Would I lie to you?

by David Harris, Toronto Sun
August 30, 2014

What’s heading our way, in this terrorist-bloodied world? We depend on international media to help us find out.

So it’s time to look at some dirty secrets, foreign correspondent edition.

Trench coats and panamas have given way to sat phones and moral ambiguity. An ideal starting point in understanding this media ambiguity – and its occasional, sinister undertones and implications for us – is the Israel-Hamas war.

The penny should have dropped well before today’s Gaza crisis. No later than April 11, 2003, in fact.

That day, CNN admitted in the New York Times that it hid and manipulated reality, though the wording was more delicately self-regarding. Prior to the 2003 defeat of Saddam Hussein, CNN couldn’t reveal fully the monstrous excesses and threatening nature of his Iraq, because, said chief news executive Eason Jordan, the network’s Iraqi staff risked retaliation.

Problem: Jordan didn’t explain why, having been prevented from reporting honestly there, CNN nonetheless insisted on keeping its financially rewarding Baghdad post operating before and during the 2003 war. Some critics concluded that an appetite for big, wartime money-making ratings outstripped CNN’s taste for truth, with some ambitious journalists playing along.

Have media done similar things in Gaza?

International media boasts its courage and iconoclasm. But while saturating us with stories about Gazans’ suffering, many journo outfits come up strangely short. Yes, we need to know about Palestinian casualties – even if Gaza’s people freely elected a Hamas government on a platform of eradicating Jews and Christians.

But brief mention of Hamas’ human shields is about as far as media venture into the designated terror organization’s inhuman nature and inhumane operations. Surprising, given that ISIS is a four-letter word for Hamas.

The result: Virtually no press photos emerge of ferocious Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other “fighters.” And no MSM interest in the UN’s Palestine refugee agency’s pattern of Hamas-friendly hiring at its facilities, including of teachers in schools packed with munitions. Are Hamas chiefs hiding in hospitals and mosques? Extrajudicial killings of Israeli “collaborators”? Gazan kids killed by a short-falling Hamas rocket? Who cares? Cut to pictures of Israeli tanks.

Big Hamas questions have hardly been touched, especially in the early weeks of the struggle. Why? Some media inadvertently exposed the secret.

The Wall Street Journal’s Nick Casey tweeted a photo of a Hamas mouthpiece at Gaza’s main hospital, and asked, with “the shelling, how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.” Then, with that courage and iconoclasm we hear about, the tweet was yanked.

You want iconoclasm? Take Libération, the French hard-left daily founded by that rolling barrage of mistresses and metaphysics, Jean-Paul Sartre.

Libération reporter Radjaa Abou Dagga said Hamas had offices near Shifa’s emergency room, then announced that heavies served him notice: “You will leave Gaza fast and stop work.” And, presto. Dagga’s article disappeared from “Libé’s” web page, replaced by a sniveling, self-rebuking note: Dagga’s report was “dépublié” – “depublished,” withdrawn – “at the author’s request.”

Fear of becoming ISIS-styled, halal-slaughtered journalists? Keeping options open for future postings on Islamist territory? A combination?

Fear surely rules in Hamastan. Whispered stories describe Gaza-based scribblers facing Hamas death threats, and the Foreign Press Association has belatedly condemned terrorist intimidation. But maybe CNN-type ambitions are at work, too.

Either way, correspondent Uriel Heilman put it best. Covering the Israel-Hamas fighting, Heilman wrote that unreported Hamas censorship and press self-censorship mean the public is “only getting half the story.”

“And where I come from,” he added, “a half-truth is considered a lie.”

Something to remember when relying on media for intelligence about our future in a dangerous world.

– A lawyer with 30 years’ experience in intelligence affairs, David B. Harris is director of the International Intelligence Program, INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc.

September 6, 2014 | 7 Comments »

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  1. rongrand Said:

    Yamit, please explain to Ted someone is screwing around with his twitter @Israpundit account with his picture. The articles he is posting link to the old website .com.

    It’s possible they are using his twitter to draw victims to his old site and infect them with trojans when they arrive. If they hijacked his site then they must have ulterior motives.

  2. Yamit, please explain to Ted someone is screwing around with his twitter @Israpundit account with his picture. The articles he is posting link to the old website .com.
    I would email him again but I get the feeling his email is also hacked.
    He continues to say his account is fixed and it’s not.
    The latest tweet was 16m ago.

  3. Revealed: Hamas-Backing Qatar, Also Funding Brookings Institute, Home of Former U.S. MidEast Envoy Indyk?
    In comment over the figures in The Times’ report, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of Jerusalem-based funding watchdog, NGO-Monitor, told The Algemeiner that, “Indyk’s Brookings activities have been a part of the focus of this article, and the fact that Qatar is a primary funder of Brookings and that Qatar is also a major funder of Hamas are very clear conflicts of interest that Indyk never acknowledged, which makes all of the activities even more problematic than before.”

    “Indyk was never forthcoming about that issue, and that’s the overall criticism that he’s faced,” Steinberg said.

    Steinberg says that the report exposes a wider issue of NGO influence on U.S. and Israeli politics.

    “This is a problem that Israel has faced for 20 years, and now it’s clear that this is something that the Americans are waking up to,” he noted.

    “This isn’t just about Qatar,” he said. “It’s about Norway, it’s about the European Union. What the article didn’t say, for instance, was that the European Union provides money to political groups, NGOs, and think tanks, to lobby against the death penalty.”

    “And, of course, they’re heavily manipulating Israeli politics in a much more intensive effort, basically to control the Israeli democratic process on issues like war and peace, and boundaries.”

    Steinberg said that such issues “…have to be addressed just like funding for academic programs that specialize in the Middle East and are funded by Saudi Arabia, or another oil-rich countries; all are problematic because they inevitably have the spin the donor puts on them.”


  4. corrupt reporters have no problem lying and libeling the Jews in return for a scoop or maintaining their access to areas. those reporters are responsible for the killing of Jews in europe where their lying stories are taken up by muslim mobs. when I hear of a dead reporter killed by jihadis I want to know what he did in order to report from those Jihadi held areas. did he also skew the news to libel the Jews? CNN proved this MO in Iraq and they are still being considered a credible news source, go figure.