Friday, January 09, 2009

More anger

I'm still too upset/angry/disgusted by the massacre going on in Gaza to post coherently on any other subject (less joking about my inability to post coherently about anything at any time at the back please). I've spent this week working in the UK and have been really really appalled at what passes for TV news there. I mean I kind of imagined that Sky News would be poor, given its ownership, so that was no big deal, but the BBC...what happened to the BBC? A couple of years ago an independent study of the BBC's coverage of the Israel Palestine issue found that it was relatively even-handed with slight pro-occupation bias*. But since then rather than getting better it has got immeasurably worse. Yesterday I watched the Israeli spokesman repeating the lies that Hamas were firing rockets from that school that the IDF bombed (which is fairly clearly the usual bullshit they pull to try and cover themselves whenever they do something like this - see also Qana and various other similar indefensible acts of mass murder) and the guy interviewing him never even once pushed him on this, never asked a probing question, never did anything to try and force him to get closer to the truth. It was truly an appalling lapse of journalistic integrity. Luckily my faith waas partially restored in the sense that there are still some TV journalists in the Uk worthy of the name when later in the day the guy interviewing Mark Regev on Channel 4 News actually pushed him to respond to the ICRC's condemnation of the fact that the IDF had left a bunch of children starving next to their corpses of their mothers and hadn't let any ambulances come. (Just, for a moment, muse on that scene. Children. Starving. Next to the decomposing corpses of their mothers. Utterly utterly sickening isn't it?). Anyway while Regev flim-flammed and refused to apologise for this heinous act ("we have to investigate for ourselves" - this is the ICRC we're talking about Mark. They are the most neutral body in the world. They never criticise anyone unless something really really fucking bad has happened and the facts are incontrovertible), but the journalist, to his credit, really did try to get the slimeball to say something that admitted that maybe just maybe the IDF are not the squeaky clean lovers of humanity and ethics that he likes to portray them as. He didn't of course, but at least for a while he felt vaguely uncomfortable. (I presume the result will be that they ban Channel 4 News from reporting in Israel)

(*Just to be clear, there are two positions here - pro-occupation and pro-peace. I am pro-israel, in that I want Israelis to be able to live in peace and security, and to get that result they need to end the occupation. I reject the pro-Israel/pro-palestinian dichotomy which is used as shorthand to suggest that anyone who supports the palestinians right to life and liberty and so on as being an anti-Israeli viewpoint)

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