Beware of Mideast Propaganda Coming from Newswires
- 11 August 2006 by Author 0 Comments
Beware of Mideast Propaganda Coming from Newswires
By Richard Larsen
Published-Idaho State Journal, 8/11/06
The truism for consumers, “buyer beware” can just as easily be ascribed to all of us who consume media in one form or another. Viewer beware, or reader beware can aptly be applied in this age of digital media manipulation and editing capabilities.
Over the weekend, a major newswire from the UK proved once again that it is not a news source: it is a propaganda arm of radicalism. Reuters is perhaps no more than the English language version of Al Jezeera, which warrants a renaming of the news service to Al Reuters.
You’ll recall that Al Reuters is the newswire that refuses to identify terrorists by what they are: terrorists. Rather, they use monikers like insurgents, freedom fighters, and resistance fighters.
Al-Reuters has recalled several photos from Lebanon that were obviously doctored, displaying staged “victims” of Israeli bombings, burning buildings from Beirut, and purported rocket attacks by an Israeli fighter on Lebanese residential areas. The problems with this admission by Al-Reuters are staggering in their implications.
First of all, the damage has been done: the pictures and associated captions have already run worldwide. When the print version of their recall of the pictures and attached captions runs, it will be in 9 point print on the back page of any national newspaper.
There is the continued erosion of credibility of Al-Reuters as a legitimate source of factual information. As a propaganda source, they do their job well. But they must be seen as such.
There is also the fact that Al-Reuters is not alone in this game. Al-AP (usually recognized as Associated Press) is just as guilty by running pictures of a guy in a green hard hat and a guy in a white t-shirt in several consecutive photos taken from Lebanese war zones. The problem is, the pictures were supposedly taken from different bomb sites nearly 30 miles away! Al-AP also perpetuates the pattern of primarily reporting on the innocents killed in Lebanon while ignoring those killed in Israel.
Further, one can, through an internet search, find raw footage of many of the incidents from the Middle-East actually staged. Of course Al Reuters and Al AP are there to capture the “events,” staged and acted as they are. These include staged gunfire exchanges, non-victims acting like they’re injured including props and make-up, and funeral processions complete with corpses falling off the funeral biers, only to climb back on by themselves.
The byproduct of these manipulations is that all media outlets who subscribe to or carry these “news” sources become willing or unwitting accomplices to the egregious anti-Semitism or propagandizing of the Middle-East. Just like the type of Iraq coverage we’ve seen the last 3 years. Lest we not think of this as propaganda, for what other purpose would these reports be made than to shape world opinion?
We can only surmise why these major international media sources primarily report on, and show pictures of, the Israeli attacks against Hezbollah sites in Lebanon, and not the innocent Israelis killed by Hezbollah rockets in Israel. It could be anti-Semitism, anti-democracy (since they victimize U.S. enemies just as they victimize Israel’s enemies), or it could be that they are actually allied with our enemies. Whatever their motivation, their actions would be the same.
Not only has Reuters earned the “Al” designation affixed to their name, but they have proven they are part of the problem in the war on terror. We must ask ourselves what would they do differently if they were actually on the payroll of Hezbollah, Hamas, or Al Qaida? In their case, as with much of American media, nothing!
To keep this in proper perspective, these are the same sources, along with Al-New York Times, et al, who are pressing everyday for a cease-fire between the Hezbollah and Israel. We might ask rhetorically why they would be pushing so hard for a cease-fire. The only advantage would be in favor of the terrorists. They can rearm, reposition, and replenish their manpower since Israel has attempted to cut off the terrorists from the sources of the financial and military support; namely, Syria and Iran. Further, a cease-fire would do no more than maintain the status quo without resolving the Hezbollah terrorist issue. You can bet that if the terrorists had the upper hand over Israel, there would be no cries for “cease-fire!”
Such blatant manipulation and lop-sided presentation of the news coming from the Middle-East should be disturbing to us. It should make us even more wary of the sources of such reporting, and realize the obvious agendas of such reporting entities. To be an informed populace, it is imperative that the information upon which we base our judgements be factual and reliable. The aphorism in computerdom of “garbage in, garbage out” comes to mind as apropos.
I’m not a great fan of Karl Marx, but I remember one thing that he said with at least a modicum of truth: “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Regrettably it would appear that much of the historical repetition we’re seeing now is farce.
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.