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Palestinian Protests over Delay of Goldstone Report Action 5/10/09

Paula Hancocks reports from Ramallah about protests. Camera work when showing "the largest demonstration since the events" is dodgy, and her explanations of events superficial. Too bad she didn't interview Dan Schueftan. Meantime discussion of Abbas as "weak in many eyes" just replicates the dominant honor-shame paradigm in which restraint -- not pushing Goldstone so the Palestinians can get on with the business of building a state for its people -- is viewed not as strength but impotence.

 




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cs_pn_protectPalestinian Protests over Delay of Goldstone Report Action 5/10/09

Paula Hancocks reports from Ramallah about protests. Camera work when showing "the largest demonstration since the events" is dodgy, and her explanations of events superficial. Too bad she didn't interview Dan Schueftan. Meantime discussion of Abbas as "weak in many eyes" just replicates the dominant honor-shame paradigm in which restraint -- not pushing Goldstone so the Palestinians can get on with the business of building a state for its people -- is viewed not as strength but impotence.

 




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Zakaria interviews Goldstone 4/10/09

Here's CNN's Fareed Zakaria interviewing Goldstone. Even though it's clear that Zakaria hasn't read the report in question (or even a serious summary) since he let's Goldstone off the hook repeatedly, Goldstone's clearly on his best behavior for a Western public that assumes he's of good will. Highlight: How do these deeds compare with, say, Kosovo? Goldstone: "No comparison." So... why the possibility of "crimes against humanity?"

 




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Amanpour interviews Goldstone 30/9/09

Christiane Amanpour, who, like Zakaria, has apparently not read the report (or a serious summary), and therefore, like Zakaria, let's Goldstone off the hook for saying silly things about his investigation of Hamas, nonetheless gets some interesting comments from Goldstone: "This wasn't even quasi-judicial, certainly not a judicial hearing." Follow up that wasn't asked: "So why the [harsh] judgments?" For transcript and fisking of second part of interview, see Augean Stables.

 


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Amanpour interviews Albright on Goldstone Report 30/9/09

Christiane Amanpour interviews former Secretary of State and Ambassador to the UN on the Goldstone Report. Albright is nearly incomprehensible as she tries to navigate between criticizing the report and "respecting" all the players involved in producing it, including the NGOs (good example of the "halo effect"). Amanpour asks leading questions that assume the virtues of the report. Amanpour C-, Albright D-.

 




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Amanpour goes to Summer Camp in Gaza, 12 August 2009

Amanpour does as close to a puff piece on Gaza summer camps as she can possibly do without looking like a Hamas propagandist.  No mention of hate-mongering and demonizing of Israel; no discussion of becoming Shahids; just carefully phrased comments about "self-defense" and becoming a "defender of our country," Just the image Hamas wishes to convey.  Imagine if she had pushed for information beyond the packaging, like who the camp is named after, or if she had shown footage from PMW on how children are trained.  I don't think she'd be welcomed back again -- at best.

 




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Christiane Amanpour's report on children in Gaza

Amanpour interviews children scarred by the latest hostilities. The clear implication: Israel is creating future shahids. Not a word about how Hamas prolongs the hostilities and brainwashes the children with hatred in schools and on TV. She interviews Gaza psychologist el Sarraj, who is only too happy to play along, just as he did for Goldstone.

 




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BBC Reports on Breaking the Silence by Israeli Soldiers

The BBC has a special segment on a report of the Israeli soldiers group "Breaking the Silence," which accuses the IDF of widespread infractions of the rules of law. They do independent research to confirm it, and offer no hint that the report has major flaws. For that, they turn to an IDF spokesperson. Any viewer would get the impression that the BBC, as an impartial observer, considers the report completely reliable, and that only Israeli officials reject it. They'd be right about the BBC's opinion, but would they be right about the BBC's impartiality?

 

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BBC Reports on Amnesty International Report on OCL

BBC's report on the deeply problematic report of AI. Note the astonishing methodology (unchallenged) of Donatella Rovera in deciding who used human shields. Then note the interview with Gerald Steinberg at the end.

 

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Mustafa Barghouti BBC interview

Here's a BBC interview with Mustafa Barghouti on Obama's Cairo speech.  Notice how the interviewer does not challenge any of Barghouti's comments, and, at points, hands him concessions.  The idea that Hamas alone is responsible for Palestinian violence, reflects either bias of the reporter or his ignorance.  And when Barghouti goes on about how the "process" rather than the "peace" is in Israel's interest, it would have been nice to hear the interviewer ask if the Palestinians are afraid of peace, and have, therefore, turned down so many opportunities.  At least, he could have asked, "So what do you think the Palestinians need to concede for peace?" 




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Rami Khouri in BBC Interview on Obama's Cairo Speech

Another reasonably tame interview, again with clear enthusiasm for Obama's speech on the part of the BBC. Khouri gets to play an even-handed supporter of human rights and make astonishing statements without contradiction, as in "of the President supports good governance... and women's rights. I think that people will be happy with that." Hizbullah? Hamas? Similarly he gets to put the US, England and Israel into the same "violence-using" category as organizations like Hamas and Hizbullah which have violence built into their very charters and reason for living. In short we have a 4+ minute-long advertisement for moderate Arab opinion and the implicit or explicit responsibility of Israel and the US for the problems in the region.




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Gerald Steinberg interviewed by BBC on Obama's Cairo Speech

Now we see the prejudices of the interviewer more clearly. Whereas the questions to the Arab interviewees were open-ended – how’d you like the speech (which he openly liked), now we have the reason why he liked it: “Not much consolation for Israel here, is there?” As Steinberg makes a point about the problem with Palestinian attitudes, he interrupts again, with clear pleasure at the point, “He made it quite clear, he wants a two-state solution.” Note that Steinberg's interview is considerably shorter than both, cut short by the BBC.




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New BBC Gets Iranian Perspective on Netanyahu in DC

An interview between a BBC anchor and correspondent Reza Sayah. The question is a reasonable one, the answer is Iranian political propaganda presented as the remarks of unnamed "analysts". Note how Sayah's tone supports the arguments these alleged "analysts" make. The argument about "we wouldn't wipe out the Palestinians just to eliminate the Israelis, would we?" is aimed at your classic liberal audience in the West. What? Shiites bomb Sunnis to get their way? Never! The anchor's response: no skepticism, just "thank you, good insight." Good insight? Good grief, Charlie Brown.


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CNN World Report Swiss TV on the devastation in Gaza

Here's a piece run by CNN World Report featuring a Swiss feature by  Claire Doole on the devastation in Gaza.  Note how it begins with a  quote from American Congressman Keith Ellison that it was "Destruction  beyond description," without mentioning that he is the US's only  Muslim member of Congress, and hardly what one might call an impartial  source.




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CNN'S Ben Wedeman on the Amnesty report

Here's a piece of Moral Equivalence from Ben Wedeman.  AI released a report critical of both Israel and Hamas which he then presents with the tasty irony, that for once Israel and Hamas agree: "they don't like the report."  Embedded in the account is a smug fiction, similar to the one the BBC used with me, "if we're offending both sides, we must be doing something wrong."  Of course, he neither examines nor critiques the claims of the two sides.  Better just to put them up as a superficial and symmetrical contrast.  Comments welcome.




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BBC Panorama Gaza in Ruins

In the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, Jeremy Bowen of the BBC produced a piece for Panorama on the situation in Gaza and the events of the previous weeks which the BBC aired on February 14, 2009.  In so doing, they repeated many of the claims made by Palestinian sources throughout the hostilities, without even mentioning the doubts that surrounded them.  Please view and comment on the journalistic lapses, as well as the counter-evidence that this program contains.



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BBC Hardtalk with Aaron David Miller

Here's an interesting BBC Hard Talk between *** and US policy wonk Aaron David Miller.  Miller's views on "peace-making" in the Arab-Israeli conflict are fairly clear, as described here in the pages of Newsweek, an article that Bill Moyers warmly recommends.  Note the disconnect between his comments about learning from history and his "solution" to the Arab-Israeli conflict, as if the key lesson of the past two decades is for the USA to put more pressure on Israel.




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Ben Wedeman in the ruins of Gaza

CNN'S Ben Wedeman in the ruins of Gaza

Here's Ben Wedeman explaining about cycle of violence and the  unhappiness of Gazans with getting promised money to rebuild without  getting assurances that Israel won't bomb the new buildings.  Why does  he never ask his Gazan interviewees whether they don't think that it's  partly their job to make sure that Hamas doesn't provoke another  retaliation? Is it because he wants to be their friend? Or because  he's afraid of their reaction? Or is that just two sides of the same  Augean coin?




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Rory Peck Award to Roderigo Vasquez for "Inside Hamas"

In 2008, among the finalists at the Rory Peck Awards was Roderigo Vasquez for his work "Inside Hamas" (previous winners Talal abu Rahmeh  for "al Durah" and *** for "Gaza Beach").  It begins with some footage  of Hamas' executive force beating Palestinian men in the streets of  Gaza, and then moves into an interview between *** of the BBC and  Vasquez on how he got in to do the filming.



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SEE_python

Monty Python and the Gaza Operation: Hamas Always Triumphs

Friends have recently sent me a clip from Monty Python of some relevance to the Middle East to lighten the day. Hamas never loses:




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