"This is an important moment, that the Palestinian resistance must seize. It benefited from [a similar moment] at the beginning of the Al-Aqsa [Intifada], when the West Bank and Gaza spoke the Lebanese language, after they had long been immersed in American and Israeli illusions. And following [the Al-Aqsa Intifada], the incomplete [Israeli] withdrawal from the Gaza Strip was carried out.
What do you know, but it would seem that today, the wires are teeming with photographs of Palestinian "youths" (all men in their 20's, from the looks of it) throwing stones at IDF soldiers. I haven't seen any photographs of Israeli troops yet, but expect to see the standard formulaic shot of a Palestinian "youth" throwing a stone at a heavily-armored Israeli tank. I'd also expect that we won't see any photographs of the terrorists who are doing any of the actual shooting at the Israelis, but we're used to not seeing that by now, right?
According to the AP, two Fox employees, one being reporter Steve Centanni, were kidnapped by Palestinians in Gaza earlier today. Fox is barely speaking about this at all, and I'm tending to think it's to keep it out of the spotlight while negotiations are on-going. Only Jennifer Griffin would mention this as she was interviewed from Kiryat Shmona (video link by MsUnderestimated) this afternoon. God speed and I hope for a quick release of these hostages. My prayers are with the entire Fox family now, even though the lunatics over at DU are voicing their "wishes" about who they wanted it to have been.
According to Reuters photographer Zohra Bensemra, an elderly injured
woman lies injured in the ruins of her house, awaiting rescue as
Let's for a moment try to look past the staging elements that we've become accustomed to searching for over the past weeks.
Ignore for a moment the fact that a wounded elderly woman in a
bombed out building is unlikely to be in the kind of physical condition
needed to drag several pristine sofa pillows through the rubble and
make a bed out of them. Look past the fact that she, in her weakened
condition, has found a nearly spotless black blanket in the fine gray
dust of a bombed out building to cover her legs against the 80 degree
cold. Ignore the conveniently-placed bottled water she somehow found
intact and had for the middle photo only.
"Thousands of people rallied near the White House on Saturday to protest what they described as Israeli aggression in Lebanon and the United States' unwavering support for Israel."
It may not be his normal beat, but Pear proves he has what it takes to cover political stories for the Times -- an apparent deep need to portray any group of Muslims, whether terrorist suspects or anti-war activists, as "diverse": "The diverse crowd included many Arab-Americans and Muslims, college students and families, as well as veterans of prior demonstrations against the war in Iraq."
of the photographer's comment (it appears that Denton's original is
gone, but that another commenter reposted it within his own comment;
scroll down to "Andy Levin Fri Aug 11 09:54:08")
i have been working in lebanon since all this started,
and seeing the behavior of many of the lebanese wire service
photographers has been a bit unsettling. while hajj has garnered a lot
of attention for his doctoring of images digitally, whether guilty or
not, i have been witness to the daily practice of directed shots, one
case where a group of wire photogs were coreographing the unearthing of
bodies, directing emergency workers here and there, asking them to
position bodies just so, even remove bodies that have already been put
in graves so that they can photograph them in peoples arms. these
photographers have come away with powerful shots, that required no
manipulation digitally, but instead, manipulation on a human level, and
this itself is a bigger ethical problem.
Last week, I documented here the way CNN leaned over backwards for balance in a story. In the wake of the Seattle Jewish Center shooting, it equated the fear of Jewish-Americans of similar incidents . . . with the fear of Hezbollah supporters of being unfairly accused.
Although it wasn't nearly so egregious, Fox News Channel's Anita Vogel [seen here in a file photo] just engaged in some over-reaching herself in the name of balance. She narrated an otherwise solid segment on 'fauxtography' and other ways in which the media and Hezbollah supporters manipulate the news. The segment included an interview with star blogger Charles Johnson, founder of Little Green Footballs, who played a key role in outing the smoky Beirut-skyline bit of fauxtography.
But then, searching for balance where there really is little or none to be had, Vogel claimed that the Israeli government also manipulates the news:
"But we need to keep in mind, there are other ways foreign governments control the media. The Israeli government exercises control over the media during wartime, like prohibiting them from reporting on real-time rocket strikes and places in northern Israel where officials are visiting due to safety concerns."
Lebanese civil defense rescuers, try to remove two blanket-wrapped
bodies, found trapped under debris and concrete of the destroyed
buildings, attacked late Monday by Israeli airstrike, in the southern
Beirut suburb of Chiah, Lebanon, Tuesday Aug. 8, 2006. The raid on the
Muslim southern suburb next to a Christian neighborhood killed at least
15 people, police officials said. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
The bodies were found already wrapped in blankets under the debris of the building.
Lebanon - Abu Shadi Jradi pulled bodies out of wreckage for hours — two
toddler girls wearing tiny gold earrings, a small boy whose pale blue
pacifier still hung from his neck. Somewhere in the middle, Jradi
slumped beneath a tree and wept.
I addressed the AP's defense of Lebanese Civilian Defense worker Salam Daher previously,
now more information is coming out. It turns out that the author of
that defense, Kathy Gannon is AP's Burea Chief in Iran. It's only
speculation, but I wonder how long she'd be effective in that
assignment if she published something negative about Iran, or Hezbollah.
And now someone is claiming to have witnessed photographers go as far as to re-use dead bodies for photo ops in Lebanon.
An AP article white washes a Lebanese
Civil Defense worker bloggers suspect of disseminating Hezbollah
propaganda. And they quote a colleague who apparently doesn't have any
concerns about sharing information with Hezbollah to back him up. From the article:
Twenty-eight bodies were recovered — more than half of them children.
Interesting, given that said Civil Defense worker evidently told the Lebanese press on July 30th:
The bodies of 37 children were among those recovered from under the rubble of dozens of a building which collapsed after the bombardment, said Salam Daher, the civil defense chief in the region.
Angelo Frammartino came to Israel to help with a camp for Palestinian children and got a knife in the back instead. Wire service and Italian news accounts depict an idealistic young pacifist, martyred in the cause of peace. United Press International reports:
JERUSALEM, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- An Italian law student, visiting Israel to help with a camp for Palestinian children, was stabbed to death in Jerusalem in what police call a terror attack.
"In a world with hate running through it, a voice that firmly believed in dialogue and solidarity has been silenced," Marrazzo added. "We want to use his own words to talk about him: Make love with non-violence to give birth to peace from the womb of society'," de Palma said .
But Australian blogger Israelly Cool discovered some more details about Frammartino's pacifist philosophy.
It doesn't take much to offend liberals' exquisite sensitivities. The latest? Referring to Islamofascists as . . . Islamofascists. Chris Matthews got the ball rolling on this evening's Hardball. But Charlie Rangel upped the ante to the max, managing to impugn Christians and Jews in the bargain. Fortunately, GOP Congressman Dan Lungren had the guts to call Rangel on it.
Matthews got things started by challenging Lungren: "Would you include Hezbollah in that group [of Islamofascists]? Would you include Hamas, they are they enemies of Israel. Are they also enemies of ours? Are they also fascists because they have a dispute with Israel? Anybody who is against us is a fascist now."
Rangel sent things to the moon a bit later with this line: "You take Islamic and you call them fascists, you call them radical. You never called Hitler a Christian fascist. This is insulting to an entire religion."
Putting aside more conspiratorially-minded critics of the mainstream
media, genuine practical concerns and mounting evidence suggest
Western media has been co-opted by Hezbollah in Lebanon to a
significant agree. So much so, in fact, that it may be unable to paint
an accurate picture of the current conflict.
The two year old image at right is from a Reuters video of
Palestinian terrorists escaping from an action in Israel with the aid
of a UN van. Video here.
The decision by America's MSM not to publish it at the time may
represent press bias, or that its concern for American's right to know
is somewhat selective. However, it also serves to make another
Service organizations like the UN and the Red Cross often rely on
local individuals to flesh out their staffs. Obviously, there are areas
of the world where it's difficult to tell the good guys from the bad
and sometimes the bad guys may represent the majority of the local
population. Such may be the case in Southern Lebanon and it invites the
kind of co-optation witnessed above.
With the MSM having decided to rely heavily on local stringers in
covering the Israeli Hezbollah conflict in Southern Lebanon, their
coverage appears to have fallen prey to manipulation by a terrorist
group, or at least its propaganda machine.
Quick Take: Reuters' initial reaction to the UK airliner bomb plot arrests was to tie it to Tony Blair and Israel's actions in Lebanon. A later story, perhaps in response to blog criticism of the original, added the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as "reasons." Nowhere is the idea that Islamic Jihadism, independent of day-to-day events in the Middle East, is involved. More important, and worse -- Articles containing speculation gone wild are allowed to go out disguised as "objective" news pieces.
Here, from The Washington Post at 2:13 AM (article saved to my hard drive to guard against the "memory-hole effect) are three paragraphs from a Reuters story on the UK airliner bomb plot arrests (paras 9, 10, and 11):
Following the arrests, security at all British airports was increased and additional security measures put in place for all flights.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has come under strong criticism at home and abroad for following the U.S. lead and refusing to call for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas.
The security alert comes 13 months after four Islamist suicide bombers killed 52 people on London's transport network on July 7 last year.
It is certainly true that a picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to news photographs, and it’s especially true of news photographs from war zones.
One of the famous photos from the war was a 1968 Eddie Adams photo for the Associated Press showing a general shooting a Viet Cong fighter in the head with a pistol on a Saigon street. That picture became the left’s rally poster for American withdrawal from Vietnam. Adams won the Pulitzer in 1969 for his Vietnam photos, but he regretted the unintended consequences to his dying day. As he wrote in Time magazine, "The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths."
Brenda Goodman follows up on her NY Times story on the loss in the Democratic primary by inflammatory Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, but lets her allies blame the Republicans in "Democrat Says G.O.P. Voters Led to Her Loss."
As she did yesterday, Goodman ignores McKinney's nutty statements alleging 9-11 conspiracies and her anti-Israel animus, saying today only that many new district voters "were not impressed by her confrontational and occasionally erratic style."
In a special bonus feature in our ongoing “Friday Night Fights” segment, a real barnburner took place Wednesday evening on CNN’s “Larry King Live.” In the left corner, Air America radio personality Randi Rhodes. In the right corner, nationally syndicated radio host Neal Boortz (hat tip to Ms Underestimated with extraordinary video to follow).
As fight lovers would expect, this was a classic battle between the conservative approach to boxing with the more progressive tactics of an extreme southpaw. This was evidenced right after the opening bell, as Boortz jabbed with why Israel has to defend itself:
That truth is the first casualty of war has been borne home by the proliferating 'fauxtography' scandal of photographs of the current Middle East crisis doctored or staged so as to portray Israel in the worst possible light. At this point, can we look at any image from the area without a good dose of doubt?
Take this morning's report on the Today show. NBC's Richard Engel, in Tyre, Lebanon, reported that:
"The fighting has made humanitarian relief efforts almost impossible. Israel has cut roads and attacked vehicles, isolating Hezbollah and everyone else."
This was followed by a clip of the unidentified individual pictured here. Judging by his words and accent, he might have been a Red Cross official. He asserted:
"Lots of people have died because they just couldn't make it to a hospital in time. Ambulances clearly marked with the Red Cross were hit right in the middle of the roof of the car. The Red Cross stands for protection and neutrality. This should not have happened."
Our own Michelle Humphrey noticed that NBC anchor Brian Williams appeared Tuesday on "The Daily Show," and in the midst of all the chummy banter, Jon Stewart was still cracking wise, in the face of the evidence, that the federal government has/had no presence in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. MRC intern Eugene Gibilaro transcribed it:
"You just came back from Lebanon. In the Lebanon or in New Orleans, which do you think had the stronger U.S. Government presence?" [Laughter]
Brian Williams only paused, and said with a smirk: "Somebody came to play."
P.S.: You might find the mention of Reutergate interesting, especially how Williams said (joked?) the fighting in Lebanon is "too real" for Hezbollah media manipulation:
Bloggers—and to a much lesser extent some media outlets—have paid
considerable attention to specific examples of media manipulation in
the war being fought between Hezbollah and the IDF in Lebanon and
Israel, but we seem be under-covering the overall framing of the
media's coverage, particularly when it comes to the subject matter
chosen for coverage.
This comes into sharp relief when contrasted against the coverage
we've become used to from the war in Iraq, particularly as it relates
to the media coverage allowed and provided by two different
insurgencies in Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iraq's predominately Sunni
In Iraq, we’ve become somewhat used to embedded reporters reporting
from both sides of the conflict with a fairly wide latitude to operate.
Stringers, both print media and photographers, have occasionally
embedded within the insurgency, providing coverage from ambushes and
sniper's nests alike. The insurgents themselves often seem to be media
hungry, filming operations themselves and often releasing the tapes to
the media or producing them on DVDs for public consumption in Iraq and
throughout the Middle East.
By and large, the vast majority of video reporting allowed and
encouraged by the Iraqi insurgency is combat-related. IED ambushes are
particularly popular, often released as montages set to Islamist music
as propaganda videos. The Iraqi insurgents have often seemed intent on
portraying themselves as rebel forces actively waging a war for the
people, whether or not the people would always agree.
Hezbollah, however, seems to be fighting a different kind of media war.
Tucker Carlson stopped short of saying that some of his best friends are Jewish. But he did let us know that "I love Israel, I think it's a wonderful place, I support it completely, I support it instinctively."
That was just before he declared that "I think this war helps Hezbollah. I think it's bad for Israel, bad for the United States. I think you can love Israel and believe this war is a disaster."
And it was just afterhe criticized President Bush for being too pro-Israel.
Carlson turned to Bill Press, his guest on this afternoon's Tucker show on MSNBC, observing:
"You never hear Democrats point out that Bush is not even-handed in the Middle East. You almost never hear anybody criticize the President for taking the side of Israel to the extent that he alienates the Arab world completely. Why doesn't anybody ever mention that?"
The former chairman of the California Dem party gave a response suggesting he might be a proud graduate of the Pat Buchanan 'Amen Corner' School of Foreign Policy:
Talk about striking for pure emotion with headlines! The AP has proclaimed that an "Israeli Strike Kills 13 Near Mourners". But, what does "near mourners" mean? Did Israel strike a funeral procession or not.
AP begins their report giving the reader the feeling that Israel attacked a funeral procession with the following:
"Mourners in a funeral procession for Israeli airstrike victims scattered in panic Tuesday as warplanes again unleashed missiles that hit buildings and killed 13 people, witnesses and officials said."
Yet their very next paragraph proves that the strike was not only NOT upon that funeral procession, but came five minutes after the procession passed the scene of the attack.
It's unquestionable that something bad happened in Qana, Lebanon recently. Was it a massacre of innocent civilians, collateral damage, or a Hezbollah set-up?
It's starting to seem as though it was a combination of all three. The Washington Post's Jefferson Morley, Aziz P, and Ace are some of the bloggers beginning to raise this point. I've excerpted some of their arguments below. If you see any counter-arguments, post them as a comment or email them to me so I can include all sides.
UPDATE 14:25. Dan Riehl theorizes on how Hezbollah might have staged the casualties. Read on past the jump for an excerpt.
UPDATE 14:48. Power Line argues further that Arab stringers for MSM organizations are staging photos.
UPDATE 15:17. Ace has more possibly staged pix, including a mannequin improbably standing upright sporting a wedding dress.
Bring back Katie! OK, perhaps that's not the solution, but the sycophantish display that Ann Curry put on for Queen Noor and her anti-Israel/pro-Hezbollah views was enough to make you pound the TV screen in frustration.
Noor is a Princeton-educated Arab-American who is the widow of the late King Hussein of Jordan. Curry's opening set the tone. Rather than asking a probing question, Ann invited Noor to lecture America: "what insights might you offer America about what Hezbollah wants and what it's willing to do to get it?"
Noor blamed the Jews and lauded Hezbollah: "Hezbollah was created as was Hamas in the Palestinian territories during a period of Israeli occupation which is on-going in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon. Hezbollah was largely responsible and credited by the Lebanese for having creating the pressure for having Israel withdraw from Lebanese territory."
Curry took Noor's notion a grotesque step further: "So it's almost seen as a savior."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann opened his August 7 Countdown show fretting about President Bush's unwillingness to delay his vacation, in contrast with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, during the current fighting in the Middle East, mocking Bush during the teaser by twice uttering the words: "He's on vacation." He even drew a negative parallel from history as he recounted that the Nazi invasion of Europe received a boost while infamous British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain vacationed, as the Countdown host then similarly uttered the words, "Chamberlain was on vacation," to link him to Bush. Olbermann, who has never compared the appeasement-minded Chamberlain to anti-war liberals, then further contrasted Bush with current Prime Minister Blair's decision to cancel his own vacation: "His close ally, Tony Blair, avoided the direct Chamberlain comparison and cancelled his own time off because of the events in the Middle East." Referring to Condoleezza Rice's handling of Middle East negotiations, Olbermann contended that she was "picking up the pieces of the President's foreign policy." (Transcript follows)
The following certainly qualifies as one of the most absurd statements that I’ve heard from a member of the media lately, and as someone that often spends 18 hours a day watching and reading press reports, that’s saying something (hat tip to Hot Air with video available here).
On Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” on CNN, the Washington Post’s Thomas Ricks actually stated with a straight face that Israel is intentionally not destroying all of Hezbollah’s rockets so that some can continue to rain down on Israel killing innocent civilians. This, in Ricks’ view, “helps you with the moral high ground problem, because you know your operations in Lebanon are going to be killing civilians as well.” I kid you not.
Host Howard Kurtz was rather shocked by Ricks’ assertion, and responded almost incredulously:
Disgraced Reuters freelance photographer Adnan Hajj was dismissed by the wire service for altering a photograph of a Lebanese skyline to make the damage caused by Israel look worse (big hat tip to Charles Johnston at Little Green Footballs, who first uncovered the fake photo). More photos by Hajj are being scrutinized, and at least one other photo has been proven to have been digitally altered.
In the ongoing investigation of a Lebanese photographer that has been caught with his hand in the Photoshop jar as reported by NewsBusters here and here, Reuters has made the following announcement:
Reuters withdrew all 920 photographs by a freelance Lebanese photographer from its database on Monday after an urgent review of his work showed he had altered two images from the conflict between Israel and the armed group Hizbollah.
Global Picture Editor Tom Szlukovenyi called the measure precautionary but said the fact that two of the images by photographer Adnan Hajj had been manipulated undermined trust in his entire body of work.
Apparently, Reuters is taking this very seriously:
This one is pretty amazing (hat tip to Drudge). At 8:29AM ET Monday, Reuters reported that 40 people were killed in a Lebanese village by Israeli air strikes. Less than three hours later, the Associated Press reported that the number of casualties had been dropped to one. Here’s the first report:
"An hour ago, a horrific massacre took place in Houla village as a result of the intentional Israeli bombardment that resulted in more than 40 martyrs," Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told an emergency Arab foreign ministers meeting in Beirut.
Residents of Houla said they feared up to 60 people, including many children, had been killed. They said most of the people were shepherds who had refused to flee the fighting.