By Caroline Glick, August 28, 2006.
What are we seeing when we watch events from the Middle East on our
television screens? Is it news or is it terrorist theater?
Let us observe two media events which occurred on Sunday in Gaza. Sunday
afternoon released hostages and Fox News journalists Steven Centanni and Olaf
Wiig spoke before the cameras. The fact of their release and their statements
were reported by more than 1,000 news organizations throughout the world.
At the press conference, Centanni and Wiig, who were forced by their
Palestinian captors to convert to Islam, praised the Palestinians. Centanni said,
“I just hope this never scares a single journalist away from coming to Gaza to
cover this story because the Palestinian people are a very beautiful,
kind-hearted and caring people that the world need to know more about.”
Wiig similarly praised the Palestinians.
While their remarks were covered extensively, no one seemed to think that the
fact that their first post-release statements were made at a Palestinian Authority
sponsored media extravaganza in Gaza was significant. No one noted that the
men were flanked by Palestinian “security forces,” and stood next to Hamas
terrorist leader and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
No mention was made of the fact that the two were initially kidnapped by just
such PA “security officials,” or that Haniyeh is one of the leaders of one of the
most fanatical jihadist organizations in the world, an organization that the
majority of the “beautiful, kind-hearted and caring” Palestinians voted into
office last January.
That is, no mention was made of the fact that until the two men left Gaza, they
remained unfree. No one asked whether they had been given the option of not
giving a press conference in Gaza. And now that they have spoken, there can
be little doubt that a second press conference by the two men, in Israel or the
US where no one will force them to convert to Judaism or Christianity or
threaten to kill them, will draw far less media interest. After their press
conference, the two men became yesterday’s news.
Conveniently, the same day the PA released the men who its own forces had
kidnapped, Reuters reported that the IDF had shot a missile at its press vehicle
and wounded two cameramen – one from Reuters and one from Iranian World
TV network – while they were en route to a battle taking place between IDF
forces and Palestinian terrorists. Reuters, which is demanding an independent
investigation into the attack, is portraying its cameraman Fadel Shada as an
embattled hero who would do anything to bring the truth to the world.
Yet it is unclear why anyone should believe either Shana or Reuters. Shana told
Reuters that as he was driving to the battle scene, “I suddenly saw fire and the
doors of the jeep flew open.” He claims to have been wounded by shrapnel in
his hand and leg. These are minor injuries for someone whose vehicle was just
hit by a missile.
But then, the photographs taken of his vehicle after the purported missile attack
give no indication that the car was hit by anything. There is a gash on the roof.
The hood is bent out of shape. But nothing seems to have been burned. Cars
hit by missiles do not look like they have just been in a nasty accident. Cars hit
by missiles are destroyed.
Yet the glass on the windshield and the windows of Shana’s vehicle isn’t even
shattered. In the photographs taken of Shana on the way to the hospital in
Gaza, he lies on a stretcher, eyes closed, arm extended in full pieta mode. He is
not visibly bleeding although there are some bloodstains on his shirt, but then
his undershirt is completely white.
I did not see these pictures in the media coverage of the purported IDF attack
on the Reuters and Iranian cameramen. I saw them on Powerlineblog Web site.
I did not see any questions raised from either the Israeli or the international
media on the veracity of Shana’s tale, which of course, provides a nice balance
to the Centanni-Wiig hostage story.
AS IS the case with the Palestinian war against Israel, one of the most notable
aspects of Hizbullah’s latest campaign against Israel has been the active
collaboration of news organizations and international NGO’s in Hizbullah’s
information war against Israel. Like their rogue state sponsors, subversive
sub-national groups like Hizbullah, Fatah and Hamas, see information operations
as an integral part of their war for the annihilation of Israel and defeat of the
West. And their information operations are more advanced than any the world
has seen. As becomes more evident with each passing day, they have
successfully corrupted both the world media and the community of NGOs that
purportedly operate in a neutral manner in war zones.
It is not a coincidence that I saw the pictures of the Reuters’ vehicle on
Powerline and not in the media coverage of the purported attack. Both the
global media and the international NGO community abjectly refuse to
investigate themselves. As democratic governments and their militaries have
proven incapable of dealing with the phenomenon (in part because they seek to
curry favor with the media and the international NGO community), the
blogosphere has taken upon itself the role of media watchdog.
BLOGGERS HAVE become a critical component of the free world’s defense in
the current war. During the Hizbullah campaign in Lebanon, bloggers scrutinized
coverage of the war in a way that has never been done before. Their work has
exposed the dirty secret of the Middle East that the media has hidden for so
many years: The global media and the international NGO community, which
profess to be neutral observers, are in fact colluding with terrorist
The blogosphere, and particularly Little Green Footballs, Powerline, Zombietime,
Michelle Malkin, and EU Referendum, have relentlessly exposed the systematic
staging of news events, fabrication of attacks against relief workers, and
doctoring of photographic images by Hizbullah with the active assistance of
international organizations and the global media.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, with its internationally mandated
status as a protected organization, is particularly culpable. The blogosphere –
and specifically EU Referendum and Zombietime Web sites – have shown that
Red Cross employees in Tyre and Kana fabricated from whole cloth a tale of an
Israeli airstrike against Red Cross ambulances in Kana on July 23. In an
exhaustively documented report, “How the Media Legitimized an Anti-Israel
Hoax and Changed the Course of a War,” Zombietime showed how Red Cross
employees took an old, rusty ambulance and alleged that the IAF had attacked
it with a missile that blew a hole straight through the middle of the red cross on
the ambulance’s roof.
The Red Cross allegation was reported as fact by such “credible” news
organizations as Associated Press, Time magazine, the BBC, ITV, The New York
Times, The Guardian, The Age, MSNBC, The Los Angeles Times and the Boston
Globe. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both published accounts
of the attack as evidence of Israeli “war crimes” in Lebanon.
Zombietime clearly proved from simple scrutiny of the photographs taken of the
ambulance, that the hole in the cross was not the result of a missile attack but
the work of the ambulance manufacturer. It was the hole for an air vent. The
pockmarks on the roof were the result of age and decay. There had been no fire
in the ambulance. There was no attack. It was a complete fabrication,
concocted by Red Cross employees who enjoy their protected status because
their organization has pledged its neutral status in this and all wars.
ONE WEEK later, as EU Referendum reports in a similarly detailed investigation
of the much condemned IAF bombing of Kana on July 30, (which actually
happened a mile north of Kana at Khuraybah village), Red Cross relief workers
actively participated in the staging of a perverted media extravaganza where the
bodies of dead children were paraded about before the waiting camera crews
for hours and hours.
Rather than demand that the ICRC account for the clear breach of its binding
commitment to neutrality, and rather than attack the Lebanese Red Cross for its
active collaboration with Hizbullah, the international media has attacked the
bloggers. They are brushed off as “Israel supporters,” and “right-wing
extremists.” The aim of these brush-offs is to convince “right thinking” citizens
that they oughtn’t have anything to do with these champions of truth and
As each day passes, the governments, formal and informal legal apparatuses,
and media of free societies show themselves to be less and less capable of
contending with the information operations conducted against their societies by
subversive forces seeking their destruction.
As each day passes it becomes clear that the responsibility of protecting our
nations and societies from internal disintegration has passed to the hands of
individuals, often working alone, who refuse to accept the degradation of their
societies and so fight with the innovative tools of liberty to protect our way of
life. The vigilance of just a handful of bloggers brought us the knowledge of the
corruption of our media and the network of global NGOs that we have come to
rely on to tell us the “objective” truth.
It is up to all citizens of the free world, who value our freedom to recognize this
corruption, applaud the bloggers and join them in refusing to allow these
corrupt institutions to cloud our commitment to freedom.
The media war against Israel
Melanie Philips, August 30, 2006.
Early in the recent Lebanon war, the blogosphere revealed the fabrication of
images by Reuters, whose reputation is now in shreds among those dwindling
numbers in the western mainstream media who still acknowledge there is such
a thing as the truth.
Since then, the nature and scale of the various frauds perpetrated by the
media during that war put those doctored Reuters pictures into the shade. The
western media are no longer merely producing questionable professional
practices in reporting a war. They are now active participants in it – and on the
wrong side of history.
One of the very few politicians to voice concern at this phenomenon is
Australia’s foreign minister Alexander Downer, who said:
“What concerns me greatly is the evidence of dishonesty in the reporting out of
Lebanon. For example, a Reuters photographer was forced to resign after
doctoring images to exaggerate the impact of Israeli air attacks. There were the
widely-reported claims that Israel had bombed deliberately a Red Cross
In subsequent weeks, the world has discovered those allegations do not stand
up to even the most rudimentary scrutiny. After closer study of the images of
the damage to the ambulance, it is beyond serious dispute that this episode has
all the makings of a hoax. Yet some of the world’s most prestigious media
outlets, including some of those represented here today, ran that story as fact –
unchallenged, unquestioned. Similarly, there has been the tendency to report
every casualty on the Lebanese side of the conflict as if a civilian casualty,
when it was indisputable that a great many of those injured or killed in Israeli
offensives were armed Hezbollah combatants.
My point is this: in a grown-up society such as our own, the media cannot
expect to get away with parading falsehoods as truths, or ignoring salient facts
because they happen to be inconvenient to the line of argument – or narrative –
that particular journalists, or media organisations, might choose to adopt on any
given controversy or issue.”
Can anyone imagine the British Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, saying
this? Of course not. The level of anti-Israel, anti-American madness has reached
such a pitch in Britain that any similar expression of alarm at the manifestly
blatant mendacity in the reporting of the Middle East has simply become
Yet thanks to the efforts of the blogosphere – notably Little Green Footballs,
Powerline, Zombietime and EU Referendum, we can see that the behaviour of
the western media during the Iranian/Syrian/Hezbollah war against Israel has
constituted a major, world-wide scandal, and one which has the capacity to
derail the efforts of the west to defend itself.
The major incidents of apparent media fraud are these.
- The claim that Israeli aircraft intentionally fired missiles at and struck two
Lebanese Red Cross ambulances performing rescue operations, causing huge
explosions that injured everyone inside the vehicles. This claim, which gave
such incendiary traction to the lie that Israel deliberately targeted civilians, was
repeated by ITV News, Time Magazine, the Guardian, Boston Globe, The Age,
NBC News, the New York Times and thousands of outlets around the world.
Zombietime, however, convincingly exposed this claim as a fraud. It is worth
reading its analysis in full in order properly to grasp both the enormity of the
libel and the way it was not only uncritically accepted but gleefully embellished
by respected media outlets, whose journalists either didn’t know or care that
they were transmitting an outright fabrication.
Anyone with even the most cursory knowledge of the kind of missiles
used by the Israeli air force would grasp immediately that the hole in the roof of
the ambulance whose picture went round the world could not have been
caused by such a missile. If a missile had indeed hit it there would have been
no roof remaining to inspect; nor would there have remained an ambulance.
Yet the rest of the ambulance in the pictures, although damaged, was
pretty well intact – and the allegedly seriously injured ambulance driver not only
was pictured with minor injuries, but even these had miraculously disappeared
without trace in pictures taken a few days later.
In short, the whole claim was patently risible. As Zombietime revealed, the hole
was almost certainly made by an air vent in the roof. It was part of the
ambulance. There was no attack on the ambulance. The whole claim was a lie,
a hoax, a fraud. Yet this lie has gone round the world, been ‘shown’ on TV,
been embellished by familiar trusted commentators and thus has attained the
status of unchallengeable truth. But it is a lie.
Now the Red Cross has rebuked Australian Foreign Minister Downer for relying
on an ‘unverified’ blog for his claim. As Little Green Footballs observes, this
was the same Red Cross which – as LGF previously reported – once the
‘unverified’ blog started using those vanishing journalistic attributes such as
eyesight and brain activity to state the overwhelmingly obvious, quietly
removed from its website the high-resolution image of the ambulance that had
allegedly been struck. For if these pictures were indeed a lie, then the Red
Cross itself is squarely in the frame for disseminating it.
- The claim that Israel fired a missile which hit a Reuters vehicle and
wounded two cameramen. One was a Reuters employee, Fadel Shana; the
other, Sabbah Hmaida, was described by Reuters as working for a ‘local news
website’; although as Little Green Footballs noted, he was also reported
variously as working for 1) a local news web site, 2) an Arabic network, 3)
Palestinian Media Group, and 4) Dubai TV – and now Caroline Glick has
revealed in the Jerusalem Post that he was actually working for none other than
Iran.But as Powerline has reported here, here, and here, pictures of this Reuters
vehicle suggest that it was not hit by anything remotely resembling a missile.
There was a modest and rusty gash in the roof and a windscreen that was
shattered (although even that is in doubt in another picture). That was it. As
with the Red Cross claim, the notion that such damage was consistent with a
missile strike is simply ludicrous.
- The claim that the Israelis deliberately perpetrated a massacre of civilians
at Kana. Apart from the fact that the initial claimed casualty rate here was
subsequently all but halved by the Red Cross (to 28), there is significant
evidence that many of the most harrowing pictures of the victims, which did so
much to turn public opinion against Israel in this war, were staged.EU Referendum has now assembled a compendium of its considerable
investigative efforts over three weeks entitled The Corruption of the Media,
which it has submitted to the Press Complaints Commission. Again, the whole
thing repays study. In summary, it says:
“many of the incidents recorded in visual form by the media were indeed
staged. In fact, we feel we can go further. In our view, the bulk of the relief
effort at Khuraybah on 30 July was turned into a perverted propaganda
exercise. The site, in effect, became one vast, grotesque film-set on which a
macabre drama was played out to a willing and complicit media, which actively
co-operated in the production and exploited the results.”
EU referendum concludes:
“what we do see from Qana is the sheer scale of the staging – not the
occasional picture of the many. The majority seems to have been either posed
or staged, or both. Given the large AP team present, this suggests that we are
looking at more than just a rogue photographer – the malpractice seems
institutionalised as normal practice.”
And even more devastatingly:
“In defence of the media, if it can be considered thus, one can only
postulate that staging scenes such as these is so common a practice, and so
deeply embedded in the whole fabric of photo-journalism (and not just locally in
the Middle East), that no one at the incident saw anything wrong with what
Either that or, so familiar were they with the techniques used that they
simply did not register what was happening. As for the others, in their
air-conditioned offices, hundreds and thousands of miles away from the action,
did they care one way or the other?
After all, Shane Richmond of The Daily Telegraph implied, the greater
truth was being served. ‘Is the child dead?’, he asked. ‘Was the child killed by
Israeli bombs?’ Thus, did he say: ‘If so, the picture illustrates the story. If the
picture does not alter the truth of the story, we’re not being disingenuous. And
the truth of the story is this: Israeli bombs killed several civilians in Qana, many
of whom were children.’
That is the nearest to an admission we have that it is acceptable to
In short, much of the most incendiary media coverage of this war seems to
have been either staged or fabricated. The big question is why the western
media would perpetrate such institutionalised mendacity. Many ancillary
reasons come to mind. There is the reliance upon corrupted news and picture
agencies which employ Arab propagandists as stringers and cameramen. There
is the herd mentality of the media which decides collectively what the story is.
There is the journalists’ fear for their personal safety if they report the truth
about terrorist outfits. There is the difficulty of discovering the truth from
undemocratic regimes and terrorist organisations. There is the language barrier;
there is professional laziness; there is the naive inability to acknowledge the
depths of human evil and depravity; there is the moral inversion of the left
which believes that western truth-tellers automatically tell lies, while third world
liars automatically tell the truth.
But the big answer is that the western media transmit the lies of Hezbollah
because they want to believe them. And that’s because the Big Lie these media
tell – and have themselves been told – about Israel and its place in history and in
the world today has achieved the status of unchallengeable truth.
The plain fact is that western journalists were sent to cover the war
being waged against Israel from Lebanon as a war being waged by Israel
against Lebanon. And that’s because that’s how editors think of the Middle
East: that the whole ghastly mess is driven by Israel’s actions, and that
therefore it is only Israel’s aggression which is the story to be covered.
Thus history is inverted, half a century of Jewish victimisation is erased from
public consciousness, victims are turned into aggressors and genocidal mass
murderers turned into victims, and ignorance and prejudice stalk England’s once
staunch and stalwart land.
That’s why the fact that hundreds of thousands of refugees from the north of
Israel fled to the shelter of strangers in the south; that within one third of Israel,
those too poor or old or handicapped or disadvantaged to seek refuge
elsewhere were forced to live in shelters for a month in great hardship; that the
entire economy of northern Israel was effectively shut down for a month; that
thousands of rockets were fired at northern Israel, hundreds every day, many
times more than were daily fired at Britain during the Blitz – that’s why none of
this was reported in Britain (where as a result such facts, when now related,
are received with open-mouthed astonishment) because journalists were told to
ignore it all since that wasn’t the story their editors wanted.
Israel’s victimisation simply was not, could not, be the story. The only
story was Israel’s aggression. But that story is a Big Lie. So a host of lies were
transmitted to support it.
Certain conclusions are now inescapable. First, hatred of Israel and the
irrationality associated with that hatred have now reached unprecedented
proportions within Britain and the west.
Second, with a few honourable exceptions the mainstream media are no longer
to be believed in anything they transmit, either in words or pictures, about the
Middle East. It is only the blogosphere which is now performing the most
elementary disciplines of journalism: to aspire to objectivity, to separate facts
from prejudices, to apply basic checks to claims being made by partisans to a
conflict, and to be particularly wary of those with a proven track record of
Third, the mainstream media must now be regarded as active accessories to the
war being waged against the free world and therefore as a fifth column in that
world – an enemy within.
Fourth, the impact of the lies and distortions transmitted by the mainstream
media in inflaming the already pathological hatred of the west within the Arab
and Muslim world is incalculable.
Fifth, the mainstream media’s vilification, demonisation and delegitimisation of
Israel, based on outright fabrications and malevolent distortions, is imperilling
the very existence of the country that is the front line of defence of the free
Sixth, that vilification is also imperilling the safety and well-being of Jewish
communities around the world, subject now to the double victimisation of
attack by Islamists and attack by non-Muslims for belonging to a Jewish people
that refuses to submit passively to a second attempt at genocidal slaughter and
instead fights to defend itself.
To date, as far as I can determine, not one mainstream editor or proprietor has
acknowledged this corruption of the western media. The scale of this corruption
now threatens to have a lethal impact on the course of human history.
Hatred now drives not just the jihadists but their western dupes, too.
Truth and freedom are indivisible. The deconstruction of the former inevitably
presages the destruction of the latter. This is the way a civilisation dies.