ZioNation - Progressive Zionism and Israel Web Log

ZioNation home Archives Site map Policy Definitions FAQ timeline history documents Links Photos Contact

Articles and Reference

History of Zionism and Israel
Zionism
Middle East Encyclopedia
History of Anti-Semitism
History of Anti-Zionism
Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Six Day War
War of Independence
Bible
Bible  Quotes
1948 Israel War of Independence Timeline Christian Zionism
Christian Zionism History
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Learn Hebrew
Jew
Anti-Semitism
Pogrom
Israel
Zionists
Israel Boycott?
Boycott Israel?
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Jew Hate
International Zionism
Commentary in Russian
Middle East
The Grand Mufti Hajj Amin Al Husseini
Albert Einstein
Palestine: Ethnic Cleansing
History Arab-Israeli Conflict
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War


FREE EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION
Subscribe to
ZNN
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by groups.yahoo.com

Watching the Watchdog

The media’s role is to be the watchdog of democracy. But what happens when the watchdog falls into an unexpected trap? What happens when it is betrayed from within and maliciously manipulated in order to create a skewed picture of reality?

Nir Boms and Elliot Chodoff (10/25/2007)


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? "Who watches the watchmen?" asked the Roman poet Juvenal, paraphrasing a central problem discussed by Plato in The Republic.

The pursuit of “Justice” is a tricky business in a complicated world demanding that we make judgments about critical issues beyond our immediate perception like global warming, foreign policy, peace and war.

Fortunately -at least in the democratic world – we have a tool meant to facilitate these difficult judgments: the media, a free and open marketplace of ideas; a platform for information and views helping formulate wise and fair judgments.

The media’s role is to be the watchdog of democracy. But what happens when the watchdog falls into an unexpected trap? What happens when it is betrayed from within and maliciously manipulated in order to create a skewed picture of reality?

The media should be immune to such pitfalls. Ethics mandating honest reporting, due diligence and corroboration of facts should prevent facile manipulation attempts. Consequently, recent remarks of a France 3 TV journalist on the sidelines of a French lawsuit are cause for considerable concern.

French journalist Clement Weill Raynal’s comments followed a defamation suit hearing in France. The defendant, a colleague, was sued for accusingFrance 2 TV of broadcasting a staged story, inciting unnecessary violence in the Middle East. The story occurred in 2000 and purported to show Israeli soldiers intentionally shooting a 12 year-old Palestinian boy, Mohammad al-Dura. The defendant, Philippe Karasenty, argued that the infamous report aired by France 2 was highly inaccurate and probably staged. Responding to the case, Raynal wondered about all the fuss:“Karsenty is so shocked that fake images were used and edited in Gaza, but this happens all the time everywhere on television and no TV journalist in the field or a film editor would be shocked.“

Does Raynal’s observation reflect the prevailing norm of French TV? Is this mainstream media's dirty little secret whose revelation France 2 and its reporter, Charles Enderlin, whose voiceover of the original news report blamed Israeli troops for targeting the boy - despite the fact that he was not present at the scene and considerable evidence to support its staging has emerged - seem
determined to quash in court?

Enderlin claimed that he deleted footage of the boy's death from his report because the death agonies were too painful to watch. This assertion is contradicted by the few outsiders permitted to see the raw footage (that France 2 still refuses to make public) who deny the existence of the scene. Furthermore, in a segment cut from the TV report, long after his "death" the boy lifts his arm and looks toward the camera, before returning to the "dead" position.

The truth about this incident is not merely a philosophical issue. These images inspired many revenge seekers, including Osama Bin Laden and the murderers of Daniel Pearl. Others were inspired as well. Two 14-year-old sisters were arrested for allegedly planning a terrorist attack in the Moroccan capital of Rabat. They claimed that their decision had been motivated by images of al-Dura’s death, replayed endlessly on the Internet and Arab satellite channels.

Raynal’s words must be considered in the context of other troubling examples of severe media manipulation in Middle East conflict reporting. For example, in April 2002, during Operation Defensive Shield, launched against terrorist organizations in the West Bank, the media initially uncritically repeated the Palestinian claim of 500 civilians killed by Israeli troops, coining the enduring phrase, “The Jenin Massacre,” with reporters repeating the reference long after the Palestinian casualty count was confirmed at 52, including combatants.

Bloggers had a field day during the Israel-Hizbullah War of July-August 2006, criticizing the reporting from Kafr Kana, a South Lebanese village in which dozens of civilians were reported killed in a collapsed building. Image-hungry photographers devoured staged scenes of the same “casualties” being removed from the rubble as their bodies were recycled for late-arriving photographers by a would-be rescue worker.

Additional examples include Adnan Hajj, who was fired by Reuters after admitting that he altered photographs, published on the front page of the NY Times, to increase the perception of damage caused by an Israeli attack on Beirut. Other stories included that of a Lebanese woman, pictured lamenting the destruction of “her” house in 4 different locations, and an ambulance, reportedly “hit” by an Israeli missile that never was.

The conflict in the Middle East is sufficiently ruthless and bloody without artificial incitements. The circumstances of that war, pitting a modern army against terrorists who hide among civilians, can, unfortunately, easily result in the killing of noncombatants. This complex reality is magnified by media interest unparalleled in any other conflict in the world. If, however, the media can bring real massacres in Serbia, Darfur and Somalia to the forefront of world opinion - resulting in efforts to alleviate further suffering – it seems to be playing the opposite role in the Middle East, exacerbating the intensity of conflict and hatred. During the next few weeks, a French judge will rule on the role of France 2 in doing just that. Let us hope that his ruling will set higher standards for Middle East coverage, in order to help reduce the flames of war rather than fan them.

Nir Boms is the vice president of the Center for Freedom in the Middle East. Elliot Chodoff is a military and political analyst for MidEast-On Target.

Nir T. Boms

Vice President

529 14th Street, NW,

Washington, DC 20045

Tel: 202-595-3578

Original content is Copyright by the author 2007. Posted at ZioNation-Zionism and Israel Web Log, http://www.zionism-israel.com/log/archives/00000436.html where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Disributed by ZNN list. Subscribe by sending a message to ZNN-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by e-mail with this notice, cite this article and link to it. Other uses by permission only.

Click to Reddit! Facebook Share

add to del.icio.us

Add to digg - digg it

Replies: 1 Comment

It is interesting to find that finally there is a comment on the false reporting and altered images placed in the news media. If most citizens of the democratic countries were knowledgeable and alert, I believe this false reporting would diminish. A few years ago, my daughter and I were watching a TV news item in which the commentator announced an Israeli attack that killed this man that was being carried in a stretcher by several men. The supposed dead man fell out of the stretcher, he got up and then proceeded to return to his "dead position." This is the type of news reporting we have today. It has purpose and intent which is to turn public opinion against Israel and the Jews and continue Hitler's "Final Solution." It is fear and envy that causes the hate filled Homo sapiens to carry out violent and destructive behavior. How ignorant human beings are. This is the one great error in the construction of this two legged animal and most, in their ego-centric attitude refuse to see this. Thus, we have war and war and killing after killing. If we can blame an outside source for our horror that we inflict (the devil made me do it) than we find an excuse and continue on with our destruction.

Fae L. Kaufman, Wednesday, October 31st


Constructive comments, including corrections, are welcome. Do not use this space for spam, publishing articles, self promotion, racism, anti-Zionist propaganda or character defamation. Inappropriate comments will be deleted. See our Comment policy for details. By posting here, you agree to the Comment policy.

Home
Archives

Please take our reader survey!

Links
Our Sites

Zionism
Zionism News Net
Zionism-Israel Pages
Brave Zionism
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Our Blogs
Israel News
IMO Blog - Israël & Midden-Oosten (NL)
Israel Like this, as if
Zionism News Net
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog
Israël in de Media


Blog Roll:
Adam Holland
Blue Truth
CIF Watch
Contentious Centrist
Dutchblog Israel (NL/EN)
Harry's Place
Ignoble Experiment
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israpundit
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Jewish Issues Watchdog Meretz USA Weblog
Meryl Yourish
Middle East Analysis
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log
Modernity Blog
normblog
Pro Israel Bay Bloggers
Point of no return
Simply Jews
Solomonia
Something Something
Tempting Topical Topics
The Augean Stables
Unplugged Mike
Oy Bay! San Francisco Bay Area Jews
Vital Perspective
Israel Mon Amour
Liberty & Justice
On the Contrary
Magdeburger Chossid
Tulip - Israeli-Palestinian Trade Union Assoc.
Southern Wolf
Sharona's Week
Sanda & Israel
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
UN-Biased
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Liberal for Israel

A Jew with a view
BlueTruth
Realistic Dove
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog
Liberticracia
SEO for Everyone
Vision to Reality: The Reut Blog
Calev's Blog
Candidly speaking from Jerusalem
Dvar Dea
Ray Cook
Shimshon 9

Mark Halawa


This link space is 4 your blog - contact us!

Other Web sites and pages:

PeaceWatch Middle East Commentary Christians Standing With Israel
Zionism On the Web
Guide to Middle East, Zionism
Z-Word
Z-Word blog
Labor Zionism
Le Grand Mufti Husseini
The Grand Mufti Hajj Amin El Husseini
ZNN - Zionism News Network Middle East
Euston Manifesto
Jewish Blogging
Peace With Realism
Israel Facts (NL)
Space Shuttle Blog
SEO
Mysterology
Love Poems
At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum



Judaica

Judaica: Jewish Gifts:
Shofar
Mezuzah



RSS V 1.0


RSS V 2.0


Help us improve - Please click here to take our reader survey

All entries copyright by the authors and or Zionism-Israel Information Center. Please forward materials by e-mail with URLS. Other uses by permission only.

security