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Lebanon, Reuters, AP, microcosm

Media in Lebanon – The fevered manufacture of the liberal agenda

By John Burtis

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

There is so much honest news to peddle, I don't know why the media is offering us so much pure visible tommyrot when it comes to the Israeli attacks, unless they openly favor Hezbollah and have an axe to grind.

We have some pretty compelling evidence that the results of the IDF attack on Qana was a put up job and the media's trumpeting of it all was excessive and came without any serious investigation of Hezbollah's claims.

Reuters soon ran into trouble with their sad sorry attempt to peddle additional smoke signals in a photo of Beirut as reality and ended up firing the photographer and removing the photo from their file.

Just when you thought Reuters couldn't fall any farther into the growing manure pile of media manipulation, the Drinking From Home blog spot, via Lucianne.com, raises further suspicions about the media's fairness, courtesy of an examination of the sobbing Lebanese woman shown in a series of photographs, where she is shown crying in front of her home (AP), and then wailing in front of the wreckage of her apartment (Reuters), at two different locations . She'll be crying again somewhere soon.

Then, following this latest outing, Fox News reports on Monday that Reuters admitted that a photograph of an IDF F-16 fighter plane they'd used, which actually dropped one defensive flare during an attack run, was doctored with the addition of two more in order to show a total of three, in an all too obvious attempt to illustrate a heavier attack than the one which really took place.

And following all of this, we find that Mr. Sharif Karim of Qana fame, and the wandering Mr. Adnan Hajj, two lucky foreign stringers the drive by media relies on for those bathos tinged bits of on the spot nostalgia, have tossed off a few unique and highly improbable "shots," including a pristine wedding dress standing outside a demolished building and a partially burning Quran, easily visible in the smoldering rubble of an all but destroyed building, thanks to Ace of Spades HQ (ace.mu.nu/ ).

As a retired cop and a former firefighter I can tell you — these photos were put together by person or persons unknown and then photographed. Especially when you view the burning Quran on top of the charcoal surrounding it, knowing that paper ignites at Fahrenheit 451 - well known to those who have read Bradbury's famous book by the same name - a far lower temperature than that needed to turn wood to charcoal. It's an easy conclusion: the book would've burned long before the wood was reduced, to say nothing of its being found on top of it all, unless it was tossed there.

Come on folks, the examples of the media weaving the wool blankets they're using to cover our eyes and ears are coming in so fast that it's hard to keep track of them all. And Reuters has chosen a dainty uniform replete with matching sweater and shorts identifying it as Hezbollah's chief cheerleader.

So, a Lebanese woman is trucked around to cry in front of different cameramen from different news agencies at varying locations. Camera men routinely doctor photographs to portray greater damage than there is. Fighter planes are juiced up with more flares than they actually drop. Dead children are passed around, over and over again, in front of the willing dupes in the fourth estate. Heart rending set piece shots, which were obviously set up by the photographer, are quickly gobbled up by our drive by media without a thought to "authenticity," or grounding in "reality."

But why is the drive by media working so darned hard, over and over again, to portray Hezbollah as victims of an attack greater than that they are being subjected to and why is Israel, the only truly democratic, capitalist and free country in its immediate neighborhood, where Israeli, Arab, and Muslim alike, enjoy the same rights, being cast as the oppressor when they, in fact, were the initial victims in the whole affair?

Where is the outrage over the Hezbollah attack with the Fajr-5 rockets on Haifa late Sunday night? Where there was no doubt, thanks to a free and open press, of the death of innocent civilians and the wounding of some 200 innocents? Where there is no need to "pose" the dead, to assemble "props" for quick shots, no need to amplify the smoke, and no reason to cloak the launching of the rockets from the hills above Tyre.

As a kid, with the Holocaust a decade or so behind us, with Abba Eban in the UN, with Israel as an underdog, with Einstein at Princeton after refusing the Presidency of Israel, I seem to remember that the US press was far less predisposed to anti-Semitism and less disposed to grasp at every vaporous rumor.

Somewhere along the way things began to slip.

But I'm pretty sure that it has to do with the change of liberalism from that classic view where one could actually entertain a fear of real enemies and still view socialism as positive, to today's, where Castro and Hezbollah are media darlings and conservatism, President Bush and Israel have become the greater enemies than Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Mr. bin-Laden, Sheikh Nasrallah, Mr. Ahmadinejad, and the mystic atomic moolahs in Tehran, who are threatening to obliterate Israel and torch the USA. Newspeak has trumped reality. Appeasement has trumped courage.

Sadly, in Lebanon, where Israel telephones ahead of every advance in a reverse 911 system to warn everybody that they're on the way, the media still damns them for killing civilians, where every one of their unremitting enemies is dressed in civilian clothing. And Hezbollah is never gigged for failing to remove the hapless civilians in Israel's path.

And the drive by media reports, without the interjection of the slightest caveat or footnote, that every single Lebanese victim is a civilian. Yet this same media thinks nothing of doctoring every photo it can to paint Israel as cruelly as possible while giving the purveyors of terror every break imaginable.

There is a liberal agenda which is furthered by their hand maidens in the media. And this agenda, which operates against the State of Israel in every case when she defends herself from her murderers, Iran and Syria, can be read in only one stark way.

John Burtis is a former Broome County, NY firefighter, a retired Santa Monica, CA, police officer. He obtained his BA in European History at Boston University and is fluent in German. He resides in NH with his wife, Betsy. John Burtis can be reached at: letters@canadafreepress.com

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