American Media on Crack
“Three months from now, I will pick up a gun and kill Arabs.” That phrase was quoted by an MSNBC correspondent during the nightly news. He had briefly interviewed a young Israeli woman in a night club the day before – approximately five days ago – and the two minute segment was aired on television. His question directed toward the woman was, “What is your reaction to the war between Israel and Lebanon?” She responded casually by saying that everyone is generally at ease but if the war worsened, she would join Israel’s so-called defense against terrorism.
Now, I have been used to the extremely biased nature of American media, but this is beyond normal. Most people in the United States look at the news as a legitimate source of information; whatever the announcer says must be true. But in this case, only one side has been in the spotlight and Lebanon and its people have not been represented and heard in any way. What is even more infuriating is that news reports appeal to the watchers’ emotions by only interviewing Israelis, concentrating on the family members of the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers; you see the father tearing up, the young bride speaking of her want of children, and so on. If I did not know about Lebanon’s situation, if I did not have friends currently in Lebanon, if I did not have access to other news featured on Middle Eastern, or rather, Arabic websites, I would have sympathized with the Israeli effort and I would have probably viewed Lebanon as the enemy as it is portrayed in American media.
I condemn Hezbollah for instigating Israel to launch their perfectly targeted attacks; after all, this was an opportunity for Israel. What people do not know here in the United States is that innocent Lebanese civilians are the ones who had this catastrophe fall onto their vulnerable laps and fragile homes. We are talking about women, children, the elderly and others who cannot defend themselves against the atrocious harm that is presently bombed their way in the most unjustified manner.
One may ask, “Why aren’t we hearing about this?” 'Firstly, owners of US media firms, who have business and economic interests, shape how the Middle East is portrayed in the media. Political elites in America, who also have corporate interests, are in the second rung; they have access and influence mainstream media. The third power is the Israeli government’s public relations campaign. It has image consultants for political and media campaigns in the United States. Israel is the client of many public relation firms such as Ruder Finn, Leyden Communications, WEILL Associates, NYPR, Morris Carrick & Guma, and Rubenstein’s. Nine Israeli consulates help implement these public relations campaigns by developing relationships with journalists and monitoring media action in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and D.C.
Countless private American organizations reiterate the official line and organize grassroots opposition to any coverage deemed unfavorable to Israel. The organizations include Americans for a Safe Israel, American Friends of Likud, Christian Coalition, Christian Broadcasting Network, American Jewish Congress, Christian Friends of Israel, American Israeli Friendship League, Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry Inc., Focus on Jerusalem, Jewish Voice Ministries, Intercessors for Israel, Jewish National Fund, Israel my Beloved, Labor Zionist Alliance, Jews for Jesus, Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, and the most powerful foreign lobby in Washington, AIPAC (American Israeli Public Affairs Committee).
On the other hand, there are progressive organizations that oppose Israel’s government policy. The organizations include American Arabs Anti-Discrimination Committee, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Churches for Middle East Peace, Not In My Name, Tikkun Community, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Global Exchange, Muslim Peace Forum, Jewish Friends of Palestine, American Muslims for Jerusalem, Peace Action, Seeds of Peace, Jewish Peace Fellowship, Foundation for Middle East Peace, Women in Black, United for Peace and Justice, Just Peace Technologies, Muslim Peace Fellowship, Jews Against the Occupation, and Americans for Peace Now. Unfortunately, these organizations and their work rarely make it through to mainstream media.
Media watchdog groups, who are on the lowest step, monitor and pressure journalists in media outlets when critical news of Israeli policy does surface. The groups are Anti-Defamation League, Palestinian Media Watch, Eye on the Port, Facts & Logic about the Middle East, Honest Reporting, and most importantly CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America).'*
What am I trying to say here? Basically, do not believe everything that is on the news. Or you know what, do your own research and sculpt your own opinion and forget the news altogether. I seriously cannot understand how reporters and journalists convey stories in the most prejudiced way possible. I know that they are under a strict contract and their lexicon is tweaked to satisfy the heads above, but I do wonder how they could sleep at night when they know about the realities of the situation.
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*Source: Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land
at 12:52 AM