The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


Now that a ceasefire has taken hold in the Israel-Gaza conflict, it's worth one more look at the hysterical, inaccurate, and misleading media coverage that demonized Israel throughout the hostilities.

Matti Friedman, a long time AP reporter who covers Israel, provides an outstanding, in-depth insider's view of the massively biased coverage of this and other Israeli conflicts. First she notes that the sheer number of reporters that AP and other news organizations have in Israel is far greater that the reporters they have just about anywhere of even moderate important. For example, there are 40 times more reporters stationed in Israel that in Syria, even though Syria has an on-going civil war in which over 100,000 people have died. She writes:
The volume of press coverage that results [in Israel], even when little is going on, gives this conflict a prominence compared to which its actual human toll is absurdly small. In all of 2013, for example, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict claimed 42 lives—that is, roughly the monthly homicide rate in the city of Chicago. Jerusalem, internationally renowned as a city of conflict, had slightly fewer violent deaths per capita last year than Portland, Ore., one of America’s safer cities. In contrast, in three years the Syrian conflict has claimed an estimated 190,000 lives, or about 70,000 more than the number of people who have ever died in the Arab-Israeli conflict since it began a century ago.

News organizations have nonetheless decided that this conflict is more important than, for example, the more than 1,600 women murdered in Pakistan last year (271 after being raped and 193 of them burned alive), the ongoing erasure of Tibet by the Chinese Communist Party, the carnage in Congo (more than 5 million dead as of 2012) or the Central African Republic, and the drug wars in Mexico (death toll between 2006 and 2012: 60,000), let alone conflicts no one has ever heard of in obscure corners of India or Thailand. They believe Israel to be the most important story on earth, or very close.
Freidman goes on to write:
If you follow mainstream coverage, you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society or ideologies, profiles of armed Palestinian groups, or investigation of Palestinian government. Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate. The West has decided that Palestinians should want a state alongside Israel, so that opinion is attributed to them as fact, though anyone who has spent time with actual Palestinians understands that things are (understandably, in my opinion) more complicated. Who they are and what they want is not important: The story mandates that they exist as passive victims of the party that matters.
And therein lies the problem. The left lionizes "victims," and the mainstream media is left. It doesn't matter that the definition of victims is self-serving, that the victims are victimized by their own ideology and leaders, and that the facts don't support the left's claims of victimization by the "oppressor," the left believes only what it wants to believe, and far worse, has the media clout to cause others to believe it as well.

When a "victim" is involved in a conflict, the left-wing media (that's a clear majority of all US and European media) never does an analysis of the underlying causes of the victim's plight, never provides a critical discussion of the victim's culture and lack of personal and/or group responsibility for betterment, never produces a story on the victim's tendency toward extreme violence, never analyzes of the ways in which Islam reinforces the drive for violence, never emphasizes the virulent hatreds that are fostered by self-appointed Islamist leaders who benefit from the perception of victimization. All that matters is the "victim."

Israel, a country of 6 million people, is surrounded by a sea of Arab Muslims, numbering in excess of 300 million people. It's land mass is less than 0.2 percent of the Arab world. And yet, Israel is reported by the media as the strongman, the bully, the aggressor. Like almost everything else that the Left believes, it's a fantasy that has no basis in fact. It's also a lie that has no basis in truth.