Friday, June 30, 2006

The Times Whitewashes Kidnappers

The New York Times's ever-reliable foreign desk, confronted with terrorism by Palestinians and a restrained reaction by Israel, has a problem. Just how do you slant your coverage in the face of such black-and-white facts? The simple solution is an old one -- moral equivalency.

Thus the Palestinians did not kidnap an Israeli soldier-- a term used by pretty much everyone other than the terrorists themselves -- they "captured" him. The Israelis did not arrest Hamas legislators, they "seized" them.

This amoral use of language was employed in a front-page story today by the notoriously pro-Palestinian Steven Erlanger, "Seizures Show New Israeli Line Against Hamas."

"Seize," however, is just flat-out inaccurate. The arrested Hamas thugs will be subjected to a trial in Israeli courts, in which defendants have much the same protections as in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the even milder term "capture" is used to describe the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. To the Times, a government arresting a terrorist is the same as, if not a bit nastier than, a gang of murderers kidnapping a young, unarmed soldier.

To drive home the point, the Times publishes a dispatch from Saudi Arabia by house terrorism apologist Hassan Fattah -- amazingly still employed by the paper despite the Abu Gharib wrong-man fiasco -- to describe how the righteously indignant, morally superior Arab world is "shocked" by Israeli's perfidy.

In an article that, as usual for Fattah, reads almost like a self-parody, "Wrong Man Fattah" waxes indignant: "Many deplored Israeli attacks on civilian targets in response to what they characterized as a legitimate military campaign that resulted in the capture on Sunday of Cpl. Gilad Shalit of the Israeli Army."

But even while serving as a reliable, unquestioning funnel for Arab propaganda, Fattah let someting slip through. He quoted the "pan-Arab daily Al Hayat" referring to the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier for what it was -- a kidnapping.

That's the Times for you: More Arab than a "pan-Arab daily."

UPDATE: While I'm sure everyone knows it by now, I'll state the obvious: The devastating Wall Street Journal editorial today, which focuses on the Times's notorious anti-Bush bias, is must-reading and equally applies to its coverage of the Israel-Palestinian dispute.


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Thursday, June 15, 2006

UN's Chief Israel-Basher Pushed to Succeed Annan

A worthy successor to Kofi Annan!

For quite some time I've been chronicling the exploits of the UN's propaganda minister, the loathsome Shashi Tharoor. You name it, he's done it: overseen a fat, grotesquely wasteful propaganda apparatus, and run Israel-bashing media events featuring anti-Semites and professional hate-Israel polemicists.

Tharoor has had a hankering to succeed Kofi Annan as secretary general, and the media today reports that it's official. India, apparently putting national loyalty over common sense, has just officially nominated Tharoor for the job.

I have no idea if Tharoor has a chance of getting the job, but I will say this: as a waste-loving pal of anti-Semites, he is amply qualitified to follow in the footsteps of the discredited Annan.


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Monday, June 12, 2006

Bias By Omission at the AP

In my opinion, bias by omission is the commonest form of bias. This AP article regarding the infamous Duke lacrosse rape allegation story is a classic example.

In this article, we are told that the Durham prosecutor, Mike Nifong, is being silent in the face of a "relentless assault" (how's that for a loaded language?) on his case. Further in the article, the moral high ground is ceded to Nifong because "[i]nstead of speaking out, Nifong has encouraged the public to come to trial to hear his evidence." And to drive home the point, the article quotes a member of the National District Attorneys Association: “The defense attorneys are there to muddy the water. . . . You can’t expect anything they say to be said without viewing it through their own prism. They’re there to obfuscate the facts. They’re not there to educate the public.”

This is a hack job, pure and simple. When the case first came to light, there wasn't a camera Mike Nifong wouldn't jump in front of to talk about the case. He talked at the university that the accuser attended, and he made numerous public statements about the case. Now, we are told that the defense attorneys are conducting a "relentless assault" on his case, and that he wants to try his case in front of jury.

Give me a break. The reality is that Nifong started out by trying this case in public (something which coincided with an uncoming primary election), and now the AP is there to carry his water by implying that the defense attorneys are "muddying the waters" and that he is being silent. But you'd never know that from the AP article. Though I am not a journalist, I feel safe in saying that this cannot be in accord with good journalistic practices.

And, while I am at it, why didn't the AP reporter putting together this slanted piece bother to ask Mr. Early [the quoted member of the National District Attorneys Association] if publicizing statements of police officers and nurses who examined the alleged victim is "muddying the waters"? Why didn't the AP reporter ask Mr. Early to comment on Nifong's behavior at the beginning of the trial?

One wonders if the particulars of this alleged crime influenced the write-up here. I cannot imagine that it did not, as journalists usually don't point out the motives of defense attorneys or carry water for prosecutors.

(posted by new Mediacrity contributor)

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tharoor Balks at Stopping Bash-Israel Conference

The UN's chief of public information, Shashi Tharoor, is pushing hard to become the next Secretary General -- a post for which he is amply qualified by heading the UN's bloated, viciously anti-Israel propaganda apparatus. Today comes further evidence of just how qualified he is.

Today reports that Tharoor has refused to change by one iota an upcoming UN-paid annual "seminar" that is little more than yet another anti-Israel bash-fest.
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