In case, anyone hasn’t visited this blog before that title is entirely ironic.
I was profoundly and acidly amused to read in In Wars, Quest for Media Balance Is Also a Battlefield that the reporter chose Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs fame (the Anthony Pellicano of the photographic journalism profession) as a reputable source to speak on the subject of media balance in the Lebanon conflict. Media balance? Charles wouldn’t know it if it bit him in the ass. Actually, remaining true to form in his interview he contends that there should not be proportionality in reporting the conflict. In other words, ‘I’m gonna keep slammin’ those A-rabs and the media should too.’ Well, not quite. But pretty close:
In the nearly five weeks of fighting…more than 1,000 Lebanese have died, many of them civilians, while a total of about 150 Israelis, mostly soldiers, have been killed.
Given that, the idea of a numerical balance in photos “equates false moral equivalence,” Ms. Arraf of the Council on Foreign Relations said. “The loss of hundreds of civilian lives does not quite equal the loss of dozens of civilians’ lives and loss of soldiers’ lives.”
But to others that argument belies an understanding of the true stakes of this battle. “Proportionality is a meaningless term in a conflict of this type,” said Charles Johnson, whose blog Little Green Footballs showed that a freelance photographer for Reuters had altered images to make the damage from Israeli air strikes on Beirut appear worse than they were. Hezbollah, in his and others’ view, is a nihilistic group that has no qualms about sacrificing civilians.
In other words, Hezbollah is a subhuman organization which doesn’t deserve the standard journalistic treatment we might accord other more reputable groups and issues. And what he should add is: “I treat all A-rabs the same way. Don’t give ’em an inch. They’re all pond scum anyway.”
Charles Johnson got himself quoted in the NY Times in TWO different articles today! What the hell is goin’ on over there? Has Chuckie Cheesy become a moral authority to whom the Times must turn in its reportage of the Lebanon conflict? Excuse me while I spew.
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