Tuesday, May 14, 2013

HuffPost "Covers" Newseum Story

If you follow the pro-Israel blogsophere you probably heard about the Newseum controversy that ended up in a victory for the good guys, as the Newseum pulled an award they were going to give to two Hamas propagandists. The Huffington Post covered the story in their "Media" section and did some original reporting on it through their journalist Michael Calderone, so you know what that means:

Right away you can see some bias. The headlien declares that these two men are not only "journalists" but that they are "Hamas-linked." Whether or not they are journalists is a question of your point of view, but what isn't in dispute is their relationship to Hamas. They are not Hamas-linked, they worked for Al-Aqsa TV which is owned by Hamas. The Huffington Post even admits this in its own article. What would be correct is to say they are "Hamas employed," but if the HuffPost wrote that then there would be no wiggle room to make the Newseum's detractors look somewhat justified in their outrage.

Furthermore, the "following pressure" in the headline is an example of bias. When Stephen Hawking boycotted Israel the HuffPost did not say that he boycotted "following pressure" from Palestinian academics, even though the man himself admitted that was basically why he made the decision that he did. Ditto with any of the other artists who decided to not to go to Israel after being on the receiving end of Palestinian bully tactics. Arab supporters don't pressure, only Israel supporters do.

Which brings me to my other observation: if you look on the screenshot above you can see that Calderone doesn't even let a paragraph pass before labeling all those who criticized the Newseum as "conservative" and "Israel supporters." The Huffington Post knows very well what kinds of people their readership doesn't like so if Calderone can draw a line in the sand with the Newseum on one side and "conservatives" on the other, it isn't much of a question as with whom the readership will side with.

At this point Calderone quotes the Newseum, then goes through a laundry list of people who agree that the Hamas propagandists should be honored. Here's one very blatant example of just throwing mud at Israel:
"Human Rights Watch in December also questioned Israel’s targeting of the Al-Aqsa cameramen. “Just because Israel says a journalist was a fighter or a TV station was a command center does not make it so,” Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said at the time.“Journalists who praise Hamas and TV stations that applaud attacks on Israel may be propagandists, but that does not make them legitimate targets under the laws of war."
Someone should remind Calderone that whether or not Israel was right to target them is not a question. The question is whether or not they are journalists and hence worthy of an award from the Newseum. Even Ms. Whitson admits that they might be propagandists, and that alone seems to undermine Calderone's point. But it's easier to make the subject of an article "Israel killing journalists" then "are Hamas cameramen actually journalists?" That way you don't have to think about whether or not the Newseum is actually in the right.

That being said, at the very end of the article one critic of the Newseum was quoted. Guess who it was?
"On Sunday night, Anti-Defamation League national director Abraham Foxman joined several other groups in condemning the plan to include the two men on the memorial wall. "It is a dark day when members of a terrorist organization advancing their agenda through murderous violence are honored as part of a tribute to journalists killed in the line of duty," Foxman said."
I can't imagine the Huffington Post editors don't know how the readership reacts to even a mention of Abraham Foxman and the ADL. Once again, the Huffington Post writers "prime" their readers with certain dog whistles to hate. And hate they did:

Well done. And as always, Huffington Post approved.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey guys we've started to employ a slight comment policy. We used to have completely open comments but then people abused it. So our comment policy is such: No obvious trolling or spamming. And be warned: unlike the Huffington Post we actually enforce our comment policy.