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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘coverage’

Mainstream Media Coverage of Trump’s ISIS Comments Is Psychotically Literal

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s blog, The Lid}

On Wednesday and Thursday Donald Trump repeatedly called President Barack Obama the “founder” of ISIS and labeled Hillary Clinton the “co-founder.” The liberal mainstream media took this comment literally as if the Republican candidate meant that Obama and Trump recruited the first members, invented the group handshake, and bought chocolate chip cookies and punch for the initial meetings. Of course he didn’t mean it literally. But that is not Trump’s problem, according to medical experts taking things too literally (like the media does with Trump) is a sign of psychosis.

According to Health Central:

A psychotic person may be incapable of answering a question directly or sticking to one topic. Psychotic people may also stop talking in mid-sentence and abruptly fall silent. Another clue to psychosis is an excess of literal or concrete thinking, such as that shown in the patient who, upon being asked what was on his mind, replied, “My skull.”

Trump said at a National Association of Home Builders event on Thursday morning, “I call President Obama and Hillary Clinton the founders of ISIS. They are the founders.”

He added:

“In fact, I think we will give Hillary Clinton, you know if you’re on a sports team, Most Valuable Player, MVP,” Trump said. “ISIS will hand her the Most Valuable Player award. Her only competition is Obama, between the two of them.”

He made similar accusations on Wednesday night.

The mainstream media answered the Republican’s charge with exhibiting their psychosis by being literal. For example, Philip Bump of the Washington Post started his Thursday column with:

The militant group, which started referring to itself as the Islamic State three years ago, was formed in 2002 by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, according to the Mapping Militants project at Stanford University. Originally called Jama’at al-Tawhid wa’l Jihad, it joined al-Qaeda to form al-Qaeda in Iraq — and then, in 2013, split from al-Qaeda to become the Islamic State.

Josh Voorhees of Slate provided another example of this mainstream media literal psychosis:

“Donald Trump is Donald Trump–ing again. Speaking at a campaign rally on Wednesday night, he suggested President Obama actually created the Islamic State terror group. “In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama,” Trump said in Florida. “He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS.” Then for good measure, the GOP nominee worked his general election rival into the nonsensical myth. “I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”

It’s not totally surprising to hear such an idea from Trump, who has previously claimed that Clinton had a founding role in the creation of ISIS and suggested that Obama is somehow sympathetic to the terror group. If you wanted to give Trump the benefit of the doubt, an overly generous reading of his comments would be something like, President Obama and his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy decisions in Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere have contributed to the rise of ISIS. Trump, after all, has offered similar criticism in the past, albeit in less coherent terms. But that is not what Trump said on Wednesday—and, much more importantly, also not what he wanted voters to hear, as the candidate himself has since made clear.

Donald Trump appeared on Thursday’s Hugh Hewitt Show and explained what the non-psychotic people already knew. Trump explained to the host that the way Obama/Hillary got us out of Iraq was instrumental on the founding of ISIS.

In a similar interview with CNBC on Thursday morning, Trump said Obama was “absolutely” the founder of ISIS.

“The way he removed our troops,” Trump said, apparently referencing the Obama administration’s decision to withdraw U.S. military personnel from Iraq by 2011. “I, you — we shouldn’t have gone in. I was against the war in Iraq.”

Many of the senior military people involved with the war on terror, also blame the growth of ISIS on the way the Obama/Clinton administration withdrew from Iraq. Other military experts agree:

Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno was the top commander in Iraq in the post-troop-surge era that all but eliminated al Qaeda’s vicious franchise. When the last troops went home in December 2011, he sat among the Joint Chiefs as theArmy’s chief of staff, his current position. Gen. Odierno recently told Fox News: “If we had stayed a little more engaged, I think maybe it might have been prevented. I’ve always believed the United States played the role of honest broker between all the groups, and when we pulled ourselves out, we lost that role.” He had recommended keeping 35,000 troops in place in 2011. “I think it would have been good for us to stay,” he said.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, a commander in Iraq’s Anbar province, in his July 9 confirmation hearing to be the next Joint Chiefs chairman, differed with those who said the U.S. had no choice but to leave because Iraq’s prime minister was not meeting U.S. demands. “I’m not sure I’d say that that meant we had no option to stay,” he told the Senate Committee on Armed Services.

Former Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos spoke to the Brookings Institute and said. “I have a hard time believing that, had we been there, and worked with the government, and worked with parliament, and worked with the minister of defense, the minister of interior, I don’t think we’d be in the same shape we’re in today,” he said. “We may think we’re done with all of these nasty, thorny, tacky little things that are going on around the world — and I’d argue that if you’re in that nation, it’s not a tacky, little thing for you. We may think we’re done with them, but they’re not done with us,” said Gen. Amos, who was a few months away from retirement at that time.

Marine Gen. James Mattis headed U.S. Central Command during the pullout. When asked at a 2013 hearing if a residual force could have made a difference in Iraq, he said it was unclear. But after he retired he appeared in January before the same Senate Committee on Armed Services and offered a clearer opinion. “I would tell you that the military, the senior military officers, we all explained that the successes we’d achieved by 2010-2011 were — and this is a quote — ‘reversible,’ that the democratic processes and the military capability were too nascent to pull everyone out at one time,” Gen. Mattis testified.

Leon E. Panetta, the defense secretary at the time of the Iraq withdrawal, told “60 Minutes” on CBS the exit was a mistake. He said that as the American flag was wrapped up for the trip home, he was not confident it was the right move. “I really thought it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq, and the decision was we ought to at least try to maintain [8,000] to 10,000 U.S. troops there, plus keeping some of our intelligence personnel in place to be able to continue the momentum in the right direction,” Mr. Panetta said.

Michael Rubin, a military analyst at the American Enterprise Institute said, “There is consensus among military practitioners — traditionally, the last people in the world who want to go to war — that leaving Iraq was a mistake,” Mr. Rubin said. “The question now is whether potential candidates from both parties are content to simply blame the mess on Obama, or whether they are prepared to do something about it.

Retired Army Gen. Jack Keane was a key architect of the Iraq troop surge, which replaced a strategy of U.S. warriors being generally confined to bases while the Iraqis were being trained to take over. Today, he is one of the most vocal critics of the decision to leave, as he saw all the gains made in 2007 to 2011 washed away in a wave of Islamic State terrorists taking territory and committing mass killings. “As we pulled out of Iraq in 2011, just think of this: We had all our intelligence capability there. We knew where the enemy was. We were flying drones. We’re tracking them. We have signals intelligence pouring in, eavesdropping on phone conversations and the rest of it. We’re using our counterterrorism forces to bang against these guys. We’re passing that to the Iraqis so their commandos can do the same,” Mr. Keane told The Washington Times in a 2014 interview. “On a given day in 2011, that screen went blank. The Iraqis went from a significant amount of intelligence on what was taking place, and the screen just went blank.”

Note the quotes above were first published by the Washington Times.

It seems that the mainstream media has become so tied up in their underwear, rushing to trash Trump that they’re having psychotic episodes. If they could ever get beyond their literal tendencies they would not only understand what Trump was really saying, but they would also know that he is speaking the truth.

Jeff Dunetz

BBC News omissions in Coverage of Gaza UN Worker Conscripted by Hamas

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

{Originally posted to the BBC Watch website}

“Confusion over the role of the press explains one of the strangest aspects of coverage here—namely, that while international organizations are among the most powerful actors in the Israel story, they are almost never reported on. Are they bloated, ineffective, or corrupt? Are they helping, or hurting? We don’t know, because these groups are to be quoted, not covered.” [Matti Friedman, “What the Media Gets Wrong About Israel“, November 2014]

August 9th saw the appearance of an article titled “Israel: ‘Gaza UN worker helped Hamas’” on the BBC News website’s Middle East page. The article opened:

“Israel has charged a UN aid worker from Gaza with using his position to help the militant Hamas movement, in the second such case in a week.”

When the BBC reported on that previous case, it took seven paragraphs before audiences were provided with the obviously very relevant information that Hamas is a proscribed terror organisation. In this article, readers have to plough through its entire seventeen paragraphs before they are informed that:

“Hamas is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the US, EU, and UK among other countries.”

Readers are told:

“Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said Waheed Borsh, an employee with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Gaza since 2003, admitted aiding Hamas.

It said he used UN resources to build a military jetty and prioritised rebuilding homes of Hamas members.”

The BBC’s use of the economical terminology “military jetty” does not of course tell the full story about that project.

“Bursh is an employee of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which undertakes such projects as rehabilitating Gaza Strip homes damaged in warfare.

He has worked as a UNDP engineer since 2003 and was tasked with overseeing the demolition of homes and evacuating the waste.

According to the Shin Bet, Bursh was approached shortly after the 2014 Gaza war by Husseini Suleiman, a messenger for senior Hamas commander Abu Anas al-Andor, who asked him to use his position to help the terrorist organization. In April and May 2015, he allegedly helped build the naval commando port in the northern Gaza Strip.

Bursh is said to have used his authority to transfer to the site 300 tons of construction materials.”

Later on readers are told that:

“It [the ISA] said he [Borsh] had been instructed by Hamas to ensure UNDP projects would benefit the militant group. The ISA said Mr Borsh confessed to carrying out activities that aided Hamas.

This included informing the group when weapons or tunnel openings were found in houses where UNDP workers were operating, it said.

As a result “Hamas would take control of the site and confiscate the arms and other materials,” the ISA said.”

The BBC omits a vital piece of information from that portrayal.

“Additionally, Borsh disclosed information regarding cases in which Hamas would blatantly and aggressively exploit UNDP humanitarian activities for its own purposes. For example, when weapons or terrorist tunnel openings were discovered in houses being handled by the UNDP, Hamas would take control of the site and confiscate the arms and other materials. This violates clear UN procedures according to which UNMAS is supposed to be immediately notified as the United Nations Mine Action Service is the UN body in charge of dealing, inter alia, with explosive remnants of war.” [emphasis added]

The article promotes an unqualified quote from the terrorist organisation concerned.

“Hamas said the allegations were “incorrect and baseless” and part of Israeli efforts “to tighten the siege of the Gaza Strip by prosecuting international relief organisations.”

However, the statement was not attributed to the person who made itSami Abu Zuhri – and the threat included in his statement was edited out.

“Hamas, meanwhile, denied the allegations in an official statement. The group’s spokesperson Sami Abu Zurhi called the accusations “false and baseless,” and said they were aimed at helping Israel strengthen its “siege” of Gaza.

If Israel persists in its policy of accusing aid organizations in Gaza, it would face “dangerous consequences,” Zurhi said.”

As regular readers know, the BBC has in the past frequently and enthusiastically promoted UN politicized messaging on the topic of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip while concurrently ignoring the flaws in the UN’s system. Obviously it is high time for the BBC to meet its public purpose remit by finally providing audiences with some in-depth and objective coverage of the various UN agencies (and additional humanitarian organisations) working in the Gaza Strip.

 

Hadar Sela

Notwithstanding Islamist Terror Surge, Europe’s Media Outlets Still Sanitize Coverage

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Beginning with the bloody July 14 Bastille Day terror attack in Nice, France, that left 84 people dead, Western Europe has seen an unrelenting wave of violence mainly perpetrated by individuals with connections to or sympathies with the Islamic State terror group.

These attacks on European soil are now occurring with a near daily frequency, with five different lone-wolf shooting and stabbing terror attacks in Germany in late July, at least three of which were claimed by Islamic State, as well as the slaying of a Catholic priest in northern France on July 26.

European media outlets, however, continue to be extremely selective in the way they report on the violence.

After the attack in Nice, the BBC tweeted an article titled “France’s President Holland returns to Paris for crisis meeting for Nice lorry ‘attack.’ ” That headline, which used quotation marks to cast doubt on whether the incident was a deliberate attack and did not use the word “terror,” was followed by headlines from the BBC and other European news organizations such as “Syrian migrant dies in German blast,” and “Bomb-carrying Syrian dies outside German music festival; 12 wounded.”

In June, JNS reported that many international media outlets initially reported misleading information about the attack at the Sarona market in Tel Aviv and in some cases not describing the shooting as terrorism.

Representatives from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) in France and Germany indicated to JNS that after the terrorist attacks in Brussels, the French media devised a comprehensive map of Islamist terrorist attacks that had taken place across the world. Twenty countries were affected between the November 13 attacks in Paris and the Brussels attack, but Israel was not included.

In addition, they said, when it comes to news coverage of terror in Israel, and at times with regard to terror attacks in Europe, there is often short-lived public outrage and sparse political consequences. Media headlines on occasion reflect a reluctance to call terror by name, instead trivializing the severity of the attacks and obscuring the motives of the perpetrators by referring to problems with depression or mental illness.

Daniel Schwammenthal, director of AJC’s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, told JNS that when these terror attacks occur there is a tendency on the part of European news organizations to “be careful and not jump to conclusions” and “play down the obvious connection” to radical Islamic terrorism.

Although Europeans try to differentiate between individual “bad apple” perpetrators and the whole Muslim community, “opinion polls and studies suggest that a considerable segment of the Muslim community shares at least some radical ideas and values,” Schwammenthal said.

While Schwammenthal characterized the motive to “protect innocent Muslims from hostility” as “noble,” he believes it can have unforeseen consequences.

“People are obviously making a connection between radical Islam and terrorism,” he says, but they see this attempt in the media and by some political leaders “to obfuscate or play down” the connection.

“I’m afraid it may make people much more likely to turn to [extreme right or populist] radical parties,” he said.

He acknowledged that this “tendency to blame society at large rather than individual” is “of course much worse when it comes to European media coverage of the terror situation in Israel.”

Analysis by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and from BBCWatch has shown that articles and headlines misrepresenting terror attacks in this manner are much more frequent when they’re perpetrated by Palestinians in Israel.

CAMERA analyst Marcelo Wio, who analyzed Spanish media as an example, said that “in Spanish, to refer to terror attacks we have a special term: ‘atentado terrorista.’ So atentado is a word that immediately makes a reader think terrorism. This word is almost never used in for Palestinian attacks. Only when unavoidable.”

Alina Dain Sharon

Obama Press Conference Conflicts with Netanyahu UN Speech

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

President Obama is set to give a press conference at this afternoon about the U.S. government shut down.

Obama’s speech, which is expected to be covered live by all the major networks, will conflict and overlap with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech at the UN, which the major networks were supposed to be covering at the same time.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Egypt Coptic Christian Leadership Condemns Western Media Coverage

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

In the face of an unprecedented wave of violence directed against Coptic Christians amid the turmoil in Egypt that has left hundred’s dead, the church’s leadership issued a statement condemning the Western media’s biased coverage of the events in Egypt.

“We strongly denounce the fallacies broadcasted by the Western media and invite them to review the facts objectively regarding these bloody radical organizations and their affiliates instead of legitimizing them with global support and political protection while they attempt to spread devastation and destruction in our dear land,” reads the statement, according to a Google translation.

“We request that the international and western media adhere to providing a comprehensive account of all events with truth, accuracy, and honesty,” the statement added.

The Coptic Church also reaffirmed its support for the military-backed government, calling on the army and security forces to continue their fight against the “armed violent groups and black terrorism.”

One of the oldest communities in Christianity, Coptic Christians have survived numerous persecutions in the past. But the recent violence is unprecedented. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an independent human rights organization, has documented 39 attacks against Coptic Christian churches, schools, monasteries and businesses since late last week, NPR reported.

Coptic Christians constituted a majority of Egypt’s population until the Middle Ages, when Islam, introduced by the Arab invasions in the 7th century, eclipsed their religion. Today, Coptic Christianity comprises nearly 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people, making it the largest single Christian community remaining in the Middle East.

JNS News Service

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egypt-coptic-christian-leadership-condemns-western-media-coverage/2013/08/20/

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