How Israeli Propaganda Shaped U.S. Media Coverage of the Flotilla Attack

Glenn Greenwald


It was clear from the moment news of the flotilla attack emerged that Israel was taking extreme steps to suppress all evidence about what happened other than its own official version. They detained the flotilla passengers and barred the media from speaking with them, thus, as The NYT put it, “refusing to permit journalists access to witnesses who might contradict Israel’s version of events.” They detained the journalists who were on the ship for days and seized their film, video and cameras. And worst of all, the IDF — while still refusing to disclose the full, unedited, raw footage of the incident — quickly released an extremely edited video of their commandos landing on the ship, which failed even to address, let alone refute, the claim of the passengers: that the Israelis were shooting at the ship before the commandos were on board.

This campaign of suppression and propaganda worked to shape American media coverage (as state propaganda campaigns virtually always work on the gullible, authority-revering American media). The edited IDF video was shown over and over on American television without question or challenge. Israeli officials and Israel-devoted commentators appeared all over television — almost always unaccompanied by any Turkish, Palestinian or Muslim critics of the raid — to spout the Israeli version without opposition. Israel-centric pundits in America claimed, based on the edited IDF video, that anyone was lying who even reported on the statements of the passengers that Israeli fired first. In sum, that the Israelis used force only after the passengers attacked the commandos became Unquestioned Truth in American discourse.

But now that the passengers and journalists have been released from Israeli detention and are speaking out, a much different story is emerging. As I noted yesterday, numerous witnesses and journalists are describing Israeli acts of aggression, including the shooting of live ammunition, before the commandos landed. The New York Times blogger Robert Mackey today commendably compiles that evidence — I recommend it highly — and he writes: “now that the accounts of activists and journalists who were detained by Israel after the raid are starting to be heard, it is clear that their stories and that of the Israeli military do not match in many ways.” As Juan Cole says: “Many passengers have now confirmed that they were fired on even before the commandos had boots on the deck. Presumably it is this suppressive fire that killed or wounded some passengers and which provoked an angry reaction and an attack on the commandos.”

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People are angry-angry I say!

Douchechills….

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FreedomWorks Makes Shit Up, Michelle Malkin Uncritically Repeats It, Wingnuts Uncritically Link to Malkin — Then Blame Media

F I R E D O G L A K E

brain_bleach

By: Blue Texan

Sunday September 13, 2009

Here’s a fascinating little case study in wingnut BS transmitting.

The Anchor Baby got the ball rolling.

Police estimate 1.2 million in attendance. ABC News reporting crowd at 2 million — tweets Tabitha Hale from D.C.

Teeny, tiny fringe, huh?

Wingnut bloggers from Glenn Reynolds to the Pajamas putzen to Newsbustards start jerking off excitedly link to the Anchor Baby.

Estimates for crowd sizes are starting to come in. We’re talking at least a million people, folks.

Wingnut “experts” confirm the Anchor Baby’s “reporting” with super-scientific analyses.

I did a back-of-envelope based on the photos and reports. A pretty dense crowd is about 1.8 people per square meter, and the National Mall alone is about 125 hectares, 1.25 million square meters. So that would be 2.3 million people.

Wingnut BS is then, rather predictably, exposed as total BS.

Conservative activists, who organized a march on the U.S. Capitol today in protest of the Obama administration’s health care agenda and government spending, erroneously attributed reports on the size of the crowds to ABC News.

Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, the group that organized the event, said on stage at the rally that ABC News was reporting that 1 million to 1.5 million people were in attendance.

At no time did ABC News, or its affiliates, report a number anywhere near as large. ABCNews.com reported an approximate figure of 60,000 to 70,000 protesters, attributed to the Washington, D.C., fire department. In its reports, ABC News Radio described the crowd as “tens of thousands.”

Wingnuts, with egg on their faces, blame media.

I’ve been talking all night to people who are there and involved. The 2 million number was generated by the media, but truly seems to be a gross inflation of what is there.

Damn liberal media. Always exaggerating the size of right-wing protests, just to discredit wingnuts.

Thers has more.

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