The Boston Globe and The Washington Post echoed the discredited accusation, advanced by conservative media figures, that Sen. Hillary Clinton did not condemn controversial comments by Suha Arafat during a 1999 trip to the West Bank, where Arafat, according to the Globe, "launched into an unscripted tirade accusing Israel of poisoning Palestinian children." In fact, Clinton reportedly "condemned Mrs. Arafat hours later, after receiving, she said, an official translation of her remarks."
CNN stands by the video it aired from Gaza, and which right-wing warbloggers tagged as "obviously fake" because an anonymous reader at Little Green Footballs, claiming to be a doctor, announced a CPR scene at a Gaza hospital looked weird. It's part of the warbloggers' crusade to convince each other that it's untrustworthy journalists who are concocting tales of suffering and violence in Gaza.
Because when you unleash the loons, you never know where they're going to run.
Over the years, the warblogging site LGF has led an online jihad against war zone journalists and specifically Middle Eastern stringers working for wire services, claiming they concoct the news--they fabricate violence--in order to spread terrorist propaganda. That local Arab or Muslim journalists are incapable of telling the truth about breaking news and that every dispatch they write, especially if it's for the AP, and every photo they file, especially if its for Reuters, must be dissected and mulled over and questioned by right-wing bloggers, lots of whom have no expertise in journalism.
This whole deranged online movement provides all sorts of comfort for war-loving bloggers as it allows them to attack and demean journalists and Muslims/Arabs at the same time.
The phony crusade has been on display since the launch of the Gaza incursion, as supposedly sharp-eyed bloggers, thousands of miles away from the action, stand vigil, looking to save the world from fabricated reports of violence. This week the swarm descended and casually accused a journalist of photoshopping a picture from Gaza. Of just making stuff up. Of taking photos of explosions and then digitally doctoring them and then sending them out on the wire service.
Why? Because the media are the enemy. Because that's what Arab/Muslims stringers do. They quote phony Baghdad police chiefs like Jamil Hussein in order to spread insurgent lies. Actually, on second thought, warbloggers would prefer you leave that embarrassing episode alone. (Still waiting for a collective warblogging apology/acknowledgment/retraction on that one.)
Anyway, here's the Gaza photo that set warbloggers all atwitter:
Except here's a photo of the exact same explosion from another angle:
So eventually LGF had to call off the hounds and assure everyone that this photo had not been photoshopped, but that warbloggers still needed to scan wire photos and be on the look up for manufactured images of Middle Eastern violence.
Because, y'know, there so little actual violence in the region these days, journalists have to stage it and make it up.
UPDATE: LGF has already launched another media-hating crusade regarding footage aired by CNN from inside Gaza. It was a report featuring a freelance cameraman whose brother and cousin were killed in a rocket attack. The warbloggers are in DEFCON 5 mode because--get this--an anonymous LGF reader, who claimed to be a doctor, announced that a hospital scene from Gaza captured in the report was clearly staged because when a doctor on film performed CPR on a victim, it just looked totally weird.
Normal people, please take two steps back for context: Nearly 800 people have been killed in Gaza the last two weeks, yet warbloggers are focused on launching a anti-media jihad based on the fact that an anonymous reader announced a single scene from a Gaza hospital looked strange.
Behold the right-wing blogosphere.
And just out of curiosity, are there any conservative adults who are the slightest bit concerned about what warbloggers are doing to the online movement? Or are they okay with having these folks running the show?
Ethan Bronner in the Times reports on how the Israeli government has banned journalists from entering Gaza to report on Israel's invasion or the previous bombing missions. The issue has been a hotly debated one in recent days and seems central to the question of covering international conflicts.
Yet amazingly, the Times does not include a single quote from anyone at the Times itself--an editor or correspondent--regarding the Gaza ban and how it impacts their efforts to try to cover the conflict. In fact, the Times article doesn't quote any journalists in the region about the ban. The article simply references a statement issued by the foreign press association.
Last night, CNN's Anderson Cooper also reported on the Gaza ban and, quite logically, he interviewed journalists in the region (including those who work for CNN) to get their opinion. For some reason the Times had no interest in interviewing journalists for an article about journalism.
The Times did however, quote four separate Israeli government officials.
BTW, if Howard Kurtz thinks the ban on journalists in Gaza is such a big deal, as he claims today it is in his online column with a passing reference, than why doesn't he write about it for the Washington Post newspaper? To date, the Post has not published a single news article about the ban.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews falsely claimed that President-elect Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton, his reported pick for secretary of state, disagreed on whether "we should make the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group" and on whether "we should have permanent bases in Iraq."
MSNBC's David Shuster baselessly suggested Sen. Barack Obama "bear[s] a little bit of responsibility" for Jesse Jackson's reported comments about how U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would change under an Obama administration -- even though Jackson is not part of the Obama campaign -- because during the previous debate, Shuster said, Sen. John McCain was "pretty clear" in answering the question of whether the U.S. would commit troops to Israel if it was attacked by Iran, whereas Obama was not. In fact, Obama and McCain gave similar responses in key respects.
The New York Post falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "once insisted that US forces invade Pakistan" and that he "opposes sanctions" against Iran (emphasis in the original). In fact, Obama has never said he would "invade Pakistan." Also, he has stated that he favors sanctions on Iran and introduced legislation to enable state and local governments to divest from Iran.
Summary: In an editorial, Investor's Business Daily wrote that after Kenyan politician Raila Odinga lost his country's presidential election in late 2007, "angry Odinga supporters crying fraud sparked riots that resulted in some 1,500 deaths. Amid his ancestral country's civil unrest, [Sen. Barack] Obama took time out from the campaign trail to phone Odinga to voice his support." However, while IBD claimed that Obama phoned Odinga to "voice his support," Obama and his campaign have reportedly said that he pressed Odinga to conduct unconditional negotiations to end the violence during the phone conversation, which was reportedly approved by the State Department.
The Associated Press uncritically reported Sen. John McCain's charge that Sen. Barack Obama "tried to prevent funding for the troops who carried out the surge." In fact, Obama, who has voted in the past to provide funds for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he voted against a troop funding bill in May 2007 because it did not include a timeline for withdrawal. Further, McCain himself has voted against legislation to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
ABCNews.com's The Note, after linking to reports on Sen. John McCain's recent trip to Colombia, stated: "(And the RNC may want you to remember that it was Obama's name -- not McCain's -- that popped up on a seized FARC laptop.)" ABC offered no explanation for its reference to a report that Obama's name "popped up" in a computer seized from "FARC," the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Several right-wing groups and media outlets have used a letter from a FARC spokesman that reportedly mentioned Obama to falsely allege "contacts" and other connections between FARC and Obama.
Following a shooting incident that occurred as French President Nicolas Sarkozy was preparing to depart Israel, Michael Savage claimed: "There is speculation that there was an attempt to kill [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert because he has sold the country down the river, and he is selling the people to their death -- he is leading them to the gas chamber. He is a -- the equivalent of those who led the Jews into the gas chambers in World War II, according to many Israelis who see the handwriting on the wall."
Rush Limbaugh asserted, "Hamas has endorsed Obama. ... Why do you think they've endorsed Obama? Because they want a very strong ally for Israel in the White House?" In fact, Obama stated his support for Israel in a speech June 4 speech in which he said: "Those who threaten Israel threaten us. ... And I will bring to the White House an unshakeable commitment to Israel's security." Hamas reportedly responded to Obama's remarks by saying, "Hamas does not differentiate between the two presidential candidates, Obama and McCain, because their policies regarding the Arab-Israel conflict are the same and are hostile to us, therefore we do have no preference and are not wishing for either of them to win."
The Hill's Alexander Bolton cropped a statement from Sen. Barack Obama that Bolton said "[s]ome Jewish voters interpreted ... as a sign that Obama would be overly sympathetic to the Palestinian side in future peace negotiations with Israel." Bolton also did not note what Obama subsequently said about his comments.
In reporting on Sen. John McCain's speech on nuclear security, the AP, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post noted McCain's claim that he would pursue nuclear arms reduction talks with Russia, but did not mention that McCain has also proposed excluding Russia from the Group of Eight.