AP - 'Mourners' Attacked By Israeli Planes ... Or Not

August 8th, 2006 3:46 PM
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.

Apparently 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.

"The first missile struck a building about five minutes after the march by about 1,500 people had passed by, killing one person and wounding five."

Then, with the claims of innocent "mourners" being attacked fresh in the reader's mind, the report goes on to say that "Twelve more people were killed and 18 wounded in those strikes, according to tally from three area hospitals." Of course, this was 30 minutes after the initial strike mentioned above, so the connection to the mourners' funeral procession is absurd, yet the connection has already been set in the mind of the reader.

The funniest part of the report was the reaction some of those "mourners" displayed for the "reporters" on the scene ... if any reporters really were actually on the scene in the first place, and this report not just taken as fact by "stringers" taking the word of militants with an agenda.

"The blast was close enough to send mourners screaming, 'Allahu akbar!' or 'God is great!' Some broke away from the procession, while others continued on."

If it was so unsafe, why did "others" continue on with their funeral procession? Shouldn't they all have scattered as bombs fell about them? Probably because those who were so upset as to break away from the procession were merely playing it up for effect. Anyone with just a little knowledge of "reporting" in the hot spots of the mid east understand that much of what is seen can be categorized as street theater as opposed to legitimate reactions of a war ravaged people.

Oh, and we must thank our intrepid AP "reporter", Ahmed Mantash, for helpfully translating "Allahu akbar!" to "God is great!" for us idiot westerners. (Does anyone really believe these "panicked" mourners were saying things in English?)

Just another example of the sad state of affairs of our "News" services and the lack of professionalism in their "reporting".