Monday, May 31, 2010

The HP Covers Flotilla Clash

I assume by now you have all heard and become well informed about the clash between Israeli naval commandos and Freedom Flotilla people that left several soldiers wounded and nine protesters dead. What we're going to talk about is how the HP covered the story.

First of all, we've got the front page, usually free of Israel-related coverage:

This screengrab doesn't even do it justice, as the pictures at the bottom of this one scroll between several such pictures, including ones of people protesting, pictures of the innocent protesters, etc. It's huge news on the HP, so much so that you'd think everything else in the world (nuclear Iran, North and South Korea heading for war) doesn't matter nearly as much as this. That's not to say the incident is not significant, and in my opinion it deserves the screaming headline. But considering the focus they are putting on the story, they are leaving out a lot of pertinent information. And speaking of the headline, let's talk about what it says. Israeli troops storm an aid ship in international wars, and suddenly 9 are killed. No mention of the attempt by the ships to break the Israeli blockade (illegal under "International Law") or the fact that the activists were unmistakably violent, or in the words of one commando, "they came for war". How about the other headlines? "International outcry" "Israel cancels meeting" "White House concerned". We couldn't mention the fact that the activists were violent and Israeli soldiers were wounded in the headlines? That's kind of important!

Moving on to the Israel section, we've got five (5) different news articles. Two are redundant, Israel Attacks Palestinian Aid Flotilla and 10 Dead on Aid Ship after Botched Israeli Raid. Then there's three "reaction" and "supplementary" articles, Obama Administration Expresses Concern, Watch Footage from Israeli Raid, and Israeli Boat Raid Causes International Outrage. Again, we've got a bunch of headlines, but NONE of them, not even the footage article which shows activists attacking soldiers, could be bothered to say, "Hey, this isn't a one sided conflict. The activists were violent."

Beyond the news, we have seven (7) blog posts, some of which describe the violence as a "massacre", an "attack", and a series of "murders". None of them tried to take the Israeli side, or point out how the Israeli actions could be justified under international law, and how the activists are to blame for the violence as they started the fighting.

The HP is allowed to cover this news story as much as they want, and have as many bloggers talk about it as they see fit. But it would be nice to see in a story with as many sides as this one a little more of an effort at balanced reporting to be made. I know it's hard to hope for from the HP, but we have to keep hoping the HP will be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.


  1. The Jews are news. It would still be headline news if some other country carried out the operation but there would be no world condemnation.

    The Jews are the special case of humanity.

  2. How many times have we seen the justifications for IDF killings along the lines of "If you see someone coming at you with a weapon, you do not wait for him to shoot it before you act"??

    You really cannot have it both ways.

    The IDF boarded the ship concerned displaying evident weaponry.

    The people on the ship acted.

    The IDF and the Israeli government knew exactly that that would happen, and now they are conflating it into being entirely the fault of the people on the ship.

    Script 1 from Israel.

    A script it constantly repeats. but the world is becoming bored with the same old movie and Israel is losing friends and influences faster than it can count.

    Not that it matters to Israel.

    But it really should.