Archive for Media Bias

All the News That’s Fit to Suppress

The UK Guardian opinion section quotes an old editor: “Comment is free, but facts are sacred.”

Funny, that:

The British newspaper The Guardian rejected an advertorial piece penned by famed Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, JNS.org has learned. In the ad, Dershowitz refutes statements by many media outlets that all of the Gaza Strip is densely populated, a claim that has been used to justify the use of human shields by Hamas in the terrorist group’s recent conflict with Israel.

“The British media is divided,” Dershowitz said in an interview. “But The Guardian, which holds itself out to be a purveyor of diverse truth, clearly reflects a bias against Israel on its editorial pages, as well as in its presentation of the news. Now that bias has spread to the advertising pages.”

Dershowitz told JNS.org that newspapers “have a right to decide which ads to accept and reject,” but questioned The Guardian’s decision not to run his advertorial.

“My column was factually sound and not a personal attack on anybody. It simply laid out the geographic facts of the Gaza Strip and its implications,” he said.

“Dershowitz was presenting a new point of view in this article,” Harry Wechsler of the Wechsler Family Foundation told JNS.org in an email.

“Hamas was not forced into shooting their rockets from pads located in urban areas, thereby leading to unavoidable civilian deaths,” wrote Wechsler. “They were not shooting from some of the densest population centers anywhere because they had no other choice. No—the choice was there. Though not large, Gaza had ample space that was not densely populated—farm land, empty spaces where rockets could have been stored and shot from. Furthermore, the U.N. could easily have developed temporary quarters in these same spaces for the sheltering of civilian refugees, far away from the sites of battle.”

“The Guardian rarely shows photographs of Hamas fighters firing from densely populated areas. They continue to perpetuate the myth that all of the Gaza is densely populated. They continue to perpetrate the myth that the vast majority of people killed in this was have been children and women, when the fact is the vast majority of people killed have been males of terrorist age,” Dershowitz said.

It is important for Americans and British readers to know that the worst kind of distortion is “distortion by omission, where the media refuses to print the truth or opposing points of view, and the rejection of this ad [by The Guardian] is a manifestation of that,” added Dershowitz.

Exactly. No one in Britain knows anything except what the media report. If the media report an Israeli massacre, that’s what they believe. If the truth is far different, well, that’s someone else’s job.

But I reject even Dershowitz’s point. So what if Hamass were forced by population density to fire from crowded areas? That’s still on them. Nobody’s making them shell, rocket, and mortar Israel continually over the the past nine years. That’s their choice. If Israel doesn’t have the right to put an end to that, even if protecting their citizens from terror might harm Gaza’s citizens, she is the only country I’ve ever heard of so constrained. Nonsense. Israel may kill as many Gazans as necessary to secure Israelis, no more, no fewer. Indeed, it must.

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Heard On The BBC

Today on the BBC they did a heartfelt piece about the anguish of the average Gazan. It dripped with empathy, British-style, meaning they were warm and caring toward the Gazans and at the same time hostile and snotty toward Israel.

I thought about this: “Aggie, (I thought), how can you help the British media, and the British public, to feel empathy for the suffering of the Israelis? How to make them understand that in a nation of roughly 7 million people, 14,000 missiles have been launched from Gaza in total, and about 3,500 of them happened within the past couple of months? How can such loving people not feel for the poor Israelis, and how can I help?”

Well, I thought and I thought and I think I have the solution. It is pretty simple. You see, there are about 7.5 million Israelis, but 63,742,000 citizens of the UK. I want to divide the UK into Israel-sized populations. Hmmm. I have to divide 63,742,000 by 7.5 million. It comes up to 8.493333333333. Let’s agree on 8.5, ok? So that means that there are 8.5 regions of the UK, somehow divided into 7.5 million human beings each (except for the .5 which has only 3.75 million, give or take). Got it? Now draw the borders any which way, as long as each region has only 7.5 million people.

And start shelling them. Randomly and persistently, begin to fire missiles into the UK. Some will land in fields, some will shatter the stained glass in those beautiful cathedrals, some will hit cafes, and some will land in nursery schools or senior living facilities. This needs to go on for 9 years and it needs to be random. Perhaps someone can write a computer program to create the randomness of the targets? And naturally, the missiles themselves must be faulty enough that even if something is aimed at a park, it could as easily land in the 3rd floor living room of a nice apartment.

Talk doesn’t matter. Whoever runs the program can talk and talk and talk, as long as the shelling continues. It’s best if they promise to stop if demands are met, etc., but the shelling must continue. Oh, and it would be lovely if the population of Britain was blamed for their own misery and most especially if the UN passed dozens, oddles!, of resolutions blaming them.

In 9 years, we can see how the BBC responds. Our readers who either live in the UK or are familiar with it can write and let us know if this would work.

Best,

Aggie

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Don’t Mention the War Deserter!

Self-censorship is the worst censorship:

While the U.S. Army weighs whether to bring charges against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was freed earlier this year after spending nearly five years as a Taliban captive in Afghanistan, six of his former platoon mates are shopping proposals for a book and movie that would render their own harsh verdicts.

A draft of their book proposal, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, depicts Bergdahl as a “premeditated” deserter who “put all of our lives in danger” — and possibly aided the Taliban — when he disappeared from his observation post in eastern Afghanistan in the early morning hours of June 30, 2009.

“I’m not sure we can publish this book without the Right using it to their ends,” Sarah Durand, a senior editor at Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, wrote in an email to one of the soldiers’ agents.

“[T]he Conservatives are all over Bergdahl and using it against Obama,” Durand wrote, “and my concern is that this book will have to become a kind of ‘Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’” — a reference to the group behind a controversial book that raised questions about John Kerry’s Vietnam War record in the midst of his 2004 presidential campaign.

Yeah, but the Swift Boaters were telling the truth.

“There was no way we were going to sit down and be quiet while Obama was calling him a war hero,” said Evan Buetow, Bergdahl’s former team leader, in an interview with Yahoo News. “We’re just trying to tell the truth. It’s not my fault this would make Obama look bad.”

“We didn’t politicize this,” added Cody Full, Bergdahl’s former roommate. “They brought his parents out at a White House Rose Garden ceremony and presented him as a hero. … Why wouldn’t you just have a quiet press release? Why do you have to have a big parade? You don’t do that for the parents who have kids who have died in Afghanistan.”

This is a smoking gun, but the arsenal of left-wing bias in the news, academia, and across the culture is much greater than this. The so-called low information crowd includes New York Times readers, NPR listeners, and the like. In fact, they are the low information crowd.

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Bulldog of the Press?

Or turtle?

International press in Gaza has hardly reported on how Hamas operates in this round of fighting and photos or video of Hamas fighters from recent weeks are rare, the reason for which became apparent this week as several journalists reported being threatened and even expelled from Gaza for reporting the terrorist organization uses civilian sites to attack Israel.

Reporters from Italy and the US corroborated the IDF’s explanation for explosions near Shifa Hospital and by a playground in Shati on Tuesday, that it was a result of rockets misfired by Gazan terrorists.

However, one altered his report and another waited to leave Gaza because he feared retribution from Hamas.

Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati tweeted a photo on Tuesday as he went through the Erez crossing into Israel.

Barbati then he tweeted the following in Italian and English: “Out of Gaza far from Hamas retaliation: Misfired rocket killed children [yesterday] in Shati. Witness: militants rushed and cleared debris.”

He followed that tweet with another: “@IDFSpokesperson said truth in communique released yesterday about Shati camp massacre. It was not Israel behind it.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Middle East Correspondent based in Egypt Tamer El-Ghobashy tweeted a photo of rubble with the explanation: “An outside wall on the campus of Gaza’s main hospital was hit by a strike. Low level damage suggest Hamas misfire.”

Soon after, El-Ghobashy deleted the tweet, similar to his Wall Street Journal colleague Nick Casey, who tweeted a photo of a Hamas official using Shifa hospital for media appearances last week and then deleted it.

El-Ghobashy then replaced the same tweet with the same photo and the text: “The outer wall of Gaza City’s main hospital was struck. Unclear what the origin of the projectile is.”

The French newspaper Liberation published an article last week detailing how Hamas interrogated French-Palestinian journalist Radjaa Abu Dagga and threatened to throw him out of Gaza – all in Shifa hospital. The article was later removed at Abu Dagga’s request.

Pro-Palestinian activists and journalists, including Fadi Arouri from Al-Ayyam, reported on Wednesday that RT (formerly Russia Today) correspondent Harry Fear was told to leave Gaza after he tweeted about Hamas rockets being fired into Israel from near his hotel.

In another tweet from last week, Fear called Al-Wafa hospital “the hospital with human shields.”

Reporters Without Borders confirmed to Liberation that many journalists reported being threatened by Hamas, though the organization’s website criticizes Israel.

Love that “THOUGH”. Hamass is threatening to kneecap anyone with a steno pad, but RSF blames Israel. Dinks. Megadinks.

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Andy Griffith Beats Rachel Maddow

Now, that’s a pay-per-view I’d shell out for!

But it’s a figurative beating, not a literal one:

What’s most disconcerting for MSNBC might be its total day average among the news demo of adults 25-54. Dropping 33 percent from July 2013, it actually ranked below HLN by 16,000 viewers for No. 4 status.

To be sure, it wasn’t a particularly outstanding month for most of the networks. In primetime and total day, CNN, MSNBC and HLN all were off double digits in the targeted demographic compared to a year ago. FNC, which easily retains the top slot, had the benefit of being up a tick (2 percent) in primetime for an average 299,000 adults 25-54.

There also are individual races that proved more interesting than usual. In the morning, CNN’s New Day overtook MSNBC’s Morning Joe in the key demo, 93,000 to 79,000 viewers. At 5 p.m., FNC’s The Five hit its third month at No. 1 among total viewers across all of cable — beating Nickelodeon’s longtime vet and kid-pleaser SpongeBob SquarePants.

And in the evening, Rachel Maddow was only marginally improved from her lowest month ever in June, averaging 181,000 viewers in the key demo. (FNC’s Megyn Kelly, by contrast, enjoyed her second-highest-rated month since launch with an especially strong 386,000 adults 25-54.)

It’s also worth noting that Kelly and Maddow no longer see traditional news competition from CNN at 9 p.m. ET. Doc special The Sixties, which has been airing in the hour on Thursdays, has averaged 291,000 adults 25-54 over the course of its seven premiere telecasts. It now regularly outperforms Maddow.

That means Ozzie and Harriet—heck, Harriet by herself—kicks Maddow’s ass. Across this great nation of ours, almost 320 million strong, Maddow pulls the equivalent of Overland Park, Kansas to her show. She can’t even beat a series from half a century ago.

But then, America has taste. No aspersions intentionally cast, but if I want to look at a woman with a mannish haircut, I’m going to watch Andy’s squeeze, Helen Crump (Aneta Corsaut), over Rachel Maddow (Rachel Maddow) any day:

PS: I see Fox News Sunday beat Meet the Depressed too. They never should have gotten rid of Laurence Spivak. Talk about eye candy!

PPS: So what? MSNBC and CNN may trade places on the list of who’s the biggest joke, but Obama is still president. No wonder Maddow’s always smiling.

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Imbecilic or Immoral?

If Aggie and I are growing increasingly frustrated with the biased coverage against Israel—and we are—the myriad reasons can be summed up in these few words:

Palestine Makes You Dumb

Of all the inane things that have been said about the war between Israel and Hamas, surely one dishonorable mention belongs to comments made over the weekend by Benjamin J. Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

Interviewed by CNN’s Candy Crowley, Mr. Rhodes offered the now-standard administration line that Israel has a right to defend itself but needs to do more to avoid civilian casualties. Ms. Crowley interjected that, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Jewish state was already doing everything it could to avoid such casualties.

“I think you can always do more,” Mr. Rhodes replied. “The U.S. military does that in Afghanistan.”

How inapt is this comparison? The list of Afghan civilians accidentally killed by U.S. or NATO strikes is not short. Little of the fighting in Afghanistan took place in the dense urban environments that make the current warfare in Gaza so difficult. The last time the U.S. fought a Gaza-style battle—in Fallujah in 2004—some 800 civilians perished and at least 9,000 homes were destroyed. This is not an indictment of U.S. conduct in Fallujah but an acknowledgment of the grim reality of city combat.

Oh, and by the way, American towns and cities were not being rocketed from above or tunneled under from below as the Fallujah campaign was under way.

Oh, and by the way, too, you can’t believe the numbers:

Consider the media obsession with the body count. According to a daily tally in the New York Times, as of July 27 the war in Gaza had claimed 1,023 Palestinian lives as against 46 Israelis. How does the Times keep such an accurate count of Palestinian deaths? A footnote discloses “Palestinian death tallies are provided by the Palestinian Health Ministry and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.”

OK. So who runs the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza? Hamas does. As for the U.N., it gets its data mainly from two Palestinian agitprop NGOs, one of which, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, offers the remarkably precise statistic that, as of July 27, exactly 82% of deaths in Gaza have been civilians. Curiously, during the 2008-09 Gaza war, the center also reported an 82% civilian casualty rate.

When minutely exact statistics are provided in chaotic circumstances, it suggests the statistics are garbage. When a news organization relies—without clarification—on data provided by a bureaucratic organ of a terrorist organization, there’s something wrong there, too.

To argue the Palestinian side, in this war, is to make the case for barbarism. It is to erase, in the name of humanitarianism, the moral distinctions from which the concept of humanity arises.

Typically, the Obama administration is hedging its bets. The Palestine Effect claims another victim.

As always, I agree with everything Bret Stephens writes—with one exception: the Obama administration in not dumb. Well, they are, as most liberals are when cut loose from reality and sanity. But they are also evil. Knowingly and willfully evil.

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He Won.

We’re Sad.

Americans really wish they elected Mitt Romney instead of Obama

Americans are so down on President Obama at the moment that, if they could do the 2012 election all over again, they’d overwhelmingly back the former Massachusetts governor’s bid. That’s just one finding in a brutal CNN poll, released Sunday, which shows Romney topping Obama in a re-election rematch by a whopping nine-point margin, 53 percent to 44 percent. That’s an even larger spread than CNN found in November, when a survey had Romney winning a redo 49 percent to 45 percent.

Two years ago, Obama won re-election with about 51 percent of the vote.

Of course, the poll should be taken with a grain of salt. While Obama is actually taking on the tough task of leading the nation, Romney is sitting comfortably on the sidelines where he is liable to receive a more favorable reception. Still, the finding comes as foreign and domestic crises have sent Obama’s approval rating tumbling back to 40 percent, per Gallup.

Also in the CNN survey, a record-low 46 percent say Obama “shares [their] values,” while only 49 percent say he is “sincere in what he says,” also a record-low.

OK, CNN is a terrible news organization and most of what they say is rubbish. I don’t believe this at all, but it’s fun to fantasize. In any case, we are getting the government that we elected – twice.

- Aggie

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Israel Explains Things To CNN

No clue if it went through the thick head.

- Aggie

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Utopianism Vs. Reality (Alternative Title: The True Cycle Of Violence)

In my view, utopian ideologies (such as pacifism, leftist appeasement, Messianism, etc.) are the most dangerous philosophies that mankind has created, with the possible exception of Communism and its offshoots. Communism itself is a utopian ideology, come to think of it. What these ideologies share is the belief that given the right set of circumstances, peace on earth will come about.

Don’t get me wrong – a small dose of this stuff is just fine. We can all pray for the Messiah to come (or return). We can pitch in and help our neighbors. We can avoid conflict if it is reasonable to do so.

But Reality is ever so much more powerful than Utopianism, especially in the world today.

This is about Israel, but it pertains to the US too:

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of Great Britain and France all are rushing to achieve a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Their motive — to end civilian suffering and restore stability to the area — is noble. The images of the wounded and dead resulting from the conflict are indeed agonizing. However, these senior statesmen can be most helpful now by doing nothing. To preserve the values they cherish and to send an unequivocal message to terrorist organizations and their state sponsors everywhere, Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

This is the lesson of previous rounds of fighting between the Israeli Defense Forces and terrorist strongholds. In Lebanon in 2006 and in Gaza in 2008 and again in 2012, Israel responded to rocket attacks on its cities with fierce counteroffensives. Fighting against a deeply dug-in enemy that both blended in with the local population and used it as a shield, Israel’s best efforts to avoid civilian casualties invariably proved limited. Incensed world opinion generated immense pressure on governments to convene the U.N. Security Council and empower human rights organizations to censure Israel and stop the carnage. These measures succeeded where the terrorists’ rockets failed. Israel was compelled to back down.

And the terrorists, though badly mauled, won. Admittedly, their bar for claiming victory was exceptionally low. While Israel must achieve a clear battlefield success to win, the terrorists merely had to survive. But they did more than survive. Under the protection of cease-fires and, in some cases, international peacekeepers, they vastly expanded their arsenals to include more lethal and longer-range missiles. While reestablishing their rule in the streets, they burrowed beneath them to create a warren of bombproof bunkers and assault tunnels. Such measures enabled Hamas, as well as Hezbollah, to mount devastating attacks at the time of their choosing, confident that the international community would once again prevent Israel from exacting too heavy a price.

So the cycle continued. Allowed to fight for several weeks, at most, Israel was eventually condemned and hamstrung by cease-fires. The terrorists, by contrast, could emerge from their hideouts and begin to replenish and enhance their stockpiles. That is precisely the pattern established in the second Lebanon War and repeated in Operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense in Gaza. Hezbollah and Hamas sustained losses but, rescued and immunized by international diplomacy, they remained in power and became more powerful still. Israel, on the other hand, was forced to defend its right to defend itself. Jihadist organizations no different from the Islamic State and al-Qaeda gained regional legitimacy, while Israel lost it in the world.

The cycle can end, now and decisively. As Operation Protective Edge enters its third week , responsible world leaders can give Israel the time and the leverage it needs to alter Hamas’s calculus. They can let the Israeli army ferret Hamas out of its holes and make it pay a prohibitive cost for its attacks. They can create an outcome in which the organization, even if it remains in Gaza, is defanged and deprived of its heavy arms. Of course, Hamas will resist demilitarization, and more civilians will suffer, but by ending the cycle once and for all thousands of innocent lives will be saved.

Life in Gaza is miserable now, but if Israel is permitted to prevail, circumstances can improve markedly. U.S.- and Canadian-trained security forces of the Palestinian Authority can take over key crossings and patrol Gaza’s porous border with Egypt. Rather than be funneled into Hamas’s war chest, international aid can be transferred directly to the civilian population to repair war damage and stimulate economic growth. Terrorist groups and their state patrons can be put on notice: The game has changed unalterably.

More at the link. Again, it doesn’t exactly make us want to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but it is the truth.

- Aggie

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Arab EMTs

When the going gets tough, the terrorists scatter like so many cockroaches:

But as pathetically humorous as it is to watch the little Arab rats scurry and hide, it’s nowhere near as pathetically humorous as watching the little Arab rats play-acting:

Hee-hee. Pallywood really ought to sell tickets for these comic shorts. They’re blockbuster.

There are a few among the dead whose deaths I’m sure I regret. A few. But if Hamass fires off missiles and mortars from behind the skirts of Arab grannies, Israel not only can fire back, it must. Chalk up all deaths to Hamass.

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Antisemitism At The Washington Post

- Aggie

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BREAKING: ObamaCare Hurts Economy, Workers

Who could have seen this coming?

[U]nlike Settles’s other experiments, this one hasn’t been great for his business. He put raises and expansion plans on hold as he figured out the cost and logistics of making the changes. To his surprise, his employees have not leaped at the chance to get health insurance. And he is still trying to figure some things out — for example, how to safeguard employee information that must now be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, such as the Social Security numbers of children who are covered under their parents’ health plans.

“We don’t want to be liable for that,” he said. “What if we get hacked?”

In recent weeks, criticism of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate — one of the law’s most controversial components — has intensified, as employers such as Settles complain publicly and even some Obama administration allies acknowledge that the mandate has harmed some workers.

A number of businesses, including Regal Entertainment and SeaWorld, have reduced hours for part-time workers to fewer than 30 a week — the law’s definition of full time — to avoid having to offer them health insurance. Other companies say they are holding back on hiring to avoid the insurance requirement. Seasonal employees and low-wage workers, such as adjunct professors and cafeteria staffers, have been hit especially hard.

You’ll pardon Aggie and me, I hope, for laughing at Democrat stalwarts, “low-wage workers”, as the “law of the land” targets their asses. It’s more than we could have hoped for.

Did I say “law of the land”? Hardly:

“We’ve never thought [the employer mandate] was particularly good policy, and while people have probably screamed too loudly about the effects on employment, there is some of it that’s certainly true, and it’s not worth the price we seem to be paying,” said John Holahan, a fellow at the Urban Institute and a co-author of the recent paper “Why Not Just Eliminate the Employer Mandate?”

Am I the only one troubled by the concept of an optional mandate? It’s like asking your calculator to divide by zero. And the media pretend to discover these collateral damages as if they weren’t there all along.

See you in November.

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