Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When it comes to the Middle East. why does the 'quality' media ignore quality writers?

In responding to a typically ignorant attack on her by a prominent writer, pro-Israel, anti-Jihadist blogger Pamela Geller says:

  • "Who gives these people jobs? Who put these people in positions of influence? We are thirsting, and they're giving us seawater to drink."

Every time I see an article, a news item, or a documentary about the Jihad threat or about Middle East politics this is the question I ask about the writer/presenter. And I'm not just talking about the leftist bigots. Last week's (London) Times on Saturday, for example - the so-called creme de la creme of high-brow reporting - had a massive article dominating its world news section about the Middle East peace talks. The entire article (and headline) blamed Israel's decision to re-start building in Jerusalem (wrongly called "the West Bank") for the breakdown in talks. What was pathetic about the article was not so much its bias (which has been a feature of the Times for several years now) but the sheer ignorance and laziness of the writer. It would not have been hard, for example, to find out and mention the crucial role of the PA in refusing Netanyahu's request to recognise Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for a continued freeze on building, or to mention the clumsy role of Obama in unnecessarily making the building issue so prominent when even the Palestinians had never previously made it a condition for talks. But the writer simply did not bother. Instead the writer simply parroted out the standard Palestinian narrative without any attempt to check the facts. The writer also repeated the libel about the the 'settler' who 'ran over Palestinian children' as being a factor in the breakdown of talks, ignoring the fact that this had been comprehensively debunked with video evidence over a week before.

I'm increasingly coming to the opinion that most writers in the main stream media are not necessarily inherantly biased against Israel. They are simply ignorant, and above all lazy. They simply repeat what other 'writers' in the main stream media are saying and so it just becomes a self-perpetuating torrent of anti-Israel narrative. The tragedy is that these totally useless writers have all the key positions in the main stream media, while truly talented writers are marginalised in the blogosphere. Why. for example, are writers like Michael Totten (who really researches and understands the middle east), Daniel Greenfield (Sultan Knish, who is able to provide deep analysis) and Barry Rubin (who has access to a wide range of inside experts), not given the opportunity to be seen in the main stream media, while truly lazy and ignorant ones dominate it?


Unknown said...

Read my experiences from the frontlines

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