Thursday, July 8, 2010

Drip Drip Drip Bang Drip Drip

Mark Gardener in the UK writes a bleak article about the never-ending anti-Israeli propaganda that permeates the regular, day-by-day media treatment of Israel on a normal day in a normal week, one that offers no dramatic event which which to damn the Jewish state. He divides the types of animosity into strands, and even goes so far as to refute the various accusations, as if that might ever make a difference.

British elites hating Jews as a nation in summer 2010.

Against that, we've got the abrupt resignation of CNN's Octavia Nasr, who earlier this week sent out a tweet with homage on the death of a nasty Lebanese cleric, Sayyed Mohammed Fadlallah. According to some reports I saw, at the end of his days Fadlallah was no longer revered by Hezbollah as one of their guides, but he had been, and he never retracted his support for suicide murders.

I'm not in favor of this new fad in the American media of swift termination for journalists (or generals) who cross some undefined red line in public discourse. Helen Thomas doesn't like Israel? After 50 years or so in the business, she ought to have been shunned decades ago, but not fired. Octavia Nasr sent out an unintelligent message? That shouldn't be a firing offense either. If we fired every journalist who said something stupid, there'd be no-one left at Haaretz except perhaps Avi Issacharoff. People say stupid things; there's no law against that, and there oughtn't be more than the barest minimum of sanctions, beyond of course opprobrium. Having the fools know we're wise to them is fine.

And that's the disturbing part of the story. Octavia Nasr was the editor of the Mideast part of CNN; she worked there for 20 years. What sort of steady drip of malicious ideas can we expect from a system that has terrorist-apologists way up near its top, at time of war? (America being at war, and humanity - it's not only Israel). Drip drip drip...


Avi said...

The Robert Fisk story about the lynching of an Egyptian in the village, mentions in passing a story about "the lone Israeli pilot born in a village in Lebanon" who then came back and bombed it in 1982 and killed 50 people. It sounds totally off the wall. Can someone please check it and then if he is lying, sue the pants off him.

He said that he "saw the lone plane attack, repeatedly bombing the village..." I do not think that warplanes work like that. Anyway, how was he able to identify the pilot? The guy is consumed by hatred.

This is a respected member of the British press writing in a leading "quality" London newspaper. Der Sturmer more like.

Barry Meislin said...

According to CNN, it terminated Octavia Nasr's position because her views "compromised" her position at the network.

That's pretty funny coming from CNN, which has been, for decades, at the cutting edge of "compromising" their position....

If I were Nasr, I'd sue for a most wrongful and unjust dismissal.

JG Campbell said...

Yes, Yaacov, it's rather depressing living in the UK at present as far as the Israel-Palestine thing goes!

There is literally nowhere to go in the MSM - whether radio, tv, or newpapers - to get a balanced view of either day-to-day matters or specific incidents. Even in the Daily Telegraph and the Times, apart from the occasional feature or op-ed, the coverage is mostly indistinguishable from the Guardian and the Independent, while Sky News is only a little less bad than the BBC. The most noticeable thing, I find, is that no-one is interested in trying to get an accurate picture of how things seem to the vast majority of ordinary Israelis in the middle of the political spectrum (i.e. moderate left, centre, moderate right) who want peace but feel they have got no-one to talk to. Instead, they focus endlessly on unrepresentative settlers who still believe in Greater Israel or on equally unrepresentative commentators like Gideon Levy who conveniently confirm for them that Israel is some kind of monster state blocking any and all progress.

So if you do get a chance to come back to me on my comment on the Krauthammer thread, that would be great - especially if you can show me why I'm wrong to be very depressed about all this rather than just mildly depressed!


Anonymous said...

For once I like A. Jay Adler's take on it better than Yaacov's
- I hope Didi'll notice and give me some leniency next time around ;-))

Another drip I heard only yesterday, so it isn’t online any longer:

Friday Night Comedy Show from June 4, 2010

at around 9:00 the guy found it funny to remark that the Israelis were … for wanting to search a ship which had been searched by the Turks already and mind you the joke doesn’t go on to make fun of the Turks for missing their Jihadistas.


PS: in case Yaacov's link doesn't work for you also - the post is available at CIFWatch also

peterthehungarian said...

This [Fisk] is a respected member of the British press writing in a leading "quality" London newspaper. Der Sturmer more like.

Not der Surmer but a paper for irreversibly braindead readers.
The idea of the Israeli/Lebanese pilot's private vengeance is so stupid that only someone without the slighest knowledge of modern aerial warfare, rules, training of fighter pilots and security procedures regarding their selection could write it down and believe it.
I'm afraid that the Independent/Guardian readers will gobble this sad joke of journalism like a hungry ass would devour the weeds on the wayside.

Anonymous said...

According to this Turkey is demanding that ALL YouTube stuff that is offending a Turk is to be eliminated all around the world (thereby hindering a lot of other Google services which students and others have gotten used to - but of course they remain fit to join the EU ...

the piece is already from June 29, I haven't seen it causing drip drip
just as it causes almost no drip drip that Turkey is proud of having sent Jihadistas on a rampage against a co-UN-member


"Er will, dass YouTube alle von der Türkei beanstandeten Videos sowohl aus der türkischen als auch aus dem globalen YouTube entfernt"

In der Türkei wird es immer schwieriger, mit dem Internet zu recherchieren, zu lernen oder zu arbeiten. Seit Anfang des Monats sind sogar einige Dienste der globalen Suchmaschine Google für türkische Nutzer nicht mehr zu erreichen. Eine neue Eskalationsstufe im Konflikt um die Sperrung des Videoportals YouTube, wie der Rechtswissenschaftler Yaman Akdeniz von der Istanbuler Biligi-Universität erklärt - denn um YouTube lückenlos zu sperren, blockiert der türkische Staat inzwischen reihenweise Internet-Protokoll-Adressen der YouTube-Eigentümerin Google:

Anonymous said...

It is not that someone like Robert Fisk "reports" such atrocities, it is that no one calls him out on it. From the top at his newspaper to readers, no one seems to question this cosmic evil that is represented by Israel - no one except for a few vigilent Jews on the internet.

As Yaacov says - it is another situation where Jews see the world one way and the rest of the world see it another way.


NormanF said...

Yaacov, she was never a professional journalist. She was a highly paid propagandist for Hezbollah. And yes, that is who most advocacy journalists really are. They do not report the news objectively. I do not think journalists should be dismissed for stupid views but if they can't keep them outside their job then people have to wonder what else they say is true. I'm not sorry to see her go but people like her who are hostile to Israel are still around in the West's mass media.

Anonymous said...

I think it is worse than you describe

Fisk has a verb to his name which is probably well known to anybody willing to read outside a very narrow focus.

Having a verb to his name that gives one 261.000 google hits for the query
fisk definition
is quite an achievement - Orwellian gets less than double, Churchillian 10 times as much, kafkaesque only one tenth of fisk.

i.e. those who don't know what they are doing, if they trust his writings, have a very very slim chance to be credible when they claim that they "didn't know".


4infidels said...

I believe CNN executives knew full well what Octavia Nasr believed as only the most biased or blind could miss the slant of the day-to-day news regarding Israel. The choices of obviously biased types such as Fawaz Gerges, Reza Aslan, Fareed Zakaria and Ms. Amanpour to explain the Middle East to viewers gives the game away, though I guess so many prominent people in the US are ignorant about Islam and have soaked up the false narratives about Israel.

And CNN wants it this way because they believe it is good business. Having a pro-Arab, pro-Islamic bias opens markets to CNN across the Middle East. It also gains CNN access to dangerous places and keeps its reporters there alive. Those who watch CNN International tell me that the reporting there is even more anti-Israel than that on its American sister-station, even when covering the same story.

The problem for CNN is that it still aspires to have some credibility as a news operation in the United States. It can argue that it is unbiased and objective in delivering the news, so long as its Middle Eastern editor doesn't reveal her bias. Sometimes the truth about a company's business plan is too ugly for the general public. Nasr's sin, in the eyes of her bosses at CNN, was exposing the dark side of that business plan.

4infidels said...

I'm confused...

What is it that makes a Lebanese Christian like Nasr take a "nuanced" view of a man like Fadlallah and serve as an apologist for Hezbollah?

1. Is the only way she can feel authentically Lebanese or "Arab" is by expressing hatred for Israel?

2. Does she come from an honor/shame mindset in which one just wouldn't discuss the problems of their own country (Lebanon) or people (Arabic speaking Middle Easterners)with outsiders? Only Israel is an appropriate target for critical examination and blame?

3. Does she still believe in the Arab nationalist fantasy of all Arabic speaking people uniting in an Arab umma? Does this cause her to downplay intra-Arab conflicts as only the intense hatred of Israel can seemingly bring together the warring tribes of greater Arabia?

4. Is she just a careerist who believes that the good money is on "explaining" the Arab and Muslim point of view uncritically and that she feels her pro-Arab and pro-Muslim slant fit nicely with CNN's business model in the Middle East? i.e. Is she doing what she thinks he bosses want...up until she revealed too much?

If she is as ignorant of Islam (yes, other religions would have a place in a Hezbollah ruled Lebanon, but she should know that place is as second-class subjects) and Hezbollah as he follow-up posting reveals, then she is unqualified for the position she held. If not, then she has been purposely deceiving.

Any thoughts???

Silke said...

I seem to remember that Lebanese Christians have caved so maybe she just followed Aoun thinking that way she'd be on the safe side.

shir said...

in connection to that, sky news Tim Marshal writs about that drip, drip coming to the UK in relation to torture, or alleged torture as he reminds the riders.

shir said...

arr... readers...

Barry Meislin said...

I think it's entirely possible that she had to be dropped, not so much because of Fadallah's attitude towards Israel (to be applauded, no doubt) but because of his support for the suicide bombing of US marines.

That is, she could support Israel bashers all she wanted (with the network's blessings); but she forgot (and one can certainly sympathize with her oversight) that the same wasn't true when it came to eulogizing supporters of mass murderers of US marines.

But who knows? CNN kicked her out the door; they'll probably let her back in through the window.

AKUS said...

When I watch CNN in Europe or Israel, its like watching a program from another planet, compared to the US CNN. First, there is a preponderance of Arab anchors. Second, it obsesses over Israel, like the BBC.

This woman was based in Atlanta, and, by the way was fired by another woman (her superior) who seems to be Persian).

(The New York Times quoted an internal memo from a senior vice-president, Parisa Khosravi, which said: "We have decided that [Nasr] will be leaving the company."

"At this point, we believe that her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward.")

At this point??? Are they kidding??? She's been there for years exploiting her position to quietly undermine Israel.

CNN's world news seems to be in the hands of Israel's opponents. For years Nasr has been able to use her position to keep a firm thumb on the scale against Israel.

Brian Whitaker of the Guardian blamed twitter for her firing, not her support for terrorism.

As for drip, drip - here's another one:

The Guardian is running a sideshow of the march for Gilad. I was already suspicious, since it sneaks in an unpleasant picture of Netanyahu, and of a little boy from Gaza. But a friend noted the following caption to Slide 11:

5 July 2010: The march reaches the capital, Tel Aviv [emphasis added]

Just another in the drip, drip series - the Guardian does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, only as the future capital of the nightmare that will, it hopes, be called Palestine.

Soccer Dad said...


I'm skeptical that Helen Thomas or Octavia Nasr were fired for their hatred of Israel or admiration for terror.

After all the Washington Post gave Sheikh Fadlallah a chance to be a columnist. The view of Ms. Nasr is, unfortunately all too common in the MSM.

My guess is that there was something else going on with the both of them. When the scandal came, it was the perfect time to bring matters to a head.

(What does the Gemora say? The ox stumbles, the knife is sharpened?)