Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Debunking the Spin: not an easy thing to do for Anderson Cooper and CNN

It´s a fact: Israel won´t allow jounalists into Gaza.

What CNN and Anderson Cooper says in his own blog:

¨The problem is that in not allowing international journalists into Gaza, Israel is guaranteeing that the only pictures from the Palestinian side are the ones Hamas wants the world to see. Press control by Hamas is heavy-handed. Hamas controls who reports from there and where they can go. While pictures of wounded children being brought to hospital are clearly encouraged, we rarely see images of Hamas fighters, or their rockets being fired into Israel.¨

Playing along or being the spin doctor? That is such a desconstructed and cheap way of diminishing the work of other journalists. I always thought that THE New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, and AFP were serious media outlets. Many journalists know those are the places to be in order to gain respectability - not celebrity - as a journalist. Contrary to CNN they have bureaus within GAZA, sent or contracted journalists in the West Bank. People who have to live the hard task - just like the CNN people in Iraq - of living in a war zone. Far from the commodities of a 5 star hotel near the IDF headquarters where the press releases and summited videos are hand delivered.

Another thing that Cooper descunstruct is the FACT that wire services publish a lot of content, and the photo editors and desk editors purchase the images and stories THEY want to publish according to their editorial line. To say: ¨we rarely see images of Hamas fighters, or their rockets being fired into Israel ", well.. google and yahoo news are your friends. Blame the media outlets not the news services that are working their bids.

From AP Masked Palestinian militants from Islamic Jihad run with homemade rockets to put in place before later firing them into Israel on the outskirts of Gaza City, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Ashraf Amra)

Masked Palestinian militants from Islamic Jihad place homemade rockets before later firing them into Israel on the outskirts of Gaza City, Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Ashraf Amra)

Why is Anderson Cooper and CNN even suggesting that NYT´s TAGHREED EL-KHODARY or others are mouth pieces for Hamas? I know its a competitive business, and it must suck for them to have a reporter from a newspaper or wire service giving first hand accounts. Witnessing the destruction, but targeting your peers and doubting their accounts calling all the media controlled mouth pieces? Or is just because they are not westerners? Islamofobia?

What is the difference? CNN is giving plenty of air time to the Israeli govenment and only presenting what the Israelis what them to present. Who is doing the spin? Who is the mouthpiece? Even his reports about the damage from the Hamas rockets can´t compare to the ones done by CLUSTER BOMBS and WHITE,PHOSPORUS. Why CNN US won´t even mention the fact - denounced by the UN as reported by the BBC- that the IDF is known for using illegal weapons? Don´t talk about the consequenses of their use and the danger they become after the battle engagement ends?
Anderson Cooper´s report , Lethal Rockets, is almost a copycat of the one he did during the Lebanon-Israel conflict. Anderson Cooper and team showing their range...

Then he stated: “We'd come to get a look at the damage and had hoped to talk with a Hezbollah representative. Instead, we found ourselves with other foreign reporters taken on a guided tour by Hezbollah. Young men on motor scooters followed our every movement. They only allowed us to videotape certain streets, certain buildings. Once, when they thought we'd videotaped them, they asked us to erase the tape. These men are called al-Shabab, Hezbollah volunteers who are the organization's eyes and ears.”

Doesn´t that have an eerie similarity of what Israel is allowing how and what to report today? When we see reporters in Israel running like sheeps towards the site where a rocket has landed? Why haven´t they interviewed moderate Israelis that are strongly opposing the conflict WITHIN Israel. CNN´s silence for access? Islamofobia?
Anderson, just grant me a wish... can you please do a story - think about equal time - about the cluster bombs? ehh I know... nevermind.

Today AP distributed this report. Worth Reading.
AP Gaza reporter finds hometown in rubble

By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Writer Ibrahim Barzak, Associated Press Writer

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – I live alone in my office. My wife and two young children moved in with her father after our apartment was shattered. The neighborhood mosque, where I have prayed since I was a child, had its roof blown off. All the government buildings on my beat have been obliterated.
After days of Israeli shelling, the city and life I have known no longer exist.
Gaza City, with some 400,000 people, stopped supplying water when the fuel ran out for the power station driving the pumps. We listen to battery-run radios for news, even though the outside world watches what's happening to us on television. Grocery stores are closed and food is scarce.
Hospital officials say more than 600 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's military operation to crush Hamas, the radical Islamic movement that rules Gaza. Many are civilians.
Three days after Israel began its airstrikes on Gaza on Dec. 27, my apartment building was shaken by bombs aimed at a nearby Hamas-run government compound.
My brother took a picture of the room where my boys, 2-year-old Hikmet and 6-month-old Ahmed, once slept. Their toys were broken, shrapnel had punched through the closet and the bedroom wall had collapsed. I don't know if we will ever go back.
The Israeli army issued a video of the bombing of the Hamas compound, which it posted on YouTube. I can see my home being destroyed, and I watch it obsessively.
On Tuesday, I stood outside my apartment building but didn't dare to enter. I was worried the remains of the nearby Hamas compound might again be shelled without warning.
Driving back to central Gaza City, I took the road where Gaza's two main universities are. It was covered with shards of glass, telephone cables, electricity wires and flattened cars. This road was once crowded with students, taxis and street vendors. It was always noisy and jammed.
The only shop I found open was a pharmacy run by my friend Eyad Sayegh. He's an Orthodox Christian, and I stopped to wish him a Merry Christmas — Eastern churches celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7.
Eyad told me he forgot it was Christmas.
All the landmark buildings I covered as a reporter have vanished.
The colonial-era Seraya was the main security compound for the succession of Gaza's rulers — the British, Egyptians, Israelis, the Palestinian Authority and then the rival Palestinians of Hamas.
We used to fear the Seraya, where the central jail was. Now it's rubble.
Of the presidential office overlooking the sea only a few walls remain. For many Gazans it was a symbol of our statehood, even though President Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the Fatah movement, hasn't been there since Hamas seized control of the territory in June 2007.
Someone planted a Palestinian flag on the building's remains. The huge gate at the western entrance still stands, giving an illusion of something big behind it.
And across the city, the Parliament house is half destroyed.
On Jala Street, one of Gaza's main roads, I saw about 30 boys around a leaky irrigation tap on a traffic island. They were clutching empty soft drink bottles and jerry cans, trying to fill them with water.
Samir, who is 9, told me his family has no water at home and he wanted to bring enough for a bath because he and his brother smell.
So do most people in Gaza right now.
In my father-in-law's building, residents throw out bags of spoiled food. With no power, refrigerators don't run and fresh food quickly rots.
Shortages are getting worse, leading to unusual gender equality in the bread lines. I saw about 150 men and women gathered to buy bread — but standing in separate lines. The men complained the women, normally so deferential to men, kept pushing, so now they have two lines.
There are few cars on the roads, and most of those are media cars, ambulances and vehicles packed with civilians. Some look like they are fleeing, with mattresses tied to the roofs, but who knows where they can go.
Israeli helicopters fly overhead. I hear blasts in the distance. The roads have been ripped apart by explosives.
I drive into downtown Gaza, trying to prove to myself I can still do something I have done so often before — drive through my city.
I reach the Catholic school I attended, where my late father used to bring me every day. The building is undamaged. I stand in front of it, wondering if I will ever walk my children to this school.

1 comentarios:

Margaret Anne said...

Oh Chris where have you been. We need a blog debunking the Anderson Myths. Please come to chat one night.


Don't think for me. Don't assume what I want to hear or read. Give me facts. Give me reasons. But not yours. Bring me debate. Enlighten me. Today, accountability is masked behind anonymity; bylines are hidden by zeros and ones. Everyone publishes; everyone is "in the know." Ethics are non-existent. Speculation is king. The truth is masked and a hostage. Empowered by our minds, WE ARE THE FREAKSPEAKERS!


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