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
Many people would presumably be interested in knowing the toll the
war has had on Hezbollah, as Hezbollah's actions did indeed trigger
this latest war. But a recalcitrant media has steadfastly refused to
provide these figures.
The Israel Defense Forces, as a standard practice, makes an effort
to photograph and document each Hezbollah fighter confirmed killed, and
also estimates the number of unconfirmed/unclaimed Hezbollah casualties
from air strikes and artillery fire. Certainly, a media that has spent
a considerable amount of their time and resources ferreting out and
reporting America's secret national security programs could easily
access unclassified information, some of which has been published on
the IDF's own web site.
Even a cursory analysis of the world's media reporting out of Lebanon
reveals that in photographs, on video and radio broadcasts, and in
print, Hezbollah casualties are almost never reported. So why does the
media choose to underreport Hezbollah's casualties?
The answer may at least partially lie in stories of Lebanese casualties that the world media does
choose to report. Story after story, photo after photo, dead and
distraught Lebanese civilians clog the mediastream, building a false,
grim montage of a war in which primarily Israeli soldiers and Lebanese
This is not the whole truth of this war, but a partial truth
developed through complacency and an apparent willful disregard to
report the facts on the ground. Instead of seeking and publishing the
entire truth, newsrooms have decided that they will publish the stories
and images framed by foreign, mostly Arab Muslim reporters, even though
their own cultural interests in these events are a clear and undeniable
conflict of interest precluding even a pretense of unbiased reporting.
This is beyond bias, it is a reckless and willful disregard for
reporting the whole truth in favor of reporting "news" that is easier
to sell in a larger world media market. The casualty statistics are
there, but the media sticks to the narrative they have helped create
because while honest reporting is a goal, the business of the media
business is business.
If it "bleeds it leads," but only if what leads sells advertising.
News consumers around the world consume the news that more closely
matches their perceptions of how reality should be, and stories
critical of Hezbollah, stories that show their failures and deaths,
don't sell in world population featuring 1.3 billion Muslims that hope
for Israel's demise, or at the very best are indifferent to their fate.
It is anti-Semitism by cashflow, a pocketbook jihad that buys the
This morning I received a comment from an IDF sergeant, stating in part:
It's not classified, but I dought[sic] you'll ever see these figures in
the MSM. According to our statistics we (the IDF) have scored OVER 600
CONFIRMED enemy kills (photgrphed [sic], documented, claimed and added
to the killboard, I personally scored 2 kills to add to my record) and
another 800-1200 unconfirmed/unclaimed kills (this estimation includes
kills form airstrikes/artillary shelling). The Hizb'Allah losses aren't
counted, on the most part, against the official number of
Hezbollah has suffered 500-600+ confirmed fatalities, and estimates
are that another 800-1200 are dead; perhaps half of Hezbollah's armed
forces, and yet the media chooses to ignore these readily accessed
figures in favor of a more marketable Lebanese civilian body count.
The media chooses to underreport Hezbollah's casualties because it
is bad for business, while it unashamedly pimps civilian corpses for
profit. That is just one of the ugly realities of this war that isn't
considered "all the news that's fit to print."
Cross-posted at Confederate Yankee.