May 16, 2013
Media Matters Talking Points?????? “…..How should the Justice Department strike the balance between respecting our free press and investigating damaging leaks that jeopardize counter-terrorism operations?” huh… Counter-terrorism in the Obama admin? There is none to balance. That is why Benghazi is upsetting. It isn’t that mistakes were made and covered up… it is that no one in the Whitehouse has clarified what changes are going to be made concerning Islamic threats both in the United States and abroad… as well as in Israel. The Obama administration’s behavior before and after Benghazi are exactly like how Obama treated the Israelis dealing with “Peace Activists” on the flotilla.

How to misuse statistics: Israel accused of jailing too many journalists

April 2, 2012

(EOZ) From Justin Martin at Columbia Journalism Review:

At the end of each year, the Committee to Protect Journalists counts the number of journalists imprisoned worldwide and lists the countries in which they’re locked up.
These data are very helpful, but I think we can consider them under a new lamp by taking into account each country’s size. China and Eritrea, for example, have about the same number of journalists rotting in prison, 27 and 28 respectively. But the population of China is over 250 times that of the small dictatorship.
Any country that unjustly arrests or imprisons a single journalist is democratically suspect, of course, and that includes you, America. Ratings of press freedom in the United States tanked after 2011, as counts of arrested journalists in this country soared. Still, though police in the United States tend to arrest journalists filming or otherwise documenting unrest, their bosses usually get embarrassed at the media blowback and drop the charges. Imprisoning journalists for months or years at a time is another matter and, other than the outright murder of journalists in places like Russia and Syria, the long-term jailing of reporters is the offense with which the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is most concerned.
For a new take on this scourge, I quickly calculated the highest twelve ratios of jailed journalists to a country’s population size.

So we see that according to this criterion, Israel jails more journalists per capita than any other nation except for Eritea.
Sounds damning, right? (read on… it’s misleading, but I would of never caught this)

wow… tricky

Freedom of speech, Bir Zeit on the Hudson style

November 1, 2011
(israelmatzav.blogspot) This is too good to check. A classmate from Bir Zeit on the Hudson sent me a promo for something called Columbia conversations online. They’re holding a two-day celebration of the launch of something called the Columbia Global Center in Istanbul, Turkey. The Columbia Alumni Association is presenting two webcasts as part of the celebration, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday, each at 11:30 am eastern time. The topic of the one on Wednesday is rich (Hat Tip: Merrill W).

Is the Internet Too Free?
Moderated by Dean Nicholas Lemann and Sheila Coronel
A panel discussion on the perils of—and prospects for—journalism online. Is the Internet a safe place for original and independent reporting? Or is it a threatened space? Are the freedoms that citizens and journalists enjoy online more myth than reality?

In case you are wondering, Nicolas Lemann is the dean of the Graduate school of Journalism. One would at least hope that his answer to the discussion question will be “no.”
If any of you are interested in watching, go here.

I grew up in the neighborhood and using the Columbia gym to play basketball in. I suppose even though I didn’t graduate there I felt like it was my school. We all know where they are going with this journalist lecture. They feel threatened because they can not control the content. I suppose you should too because I repost your stuff for my blog on mine, but at least I try to give credit… (though I admit I’ve made mistakes before, but I also know people use my site and don’t give credit). I noticed this well known site who didn’t give me a hat tip the other day and I said to myself…. what can I do? I don’t want to scold the guy because I want to steal back from him. His theft is rather good. There has got to be some happy and fair moderation. Sometimes I subvert what you say by the repost because I don’t always agree. That is threatening to the news standards, but it works both ways. Sometimes the news does do good things… and they are being punished.

#SMUG #ELITISTS think Believing Is Seeing at the #NYTimes?

September 3, 2011

toysYikes: NYTimes Puff Piece on Mickey Mouse Photos from Lebanon? Remember when photographers like Ben Curtis got caught placing child’s toys in rubble in Lebanon bomb sites? The NYTimes debates whether such dishonesty has any truth it it. It is almost as if they are claiming bullshit is art. Why can’t the media just apologize? Say.. gee I’m sorry… I did wrong. why can’t the propaganda machine admit that what they are doing is unethical. Instead we get a backhanded comparison to some civil war photographer that placed cannonballs to tell a story. It is annoying that this paper has no integrity. Rather then owe up to unethical behavior they are now trying to spin their sins. That takes a lot of Chutzpah.

Israel Matzav: If the Mickey Mouse was in a building that was bombed out, what is the likelihood that it was undamaged like that? And second, if the toy wasn’t planted by someone (and I believe Curtis that he did not plant it), then how is it that at just about every bombing site that was photographed during the Second Lebanon War, posed pictures of children’s toys would show up? Could that be coincidence? I doubt it.

Zombie Time: While it may be possible that these photographers all just happened to stumble on toys and stuffed animals perfectly positioned for maximum emotive response, the cumulative effect of all the pictures together (along with others visible on Slublog) suggests that some if not all of the photographers moved the toys to be better positioned for a good photo. Several readers have also written in to point out how new, clean and undamaged the toys look — unlikely, if they had all just been in an explosion. But this is not a definitely conclusive example of fraud — it’s almost impossible to prove that a photographer moved an object to his benefit. Instead, the images just feel faked.

Saudi Arabia: Stop Trial of Journalist Criminal Defamation Charges for Web Article Alleging Extortion

August 3, 2011

Al-Juhani accuses the head of al-Huta’s environmental health section of trying to pressure more than 200 shop owners into paying 5,000 Saudi riyals (US$1,333) each as a contribution to the annual banquet the municipality gives to mark the end of the fasting month Ramadan. The article says that the health inspector abused his position by threatening to impose fines against the shop owners if they failed to comply. Al-Juhani told Human Rights Watch that his sources were shop owners, a high municipal official, and a local journalist.
Al-Juhani also told Human Rights Watch that the health official filed a complaint against al-Juhani, asking the court to punish him and award official damages for harm suffered. The prosecutor, on December 6, 2010, charged al-Juhani with criminal defamation. Al-Juhani should not be criminally prosecuted for what he wrote, regardless of the truth of his allegations, because of the chilling effect of criminal sanctions on peaceful expression, Human Rights Watch said. If the official considers the article defamatory, he should file a civil suit for compensation for any claimed harm to his reputation. In considering civil suits, Saudi courts should consider the importance of freedom of expression in respecting the right of journalists to write about public figures.

Saudi Arabia has no written criminal law defining defamation or any attendant penalties. Defining the elements of a crime and any penalty remains up to the individual judge’s interpretation of Sharia precepts. In addition to the country’s Sharia courts, there are executive tribunals for labor, commercial, and media disputes under the respective ministries. Although the tribunal judging press violations is not an independent court, in several cases Saudi journalists preferred that this executive body rather than Sharia courts review matters relating to the media. Sharia courts in the 2005 and 2006 have tried cases for criminal defamation in media publications before ministerial instructions transferred them to the Culture and Information Ministry.via

…that is if you trust my source… which has not been reputable in regards to Israel. I do admit that it gets redundant to point out the flaws in Saudi society and I suppose HRW does it to show that there is some kind of fairness.  The reality is there isn’t.  This story is probably not outstanding.  The irony is in America today… especially in the state of Washington we have a situation where the state is doing to same thing to men and they do it for feminists.  The ability to write the TRUTH (even if you disagree about what TRUTH is) should not be taken away.

Reporters fuming over flotilla threat

June 26, 2011

As long as they are against Israel the extent of jurisdiction of any attribute of Democracy is infinite. …The Government Press Office has threatened reporters who join the flotilla of fools with a ten-year ban from the country. The Foreign Press Association was not particularly pleased about that.


Israel warned foreign journalists on Sunday they could be barred from the country for 10 years if they board a new flotilla that plans to challenge an Israeli naval blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
In a statement sent by email to Reuters and other international news organizations, Oren Helman, director of Israel’s Government Press Office, said participation in the flotilla would be “an intentional violation” of Israeli law.
A year ago, nine Turkish activists, including one with dual U.S.-Turkish nationality, were killed by Israeli soldiers who raided a Gaza-bound aid convoy and were confronted by passengers wielding clubs and knives.
Pro-Palestinian activists have said ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip could depart from European ports in the coming days.
Helman said that sailing in a new flotilla “is liable to lead to participants being denied entry into the State of Israel for ten years, to the impoundment of their equipment and to additional sanctions.”

The Foreign Press Association on Sunday urged the government to reverse its threat to punish journalists covering the Gaza flotilla, saying that the move “sends a chilling message to the international media and raises serious questions about Israel’s commitment to freedom of the press.”
The statement added, “Journalists covering a legitimate news event should be allowed to do their jobs without threats and intimidation,” calling on the government to “reverse its decision immediately.”

Freedom of the Press – like other freedoms – is not absolute. It does not include the right to become part of the story, nor does it include the right to allow oneself to be used as a human shield at no risk. via

Hamas Targets Journalists: Media, Human Rights Groups Silent

March 19, 2011
Armed Hamas militants surround Hamas militants spokesman Abu Obaida (centre) during a news conference in Gaza CityIn the past few days, at least eight journalists were severly beaten with clubs or summoned for questioning while doing their job in the Hamas-cointrolled Gaza Strip when Hamas policemen in civilian clothes began attacking demonstrators.

Other journalists have had their cameras and notepads confiscated while covering various events that were deemed “provocative” by the Hamas authorities.
Hamas believes that intimidation of the media will prevent the truth from coming out. Like most Arab dictatorships, Hamas does not tolerate stories that reflect negatively on its radical regime in the Gaza Strip – the reason the Hamas government has been cracking down on local journalists who fail to toe the line.
Although some of the journalists who were assaulted work with international news organizations, many of these foreign media outlets ignored the story, apparently out of fear of retribution by the Hamas authorities.
These journalists who chose to defy Hamas should be supported not only by their foreign colleagues, but also by Western governments and human rights organizations.
Otherwise, the day will come when the world will never know what is really happening inside Hamas’s Gaza Strip.
In an attempt to divert attention from its repressive measures, the Hamas government this week issued an apology to all Palestinian journalists who were beaten up during their work.
But the apology is nothing but a ploy designed to absorb growing resentment with Hamas’s totalitarian regime in the Gaza Strip.
Some Palestinian journalists have succumbed to the threats and violence by changing their profession; others are continuing to do their job despite the dangers; many Palestinian journalists may soon be forced to go underground out of concern for their safety.
The attacks on Palestinian journalists reached their peak on March 15, when Hamas policemen used force to disperse thousands of Palestinians who had gathered in a public square in Gaza City to demand “national unity” between Hamas and Fatah.
The demonstration was part of a Facebook campaign organized by Palestinian youth with the aim of exerting pressure on the two rival parties to end their dispute and form a unity government.
The Foreign Press Association in Israel condemned the assault of Palestinian journalists and said it was “gravely concerned by Hamas’s crackdown on the media.”
It said that “on a day ostensibly devoted to Palestinian unity, police brutally attacked photographers and cameramen, beating the, breaking equipment and confiscating photos and video footage. This is the latest in a string of chilling attacks on reporters in Gaza.”
But the West sits silent.

image via

hey… but Libya is part of the Human Rights Council… I’m sure they will help… LOLZ