Sunday, May 14, 2006

One last gripe and then I'll stop for the night... 

I'm as sick of writing about news media bias and misleading errors as you are of reading about it. But I just can't stand how photo caption after story after report after caption contains factual errors and editorial insertions that consistently distort the picture of this conflict in one direction.

A Palestinian refugee woman sits in front of her house at Shati refugee camp in Gaza May 14, 2006. Palestinians mark the Nakba (Day of catastrophe), as a day of mourning for the establishment of Israel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war which led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Ok, this is just silly. Getting the nuance of a word wrong here and there is one thing, but misreporting unarguable facts from the historical record in order to weaken one side's standing in a dispute is no longer journalism, it's propaganda.

Israel was not established in a war by bloodthirsty Jews who wrested a state from Arabs by force as the caption might lead you to believe. It was established by a vote of the UN. The immediately subsequent 1948 Arab-Israeli War was the one in which the nascent Jewish state was saved from annihilation at the hands of five invading Arab armies who wished to establish in blood what they refused through negotiated agreement.

Note yet again which direction the arrow of error points and please keep it in mind when looking for any sort of "truth" in the reporting on this conflict.

UPDATE: Lot's more great info on where the idea of this "old state of Palestine" comes from at Common Folk Using Common Sense.

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