Thursday, March 13, 2008

Al-Jazeera's "Slanted Coverage"

What a way to start the day!! Another story about the Government of Israel.

"Israel imposes sanctions on Al-Jazeera

By Matti Friedman, Associated Press
March 13, 2008

JERUSALEM - Israel said yesterday that it would impose sanctions on the influential Arab satellite network Al-Jazeera, accusing it of slanted coverage favoring the violent Hamas movement.

Majalli Whbee, Israel's deputy foreign minister, said the government would deny visas to the Qatar-based station's employees and Israeli officials would no longer agree to be interviewed by the network. He did not say Israel would strip foreign Al-Jazeera employees currently in Israel of their visas.

"We have seen that Al-Jazeera has become part of Hamas . . . taking sides and cooperating with people who are enemies of the state of Israel," said Whbee, a Druse Arab. "The moment a station like Al-Jazeera gives unreliable reports, represents only one side, and doesn't present the positions of the other side, why should we cooperate?"

Israel was especially incensed by the network's coverage of the most recent round of intense violence in Hamas-ruled Gaza, saying it rarely showed Israeli casualties or
Palestinian rocket fire.

Three Israelis and more than 120 Palestinians were killed, including dozens of civilians, before the fighting subsided earlier this month."

The focus of the outrage of the Israeli Government Officials and its proof of Al-Jazeera bias was the publication by the Arab satellite network of only 3 obituaries of dead Israelis while day after day and week after week for over a month it prejudicially published 120 obituaries of dead Palestinians. Israeli Government Officials protested this is the strongest terms saying that the Al-Jazeera should have provided balance in its coverage by once a month publishing all 123 obituaries on the same day in the same column or, in the alternative, by including in the names of 117 Jewish Israelis who had passed away during that month.

Obviously the previous paragraph is something I made up. But the point is that the difference between slanted coverage and accurate objective reporting sometimes, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

I'll bet that Eliot Spitzer believes that the media is offering "slanted coverage". How can it ignore all the good works that he did?

How about the President of the United States? All the time headlines about Torture? Illegal wiretaps? Firings of US Attorneys!! Unjustified invasion of Iraq? Hundreds of thousands of dead soldiers and civilians? Where are all the stories about his great moves and trades when he was involved with the Texas Rangers? Talk about slanted coverage!!

And what about the Catholic priests found guilty of sexually abusing children in spite of doing so much good for so many others in their flocks. Another example of slanted coverage by the media.

Forty years - nearly FIFTEEN THOUSAND (15,000) days and nights of an illegal and immoral occupation and oppression of the Palestinians by the Government of Israel and the Government of Israel accuses Al-Jazeera of slanted coverage and wants to punish it.

What twisted logic? What Chutzpah? What arrogance? How conniving?

What comes to mind as I try to describe this action of the Government of Israel is the phrase Eliot Spitzer used when referring to himself: a f------ steamroller.


PS: Speaking of steamrollers, in a previous message, I mentioned that Joan and I are going to see My Name is Rachel Corrie this Sunday, March 16, at the New Repertory Theater. I just received a message from the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation noting that that date is the 5th Anniversary of her being killed by an Israeli army Caterpillar D-9 bulldozer (note the slanted coverage) in Rafah in Gaza. Three days later the US illegally and immorally (note the slanted coverage) attacked Iraq. The US Campaign suggests various ways to take action on that day. Coincidentally and fortunately, we will have the opportunity on that day to honor her memory and her dedication to peace by listening to her words.

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