Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Media and the Massacre That Wasn't

Yesterday it was widely reported that Israel deliberately massacred 40 innocent Lebanese civilians. Reuters, the BBC, and others falsely reported that the IAF hat targeted a funeral procession. Then it was 40 Lebanese killed in air strikes. The only place you'll still find that reported is in The Guardian. No other even vaguely reputable western media outlet still carries the story. Why? The total number of people actually killed in Lebanon by these attacks: just one. Even the BBC eventually corrected their story, with a small note at the bottom noting the previous error. Reuters published an apology. That won't undo the damage done but at least they don't maintain a blatant lie on their website the way The Guardian does.

Yael K., commenting on the BBC coverage, wrote in her blog:
And how about those 40 people killed in a deliberate Israeli massacre yesterday, hmmm? Oh, ooops, you mean it was really only 1? And amazingly, from my own observation of the BBC yesterday to see how this would be handled since they had a screaming headline about the massacre of 40 civilians --it took them several hours after the ticker on Ha'Aretz was showing that the number had been revised to just one person for them to change it. And no, of course they didn't make it a headline: the 40 massacred headline got changed to Israel bombs...and in the text description beneath there was a little note that it was one person and not 40 as previously reported. Of course.

The BBC is notorious for anti-Israel bias, but The Guardian wins today's "to hell with the truth" award, beating out CNN and The Washington Post for having the least regard for facts.

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