Looking back, it all seems so predictable. The relentless criticism, the countless sneering jabs from Keith Olbermann directed at the Bush administration were building to an inexorable climax. It came tonight. Olbermann flatly accused the Bush administration of representing "a new type of fascism."
Though the denouement was inevitable, the proximate cause of Olbermann's tirade was Donald Rumsfeld's speech to the American Legion on Tuesday in which he suggested that opponents of the war in Iraq have adopted the same attitude that slowed a military response to Hitler. Rumsfeld asserted that radical Islam represents "a new type of fascism."
There has been quite a bit of debate in the blogosphere surrounding this story (note: link has been deactivated) of several days ago:
An Israeli air strike hit a Reuters vehicle in Gaza City on Saturday,
wounding two journalists as they covered a military incursion, doctors
and residents said.
One of the Palestinian journalists, who worked for a local media
organization, was seriously wounded. A cameraman working for Reuters
was knocked unconscious in the air strike, one of several in the area.
Elsewhere on the fake Middle Eastern news front, the Second Draft has two must-see videos (HT: Instapundit) that look at a famous "news" item from 2000 in which a young Palestinian boy is reportedly shot by Israeli soldiers while crouching behind a barrel. The footage was filmed by a Palestinian cameraman working for a French television station. Upon further examination, like many pictures from that part of the world, the video appears to not be what actually happened.
The documentary looks at other video shot by cameramen sitting behind the boy and his father, right in the line of Israeli fire who did not sustain any injuries, leading to the conclusion that the boy was not killed by Israelis but by Palestinians. Follow the link above for the second video. Both are downloadable on the Second Draft site for those unable to view Flash.
Reuters claims this armored car was hit by two missiles from an Israeli helicopter.
As you can see, Isreal's new missiles are quite different than the
standard Hellfire and TOW ATGMs of the past, both of which, designed
for tanks, would have minced an armored car such as this one. Ths
armored car is said to have been hit not once, but twice by missiles, and the only apparent damage is a hole that seems to be surrounded by rust. Corrosion, or explosion?
I think it is fairly obvious that if the Israelis did fire two
missiles at this armor car, that the car did not take a direct hit.
Tanks can't survive the ATGMs Israel uses on their helicopters, and
armored cars have much thinner armor than tanks. It would have cut
through one side, detonated, and left a shattered, burning hulk. There
was no explosion, and even a dud would have completely punched through
the vehicle, exiting the other side with a noticable hole. The photo
below shows no such penetration on the opposite side.
As Dave Pierre notes, some newspapers can be proven to find Jill Carroll of the Christian Science Monitor a more newsworthy hostage than Fox News Channel's Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig. It's certainly true of the Washington Post, which never put Steve and Olaf on page one, even after they were released. On Monday, in his weekly "Critiquing the Press" online chat, Howard Kurtz disagreed with his paper's record:
One of the worst aspects of journalism is that its bias of access. Few journalists ever tell readers what they do to get a story or a picture. As we've learned during the ongoing fauxtography scandal, the Western press has often been complicit or worse in the attempts of terrorist organizations to manipulate the news.
Writing in the New Republic (hat tip: LGF), free lancer Annia Ciezadlo exposes more of Hezbollah's news manufacturing apparatus. The disturbing thing is that until bloggers blew the story open, we heard more complaints about the Bush Administration staging news events than we did about terrorists doing so. We're at the point here where even moral equivalence would be desirable:
Who says Lebanon's tourism
industry is dead? Come to Beirut these days and you can take a guided
tour of Hell, with Hezbollah as your escort. Every day, the Party of
God welcomes visitors to Haret Hreik, in the heart of the city's mostly
Shia southern suburbs. Once home to Hezbollah's headquarters and
Beirut's most densely populated neighborhood, Haret Hreik is now a
smoking swath of wreckage. For the thousands of families who used to
live here, the devastation is almost unimaginable. But, for Hezbollah,
the ruins of this once-bustling neighborhood have become a tourist
attraction--and an invaluable propaganda tool.
NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell continued the skewed media reporting of the Middle East by noting the important social work that Hezbollah does and how the rest of the world has a very supportive take on the terrorist organization.
Liberal TV critic Bob Laurence hypothesized that the scant coverage of the kidnaping of two Fox News journalists was due to the frequency of abductions and the network’s "insulting" attitude towards other media outlets. (According to Laurence, nobody, not even terrorists, like FNC.)
First published as a weekly in 1884 as The Journalist, Editor & Publisher (E&P) is a monthly journal covering the North American newspaper industry.
Since 2002, Greg Mitchell has been the Editor of E&P, and
he writes both an online and print column. While I've never read the
print version, I have occasionally read Mitchell's online Pressing Issues column, and have actually written about what he has had to say twice in the past.
Click. Print. Bang. was a reaction to the mind of Mitchell, as in his column he advocated that the media should attempt to actively undermine (subscriber-only) the current U.S. President:
No matter which party they generally favor or political stripes they
wear, newspapers and other media outlets need to confront the fact that
America faces a crisis almost without equal in recent decades.
Our president, in a time of war, terrorism and nuclear intrigue,
will likely remain in office for another 33 months, with crushingly low
approval ratings that are still inching lower. Facing a similar
problem, voters had a chance to quickly toss Jimmy Carter out of
office, and did so. With a similar lengthy period left on his White
House lease, Richard Nixon quit, facing impeachment. Neither outcome is
at hand this time.
Here's a story you're not likely to see covered by today's MSM TV: the story of a Palestinian boy band who made it big...by writing up a song praising Hezollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah. (Click here for an MP3 of it.)
The song, "Hawk of Lebanon," is mostly a 10-minute repetition of the phrase "Yallah, Nasrallah" along with other delightful lyrics such as "I hope we can destroy your life and make you worry, Zionism and Zionists are the biggest poison in Arab land."
It's taken the Palestine by storm. AP reporter Sarah El Deeb has more:
They were struggling in a boy band, working the West Bank wedding circuit and dreaming of stardom.
Now the five singers who make up the Northern Band have come a little
closer to their goal, with help from an unwitting ally — Hezbollah
guerrilla chief Hassan Nasrallah.
At the height of the
Israel-Hezbollah war, the band wrote new lyrics, in praise of
Nasrallah, for an old tune. The Hawk of Lebanon song tapped into
Nasrallah's huge popularity among Palestinians and became an instant
The song is being played on Arab TV networks, used as a
ring tone for cell phones, passed around on e-mail and distributed on
pirate CDs and tapes.
Everybody on the blogosphere is on this story today, and have been since Drudge broke it mid-morning. Here's just one entry from
Gaza Militants Claim Fox Kidnapping
Anita McNaught, wife of kidnapped journalist Olaf Wiig Freelance cameraman. Olaf Wiig was kidnapped last week A previously unknown militant group has said it kidnapped two journalists seized nine days ago in the Gaza Strip.
A fax from the “Holy Jihad Brigades” to news agencies demanded the US release “Muslim prisoners” within 72 hours.
MsUnderestimated's site has lots of links to many other of the bloggers out there writing about this. AllahPundit at HotAir has the AP video, and Rusty Shackleford at MyPetJawa are posting up-to-the-minute updates.
A group of Israeli filmmakers were dropped from the schedule of the Documentary Film Festival in the French town of Lussas last week with their films replaced by movies by Palestinian and Lebanese filmmakers.
The directors received a letter from the directors of the festival explaining that they were dropped because of the latest Middle East crisis.
In what appears to be the latest in a long list of cultural boycotts against Israeli artists, the letter informed the Israelis that their films would be replaced.
Lack of detachment
According to Ynet News, the letter, signed by the festival’s director, artistic director, and program director, claimed that “it is difficult to look at films from the countries involved in the current war with the same degree of detachment.”
Has Tucker Carlson ever heard of the Marshall Plan? Seriously. The question arises in light of Carlson's show-closing diatribe this afternoon. Tucker was irate that, "now that Israel is done pummeling Lebanon, Uncle Sam wants to help clean up the mess. Your hard-earned tax dollars will include $42 million to help Lebanon's military prepare for deployment in the southern part of the country, rebuild schools and help mop up an oil spill off the Lebanese coast."
He continued: "Here's the question - if the United States was so opposed to the physical destruction of Lebanon, so opposed that we would pay for the reconstruction of Lebanon, why did we allow Israel - and we did allow Israel - to use American arms to pummel Lebanon. Maybe it was a good idea, maybe it wasn't. But the fact that we are paying for the clean-up suggests we were against it in the first place. And if we were against it in the first place, why didn't we do something about it? Good question!" [If Carlson did say so himself].
Read the headline of this AP piece, "Israel Kills 3 Palestinians Near Gaza Border," and you'd be likely to think that it sounds like the typical AP account of any incident involving Israel and the Territories, right?
There is little question that the headline is meant to grab the attention of the reader by implying that Israel had killed 3 Palestinian civilians - otherwise, the copy editor would've used "militants." That headline ( Israel Kills 3 Militants Near Gaza Border ) doesn't sound as "sexy" from a news perspective since shooting terrorists is expected.
To boot, the news agency has established that they're militants, not terrorists. How sensitive of them.
This past Friday, on PBS’s "Washington Week," NBC’s Andrea Mitchell noted that Hezbollah is winning the PR war around the world:
"And, I have to say, if you look at the mainstream media around the world everywhere other than in the United States, it is remarkably pro-Hezbollah. Hezbollah at this point is being described in most places now as a social service organization and a legitimate part of the Lebanese government, not as a terror group.
Was she critical of the world press for covering Hezbollah in this light, or critical of the American press for not being Hezbollah boosters? Her own comments about Hezbollah may provide some insight. As mentioned in Brent Baker’s July 18 CyberAlert, Mitchell praised Hezbollah as a group that provides social services and it’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, as a populist:
Caption:... Hezbollah members began distributing US$12,000 in crisp cash bills Friday to those who lost their homes in the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla) Now that Hezbullah has suddenly morphed into a philanthropic organization, we learn from this photograph that they are distributing approximately US$12,000 to the needy in areas destroyed by Israel. Of course, what is our intrepid photographer obviously not curious enough to know? Well, that Hezbullah has alreadybeendinged for counterfeiting U.S. currency:
One of the most prominent and influential members of the Hizballah terrorist organization, along with two of his companies, was designated by the Treasury Department today under Executive Order 13224. Assad Ahmad Barakat has close ties with Hizballah leadership and has worked closely with numerous Islamic extremists and suspected Hizballah associates in South America's tri-border area (TBA), made up of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. . . .
Once again, it's left to theBlogosphere to ask the questions the media isn't interested in asking.
UPDATE 11:59 EST: I've collected some photographs of what's proving to be the world's newest charity. They are quite amusing.
UPDATE 13:35 EST: Ok, just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, we're now being introduced to Hezbullah Engineering, presumably the only company in the world that can deal with those nasty Zionist craters. The transparency of the anti-American, anti-Israeli press is really starting to shine.
UPDATE 19-AUG-2006 11:50 EST: MechEng has pointed out that $100 bills should have a security seal embedded in them roughly where the Treasury seal is on the front, yet on the wires, we see the silhouette of a bill that does not appear to have such a thread. While not 100% conclusive, I'd say it definitely raises the possibility that these are, quote, "Phonier than a New York politician!"
Editors' note: This post is the beginning of a new NB feature, the weekly recap, a way of summarizing some of the hottest and most-read postings for the week.
It has been quite a diverse week in bias. Newsbusters Executive Editor Matthew Sheffield noted that a popular cartoonist took a racist swipe at Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, portraying him as the slave of colleague Antonin Scalia.
The MRC's Tim Graham covered every aspect of "The Washington Post" and their effort to sink Senator George Allen with "Macaca-gate." You can read more here and here. And for a theory about their excessive coverage, click here.
Regarding the war on terror, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann wondered if the recent arrests in London were timed for political reasons.
Have you heard the news of the latest celebrity political pronouncement?
For those living in a cave, Bernie Mac, Nicole Kidman, Michael Douglas, Danny De Vito, Bruce Willis, and a host of other celebs recently signed an issue ad taking a stand…against terrorism.
Didn't hear about it? That's no surprise. According to Nexis, not a single American news organization other than Fox News Channel has covered it.
Say what you will about celebs "shutting up and singing," but the fact that this isn't getting nearly the coverage given to anti-Bush and anti-American rants of lesser lights like the Dixie Chicks or Michael Moore is a yet another nail in the coffin that the media in this country is sorely lacking in political diversity. (Full text and signers here.)
Sabrina Tavernise reports from a village in Lebanon for Friday's "A Girl's Life Bound Close To Hezbollah," and honors the mantra of the terrorist group as a "social services network," just like her colleague John Kifner did on Wednesday -- and again, without using the word "terrorism."
"Israel's goal of uprooting Hezbollah from southern Lebanon has frequently been questioned by critics who say the group is deeply woven into society and cannot simply be cut out. An afternoon with the Fadlallah family in this southern Lebanese village shows that the group not only is part of society, but also helps form the shape of life itself.
One quick question: Is it appropriate for photographers who are members of a group called Artists Against the War (or translated via google) to be sent into war zones to document the events as they transpire? And, even if Mr. Qusini were not a member of this group, would his objectivity still be called into question by his association with them?
I mean, can we expect someone of that nature to be non-partial in their coverage of events?
Can we trust that they'd be able to tell us the truth about something they're wholly opposed to?
I'd certainly like to hear what you think, whether you're an interested observer, or are a wire photographer. Do memberships in groups like this affect the coverage you would expect from current events?
After reading something like a recent story in the L.A. Times, one is struck with how little "news" or analysis is often included in the "news" paper, and how much evocative, emotive, fluff has replaced any attempt at informing the reader of what is really going on.
In the story titled, "His Heart Was Full for Lebanon and U.S.", writer ... or maybe I should say "story teller" as that seems more descriptive... Sam Quinones, gave us what amounts to a one sided, propagandistic account of the life of a man killed in Lebanon who so "loved" both the USA and Lebanon.
The subtitle pretty much tells the reader the direction of the story.
I would have expected nothing less
from her, since I’ve been on the receiving end of Guerin’s hatred
toward the Jewish State myself. About six years ago, while wandering
through the Old City of Jerusalem with a friend, I chanced upon Guerin
preparing a broadcast. After quietly standing and watching Guerin and
her crew for about one minute, we heard her cameraman ask her: “shall
we start?” To which she replied, “not till these troublemakers leave.”
AP reporter Bassem Mroue runs a personal blog, and Nathan Goulding at NRO's Media Blog found that bashing Israel is one of his extracurricular activities. In addition, one of his personal blog posts resembles a posting made on the official "AP Blog."
Following up on a reader tip, I looked into one of the AP's reporters, Bassem Mroue. Mroue has a personal blog
full of anti-Israeli sentiments including this photo providing some
insight as to what Mroue thinks Israel's goals have been in its
conflict with Hezbollah:
Look at any of the casualty figures coming out of Lebanon in the
world's major media organizations, and you'll see something very close
The Lebanese death toll, meanwhile, rose to 842 when rescue workers
pulled 32 bodies from the rubble in the southern town of Srifa, target
of some of Israel's heaviest bombardment in the 34-day conflict. The
figure was assembled from reports by security and police officials,
doctors and civil defense workers, morgue attendants as well as the
The Israeli toll was 157, including 118 soldiers, according to its military and government.
What is missing from this death toll (which CBS News has now quietly
removed from this web report) are the casualties sustained by
Yes, I'm getting just as tired of this kind of stuff as you are (my bold):
Lebanese civil defense volunteers unload a coffin from a refrigerator
outside the Hakoomy hospital in port city of Tyre, southern Lebanon,
Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2006. At least 842 people were killed in Lebanon during the 34-day campaign, most of them civilians. Israel suffered 157 dead _ including 118 soldiers.(AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)
According to the Associated Press "most" (by definition more than
half; at least 421) of those who died were civilians. Considering AP's
recent track record in Lebanon, I'm disinclined to believe their claim.
Their vague figures run in opposition to what we see here from Strategy Page:
On the ground, Hizbollah lost nearly 600 of its own personnel, and billions of dollars worth of assets and weapons.
If the Hezbollah deaths cited by StrategyPage and Ynet
are correct and the AP's overall casualty count is close to accurate,
then more than 60% of those killed were Hezbollah fighters, even as
Hezbollah attempted to hide behind old women and children.
On Wednesday's Countdown show, while reporting on a recent Zogby poll which found that more Americans can name two of Snow White's dwarves than can name two of America's Supreme Court justices, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann took the opportunity to joke that Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia are "Dopey and Grumpy." The Countdown host also took a shot at President Bush by bringing up Bush's failure to name world leaders in a pop quiz during an interview with Boston TV journalist Andy Hiller in November 1999, and suggested to comedian Mo Rocca that Bush's lack of knowledge is to blame for "current world affairs." Olbermann: "Can you think of any consequences at all that could have stemmed from that candidate's level of knowledge? Is that being reflected at all in the current world affairs?" (Transcript follows)
"Hezbollah’s reputation as an efficient grass-roots social service network -- as opposed to the Lebanese government, regarded by many here as sleek men in suits doing well -- was in evidence everywhere. Young men with walkie-talkies and clipboards were in the battered Shiite neighborhoods on the southern edge of Bint Jbail, taking notes on the extent of the damage."
Thanks to some intrepid digging from commenters Lancelot and Harris at EU Referendum, another video of the events at Qana has been found. This is one that I have never seen before and really shows what was going on that day. It is truly a must see for anyone that believes that the photos at Qana were staged. It completely debunks the "our photographers do not set up photos" and "the rescuers were not holding up the children for photos" claims.
Believe it or not, it is a link from Wikipedia of all places. Here's the direct link to the video. If you can't the video to load through the direct link, go to Wikipedia and scroll down to External Links (Resources) and click on the first video listed. The video is approx 13 minutes long and does have a good bit of anchorperson commentary in Arabic. Also be advised that some of the images are graphic...
Pay close attention to this footage...
At 0:53 there is new footage of Mr. Green Helmet serving as director of the scene. He's standing over some victims and gesturing to someone off camera. One thing is for sure - he is in NO HURRY in this footage.
At 8:29 we see Mr. Green Helmet taking off for his run with the little girl in the multicolored pants. What makes this interesting is Mr. Green Helmet is standing still with the child, then turns and starts off at a quick pace. As Mr. GH turns, a cameraman crosses behind him. It is obvious that Mr. GH was posing with the child for the cameraman prior to his "run".
Yesterday I quipped that I found Gatorade's new energy Drink
"self-Propel," after discovering a series of three pictures by Reuters
photographer Zohra Bensemra. In those photos, a mysteriously mobile
bottle of water appears and disappears beside an elderly injured woman
that Bensemra said was waiting to be rescued, and was made to appear
The moving bottle and other suspicious elements in the photos lead
me to believe that this series of photos, like so many already
discovered coming from Arab Muslim stringers in Lebanon, were quite
The curious composition of Bensemra's photos continued today, as this one was, err, unearthed in Yahoo's Photostream: