L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

10 August 2006 Blog Home : August 2006 : Permalink

MSM sacrifices itself for Hezbollah

The more I look at the ongoing embarassment which is the MSM coverage of the conflict in Lebanon the more I think that Hezbollah must have converted the MSM to the idea od martyrdom for cause. There really doesn't seem to be any other reason why the MSM is so slavishly willing to follow Hezbollah's censorship and stage management and not report it. Indeed, as Richard North says, sometimes it seems like they prefer to lie for Hezbollah than admit the possibility of error. That post particularly lays in to AP for its denial of the staging of Qana, something rather underct by the video from the German NDR, but this is just one example.

Take (and throw with extreme vigour into the nearest litter bin) the NY Slimes and its hagiographical coverage (H/T Hotair)of Hezbollah and the ICRC. Interestingly enough I can believe that the IDF will use this article as evidence for the defense for any and all claims of war crimes based on the IDF bombing ICRC stuff because it clearly explains that the ICRC in southern Lebanon is actively assisting Hezbollah.

To go back to Qana briefly, defenders of the MSM have generally put up either lame defenses or created strawmen arguments which they then destroy. The favourite strawman seems to be that the blogosphere thinks the entire Qana event was faked. This is the sort of wilful misinterpretation of the main blogospheric focus that fails to convince the impartial. Not one blogger thinks the event was a complete fake. There is a possibility that the building collapsed hours after the IDF bombed nearby and there is the belief that possibly some of the corpses removed from the site were brought to it from Tyre already dead but should either of these possibilities turn out to be false it fails to affect the key thrust of the argument. That is that Hezbollah stage managed the excavation of the building and seems to be undeniable simply by looking at the feeding frenzy of press photogrsphs taken there. The fact that many of them show the same corpse being held by different rescuers at different times and with different poses makes this either the most incompetant recovery of dead bodies ever or an attempt to milk a tragedy as much as possible.

The problem is that Qana is not an isolated incident of Hezbollah stage management. At NRO's the corner, CNN's Anderson Cooper explains how his trip around S Beirut was carefully stage managed and guided with plenty of photo ops of ambulances and so on. Even the BBC mentions briefly that Hezbollah would only let it film certaint things in Tyre and so on. I don't have a problem with stage management or censorship per se, Hezbollah is fighting a propaganda war, I have a problem with an MSM that fails to clearly mention that it is depicting stage-managed or censored events and which fails to critically examine the output of the stage managed events.

This isn't to say that all of the MSM is equally bad, for example Jules Crittenden at the Boston Herald explains why the picture editors have accepted the dodgy photos documented all over the place, but overall the war coverage has been poor to terrible. Worse for the MSM is that the blogosphere is able to identify just how poor it is and provide better, more balanced and far more informative coverage. The result of this is that trust in the MSM, already low, is plummeting. Even worse the way the rebuttals are spreading, via youtube videos and the like, are precisely the way that the younger generation prefers.

The MSM usually claims that it is better than the blogosphere because it can filter and detect fraud. The Lebanon conflict shows that claim to be a flat out lie. The MSM may possibly speak truth to power but it seems keen to speak falsehood to the rest of us and to support the terrorists. I assume MSM support of the terrorists is based on the idea that idividual journalists may die or lose acces to "scoops" unless they uncriticall regurgitate terrorist propaganda, whereas they see no downside to criticising Israel or the USA becuase these countries have a tradition of press freedom. Unfortunately that analysis seems to be at the usual level of MSM strategic thought - poor. In the short term they are correct. In the long term they are as wrong as it is possible to be. Aside from state supported outlets such as the BBC the MSM depends on advertising revenue to survive and that revenue is roughly proportional to the audience size. If the MSM are shown to be puppets and liars then they will lose audience (which they are) and hence lose money. Eventually they will be out of a job. And even the BBC will feel the chill wind of financial cuts if it loses credibility - there is no reason to assume that the next UK government will not force the BBC to wean itself from the license fee and even less reason to assume that once weaned it will not see a drastic downsizing.

Meryl Yourish thinks this means that the terrorists are winning the propaganda war, to me it seems more likely that they are helping the MSM destroy itself. It really seems to me that Lebanon is going to be the place where the MSM collectively martyred itself, fighting for the cause of an Iranian backed terror group that seeks the utter destruction of Israel and the imposition of Sharia law and press censorship that would be antithetical to the MSM itself.

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin