Monday, June 7, 2010

The Big Lie

The Big Lie - How the Sydney Morning Herald sells the biases of its newsroom as reportage.

A long time ago, in Israeli elections around 1990, someone put together a party called Bli Busha" (= shameless), to try and expose the flaws and vagaries of the political process, where much is promised and little delivered. Bli busha would be a good way to describe the way the SMH has approached its coverage of the "Free Gaza To Attack Israel" flotilla. It used an embedded partisan "reporter" (i.e. propogandist who articulates his personal predjudices under a thin veneer of reportage) someone who, like Robert Fink, Norman Finkenstein, and that other pulpit bashing professional do gooder whose instantly forgettable name and work escapes me right now, but I think he was given the City of Sydney peace prize recently in keeping with Mignon McLaughlin's observation that "Every society honours its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers." so paul McGeogh uses his negligible talents as a creative writer to systematically demonise and dehumanise Israelis, while whiteashing and sanitising one of the ugliest, most reactive and resentment driven causes of the 21st Century - the desire to establish an Islamic State in Gaza where personal freedoms are non existent and the glue of national identity is emnity towards Israelis and - lets cut the crap now - towards Jews simply because they're Jews.

So after the SMH's reportage has been exposed as full of distortions - the Israeli boys were armed with paint ball guns, not machine guns, they didn't attack first, the "activists" were neither peaceful or seeking peace, and the ommitted context was the state of war that Gaza's elected governemnt has declared on the state it dosn't even recognise as existing - it has learnt nothing and continues to try and shape the debate rather than simply inform it.

If the SMH's reporters still have the remnants of a sense of integrity they'll look for work elsewhere and condemn the editorial decision makers (and here I paraphrase the editorial which lectured, from a dizzy height, the Australian Jewish community about what stance it should take re Israel) which have turned the SMH into a tabloid gazette unless they're happy being part y hacks bleating along with the herd... and if the SMH's readers have any desire to be given a picture in the round, they'll be taking out subscriptions to other newspapers. Because if the SMH is systematically and programatically misrepresenting and manipulating re Israel, where else are they doing it - these things are impossible to contain and localise - having fashions run the newsroom spills over into every site of contention upon which newspapers report.

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