 are children, for 11 days is quite a reasonable response. It’s not like that would be collective punishment against a civilian population, which would be a breach of international humanitarian law or a war crime.

And they let the trucks in, 33 of them on the 17th. That’s a lot. Never mind that the UN says 15 trucks are needed everyday to maintain a miniumum supply of humanitarian aid.
Let’s see, the crossings were closed for11 days up to the 17th, 11 days x 15 know, 33 is a lot of trucks.

Contrary to Alibhai-Brown's charge regarding power cuts, even the Palestinian Authority has accused Hamas of staging the latest blackouts in the Gaza Strip

Contrary to HR’s unsupported assertions, Israels restrictions on fuel imports results in power outages. From Nov 9, following Israels cutting of fuel deliveries since the 5th, almost half of Gaza was without any electricity for 2 days. And in Gaza, no electricity means no water.

There was more, but it made less and less sense as it went on,
Alibhai-Brown aptly demonstrates this demonization in her concluding paragraph, where a parable with the horror of the Nazi Holocaust is impossible to ignore:

‘Parable with’? This was Alibhai-Browns ‘parable’,

Evil happens when the world says and does nothing. That a Jewish state expects no condemnation of the evil it perpetrates shows that nothing is learnt from history.

Cue: mock outrage.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nov 18 ‘Media Critique: “CNN: One Year Analysis”

There seems to be a bottom less pit of stoopid at HonestReporting.

We have yet more banal allegations of media 'bias'. Not that we should expect anything less. Some dopey sod is throwing cash at this venture, so they have no choice but to keep churning out the claims.

CNNs turn today.

I'd like to give a rational and logical rebuttal of HRs methodology, but, as usual, they don't provide one. The best we can do is to infer.

HR have looked at "hundreds of videos" from CNN, and selected 53. We don't know which ones they viewed and have little idea of the basis for choosing those selected. And HR certainly don't provide the list of those they claimed to have analysed.

They do however give a highly technical description of their video analysis. Videos are assessed as "favouring" one perspective over another. Alas, HR fail to provide a definition. HR correct for this by the careful application of very precise numbers. Hence, 67 mins of CNNs video coverage 'favours' Palestinians compared to only 31 for Israel.
This figure is arrived at via the highly sophisticated ‘stop watch’ test. In the complete absence of real bias, or any interest in doing the necessary intellectual work to do a real analysis, HR time the videos. If there's a second more footage of Palestinians than Israelis, it's biased. This is stupid in just so many ways. Remember this is TV. Visual content is priority No1. Scenes of death and destruction are visually interesting. HR are unhappy that there was more time spent on the scenes of destruction than on Israeli Govt talking heads. Balance isn't a crude measure of equal time, but about fairly and accurately presenting the various perspectives on an issue.

If I may be so cynical, can I suggest that anything HR perceives as 'favouring' Palestinians or reflecting “negatively on Israel”, is simply a failure to adhere to the 100% Israel right or wrong prejudices of HR. In which case, 70% of CNN video footage failing to meet the HR standard of compliance is probably a tad conservative.

And of course there are the usual factual errors and misrepresentations.
HR complains about the raw video CNN uses,

The viewer, however, has no way of knowing that these so-called "non-violent" Palestinian demonstrations are anything but. As we have documented, the goal of the protestors is often to use enough violence to provoke the Israeli soldiers into a response while the cameras are rolling.

Unfortunately for HRs argument, the “documented” case they link to is in their highly respected Backspin section. One example they give is a Palestinian youth who says something (yes, he said something) to an IDF soldier, who brutually assaults him and throws him in the back of a jeep. The journalist , in front of whom this occurs, speculates the youth might not have done this without him present. That is the kind of "violence" these nasty Palestinian protesters use to “provoke” the peace loving IDF soldiers. Oh the bias!

an ‘expert’ falsely claims that Israel controls all of Gaza borders. In fact, Israel today has no presence on Gaza's border with Egypt. Yet the viewer would not know this from the report. Once again, Mark Regev voices Israel's position but is immediately contradicted by the "expert's" false statement.

Yes, Israel has no soldiers on the Rafah border, but it does indeed control it. Under the agreement with Egypt, Israel has overall control of crossing points. If Israel says no, Egypt does not allow border crossings.

HR need to get something into their thick skulls - news coverage doesn’t exist to satisfy the petulant demands of partisans, but to provide information that will allow better understanding by the public of the issues at hand.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nov 11 ‘Media Critique’: “AFP's Staged Photo?”

HR pines for the glory days of digitally enhanced images, circa the Lebanon War, but can only manage todays lame effort.

It's become quite an obsession, with the result that they are suffering from over reach – seeing what they desperately want to see.

Hint to HR - stop trying so hard, something might burst. Like your credibility. Actually that's not possible. HR has none.

Here's the photo,

For a change I'll also link to the ‘Back Spin' article itself. This is so funny, I wouldn't want anyone to miss out.

They're roped in some poor sucker, David Katz, to play the photographic 'expert' who sets about demonstrating that he doesn't have a clue. We're told that it's his "gut feeling" it's a fraud, but HR caution that there's "no smoking gun", which is otherwise known as 'evidence'. And that would be because it's just a straight photo. Our 'expert' tries the 'look at the light!' angle, but that just confirms the lack of evidence. The sun is high above, shining from the foreground and the right (as you look at the photo). Our ‘expert’ questions the lack of shadows on super-bunny, which is odd given presence of shadows on bunny on its left and underneath. I could go on, as there are so many stupid things said by our photographic expert, but I won’t bother, I’m sure you get the idea.

But really, what kind of fraud is this meant to be?? They have a photo of a guy standing on pile of rubble with his arm in the air and someone says 'hey I've got a great propaganda idea, let's photoshop a bright pink flying upside-down bunny in the middle of the photo'?


Have a look here to see other photos from the same area that will demonstrate what a stunning propaganda coup the flying pink bunny is.

I don't know how stupid HR thinks people are, but this clearly demonstrates how stupid they are.

The inanity then continues with HR distress over “
Occupied Jerusalem” and a few other storms in various teacups.

Nov 4 ‘Media Critique’: “LA Times Rehashes A Libel”

A Palestinian journalist claims to have been beaten up by IDF soldiers. Reporting this is a "libel" according to HonestReporting.


By following the HR rules of media analysis - all Palestinians lie, and all IDF soldiers and Israel-firsters are honest.

From that, that the article is a "libel" is amply demonstrated by HR referring to the evidence - namely, 2 references to itself, another to the slightly more sophisticated CAMERA and finally a large quote from the far-right UN Watch.

Case closed.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

October 30 Media Critique: “Descent Into Durban 2”

I’m not sure what the ‘media critique’ angle is here. There doesn’t seem to be one.

But, HR hate the UNs Conference on Racism, that much is clear.


The Evil Hamas has abused Israels kindness in allowing some goods into Gaza by cunningly concealing items “under a surface” (?). The offending items were ”camouflage fatigues”. Also smuggled in were “coats, sweaters, hats”.

Without a hint of irony, the quote includes this from an unnamed Israeli “security official

They choose to use the permits provided by Israel for the entry of humanitarian equipment for the organization's own needs


All right thinking people can see how deeply concerned Israel is for the Palestinian population by severely restricting the passage of goods to the 1.5 million people in Gaza, and how Hamas has a callous disregard for them by trying to get in more stuff than Israel will allow.