Archive for November 2012
Last week CNN was describing the developing story in the Middle East, the escalating battle between the Israelis and Hamas in Gaza. While the anchor Soledad O’Brien got the essential story line right, she neglected to tell the whole story.
According to the CNN narrative, the latest violence was initiated when the Israelis took out the Hamas military leader as he was being transported in a vehicle and then posted the cockpit video on YouTube.
Well, yes they did track and whack him and yes, he deserved it, and yes, the IDF did post it to YouTube. But what the irrepressible O’Brien neglected to mention is that in the preceding two days southern Israel was hit by over 100 rockets fired at them from Gaza by Hamas. A campaign undoubtedly directed by the man killed by the IDF.
In the *quid pro quo* world that has become Israel’s survival routine, what would you expect? But apparently it doesn’t fit CNN’s narrative. Better to just leave it out of the story so Israel can be painted as the aggressor. So much easier then to allow Islam’s useful idiots to call for the Israeli’s to stop “murdering innocent civilians.”
In this latest action, Twitter has been used as an information tool or spin tool by both sides. Admittedly though, it was the Palestinian side which was outed for using a photo of an injured Syrian child from a different conflict posted on the internet days earlier as an “example” of Israel’s targeting of the civilian population of Gaza. In fact, Israel will call off targeted missions if there is an apparent danger to the civilian population of Gaza. For the record, it is Hamas that deliberately fires rockets indiscriminately into civilian areas in southern Israel.
And yet the mainstream media tries to skew the narrative. It’s shameful really.
Forty years ago when, as a teenager I was a cub reporter, and was brought into the newsroom of the Montreal Star by then City Editor John Yorston. I was taught the concepts of fairness in covering a story, by endeavouring to get both sides of a story and presenting it in a fair manner. To inform the reader and let them form an opinion was the goal, not feed them my opinion.
I am of course referring to news stories, not editorials or columns written by pundits. In those cases, an opinion is given largely to present an argument and stimulate debate.
This no longer seems to be taught in J-school or demanded in the newsrooms of CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, CBC, BBC or newspapers like the Washington Post, the New York Times or the Toronto Star.
It’s sad really. But don’t just accept what I say. Look at the very real example of how Benghazi was treated by the mainstream media in the waning days of the presidential campaign. Or should I say how it wasn’t treated?
Fox News had done some good work in exposing the nonsense spouted by the Obama administration in the days following the attack and subsequent brutal murder of the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, in the consulate in Benghazi on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. But Soledad O’Brian and the rest of her political soul-mates in the media pretended it didn’t exist lest someone start to say before election day that the Emperor had no clothes.
And yet what happened in Benghazi, from the outset, has had questions screaming out like a clarion call a responsible media should have been all over like a fat kid on a Smartie. Yet, silence, save and except for Fox that is.
And what is really troubling to me is that when challenged, they seem impervious to the claim that they are lacking in journalistic integrity.
A few days ago I was watching CNN’s Starting Point with the aforementioned Soledad O’Brien. She was referring to the Petraeus adultery story when she actually said she covered the stories that people were talking about not what she thought she should cover. If that’s true, which clearly it isn’t, how in the world did she not notice all the talk about Benghazi on Twitter and in other social media, not to mention the cable news channel which, incidentally, has much higher ratings than hers?
And speaking of Petraeus, it seems we are finally getting closer to the truth on what happened in Benghazi. Petraeus testified on Friday before Congress that the CIA knew very quickly the attack on the Benghazi consulate was a terror attack and not a spontaneous spasm by a mob angered by an anti-Islam video that no one watched until it was touted by the President, the Secretary of State and the Ambassador to the UN for nearly two weeks. In fact, Petraeus testified that the White House altered the message and changed the ‘talking points’ before he testified the first time before Congress on the events of 9/11 in Benghazi.
In fact, it would seem now that Petraeus was deliberately ordered to lie to Congress by someone. Thus far, Petraeus has not said, in public at least, who gave that order, but there are very few people in the chain of command that can order the Director of the CIA to do something as deliberate as not tell the truth to a congressional committee. Or in essence, lie to the American people.
Let’s see, well, there’s the National Intelligence Director who reports to the President and well, the President.
In investigative terms, in policing when examining any file you look for motive or, to follow the Latin expression, “Cui bene?” (Who benefits?) The answer to that is the President. It is the only answer.
He was in the vinegar strokes of an election campaign that appeared to all and sundry, was slipping through his fingers, especially after the first debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney. He had staked his Presidency on the eradication of the threat to the United States from al Qaeda. It simply wouldn’t do to have an attack on America on the anniversary of 9/11. So it became a ‘spontaneous attack’ during a protest about a nebulous anti-Islamic film, made by a nobody that nobody watched. And thus the talking points were created and Petraeus, ever the good soldier, said, “Yes Sir” and did what he was told.
Too bad that Obama accepted his resignation. Being unemployed and treed by a baying media for the wrong things, he can now tell the truth.
Obama lied to the nation in his own words and by providing the same talking points to the Secretary of State and the UN Ambassador. As well, I should add, as to Petraeus before his initial appearance before the congressional committee. To paraphrase himself, he built it. He cannot claim it was someone who was misdirected in the White House or even throw some senior advisor under the bus. No, on this one, he will have to wear it personally. He was the only person with the authority to order Petraeus to change the narrative that only he could benefit from that order.
This isn’t over and not by a long shot. We still don’t know all the details of Petraeus’ testimony. It was done in camera and all we know is what was released in a press briefing by a committee member. But those details are enough to see the House contemplate beginning the Articles of Impeachment against Obama. Clearly, the President lied to the American people as did the representatives of his administration who were given the talking points to spin through the media cycle.
Pity though the compliant media, or as Mark Steyn called them, the ‘court eunuchs’, couldn’t muster the integrity or testicular fortitude to actually question the administration’s spinners.
And, if Congress proceeds down that path, what then?
President Biden with Vice President Boehner?
Yeah, that oughta work out just fine.