Thursday, October 06, 2005

They only want you to read the first paragraph 

Yahoo would be most happy if you read just their headlines and maybe the AFP's first paragraph:

Calm returned to the Gaza Strip after deadly internecine clashes and police protests over dire insecurity problems, as Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian mother of five in the West Bank.
They probably figure today's MTV attention span doesn't stand a chance of hanging in until the 13th paragraph for some minor details:

Despite the calm in Gaza, Israeli soldiers Tuesday shot dead a Palestinian mother of five at a checkpoint in the northern West Bank after she stabbed a female soldier in the face.
"Despite the calm..."


Ordinarily, when it's not calm in Gaza, it's perfectly understandable for a soldier to shoot someone who has stabbed her in the face. But on calm days in Gaza, AFP would prefer the soldier do nothing but call for a medic and pray her attacker gets tired of slashing at her face so she won't bleed to death -- thus delaying the checkpoint transit of other Palestinians on such a quiet day over in Gaza.

Hey, I understand the game perfectly well. It's just journalistic objectivity played out once again. They don't want to bias anyone against Palestinian mothers of five. Who use knives. To stab female sodiers. In the face.

Palestinian mothers of five who are then shot. To death. By soldiers. On a calm day in Gaza.

No bias at all.

Palestinian militants repeatedly use such attacks to justify their own campaign of violence, which they say will only end when Israel withdraws from all occupied Palestinian land, not just the Gaza Strip.
They use such attacks, and equally important, these reports of such attacks. Because they aren't justifying the attacks to themselves. They are stabbing female soldiers in the face to justify their cause to you.

And would the news agencies please quit parroting this all-occupied-lands refrain without any context. At least have the sense of self-preservation to add, totally without bias, that in addition to Gaza the entirety of the Jewish State, and even Spain, is considered occupied land.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: