If the Israeli "massacre" at Qana turns out to be yet another fraud, you can count on the media to quietly let the story slip away, a contrast from the media fireworks that were present when the story was announced. A simple "we were wrong" is is much more embarrassing than hoping everyone will forget the original hype.
As the world watches events unfold in the Middle East from the comfort of their living rooms, evidence is mounting that Hezbollah is using the media in a fashion that would make Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels extremely proud. Such an assertion has far reaching implications to be sure, as it points an accusatory finger at the behavior of the American press as well.
Supporting this contention is a paper written in 1948 by Yale psychology professor Leonard W. Doob entitled “Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda.” In it, Doob enunciated the famed Nazi’s nineteen-point plan for the effective use of the media to advance Germany’s goals.
Fifty-eight years later, a Haaretz article published Thursday outlined the power of the Hezbollah propaganda machine. So coordinated are these efforts that it is easy to imagine the terrorist organization using Goebbels’ principles as a virtual playbook while it molds events and news reports to impact international opinion. The article began:
For Fox News fans who like Alan Colmes almost as much as they like Eleanor Clift or Helen Thomas, Wednesday night’s “Hannity and Colmes” was a blessed event (hat tip to Expose the Left with a video link to follow).
In a special Wednesday night edition of our ongoing “Friday Night Fights” series, in the left corner, Alan “I’m only here to disagree with everything my more intelligent partner says” Colmes. In the right corner, Mark “The Great One” Levin. Let’s get ready to rrrrrrrummmmmbbbble.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz did a report Thursday (hat tip to Drudge) on the Hezbollah propaganda machine. As one reads the revelations about how this terrorist group uses the media to affect opinion in Lebanon, Israel, and across the globe, it is difficult not to wonder what impact similar efforts by liberal press representatives in America is having on the war in Iraq as well as the war on terrorism.
If Hezbollah-run media are to be believed, then 35 Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed or wounded in Aita Shaab, militants downed an Israeli helicopter and destroyed a house in which IDF soldiers were hiding, and IDF troops are always hit in the back because they are running away.
Appearing on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor Wednesday, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather conceded there's a "problem" with America's media in its treatment of Hezbollah and Israel with "moral equivalence," even including himself as part of the problem. As host Bill O'Reilly brought up the topic, stating his criticism that "Some networks give moral equivalency to Hezbollah in the reporting of this war," Rather voiced agreement and went on to acknowledge the media's reluctance to label Hezbollah as a "terrorist organization." Rather: "It's a problem that those of us in journalism have been reluctant to address -- I do not exclude myself from this criticism -- reluctant to address that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. It's committed to the destruction of Israel. It isn't committed to trying to just gain territory. It's committed to its destruction." (Transcript follows)
An email was sent out to Associated Press staffers that praised the work of its photographers during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. There's even a cash prize of $500 dollars that apparently will get split eight ways. The photographers who took the pictures of dead children in Qana will take part in the reward.
Is this what it takes? If we paid them $500 dollars, maybe photographers in the region would take pictures of terrorists hiding behind human shields.
Last Sunday proved to be one of the most dramatic days in the war between Israel and Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon. AP’s extensive photo team produced a stunning series of images that day that beat the competition and scored huge play worldwide.
Rachel Neuwirth writes in The American Thinker that the media have made the job of the terrorists much easier as the media provide the version of reality the terrorists hope to convey. The media never blame the terrorists who hide behind civilians who get killed, and Neuwirth writes that therefore the media are "directly complicit in enabling this tactic to continue and for more Lebanese civilians to be killed."
A major segment of the global media is behaving in a manner that makes terrorism and mass killings more likely rather than less likely. They enable and encourage terrorist slaughter of innocents by supplying providing a propaganda bonanza for the terrorist cause. Without the gain, there would be less incentive for the horrific behavior.
This is true now with Israeli defense measures against Hezbolla terrorism, and has been true for many years, especially during the long Arab-Israeli conflict. Not enough attention has been paid to media manipulation. It is long overdue that this be exposed and the media be confronted and held accountable.
The Jerusalem Post reports today that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is investigating arguments, first raised by bloggers, that Hamas may have staged the alleged "atrocity" that occurred when building collapsed in the Lebanese city of Qana.
As reported by NewsBusters and elsewhere, significant doubts are being raised as to whether the building's collapse was caused by Israeli bombs or was deliberately destroyed by Hamas to gin up anti-Israeli sentiment.
Mentioned prominently in the article is NewsBuster Bob Owens's blog, Confederate Yankee, which in the fine MSM tradition of accuracy, is called "Conservative Yankee" by the Post. (See Bob's response post here.)
An excerpt from the JP article is after the jump...
A wave of New Testament fever seems to be gripping liberal media types. As reported here, during a recent Good Morning America, Chris Cuomo stated that the Gospel of John identifies Qana as the place where Jesus turned water into wine. Who would have imagined that Adam Shatz - of the far-left Nation magazine - would be a New Testament maven? But, saints alive, he leads his op-ed in today's LA Times with the very same story.
What could account for this new-found interest in the New Testament? You don't suppose it could have anything to do with a desire to add fuel to the anti-Israel fire in the wake of its bombing of Qana, do you?
The Poynter Institute's Romenesko weblog draws some strange letters, where some feel passionately that dictators like Fidel Castro and terrorist groups like Hezbollah have been maligned by media labeling. Yesterday, Harrison Chastang of the non-commercial San Francisco radio station KPOO-FM complained:
Many news outlets doing stories on Cuban leader Fidel Castro's surgery have lead stories with "Cuban dictator Fidel Castro...." The term dictator is rarely, if ever used to describe the leaders of China, Vietnam or Saudi Arabia, all nations with unelected leaders of governments that match the classic description of the term dictatorship. In regards to Castro, the term dictator is the favorite word President Bush and the Miami exile community uses to describe Castro. Do reporters and editors buy into the mindset of the Bush administration and the exile community in using the term dictator to describe Castro, but not leaders of other Communist or unelected governments.
There’s absolutely no doubting where The New Yorker magazine has come down on the War on Terror – it’s been there from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib to insist the anti-terrorist side is full of human rights abusers. Former Time reporter Jon Lee Anderson is the latest New Yorker correspondent on the bandwagon, finding Israel has completely mucked up Lebanon and Hezbollah. PBS gave him a platform on the July 31 edition of "Charlie Rose."
MRC intern Eugene Gibilaro transcribed the exchange. Rose asked simply where "we are in this war," and Anderson was quick to whack Israel: "It’s a scene of devastation in a lot of the places and people coming out, old people, you know about Qana yesterday, the dead children. A fundamental error of the type that often happens in these air wars where inevitably, a refuge full of women and children gets killed and sort of wrong-foots the warring party, in this case Israel, with the preponderance of the military might."
Israel Insider says the Qana incident shows all the classic signs of a staged Israeli "massacre." There is even a term for such fiction, "Pallywood," as NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard reported today.
In the Qana incident, the media reports that a building collapsed and the Israeli Air Force is to blame for dozens of civilian deaths. Israel Insider, a daily Israeli newsmagazine, says they've seen this all before.
The setting was also perfect: Kana was again being used as a primary site for launching rockets against Israeli cities. The IDF reported that more than 150 rockets had been launched from Qana and its vicinity at Israeli civilians, wreaking destruction in Kiryat Shmona, Maalot, Nahariya and Haifa. It was only a matter of time before the Israeli Air Force would come for a visit, using pinpoint targeting of the sites used to launch rockets, Hezbollah logistical centers and weapon storage facilities.
On the morning of July 30, according to the IDF, the air force came in three waves. In the first, between midnight and one in the morning, there was a strike at or near the building that eventually collapsed.
In 1938, the leaders of Europe got together in Munich to, for all intents and purposes, give Czechoslovakia to Germany in exchange for peace in the region. Given the recent events in the Middle East, it quite appears that Israel – though well-intentioned – has performed the same act of appeasement with its enemies, and sadly with the same results.
Take for example the following revelation from an Associated Press article published on July 23:
Syria said it will press for a cease-fire to end the fighting but only in the framework of a broader Middle East peace initiative that would include the return of the Golan Heights.
Middle East-based reporter Neil MacFarquhar appeared on the Charlie Rose show Monday night and made anti-Bush comments regarding Israel’s war against the terrorist group Hezbollah. (All quotes courtesy of Nexis).
When Rose asks MacFarquhar if the Israel-Hezbollah war had increased hatred of the United States among Arabs, MacFarquhar became disconsolate, regretting the U.S. was expediting its supplying of weaponry to Israel and longing for the innocent milkmen of the Kennedy years:
In light of recent revelations of possible media manipulation in Qana, Lebanon, as reported by NewsBusters Monday, a 2005 video has been circulating throughout the Internet (hat tip to Ms. Underestimated with extraordinary video link to follow). In reality, this is an almost unbelievable look at how film footage from Israel that made national news after the Second Intifada began in September 2000 (including CBS’s “60 Minutes”) appears to have been staged, choreographed, and produced rather than real events that transpired in front of video cameras.
The film's producer, Dr. Richard Landes, teaches history at Boston University, and is the co-founder and Director of the Center for Millennial Studies. He also is the proprietor of The Second Draft, a website “devoted to exploring some of the problems and issues that plague modern journalism”:
Tim Russert used his Today show appearance this morning to paint a bleak tour d'horizon of Bush foreign policy, expressing the fond wish - in guise of a question - that the American people might come to their senses and throw the bums out at the mid-term elections.
Interviewed by co-host Campbell Brown, Russert first asked: "What's the end game? The concern among Republicans I've talked to is how are the American people viewing this? Is this blind allegiance to Israel or is this standing by the only ally we have in the region? They don't know how much longer there will be patience with the American people."
Russert later made the electoral connection, after casting matters in their darkest light. Rather than speaking of nascent democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the current opportunity to defang Hezbollah, Russert portrayed things this way:
When the Allies faced fascist foes in WWII, they called for unconditional surrender. Confronted today by the new face of facism, the Boston Globe calls for 'unconditional, immediate cease-fire.'
By its editorial of this morning, the Globe would reward Hezbollah for its barbarous use of human shields. On the one hand, it acknowledges that the terror group 'has placed its rocket-launchers . . . unconscionably close to settled areas.' But since the result are the very civilian casualties that Hezbollah was looking to provoke, the Globe criticizes the Bush administration for its 'failure to restrain Israel.'
You’d hardly know that all of Israel is under siege. The networks would rather you stay tuned to their pictures from Lebanon. According to ABC-TV, CNN and other “Friends of Hezbollah”, never mind who started this, and forget the million and a half Israelis who’ve been made homeless.
As usual, NPR Radio is serving as propaganda minister for terror and, also as usual, Israel is at war with the press.
Or rather, the press is at war with Israel.
Any mention of the 200 bombs falling on Israel from day to night? Hardly. What about the thousands of Israelis wounded in flesh and in spirit – meaning shell-shocked today and perhaps for the rest of their lives? No, there’s no time for this. Forget Haifa’s Rambam Hospital. The pictures from Lebanon are better, much better than pictures from Meron, Israel, where seven-year-old Omer Pesachov was murdered along with his grandmother as the result of Hezbollah missiles.
NBC reporter Richard Engel sure has some severely selective sources. On the one hand, he's overflowing with information reinforcing the image of Hezbollah as a kindly humanitarian organization that was providing "supplies and relief" to the residents of Qana. On the other hand, he has "no evidence" that Hezbollah was using Qana residents as human shields for purposes of launching rockets.
Engel reported live from Tyre in southern Lebanon during this afternoon's 'The Most' on MSNBC, with host Alison Stewart. Speaking of events in Qana, Engel claimed:
"I got no indication [the people of Qana] were being held against their will. Just the opposite, it seemed Hezbollah was helping these people, providing them with food and water. These were some of the [poorest] people in the town, those with money had already left. They were staying in this section of town because there was food and water. Hezbollah were giving them supplies and relief."
On Yesterday's CNN "Late Edition," host Wolf Blitzer interviewed Syrian Cabinet Minister Bouthaina Shaaban. Greg Tinti at Outside the Beltway reports that Wolf allowed Shaaban "to get away with rhetorical murder without ever bothering to challenge her B.S."
After warning Wolf that the world needs to stop Israel now before it takes this conflict beyond the Middle East, Shaaban tells Wolf to "remember" that, "Nazi Germany was claiming that it was fighting terrorism and then the whole world had to stop that. We are fighting something very similar to what happened as a result of the actions of Nazi Germany against civilians."
Notice that there’s absolutely no follow-up from Blitzer. Nothing. He just moves on to the next question as if Shaaban had said that the sky is blue. Unbelievable. When anyone–especially someone of Shaaban’s status–equates the actions of Israel today to those of the Nazi Germany, he should be challenged and made to look like the fool that he is.
When the Washington Post tries to condemn other newspapers as tabloid journalists, there’s always today’s paper for rebuttal. Reporter Anthony Shadid’s front-page story on the deaths of women and children at Qana carried this emotionally manipulative headline, quoting Khalil Burji, a man watching recovery efforts, after the jump on page A8, all across the page:
‘The Child Who Choked to Death, What Was His Sin?’
Normally, people expect that a media outlet with an unadmitted agenda will keep its political views to its news and opinion pages. This usually isn't the case, though, as today's New York Times demonstrates.
Inside the arts section is a 1400-word article about how the cultural scene of Beirut has been damaged by Israel in the course of the war between Lebanon and the Jewish state.
There's no denying that such destruction is unfortunate, but the fact that the Times doesn't even bother to mention similar problems created by the war for Israelis doesn't even rise to the low standard of moral equivalence.
There was a feeling of surreality this morning in watching the segment on Good Morning America. There was Chris Cuomo [son of Dem ex-NYS Gov. Mario, brother of Andrew, current Dem candidate for NYS Attorney General] chatting with former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos.
Was this an ABC 'news' interview between two of its employees - or had I mistakenly tuned to a CSPAN broadcast of a DNC coffee klatsch?
Cuomo had a fine line to walk. With brother Andy running for office in New York, being too critical of Israel could be impolitic. Chris focused on what came naturally: accusing the Bush administration of 'failure.'
Cuomo's opening question for Stephanopoulos: "The Secretary [of State Condi Rice] is in the air and she's heading to the U.N. Was this situation a failure for her and what needs to change when she hits the ground?"
The more I see about the timeline in Qana, the more I doubt the story being told to us by the world's media.
Katherine Shrader and Kathy Gannon of AP make the strike and its effect seem immediate:
A three-story house on the outskirts of Qana was leveled when a missile crashed into it at 1 a.m. Red Cross officials said 56 were killed and police said 34 children and 12 adult women were among the dead. It was worst single strike since Israel's campaign in Lebanon began on July 12 when Hezbollah militants crossed the border into Israel and abducted two soldiers.
But we know that the immediacy of the collapse given in this timeline to be a false construct. Many hours before this AP story was released, the IDF had already reported that the building did not collapse until 8 A.M.
Without a doubt, Americans who have even a rudimentary understanding of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and Islamic terrorism must be amazed by the continued ignorance being exhibited by the mainstream media as hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel exploded in the past three weeks. One of the finest examples of this occurred on “The Chris Matthews Show” Sunday when the host concluded the program by actually blaming this flare up on – drum roll please – George W. Bush and the war in Iraq.
If private citizens met a few years ago with the ambassador of a hostile country, then top US officials should do the same in the current sensitive context. That was the liberal logic Ellen Ratner of Talk Radio News put on display this morning during 'The Long & the Short of It' segment on Fox & Friends Weekend. The topic was the conflict in the Middle East. Ratner decreed that the time had come for bringing in the "partners" in the area, and that in addition to Lebanon, "that means Syria." Syria? Partner? What-evuh.
Complained Ellen: "We have not even spoken to the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations" adding - as if this clinched the case - "somebody Jim and I met with!" Concluded Ratner: "The United States has not spoken to him in a year-and-a-half, and he's in Washington!"
Along the way, Cooper states as fact the usual misleading clichés about Bush’s “go-it-alone approach” to diplomacy and war.
“For the past year, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has worked assiduously to resurrect the importance of traditional diplomacy and building consensus among world leaders after America’s go-it-alone approach to Iraq.”