Liberal western media failed the truth

The BBC was once so credible that Indians would listen to it for correct reporting during the Emergency until its biased anti-Israel coverage exposed the rift within.
Image used for representational purpose only.
Image used for representational purpose only.

In Hamlet, Polonius asks the sour prince of Denmark, “What do you read, my lord?” Hamlet replies, “Words, words, words.”  Translation: they are meaningless. It seems he is reading The Washington Post today. Or TIME. Or The New York Times. Or The Independent. The American and British media coverage of Israel’s assault on Hamas and the subsequent deaths of Palestinians, the murder of Jews and the defacement of synagogues by pro-Palestinian mobs reads like Al Jazeera’s coverage of the war. The American media is known for challenging the misuse of power.

Last week, the same Washington Post, whose reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein broke the Watergate story, which ended Richard Nixon’s presidency, withdrew a cartoon showing Hamas using civilians as human shields, on the pretext it was racist. The murder of Paul Kessler in California was headlined by TIME as “Authorities Investigate Jewish Man’s ‘Death’ After Israel-Hamas War Protest Confrontation” while BBC reported on the Jenin raid: “14 Palestinians ‘killed’ in clashes in West Bank city”. The BBC was once so credible that Indians would listen to it for correct reporting during the Emergency until its biased anti-Israel coverage exposed the rift within.

The moral bankruptcy of woke righteousness has infected Western journalism. The first turning point in reporting the war came when Western journalists accused Israel of bombing the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, killing hundreds, including children. It turned out that the hospital was bombed by Islamic Jihad terrorists instead. But the damage was done. Violent protests by anti-Semitic Hamas sympathizers erupted across Western cities. Suddenly Israel was a baby killer in the media. It was a murderer of women and children. Journalists in Gaza quote Hamas sources as gospel truth without bothering to verify facts; for example, Hamas claimed that 30,000 Palestinians were wounded, although the total number of hospital beds in all medical facilities in Gaza, including UNRWA is optimally 3,000. Most news outlets didn’t even apologize for erroneous reporting or simply ignored the facts.

The nuanced subtext always gives Hamas the benefit of the doubt. CNN recently reported, “Hamas has a command node under Al-Shifa hospital, ‘US official says’. Reuters phrased the IDF’s raid in even more dubious terms, “Israeli military ‘says’ it found ‘signs’ hostages were held in Gaza hospital: this is after the IDF posted a video of an Israeli admiral entering a Hamas tunnel and emerging from inside the hospital. The most horrifying revelation was that journalists employed by respected news outfits like AP, Reuters, NY Times, and CNN were embedded with the October 7 Hamas terrorists: A video surfaced, purportedly showing a photographer wielding a grenade en route to the carnage—the same photographer, Hassan Eslaiah, was pictured being kissed by the terrorist chief in Gaza.

The New York Times defended Hassan by saying “he was doing what photojournalists always do during major news events, documenting the tragedy as it unfolded.” But how was he present when it was happening? Obviously he knew. WaPo reported, “CNN and the AP chose to ‘cut ties’ with Eslaiah, though they did not specify why.” Why not? Too arrogant to apologize? The simplicity of their conscience is appalling; either you are with us or against us—‘Narendra Modi is a Hindu nationalist autocrat and anyone who supports him is an anti-Muslim communalist’.

Black Lives Matter got immense media support, although later it celebrated the Hamas massacres and rapes. The lofty citadel of American journalism is crumbling under the toxic babble of liberal armchair activists, who are corrupting public opinion with partisan distortions. Words bring out the truth. They also distort the truth. Sorry Hamlet, words aren’t meaningless in Gaza.

Ravi Shankar

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