March 12, 2013
(Carl)Well, of course. Now that his story on the killing of Baby Omar last November has been proven totally false, the Washington Post’s Max Fisher says it doesn’t matter who killed Baby Omar.
Omar Mishrawi’s death and his photo, like so many incidents before it, are treated as a microcosm of the much larger conflict that took his life. But, as I wrote in November when reports suggested that an Israeli strike had killed Mishrawi, does knowing which military’s errant round happened to have landed on this civilian home really determine the larger narrative of one of the world’s thorniest and most complicated conflicts? Does assigning blame for Mishrawi’s tragic death, awful as it may be, offer us any real insight into who holds the blame for 60 years of fighting? And is partitioning blame really going to serve either side particularly well?
It’s difficult to see how knowing whose rocket or missile killed Mishrawi would resolve the larger questions for which that debate is a proxy: responsibility for continuing the long-term conflict, for sparking the latest round of fighting in November, and for the Israeli and Palestinian civilians who suffer as a result. But these are notoriously thorny debates. As with so many protracted geopolitical conflicts, neither side comes out looking as angelic or demonic as its partisans might wish. In many ways, something as isolated as a single photo of a wounded or killed child offers a purer, cleaner, lower-risk way to talk about issues too messy to engage with directly. They’re a great way to win arguments, but not necessarily to end them.
Well, yes, it does matter. Because one side – Israel – does all it can to avoid civilian casualties, while the other – Hamas – seeks to place civilians, including children, in the line of fire in the hope of creating precisely the kind of news story that Mishrawi’s death created. Fisher’s and other mainstream media reporters’ refusal to acknowledge that reality ensures that Israel will continue to have to fight a biased media in addition to murderous terrorists.
More here and here.
October 29, 2012
(EYE)(Fox News) When Mitt Romney chose not to directly engage President Obama on Libya in last Monday’s third presidential debate, the mainstream media wrote it off as over-caution on the Republican challenger’s part.That might be true. Certainly a lot of Republicans think so. But what is the mainstream media’s excuse for cautiously engaging the president on Libya? Aren’t we supposed to be watchdogs? The ongoing story is story focused on whether the Obama administration provided, or refused to provide, adequate protection for the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya when it faced the threat of attack on Sept. 11. The attack left the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans dead. Subsequent conflicting accounts coming from the administration on how the White House responded, or didn’t respond, are tailor-made for a full-blown media feeding frenzy.
Yet, the so-called media watchdogs so far have been mostly toothless.
Case in point: On Friday, FoxNews.com reported that it “learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command… — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.”
That’s a very chilling story. And if correct, it could be very damaging to the President Obama’s re-election chances. But looking at the websites Friday of other major news outlets, the story is mostly ignored.
It was not picked up or reported by The New York Times. The Washington Post didn’t cover it either. Same for USA Today. Neither did NBC, CBS, CNN or ABC.
CNN had a link on its Website front page to a story that says “doubts surface” on whether claims of responsibility for the Benghazi attacks was the work of terrorists. The story mostly supports administration accounts and refutes Republican critics such as Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.)
NBC’s only Friday story on Libya said in its headline. “Libya Disappears from Romney Stump Speeches.”
CBS’s latest story on Libya had House Speaker John Boehner asking Obama for “answers” about the attacks.
On Thursday, the major media were loaded with stories and videos in which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta defended the administration saying that the US military did not respond to the attack because in did not have adequate “real-time information” to put American forces at risk. Not much follow-up on that.
Also on Thursday, NBC’s Brian Williams interviewed Obama on “Rock Center” asking him what can only be described as a “softball” question on Libya: “Have you been happy with the intelligence, especially in our post 9/11 world? The assessment of your intelligence community, as we stand here, is that it still was a spontaneous terrorist attack and were you happy with what you were able to learn as this unfolded?”
A tougher question might have been, “Why have the administration’s explanations of what really happened, and how you responded, been all over the map?”
So what’s going on here? Are the media just protecting Obama at a critical time in this election campaign, or are they just not following the latest CIA story because they would have to give credit to Fox News?
Whatever the reason, it is not good watchdog journalism.
September 2, 2011
He says he was tortured by the CIA and accused of links with al-Qaeda, but Tripoli’s new military commander, Abdulhakim Belhadj insists that he is no extremist or enemy of the United States.
“I have no intention of revenge,” he said in an interview aimed at clearing his name in the media. “I may take legal advice one day, but I won’t be an obstacle in the way of the relationship between Libya and the United States.”…. Nevertheless, the LIFG was banned by the United Nations and listed by the State Department as a terrorist organization. Belhadj was arrested in Malaysia in 2004 and transferred to Thailand, where he was briefly interrogated and, he says, tortured by the CIA. says the Washington Post.
Question: If this guy isn’t part of some kind of global Jihad then what is he doing in Malaysia if his primary interest is freedom for Libya? Why is the Muslim Brotherhood tweeting this from the Washington post? …and why is some guy from Harvard also trying to push the same idea. Something is going on here. There is a push to convince the American public that the Muslim Brotherhood or Al Qaeda (what have you… the same damn thing) is not running Libya right now. Expect to see the media continue to push this idea like as if it were a Global Warming public relations drive. These are the same people who told us that Gaddafi was harmless and a reformer and then back stabbed him. What benefit does commercial media find in promoting such an Anti-America worldview? It isn’t just George Soros influence. Keep in mind the Washington Post is owned by Lee C. Bollinger (top guy at the NY FED BANK board: apologies for sounding like a conspiracy theory.. but he really is) who was the guy who allowed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to come to Columbia University to give his vile speech. These guys are after building a relationship with these third world countries so that they can pillage the natural resources. They smugly call Americans provincial and uneducated, but the truth is that they are in it for the money.