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Burdening only Israel with a journalistic burden of proof

Burdening only Israel with a journalistic burden of proof

Mideast Media Sampler – 08/24/2013

In the little town of Candor in the last year of my youth
I learned the final lesson of the levels to the truth – The Mayor of Candor Lied – Harry Chapin

There was a line in a recent New York Times report that made me think about how the New York Times shades the truth. The report was about the increasingly contentious relationship between Egypt’s interim government and the international media.

Officials now charge, without evidence, that many protesters are Syrian or Palestinian.

Apparently that’s the standard of the New York Times. To be true, an assertion must be supported with evidence. Or does it?

In recent weeks we’ve seen a number of articles that demonstrate how the New York Times deals with demanding proof of an assertions validity.

Earlier this month, Israel was about to restart peace talks with the Palestinians, after agreeing to release 104 murderers from jail. The New York Times reported On Eve of Talks, Israel Approves More Housing and Stops a Rocket:

In a new affront to the Palestinians on the eve of resumed peace talks, the Israeli Interior Ministry’s final approval of nearly 900 new apartments in a contested part of Jerusalem has been officially published, Israeli news media reported Tuesday. It was Israel’s second move since Sunday to advance housing construction in areas sought by the Palestinians for a future state.

But as the article later reported, Secretary of State John Kerry said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had been “completely upfront with me and with President Abbas that he would be announcing some additional building that would take place in places that will not affect the peace map.”

Even after the reporting effectively refuted the idea that the announcement was an affront, the reporter still used the loaded language. (Of course, she also provided outraged quotes from Palestinians. But was she reporting the outrage; or seeking to validate it?) When Palestinians take offense in the New York Times, no qualification is necessary.

In contrast, another article from the same time told of the differing approaches of the two societies to the prisoners who were to be released:

They are widely viewed in Palestinian society as political prisoners, but most Israelis see them as terrorists.

They are terrorists. They are not political prisoners. Palestinian society (and its cheerleaders) is the exception and yet the Times portrays both sides as equally valid. “Most Israelis?” Actually most civilized people consider the murderers of innocents to be terrorists.

Affronts to Israel are qualified.

In another dazzling display of logical acrobatics, the New York Times managed to imply that Israel was guilty of a terrorist bombing in Lebanon.

Last week a powerful car bomb exploded in Beirut killing at least 27 people. There are two true statements about the news of this terrorism.
a) A Sunni group called the Brigades of Aisha took responsibility for the attack.
b) A Lebanese political analyst suggested that Israel may have been responsible.

Guess which true statement made it into the New York Times.

In Deadly Blast Rocks a Hezbollah Stronghold in Lebanon, New York Times reporter Ben Hubbard first wrote that there were “no credible claims of responsibility” but towards the end he quoted the Lebanese analyst:

Talal Atrissi, a Lebanese political analyst, said he did not rule out Israeli involvement. Israel, along with the United States and the European Union, considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization, and it has assassinated many of its leaders. The bombing took place one day before Hezbollah’s annual commemoration of its one-month war with Israel in 2006.

So it’s true that Talal Atrissi suggested that Israel may have been responsible. But it’s also true that Atrissi made his absurd suggestion with no evidence, which had been the standard at the New York Times elsewhere. Worse, the reporter added a sentence to suggest (again with no evidence) that maybe there was something to the suggestion.

More recently the usually execrable Robert Mackey did some fact checking of his own, in Israel Behind Egypt’s Coup, Erdogan Says. After claiming that he had evidence that Israel was behind the ouster of Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi. Well Erdogan had proof.

Mr. Erdogan’s office later confirmed that he was referring to a YouTube video of remarks Mr. Lévy made in 2011 during a discussion of “Israel and the Arab Spring” with the Israeli politician Tzipi Livni at Tel Aviv University.

In the video Tzippi Livni, who was in the Israeli government and the Jewish philosopher, Bernard Henri Levi were discussing a hypothetical Muslim Brotherhood electoral victory. Levi was simply saying that he thought that Islamists were a danger to any society that they ruled. So yes Erdogan had evidence, it just wasn’t evidence of the conspiracy theory he was peddling. Mackey’s aware of this and then writes:

It remains unclear why Mr. Erdogan interpreted comments from a French philosopher who holds no official position in his home country or in Israel as “evidence” of Israeli responsibility for the coup in Egypt. As my colleague Jodi Rudoren reported this week, Israeli officials have welcomed the coup and acknowledged waging a “diplomatic campaign urging Europe and the United States to support the military-backed government in Egypt despite its deadly crackdown on Islamist protesters.”

“[R]emains unclear?” Who’s he kidding? Erdogan has a history of such outbursts. But then Mackey suggests that since Israel prefers al-Sisi to Morsi after the fact it’s almost as if Israel conspired to get Morsi removed from office by pointing to a news report that exaggerated Israel’s efforts regarding Egypt.

Like the Lebanese political analyst, Erdogan had no basis for his Jew-centric conspiracy, but the New York Times reporter provided the support to demonstrate that maybe the lunacy wasn’t so irrational.

From these three cases a pattern emerges. When the Times is sympathetic to a cause, they accept claims coming from its partisans without checking. But they demand rigor from causes that they’re hostile towards.

In terms of Israel, that means the craziest charges against Israel will be repeated uncritically and for Israel’s enemies the most absurd sentiment expressed will remain unexamined.

Note:  This post was finalized prior to the Sabbath.


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“‘They are widely viewed in Palestinian society as political prisoners, but most Israelis see them as terrorists.’

They are terrorists. They are not political prisoners.”

They are homicidal butchers.

How about a compromise? “Political butchers.”

And, they are not “suicide bombers.” That is a sick euphemism. They are homicide bombers.

LHC (who marvels at the fact that the descendants of butchers and tanners and other such “dirty work” tradespeople from hundreds of years ago are, to this day, a stigmatized caste in Japan. Japanese burakumin will go to great lengths to hide the dirty occupation of their long-departed ancestors. Contrast that to modern-day Palestinian culture, where homicidal butchers are feted)

Lawyers and politicians always shade the truth. They’re taught how to do this; without even exposing their own opinions. The best way is to adopt the Socratic Method.

Israel is in the position she is in because she OVER VALUED ABBA EBAN. In other words, at the UN, when the accusations got thrown out at Israel, the only standard was the “silver tongued” orator. Arabs, and muslims in general don’t have this. They scream A-lu-lu-Ak-Bar. And, then they duck behind “you’re insulting Mo-ham-head.

Identify the system in play can usually sort out another game plan.

What’s to respect of a country that had Bibi apologize for stopping a naval blockade coming from Turkey? How about “as a gesture of something or other” freeing 26 murderers … who had “trials.” (Or whatever the justice system calls what it does.) And, yet: THEY’RE FREE!

Going after Israel works for Turkey. Works for the saud’s who fund all the terror, world wide. And, who worry ONLY if Israel decides to retaliate with force.

Blood sells newspapers.

And, the Times is bored enough with silver-tongued speakers.

Arik Sharon actually got a letter from Dubya, outlining legitimate settlements. But Obama’s said “private correspondence” doesn’t count for points.

Oh, and obama liked the thrust of the arab spring. While in all the countries hit there’s problems. Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen, Libya, and Egypt. Plus, over in Irak, enough Americans finally learned “hey, those people are not like us.”

Add to this that the saud’s are funding termoil in Syria. (Even if you don’t like him much, Assad is really the leader over there. And, because we’ve allowed the saud’s to arm one end of the rebels … The Sunni side. While the Lebanese Nasrallah. And, the Iranians. Have joined the battle, which is on-going. Russia became the leading adviser, and arms dealer. Big business on the International scene.

While all America has is this aged antisemitic General Dempsey, directing Jordanian troops at Assad. So that Obama can put into place a “no pants flying zone.”

Obama is aware that dead Americans would pretty much anger Americans enough to look to have him impeached … just to slow him down … Did “do something” … the day “gas” took off and killed 1000 males … who probably came in to Da-ha-ha via black helicopters.

At the UN, China and Russia stand together.

At the UN, America stands with France. Which should be sarcasm, but it isn’t.

Oh, while in Israel, the “silver tongued orator” is Livni. This too would be worthy of a sarcasm tag, but it’s real.

NYT has always had liberal op-ed pages, and their coverage was more penetrating on issues of concern to liberals. But while Abe Rosenthal was running the show, the news columns were reliably vetted for accuracy and nearly always included comment from both sides of an issue presented in neutral fashion.

But then the Sulzberger-Ochs family, controlling owners and beneficiaries (over 200 family members earn their living by the dividends) decided their idiot scion, “Pinch,” should be the boss. It’s been straight downhill into a joke of a rag ever since.

Israel gets what it deserves because the Israeli government asks for it.

You want to be with the in crowd, the cool Jew-hating kids? You gotta give the Muslims what they want so they can kill you. You gotta release the murderers of your people. You gotta let MB-boy, Barack Obama, talk you into a cessation of construction in your own country. You gotta let the UN kick you around whilst the Muslims grease the palms of the craven bastards there. You gotta let the global Jew-hating bastards stick their embassies in Tel Aviv instead of telling them FU, you want an embassy in my country it goes in Jerusalem or get the hell out cuz Jerusalem is MINE! It’s MY capital!

If you want it to stop, you gotta kick arse and take names. You gotta go in hard and tell the world body STFU, you don’t live here and you don’t have your children terrorized by in-coming from Gaza and Sinai; you don’t have a small stinking bit of land that was yours since Colt .45 was a derringer, and have some nutty-arsed Muslims trying to rewrite your Scriptures and insert themselves everywhere in it so they can lay claim to your territory and your history; you don’t have a frickin’ bunch of anti-Semites who think they only good Jew is a dead Jew calling you genocidal maniacs who want to wipe out the genocidal maniacs trying to wipe you out.

So, every time Israel bends over and says “KICK ME!” the bloody world body does, and she deserves what she gets.

So, Israel, tell the bloody world bugger off! Stop depending on the bastards who want you dead and depend only on HE who can give and take away life. If you can’t do that, then you deserve the crap you’re taking from the morons.

“Note: This post was finalized prior to the Sabbath.”

Thank you, Dr. Gerstman. It’s good to see people respecting the traditions.

Note the end of the article, the real news. “Stops a rocket”. Those rockets were FROM THE NORTH, I suppose Lebanon. Only one was stopped, the rest “landed in open areas”. Civil Defense says I have one minute to get to shelter. The people in Nahariya, the city in the area they landed, have ZERO.