Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


"A Gaza War Full of Traps and Trickery...Weapons are hidden in mosques, schoolyards and civilian houses, and the leadership’s war room is a bunker beneath Gaza’s largest hospital, Israeli intelligence officials say...

A new Israeli weapon, meanwhile, is tailored to the Hamas tactic of asking civilians to stand on the roofs of buildings so Israeli pilots will not bomb."

-->This type of reporting from the NY Times is much like the stories we got before the invasion of Iraq. Judith Miller's reports on nuclear weapons in Iraq were straight from the Pentagon. Here we are limited to accounts from the Israeli military that are completely unverified by any third party. In fact, several of these Israeli charges have been refuted by YouTube videos made by international medical workers in Gaza. The NY Times does say its reporters have been denied access to Gaza, although our newspaper of record does not tell its readers that Israel is the country that has kept them out.


"Amnesty International says hitting residential streets with shells that send blast and shrapnel over a wide area constitutes 'prima facie evidence of war crimes...
There has been reckless and disproportionate and in some cases indiscriminate use of force,' said Donatella Rovera, an Amnesty investigator in Israel. 'There has been the use of weaponry that shouldn't be used in densely populated areas because it's known that it will cause civilian fatalities and casualties.'

Rovera has also collected evidence that the Israeli army holds Palestinian families prisoner in their own homes as human shields. 'It's standard practice for Israeli soldiers to go into a house, lock up the family in a room on the ground floor and use the rest of the house as a military base, as a sniper's position. That is the absolute textbook case of human shields...It has been practised by the Israeli army for many years and they are doing it again in Gaza now,' she said."

-->After reporting unsubstantiated claims of Hamas using civilian shields, the NY Times declined to print the Amnesty report citing specific evidence of Israel's troops doing exactly that.

Such omissions don't stop the NY Times from praising it's own coverage. The Public Editor of the NY Times wrote Sunday, that since both sides of the conflict have complained of bias coverage, well then it must be just about right.

"Though the most vociferous supporters of Israel and the Palestinians do not agree, I think The Times, largely barred from the battlefield and reporting amid the chaos of war, has tried its best to do a fair, balanced and complete job — and has largely succeeded."

Well, except for the stories that it keeps leaving out. Activist Radio has identified 10 important stores about the conflict in the last two months that just never made it into print. All these stories were reported by the international media, including newspapers in Israel. The common link to all these stories? They put Israel in a bad light.

The NY Times complains about not having reporters in Gaza, when it didn't even cover the story of the The Foreign Press Association's petitioning the Israeli Supreme Court about being kept out.

And must the NY Times be so scrupulously balanced in reporting about war crimes? Israel kills 300 children, but let's give them equal time and try not to take sides? Are the perpetrators and the victims of genocide always to be given equal time? That is not balanced reporting; that is a media complicit in the murder of hundreds of Palestinian civilians. Shame on you, NY Times. You are a propaganda arm of Israeli militarism, for all your self congratulation.

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