Veteran NBC correspondent on why Israel/Hezbollah war coverage is so slanted

Ike Seamans at has written a piece explaining why he believes the news reporting of the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is so slanted. He opines:

Because almost none of the American television networks have a vast stable of experienced reporters any longer who understand the region, they employ the old “parachute them in” philosophy, i.e. dispatching perfectly good — and frequently very young — journalists, few of whom have any experience in covering this story and don’t stand a snowball’s chance in Gaza of getting it right initially. They engage in what I call “nerve end journalism.” reporting what they think they see in one of the most confusing places on earth, with very little context. Their movements are also very restricted by both sides.

In the case of Beirut and other parts of Lebanon under the control of terrorists, Hezbollah usually runs daily press tours, making sure reporters and photographers see the worse that Israel has inflicted — killing civilians, etc. — in order to slate the coverage, but never reveals that Hezbollah uses private homes, mosques, schools, hospitals and other public buildings for their headquarters or to launch their lethal missiles.

Then there’s the danger factor if a reporter angers his terrorist tour guides. Christopher Albritton, a freelance contributor for Time magazine, wrote in his blog a couple of weeks ago, “To the south, Hezbollah is launching Katyushas, but I’m loathe to say too much about them. The Party of God has a copy of every journalists’ passport and they’ve already hassled a number of us and threatened one.” They also take pictures of all journalists, warning they better follow the ground rules or else. Terrorists in that part of the world have been doing this for years.

I don’t doubt that what he says is true. Ignorance of the region your covering, as well as restrictions put on you by those you are covering, can and do indeed have an impact on what you write. But he ignores another – and what I think is the primary – reason why the reporting on this conflict is so slanted: media bias against Israel. Bias against Israel is standard operating procedure in the press, and we’ve seen some glaring examples this past week on that front with the doctored photos (along with other pictures that appear to have been staged) – these were photos that passed through the hands of news editors obviously without questioning their authenticity.

Mr. Seamans may be aware of the anti-Israel bias in the media, or he may not be. I don’t know. What I do know is that while he provided you part of the story as to why coverage of this conflict has seemed to be so one-sided, I felt obliged to give you the rest of it. I may not work for the MSM, but I’ve studied it enough to know where its biases are most prevalent: with conservatives, the US under a Republican president, and Israel.

Hat tip: Captain Ed

Update: Via Tammy Bruce, here’s proof positive that there are those in the MSM who harbor clear biases against Israel (emphasis added):

Of Ahmadinejad, [CBS veteran newsman Mike] Wallace said, “He’s an impressive fellow, this guy. He really is. He’s obviously smart as hell.”

Wallace said he was surprised to find that the Iranian president was still a college professor who taught a graduate-level course.

“You’ll find him an interesting man,” he said. “I expected more of a firebrand. I don’t think he has the slightest doubt about how he feels … about the American administration and the Zionist state. He comes across as more rational than I had expected.

Wonder if Mike Wallace finds this rational? Or this?

Google News link roundup on Israel/Hezbollah conflict –

Mandatory inclusion delusion

Just when you thought you’d seen it all. Via AP:

(AP) — Penny Grossman cringes each time a student mentions a birthday party during class at her Boston, Massachusetts-area preschool. The rule there, and at a growing number of America’s schools, is that parties and play-dates shouldn’t be discussed unless every child in the room is invited.

Gone are the days when a kindergartner dropped a handful of party invites in the classroom cubbyholes of their closest buddies. Today, if anyone is excluded the invitations can’t be handed out at school.

The idea that protecting kids from rejection is crucial to safeguarding their self-esteem has gained momentum in recent years.

Take Valentine’s Day: At some schools, a second-grader can’t offer paper valentines or heart-shaped candies to a short list of pals and secret crushes anymore. They give cards to everyone or no one at all.

Or sports: In many towns, scorekeeping no longer happens at soccer or softball games played by kids under 8 or 9. Win or lose, every player in the league gets a trophy at the season’s end.

Everybody’s gonna be happy, or no one can be happy. If one person has to suffer, everyone’s going to suffer with them. Got it?

This is, I think, how schools aid in spoiling kids and, in effect, causing harm over time: by overprotecting them. Things like this teach kids that if their friend gets an ice cream cone, they should be entitled to one. If they’re upset about something, they don’t want anyone else to be happy, either. There is no such thing as second place – everyone’s in first place because they tried. It’s not important to succeed, but to instead try. And even if you don’t try, you should still get rewarded.

Come to think of it, this sounds exactly like liberal-group think.

And some people wonder why so many young folks who graduate from high school go on to college as liberals?

Hat tip: Betsy Newmark

Some thoughts on Lieberman’s loss

I’ve been skating around to a few lefty blogs and political message boards and noticed a popular theme of sorts regarding Joe Lieberman, and that is that it’s Joe’s fault the party is so polarized right now, and he only has himself to blame. I responded to one such assertion at a message board I frequent, and I’ll repost it here with modifications to fit the blog:

This is the fault of the Nutcase Intolerant Wing of the Democratic party. The party faithful in CT bumped out virtually the only sane Democrat left in the Senate – why? His biggest sin was that he didn’t hate Bush, and he stood by his vote in favor of the Iraq war. Let’s not mention the fact that he actually has criticized Bush on a number of occasions regarding how things are going in Iraq – he just chose not to flavor his every word with venom and some of the other forms of hateful rhetoric that has become so fashionable for folks in the Democratic party to do. My God – the guy’s a moderate and doesn’t hate Bush. And he doesn’t want to cut and run from Iraq. Therefore,


The funny thing about this is this is coming from people who have complained bitterly about how President Bush has “divided” this country, how “hateful” Karl Rove is, and who exclaim “we need a new tone in Washington!” Yet some of the most hateful, meanspirited, nasty attacks were launched against Lieberman by these same people. Photoshopped pictures of him in blackface, Photoshopped pictures of him on his knees unzipping the President’s pants eagerly, attacks on him because of his support for Israel, pathetic attempts at casting him as an administration shill …. all of this for what? Lamont supporters essentially “Swift Boated” Joe Lieberman. I guess to the far left it’s “ok” to do that as long as it’s liberals who are are doing it.

The Cindy Sheehan/Michael Moore-esque lunatics last night took control of the asylum. If this wing of the party continues to be ‘successful’ (and it remains to be seen how Hillary and others who want to appear moderate will react to Lamont’s win) then I hope it’s a short-lived ‘success’ because the party going far left as it did in CT will destroy the essence of the Democratic party. What happened to all the classical liberals in the Democratic party who actually used their brains?

Maybe this sounds wacky coming from a partisan Republican. But I used to be a Democrat so I still have a soft spot for the few sane members left in the Democratic party. If I still were still a Democrat this year, I’d no longer be one after watching the way the nutters on the left targeted Joe Lieberman because he refused to advocate a cut and run Iraq policy and because he refused to hate President Bush. Michael Moore and some other wackos on the far left are confirming today that Lamont’s win last night should “send a message” to anyone on the left who supported “Bush’s war” – stop supporting it or “your days are numbered.” Pathetic!

There are things my party has done that I’m not proud of, but one thing – thankfully – it hasn’t done is allowed the fringe fruitcakes to take over. The DNC has allowed that here, and I believe now they’ll find themselves in a pickle over what to do next in terms of ‘supporting’ Lamont or distancing themselves from him and his ‘base’. If they throw their full support behind Lamont and his cut and run approach to Iraq, I hope Republicans – and Joe Lieberman – milk it for all its worth.

ST reader Mwalimu Daudi offers his thoughts:

It is the “day after”, so to speak, and the Connecticut Democratic party is in shambles. They have nominated a candidate who not only has little chance of winning in November, but who also blew a big lead going into the Democratic primary yesterday.

As if this were not bad enough, there is the Jim Crow-esque anti-Semitism and race-baiting of the nutroots who ran his campaign. This almost cost Lamont the nomination, and it most likely will cost him the general election, patricularly when it becomes clear that it will hinder Lamont’s efforts among Republicans and independents. Worst of all, the nutroots will see yesterday’s victory as an endorsement of not only their candidate but of the nutroot’s tactics. Do you really think they will tone it down after winning?

This is Lamont’s Catch-22 – the tactics that helped him squeak by yesterday will hurt him in November. If he moderates his views, the nutroots will eat him alive. If he “stays the course” and continues to play to his racist, anti-Semitic base, the majority of voters in Connecticut will wrinkle their noses in disgust. And if it turns out that someone in the Lamont campaign had anything to do with the shutting down of Lieberman’s website, there could be indictments in the near future.

Get ready for the filthiest campaign in history. So far.

Yep. Reminds me a bit of Howard Dean’s rise an eventual fall when running for the Democratic nomination for President.

See also: Dems Move Closer to McGovern’s Losing Formula

Update: John Hawkins has a roundup of quotes from the lefty blogosphere on Lieberman’s loss.

-The AP reports that the DNC is throwing their support behind Lamont.

Don’t go away mad, Cynthia – just go away

Fresh off a runoff defeat for Georgia’s 4th District Congressional seat by challenger Hank Johnson and five months after punching a Capitol police officer, Rep. Cynthia McKinney and some of her ‘staffers’ continued to stir things up well into the night last night, as 11Alive reports:

As outgoing Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney returned to her campaign headquarters to address her supporters after midnight Tuesday, some of her staffers scuffled with news photographers.

During her concession speech, McKinney said her mother was hurt and one of her staffers required stitches after members of the media hurt them during the night. Police were eventually called to the scene by 11Alive News.

As McKinney walked outside her campaign headquarters after losing her reelection bid to Hank Johnson, a boom microphone carried by a photographer struck members of McKinney’s entourage. In the confusion, McKinney staffers struck an 11Alive photographer and knocked his camera equipment to the ground.

A short time later, the 11Alive news desk called 9-1-1 after some people followed an 11Alive staff member into the station’s satellite truck outside the McKinney headquarters.

Earlier Tuesday, a McKinney staffer scuffled with another 11Alive photojournalist, who videotaped as McKinney supporters waved some signs while the Congresswoman remained in her vehicle.

McKinney’s staffers asked photographers to keep their distance — which they did — until McKinney rolled down her window and motioned to a reporter. The photographers approached, thinking she was about to give an on-camera interview. At that point, a staffer again got between the vehicle and blocked the 11Alive photographer, grabbing her by the wrist.

“That’s right, and I’ll touch you again, if you do it again,” the staffer told 11Alive.

Wouldn’t want to be around Cindy and her staffers when they start talking about ‘touchy feely’ things, knowhatImean?

By the way, here are the final results for the McKinney/Johnson runoff:

Georgia U.S. House Dist. 4 — 167 of 167 precincts reporting (100%)
Democratic Runoff

Hank Johnson 41,178 59% (X)
Cynthia McKinney 28,832 41%

Cindy’s not happy: she’s talking about threats via a ‘violent revolution’ and believes there were some “voting irregularities” at play in yesterday’s runoff. (Hat tip for the last two links to Allah, who has video of Cindy tearing up during her conspiratorial speech last night)

Her tenure in Congress can’t end fast enough.

Thur AM Update: Yikes. It got even worse than I thought at McKinney HQ on runoff night.


Article on Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs

Little Green Footballs proprietor Charles Johnson is featured in this Washington Post piece on Reutergate. Love the headline:

Blogger Takes Aim At News Media and Makes a Direct Hit

It’s a good article on how the blogosphere continues to impact the MSM by trying their best to keep them honest.

They did, however, get a few things wrong in the article, as Johnson notes:

The claim that the FBI investigated “several threats of physical harm against Muslims” posted on LGF is false, and Mr. [Ibrahim] Hooper [spokesman for CAIR] knows it.

The facts: one reader posted one comment that could be interpreted as a threat against Mr. Hooper in particular (not against “Muslims”), and this comment was deleted soon after it was posted. The FBI contacted me months after the comment had been deleted, at the urging of CAIR. The FBI also contacted me (again on CAIR’s urging) about harassing emails sent with our “email this article” feature — and again these emails were sent directly to Mr. Hooper in particular, not to “Muslims.” Both of these incidents were handled promptly and with integrity on our side.


Paul Farhi inadvertently but predictably proved my point, that the mainstream media shies away from the truth about radical Islam. He identifies CAIR as only a “civil rights group” but apparently didn’t think it was important or relevant to include the information that at least five of CAIR’s employees and board members have been arrested, convicted, deported, or otherwise linked to terrorism-related charges and activities. See: CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment for the context the mainstream media always seems to omit.