Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Second Rachel Corrie Thread, Journalistic Integrity Still Absent

At the top of the Huffington Posts' "World" section today, Amy Goodman of democracy now wrote another story about Rachel Corrie with practically the same title as Robert Naiman's a week ago. Unfortunately, Ms. Goodman is no more dedicated to presenting the facts of the case than Naiman, and she proves it in this article.

Most notably, Ms. Goodman starts with an account of the circumstances of Corrie's death. No, it wasn't from the notably unreliable ISM members. No, it wasn't from the IDF either. It was from Corrie's parents who were sitting a thousand miles away and had to rely on secondary information. So really, the Huffington Post audience is receiving information filtered three times to know what was going on that fateful day. Not surprisingly, the Corries' account is based on the ISM "eyewitnesses," but we are supposed to accept it as true. And then things get taken to the next level as Ms. Goodman publishes something blatantly not true.

Ms. Goodman publishes this photograph in her article:
It is the one that the ISM released, but has been proven to be a hoax. The ISM also released an "after" photograph (which Ms. Goodman did not include), which contained a different colored sky and a different bulldozer. It calls Ms. Goodman's journalistic integrity into question: She must have known that the photograph wasn't actually depicted the scene of the incident. So why did she?

Here is another picture, also provided by the ISM, which doesn't use perspective tricks and shows Corrie's true height relative to the bulldozer.
See the cab way up there above her head? If one looks at this picture (which basically contains the same scene) it is quite easy to see how the driver just didn't her. But apparently Ms. Goodman would rather intentionally mislead her readers.

Next, Ms. Goodman speaks about the investigations into Corrie's death. She quotes Sharon as promising an investigation, but then quotes Human Rights Watch as saying, ""investigations into Corrie's killing ... fell far short of the transparency, impartiality, and thoroughness required by international law." Was providing a story about the actual investigation too difficult for Ms. Goodman, lest her audience draw their own conclusions? Aside from Human Rights Watch and the ISM (and their supporters) I haven't seen any other groups questioning the results of the investigation. But then, I suppose this is what the trial is supposed to determine.

In the rest of the article Ms. Goodman quotes numbers of Palestinian homes that have been demolished, but not unexpectedly neglects to mention that Israel ceased the demolition as reprisal tactics back in 2005.

What she also comments about, which I like, is that this trial will determine whether Israel is capable of self-criticism. Of course, like Mr. Naiman, I am sure Ms. Goodman already has her verdict decided. If Israel rules in her favor, they are capable of self-criticism. If the trial doesn't go the way she wants, Israel is one step away from a military dictatorship. If this is the kind of representation of the facts that the prosecution brings to the courtroom, it will be a very short trial indeed.

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