It Shouldn't Be This Hard To Tell the Truth
Not even clear footage of Israeli troops assaulting a Palestinian funeral will stop some media outlets from distorting reality.
Earlier this week, Israeli forces shot and killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Palestine. Today, Israeli forces attacked the funeral procession carrying Abu Akleh’s casket, beating members of the crowd and at one point nearly causing the casket carrying her dead body to fall to the ground.
The video showing this appalling incident is clear as day.
You would hope that extremely unambiguous video like this would cause some of our leading news outlets to break with their habit of describing Israeli attacks on Palestinians as “clashes,” or of bending over backward to pass along ludicrous Israeli excuses for their violence. Sorry, not this time. Instead, we’re being subjected to the same old awful nonsense.
Here, for instance, is how the BBC, the biggest news broadcaster in the world, described what happened:
From the accompanying article:
Again, we saw the video. We know what happened. The BBC is not telling you the truth. “Her coffin was jostled.” Come on.
Here’s CBS News, one of America’s biggest broadcasters:
From the accompanying article:
Where to even begin? Note the emphasis on Israel “cautioning” Abu Akleh’s family not to make the funeral too big or too Palestinian, as if that is sensible guidance and not barbarity in and of itself. Note the anodyne word “tussling,” or the equally anodyne phrase “troubling scenes.” Note the detail about “anti-Israeli slogans,” which, gee, you might expect when Israeli soldiers are attacking a funeral.
Here’s a tweet from the New York Times:
It’s certainly not as bad as the others, and the story it links to is a definite improvement on the paper’s rather rancid coverage of Abu Akleh’s death (a real headline from Thursday: “Bullet Is Focus of Dueling Investigations in Journalist’s Killing”), but nevertheless, the Times can’t help but shoehorn in Israel’s pathetic excuse for its actions. This is what contorting yourself for the sake of “balance” does—it makes you look ridiculous, and it makes you a tool of remorseless propagandists.
A couple of months ago, I wrote that Palestinians deserved the same kind of coverage that Ukrainians resisting the Russian invasion were getting. So just imagine for a moment that Russian soldiers attacked the funeral of a Ukrainian journalist. Would the BBC and CBS cover that atrocity in this way? Would the Times so prominently include whatever lies the Russians made up to explain themselves? I think we all know what the answers to those questions are. For god’s sake, do better. Just tell the truth. It’s not that difficult.
Update, 12:52 p.m. ET: “Citing provocation.” Christ almighty, New York Times.
Honestly, thought I’d lost the capacity to be shocked by the actions of Israel and its military. And yet…
This just in from Forbes: Israeli batons slip out of their hands and accidentally bop mourners on the head. Also according to the Palestinian health ministry the coffin was too heavy said on Facebook.