Role of the Media

Anonymous sources fueling push for war

Journalists and media organizations have abdicated their role of providing an independent alternative source of information and have too often slumped toward over-reliance on anonymous government sources. Almost every reporter uses anonymous sources. But it is a rare reporter or editor who will repeatedly use this device to convey information that might help start a war. Writing in The Buffalo News, Douglas Turner is alarmed by increasing examples of careless use of anonymous sources, with the result that the public is often grossly misled about fundamental issues of life and death. 

As the spinning wheel turns

Suzannne Goldenberg, the British Guardian’s correspondent in Israel till recently, is the topic of this article, which explains some of the realities that foreign correspondents must deal with working in Israel and the occupied territories. Nathan Guttman writes in Ha’aretz. 

How to shut up your critics with a single word

Thank God, I often say, for the Israeli press. For where else will you find the sort of courageous condemnation of Israel’s cruel and brutal treatment of the Palestinians? Where else can we read that Moshe Ya’alon, Ariel Sharon’s new chief of staff, described the “Palestinian threat” as “like a cancer – there are all sorts of solutions to cancerous manifestations. For the time being, I am applying chemotherapy.” The Independent’s Robert Fisk continues on to note that meanwhile, mere criticism of Israel outside the country gets you labeled an “anti-Semite”. 

Radio Sawa: All dressed up with nowhere to go

The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah is currently in Amman, Jordan and tuning into the latest US government propaganda effort, Radio Sawa. One would have hoped that one of the seeds of hope planted in the rubble of the World Trade Center would have been a reevaluation of America’s activities in the Middle East. Apparently, Britney Spears and censored news were a better idea. Oh dear. Turn up that taxi radio, ya habibi. 

Half-truths and double-talk

The IDF spokesman’s credibility hit an all-time low after the house demolitions in Rafah. This time, the incredulity extended well beyond the usual circle of skeptics comprised of Palestinians, foreign journalists, human rights organizations and inveterate leftists.