Friday, April 28, 2006

Return of 'Wrong Man' Fattah

Today marked one of the, thankfully, rare appearances of New York Times house terrorism apologist Hassan Fattah, famous as the author of the Abu Gharib Wrong Man disaster.

"Investigative" reporting being not his forte, today he functions more comfortably as a shill for Saudi billionaire Walid bin Talal's venture into filmmaking.

Attaboy, Fattah! Glad to see you're hanging out in Saudi Arabia, writing puff pieces and telling us all the good stuff the Saudi billions are financing, in addition to terrorism.


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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Recognizing Good News

I see that Honestreporting today agrees with my assessment concerning the recent, historically unprecedented New York Times and Washington Post editorials on Hamas.

As I've said before, it's important to recognize the occasional good news coming out of these two horribly biased news outlets. However, while we are celebrating, it is important to undertstand why this is happening. It is not because the Times and Post have suddenly seen Hamas for it is. It is because Hamas is too stupid and ham-handed to know better.

If Hamas were to start mouthing "moderate" platitudes in the Arafat manner, the media and particularly the Times will eagerly revive the long-discredited "myth of Palestinian moderation."

Count on it.


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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Hamas P.R. Miracle Continues

The New York Times today delivered a lead editorial attacking Hamas. A perfectly good editorial -- one that underlines the point I've made in the past, which is that the Hamas takeover of the Palestinian government is a great thing from a propaganda standpoint.

As a matter of fact, I think that this perfectly reasonable (I'm amazed to find myself using that word) editorial contained a definite note of frustration. The Times, remember, is blatantly pro-Palestinian. So Hamas's endorsement of Monday's suicide bombing was not, in the view of the Times, simply immoral. It was "dimwitted."

It was almost as if the Times was saying, "Come on Hamas! Give us something to work with." Hamas won't play the hypocritical game, first begun by Yassir Arafat, of condemning terrorism while sponsoring it at the same time. These guys endorse terrorism while sponsoring it at the same time. Hey, that's honest! You got to give them credit for that.

You could see the agony over at the primary Palestinian terrorist mouthpiece in this country, the Electronic Intifada. There, of course, the bombing in Tel Aviv was a nonevent, and the lead article was (I must pause while I reach for my handkerchief), "Hamas is Being Forced to Collapse." Oh no!

EI reported that "the newly elected Palestinian government led by Hamas has already started to show an impressive level of pragmatism, however, Israel and the U.S. seem to not be interested."

Now, in the past, pap like this would ordinarily be found in the editorial pages of the New York Times and other newspapers. Today, you had to turn to EI to find the usual justifications and excuses for Palestinian terrorism. Even an obligatory op-ed in the Times on the Israel lobby was half-hearted and pro forma.

Even the odious BBC gnashed its teeth and reported that "Hamas's refusal to condemn the Tel Aviv bombing will have only reinforced the view of many in the West that the new Palestinian government must be treated as a pariah."

Oh, and whatever one might think of Ehud Olmert's reaction -- I tend to agree that it was inadequate -- you have to admit that, again from a strictly P.R. perspective, it was brilliant. No strong Israeli reaction to cloud the image of a Hamas government endorsing terrorism. The Israeli government, by pausing, let that image sink in.

So, onward, Hamas, with your "honesty is the best policy" policy. Say what's on your mind, guys. Don't be shy. And keep up the good work.


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Monday, April 17, 2006

Tom Friedman 'always sides with Israel'?

I posted an item in Israpundit yesterday about anti-Semitism on a stock message board -- not really apropos to this blog, as it was not about media bias.

Lo and behold I get a comment this morning from the CEO of the company involved, Patrick Byrne of, saying New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman "always takes Israel's side"!

And this jackasss runs a public company? Aren't there reading comprehension standards for that?

Read his moronic rant here.


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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Palestinian Terrorist 'Victims' in the Times

Readers of the New York Times were treated today to what was (almost) a miracle! The Times ran on the front page an article on the victims of Palestinian terrorism. Imagine that. An article in the Times from the point of view of the victims, discussing their efforts to get redress. Not a single word excusing or "explaining" or justifying their acts.

A nice piece -- and, perhaps not coincidentally, a product of the metropolitan staff and not the notoriously anti-Israel foreign desk. However, the Times showed us elsewhere in the paper where its true feelings lie. The real victims are, of course, Palestinian terrorists!

The Times's loathsome Jerusalem bureau churned out a snotty little piece by John Kifner, a foreign desk oldtimer who used to work in the bureau years ago and is, apparently, working hard to re-establish his pan-Arab credentials.

In this piece, the world was turned back on its head again, with Palestinian murders now the "victims" of those heinous Israelis:

In the past week, 18 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli tank and artillery attacks. The latest victims were two gunmen from Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade who were killed on Thursday as they tried to get through a fence. [emphasis added]

Kifner also chided an Israeli general for giving a "spate of bellicose interviews" on the subject of those poor, persecuted Palestinians lobbing rockets at Israel.

Meanwhile, a particularly genocidal speech by the Iranian nutcase Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was not "bellicose" at all! Nosirree. As described by the Times, that speech was "somewhat more temperate" then previous ravings by this monster. Over on the editorial page, meanwhile, Times scribblers zeroed in on the true villain-- the Bush Administration, of course!

Oh well. The "miracle" was good while it lasted.


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Friday, April 14, 2006

Mediacrity Has a Contributor!

Ever notice that sometimes I say that "a reader suggests this" or "a reader recommended." Well, very often that reader is one particular individual -- a non-journalist who is, let me tell you, one of the smartest and savviest media observers I know.

I am pleased to say that he -- a male, and a Navy veteran, which is all I'm able to say at present -- is going to contribute every now and then, whenever the mood strikes.

So welcome to my contributor! It make take a few days (or weeks) before you see him here, but when you do, it will be worth it.

Meanwhile, I will continue to contribute myself. For various reasons I've cut back a bit on my posting in recent weeks, but I do hope to pick up at my former pace in the weeks to come.

-- The Mediacrity Blog

Friday, April 07, 2006

The Times Softpedals a Lie

Way back in February, the New York Times published a completely unsupportable statement -- no let's call it what it was, a lie -- to the effect that Hispanics were used as "cannon fodder" in the military. Here's a link to the article, and here's exact quote:

"Critics also say that Latinos often wind up as cannon fodder on the casualty-prone front lines. African-Americans saw the same thing happen during the 1970's and 1980's, an accusation that still reverberates. Hispanics make up only 4.7 percent of the military's officer corps."

In a correction today, the Times said as follows:

"An article on Feb. 9 about the military's recruitment of Hispanics referred incompletely to the belief of some critics that Hispanics in the Iraq war and blacks in the Vietnam War accounted for a disproportionate number of casualties. Statistics do not support the belief. Hispanics, who are about 14 percent of the population, accounted for about 11 percent of the military deaths in Iraq through Dec. 3, 2005. About 12.5 percent of the military dead in Vietnam were African-Americans, who made up about 13. 5 percent of the general population during the war years. The error was pointed out in an e-mail in February; the correction was delayed for research after a lapse at The Times." [emphasis added]

Well, at least the Times issued a correction -- which is more than it usually does when caught with its pants down, as I have pointed out time and time again. The Times also commendably noted that a "lapse" took place (and how) that prevented this boner from being fixed for two full months.

Still, I think the Times's handling of this was pretty creepy for a couple of reasons:

First of all, as is standard practice with many non-minor boo-boos, the Times stuck this gaffe in its "for the record" corrections space, which is supposed to be allotted to minor stuff like getting an address wrong or omitting a middle initial.

More importantly, the correction glosses over the editorializing in the piece, in which the reporter hid her bias behind unnamed "critics." Such "weasel words" are a violation of Journalism 101. What "critics" said that? If there were any "critics," they were spouting sheer bull.

Rather than point out this journalistic shortcoming, the correction accepts at face value that there were "critics" and says that the reporter "referred incompletely to the belief of some critics."

Excuse me. What happened was simple. The Times was wrong. The Times published a lie. This once-great newspaper's fast-diminishing credibility might be aided if it could occasionally use those two words when they are appropriate -- as they sure are in this instance.


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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Nothing Happened -- So It's Big News!

One of the permanent features of the Mideast conflict is a massive contingent of Israel-based reporters, one of the largest in the world, most hostile to Israel and seeking out every excuse to cooking up a "story" -- sometimes out of nothing.

We saw that today in a non-story that moved today on France's AFP news service.

"Israeli authorities have used rubber bullets and tear gas to break up protests during a routine transfer of Palestinian prisoners from a jail in the south, sources on both sides said," the story began.

But if you look a little further down, you see that the source of this "information" was "Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Wasfi Kabha." He went on to say that three prisoners were injured.

So far we have a very, very very minor story. But then we see that a spokesman for the Israeli prison administration saying as follows:

"Yes, we did fire into the air but not in front of them. No one was injured. I think that in one cell bloc (tear gas was used) but not in front of them," said Orit Stelser, who was at Ketziot prison during the transfer.
"There were no injuries, not one. We did not use force," she said.
What began as a very very very minor story is now revealed for what it is -- a non-story, given the proven habit of Palestinian "ministers" and other factotums of lying through their teeth at every opportunity.

So a non-event was hyped into a non-story with the assistance of one of the massive contingent of hacks encamped in Israel.

Makes you wonder. Why is Israel being so nice? The Israelis should toss out journalists caught functioning, as this AFP hack has done, as propagandists for the Palestinian cause.


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