“What’s Your Problem with that?”: Enderlin and the Intellectual Corruption of the MSM

(This article has been published at Pajamas Media.)

The startling footage of Neda, the 27-year old woman shot to death in the streets of Tehran recently has reminded some of the image of 12-year old Muhammad al Durah (HT Tom Gross):

The footage of a Palestinian man [sic] being shot dead [sic] next to his 12-year-old son, Muhammad Jamal al-Durrah, by Israeli forces in Gaza in 2000 has been etched in the minds of many Iranians, as state television has continually replayed the images to highlight the “Zionist regime’s brutality.”

Now, the Islamic regime itself has become the subject of similar allegations at home and abroad after gruesome footage of a dying young woman during the suppression of an opposition protest on Saturday was released on the internet.

The image of Neda Salehi Agha-Soltan, a 27-year-old philosophy student, bleeding to death on the asphalt road of a Tehran street after she was shot in the chest, has become the rallying cry of the country’s opposition, which is disputing the June 12 election of Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad.

Only neither Jamal (the father) nor Muhammad al Durah (the son) were killed, not by Israelis soldiers, probably not by anyone, and certainly not “on TV.” These days when real footage, shot spontaneously, of victims of brutal repressive forces make it out of Iran, a country where the leaders make every effort to shut down the media, it may be useful to revisit the case of Muhammad al Durah.

With al Durah, we have a case of footage uncensored by authorities coming out of a conflict in which the allegedly repressive regime — the Israelis — provides the most welcoming atmosphere of freedom for journalists. These journalists repay the Israelis for their tolerance by running Pallywood footage staged by the Palestinians, specifically designed to provoke outrage. And in the case of Muhammad al Durah, the boy behind the barrel at Netzarim Junction on September 30, 2000, the footage was not only staged, but, thanks to the efforts of France2′s Middle East correspondent, Charles Enderlin, it made it around the world with the imprimatur of Western Mainstream media. In short order, it became an icon of hatred, provoking outrage, hatred and violence against both Jews and Israelis — the first blood(less) libel of the 21st century.

One of Enderlin’s favorite arguments is, “look, if there were any substance to these allegations, the Israelis would be all over me and Talal. The fact that they’ve done nothing is proof that we’re right, and Talal is “as white as snow.” He most recently repeated these arguments at his blog.

So let me suggest a counter-argument: If there were any substance to Charles Enderlin’s defense, he would have informed himself of the details of the evidence.

Instead, he continues to remain supremely ignorant of all the telling problems with both Talal’s account and his own.

His performance in his interview with Schapira for the new movie shows us precisely the kind of know-nothing folly that first inspired the term Pallywood, which came not from evidence of Palestinian fakes — I’d already seen many — but from Enderlin’s complacent response to having them pointed out: “Oh yeah, they do that all the time. It’s a cultural thing.”

Here are some views of the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of a major MSM figure, one of the most influential journalists in Europe for the last two decades. Not one word that he utters has any substance in terms of serious argumentation. In any first-year graduate seminar in history the kind of cavalier contempt for hard evidence and argumentation that Enderlin displays here would earn him the disbelief of fellow students and a ticket to ride from the professors… Unless, of course, we were in an honor-shame culture where someone with protected status could get away with anything he wanted to say.

Both in the details, and in the argumentation, Enderlin gets an “F” in Second Draft of journalism.


Enderlin handles a question from Esther Schapira.

It’s a smear campaign by people who don’t like my work

Here is Charles in court the day of the showing of Talal’s rushes (the beginning of his downfall), pugnaciously leading with his chin. He is typically dismissive — “you can say he was killed by Martians…” and categorical “we didn’t fabricate these images” (if that we includes Talal, it’s problematic). But the most revealing “argument” is that people who oppose him do so because they “don’t want my reports, my books, and my commentaries.”

Note the revealing slip at the beginning: “This is a libel suit… uuuh, a libel against me.” He’s the one bringing the libel suit against Karsenty, but he’s trying to position himself as the victim. Indeed, we met one vociferous ex-Israeli French journalist in the court who was indignant at how Enderlin was being dragged through the judicial mud by this suit against him.

But the larger question is certainly worth considering. Enderlin, true to style, uses conspiracy-theory logic. Cui bono? To whom the good? If I lose this case, then my whole oeuvre will be in doubt. Ergo, those who attack me on this case actually want to discredit me entirely.

Actually, I had never heard of Enderlin before this, and my concern was both to challenge so powerful and hate-engendering an icon — a blood libel — and, as I became involved, to challenge the inexcusable complaisance of the MSM with Pallywood footage. As I’ve learned more about Enderlin, I think he’s right on one point: his behavior here should call into question the rest of his work which, as I’ve learned, is also tendentious and treats evidence loosely. But to go from that to “it’s a conspiracy to shut me up” not only shows the paranoid quality of Enderlin’s thinking, but also the nature of his appeal: “Don’t listen to them; they don’t like my politics.” Alas, this works all too often these days.

***

That’s how I do a story: “The child is dead” is a statement. What’s your problem with it?”

Here’s Charles asked about why he claimed that the child was dead and then three “takes” later, he’s still moving. This is, of course, a critical issue, since the scene in which the child moves was one that he cut from his broadcast.

I don’t know if Schapira asked him why he cut it, but I presume he’d have answered the same way he has for 9 years — “it was the death throes, and too unbearable for the public to view.” You be the judge on to whom this cut footage is unbearable — the viewer or Talal’s and Enderlin’s “narrative.”

In response, Enderlin let’s us know how he works: “This is the way I do a story…”

I’m very sorry, but the fact is the child died. Maybe not at the precise moment I showed. But this is the way I do a story. “The child is dead,” is a statement. What’s your problem with it?

How many Teamsters does it take to change a lightbulb?
12.
Why 12?
You got a problem with that?


Enderlin: “Maybe not at the precise moment…”

Like the Teamsters, this man thinks he won’t be challenged by anyone who counts. He doesn’t have to give a serious answer, because the people who count — his bosses at France2, his fellow journalists — support him fully.

***

That’s not staging, it’s playing for the camera… that’s reality.”

The next one is my favorite, in part because it’s based on my testimony (both in court and to Esther Schapira), in part because it makes it clear what is the problem with the MSM’s handling of the Middle Eastern conflict, namely the inability to handle the culture of deception that they face with the Palestinians, and their willingness to ignore the problem as their form of “solution” to what otherwise would be a very sticky problem: can you imagine what would happen if Western journalists actually demanded real footage and rejected the staged stuff?

Here’s my remarks describing my first viewing of Talal’s rushes in October 2003:

Presumably having asked Charles a question related to my remarks, he responds as follows. Note that this answer goes to the heart of “Pallywood.” This is the thinking of one of the most prominent Middle East Correspondents on the problem of staging evidence… his version of the NYT’s comment on Rathergate, “fake but accurate.”

For those who can’t believe their eyes and ears, here’s a transcript of his remarks with some added fisking.

This is not staging, it’s playing for the camera. When they threw stones and Molotov cocktails, it was in part for the camera. That doesn’t mean it’s not true. They wanted to be filmed throwing stones and being hit by rubber bullets. All of us — the ARD too — did reports on kids confronting the Israeli army, in order to be filmed in Ramallah, in Gaza. That’s not staging, that’s reality.

First, note that this is the Palestinian frame of the story: boy vs. tank, David vs. Goliath. This is the “reality” that Enderlin and his colleagues purvey to their Western audiences. Lots of pictures of little kids up against tanks. Very few of the men with weapons standing behind, firing in the hopes of getting Israel to kill one of their own kids for the camera. And none of the hate industry that urges genocide and produces dancing in the street at any news of dead Israeli (or American) civilians.

Second, what we have her is a man who’s so deeply immersed in Pallywood that he can’t tell the difference between “reality” and staging. Take away the cameras and what have you got? Virtually every journalist I’ve spoken to — including ones sympathetic to Enderlin — admit that without the cameras there’s no action, that the “street” waits for the cameras. As a scientist attentive to the impact of the observer on the observed, Enderlin gets an “F.” He doesn’t seen to care. Why? Because he can point the finger at everyone, since the whole MSM is complicit — ARD too! so don’t get high and mighty with me!

That’s not staging, that’s reality. The words of a man who’s been on camera so long, and had people believe him for so long, that he can no longer tell the difference between celluloid reality and the real thing. Enderlin is a poster boy for the noxious role of the MSM in blinding Westerners to the troubles they face both in the Middle East and at home.

***

Do you really believe that the father and son were playing a comedy?

In this segment, Enderlin tries to turn the tables on Schapira by challenging her and what he contemptuously refers to as the “conspiracy theory.” The argumentation is classic Enderlin. Note how, at the end, in response to her answer, he shoots himself in the foot.

Enderlin: “Do your really believe… you really believe that the father and the son would be playing a comedy? Right in front of an Israeli post? In front of dozens of Israeli soldiers? Live bullets are being fired and they’re acting. You believe that?”
Schapira: “I wasn’t there.”
Enderlin: “You weren’t there. Then I’m telling you I wasn’t.

Precisely Charles, you weren’t there, and therefore should have exercised much more caution in reporting this story, as the French court admonished you:

Considering that it is determined that Charles ENDERLIN did not witness the events that he commented on in “off-screen narration” – a procedure that is in no way contrary to the journalistic code of ethics, as long as that is understood by the viewers to be the case; that in this instance, FRANCE 2 pointed out on October 1, 2000, that the death of the child had been “filmed by Talal Abu Ramah, [his] correspondent in Gaza” and on October 2, that the cameraman “had filmed the unacceptable,” which did not necessarily lead one to deduce that the commentator was not at the scene; that this fact led Philippe KARSENTY – without being thus able to deduce that the events reported were false – to question the concordance between the images chosen by the Palestinian cameraman (“It’s I who decides what is important,” we hear him say in one of the interviews), and Charles ENDERLIN’s commentary on these images.

Maybe if Enderlin had been there, he wouldn’t have drawn maps that place the Israelis on the wrong side of the street, i.e., placing them on the side from which the gunfire was actually coming.


Enderlin’s hand-drawn map next to a real map of Netzarim Junction. Notice how Enderlin has placed the Israelis opposite the barrel, not diagonally across the junction.

But the real problem here is Enderlin’s form of argumentation. Historians call it “argument ex silentio” — claiming proof from lack of contrary evidence. In this case the silence of the Israeli army soldiers is proof because, presumably, if the Israelis saw anything so suspicious they would have objected formally and publicly.

This argument has a major flaw: The Israelis have other things to do, especially when, as Enderlin says, the bullets are flying. Even when they’re not, even when the soldiers can see faking right in front of them, they don’t consider it important. Here is the testimony of a soldier who was at Netzarim that day, interviewed by Schapira in 2001 and included in the new movie.

“Okay, let him be on TV for it.”

But al Durah’s more serious. Wouldn’t they have reported that? Perhaps, if a) they had been able to identify what was going on much less prove it — once they knew the people behind the barrel weren’t shooting at them, they had no reason to keep watching, and with Talal filiming behind the truck, how could they even know it was being filmed? and b) if anyone had any idea of how powerful that image would become.

As for the “live bullets,” all the identifiable bullets in Talal’s film (3) were from the Palestinian side, and appear to be part of the “comedy” as Enderlin refers to it. They were there, smacking against the wall over their heads precisely to make the father and son’s acting realistic. [The alternative explanation is worse: the Palestinians were aiming at the two behind the barrel.]

All of Enderlin’s thinking starts with Talal telling the truth, and everything else is deduced from that premise. It makes sense: Enderlin begins with the axiom of his innocence and works from there.

***

“It was dark… uh, I don’t know how the photo was taken.”

Here’s the most striking of Enderlin’s responses, which shows his complete contempt for any data that contradicts his fantasies. Schapira has pointed out that a) there’s precious little blood in any of Talal’s footage — none on the father, and a red spot on the son that migrates from his leg to his stomach in the shift from scene 4-5; and b) there’s bright red blood in the picture taken the next day, suggesting that it was freshly added to the scene.


The photo in question, taken the following day (October 1, 2000) about noon. Note in addition to the bright red blood almost 24 hours later, the red rag, and the lack of blood where the boy lay.

Enderlin doesn’t even deal with the problem; he just denies it outright.

Schapira’s too kind. I would have split the screen and had Enderlin talk about how the blood was dark with the picture alongside him. This, more than anything, sets the record straight on Enderlin’s intellectual dishonesty. He doesn’t know anything? The picture has been out there, and used against him for over seven years and he still knows nothing about it. Instead he directly contradicts the very evidence he’s discussing. Are you going to believe me, or your lying eyes?

***

Enderlin’s Backup: Arlette Chabot of France2

How does Enderlin get away with this appalling behavior? Normally one would expect to be in one of the recondite corners of David Pryce-Jones’ Closed Circle to find such blatant disregard for evidence (and intellectual integrity). Only in an honor-shame culture can one find a group of authority figures ignoring reality in order to shore up the “honor” of another power-holder in such bald-faced fashion.

One would expect that in post-Dreyfus France — i.e., a country that a century ago confronted the pre-modern call for preserving the honor of a major institution (the army, then the Church) and preferred the evidence of an individual’s innocence — Enderlin would not find support for his outrageous behavior.

Alas, the guild mentality of journalists who circle the wagons continues to protect him, regardless of what the courts or the now publicly available evidence has to say. Here’s his boss, the head of France2′s news service, on the case:

Note the pre-modern, magical mode of thought, what anthropologists call a “performative utterance” — as long as I state things categorically, they’re true. Note that, if anyone at France2 knows about the evidentiary problems, it’s Chabot, who was on the dock at court.

I still believe that the Israeli army shot him. So far I have no cause to say we’re dealing with a staged scene. And why should it be staged? There are already enough victims on both sides. There’s no proof for these accusations. So there’s no reason to doubt the authenticity of this scene.

So she’s frozen in a time capsule that dates back to 2000. No one who’s looked closely at the evidence is still arguing that the Israelis shot him. Enderlin, already in 2002, insisted to Esther Schapira that: “I never said the Israelis did it.” Even Talal sent a fax to France2 formally contradicting his own sworn testimony before the Palestinian Committee on Human Rights, where he explicitly stated, in the most inflammatory language that,

I can assert that shooting at the child Mohammed and his father Jamal came from the above – mentioned Israeli military outpost, as it was the only place from which shooting at the child and his father was possible. So, by logic and nature, my long experience in covering hot incidents and violent clashes, and my ability to distinguish sounds of shooting, I can confirm that the child was intentionally and in cold blood shot dead and his father injured by the Israeli army.

Now we have the fax he sent to France2 in order to cover his legal rear-end, a fax that France2 never made public.


Talal’s fax, sent to France2 denying he ever said the Israelis killed al Durah. Supplied by Philippe Karsenty.

I never said to the Palestinian Human Rights Organization in Gaza that the Israeli soldiers killed wilfully or knowingly Mohamed al Dura and wounded his father. All I always said in all the interviews I gave is that from where I was, I saw the shooting coming from the Israeli position.

Now either Chabot knows about the fax — which she should given its importance and given the importance for her of knowing the dossier — or she doesn’t. In either case, she ignores all the evidence available to restate what we might qualify as a quasi-religious belief, namely, that the Israelis killed the boy.

No wonder she thinks there’s no evidence against her. Apparently even if she’s seen it, nothing will shake her faith. [On a side note, I had a conversation in early 2005 with Daniel Leconte, one of the three journalists to view the as-yet uncut tapes of Al Durah, and he said to me that when Chabot saw them, and the obvious staging involved, she became "white as the wall."]

As a result, she, like Enderlin, resort to the “it’s true because it happens,” defense. “Why would they fake it?” she asks, as if the propaganda value of actual footage were not immensely valuable. “There are already enough victims on both sides.” But at the time this happened, there were few victims, and no chidren of 12 years old. Like so many viewers, Chabot confuses cause and consequence: the image that her station broadcast had an immense impact on the rioting against Israel — it even spread to within the Green Line — and the body count rises dramatically after France2 aired it. Chabot’s logic is like Enderlin’s “reason” for believing the picture was real: “It corresponded to the situation on the West Bank and Gaza.”

Ultimately, this is Palestinian, pre-modern (or ideologically driven, post-modern). As the official from Palestinian Authority TV responded when challenged with the editing of the material so that it looks like an Israeli soldier shot him:

“These are forms of artistic expression, but all of this serves to convey the truth… We never forget our higher journalistic principles to which we are committed of relating the truth and nothing but the truth.”

Adam Rose gave the post-modern version of this “fake = real” argument:

…the critical question in an examination of the dynamics of Mohammed al-Dura’s “martyrdom ” is not whether the singular “Story of Mohammed al-Dura” is true, but whether the “universal Mohammed al-Dura Story is true.

Not satisfied with her performative utterances, she openly lies to Schapira in order to affirm her faith:

They presented the court with a cut version of Talal’s rushes — the same rushes that made her blanche a few years ago. They’ve never made Talal’s contradictory fax public. They have certainly not put up any evidence at their website where the curious cybernaut might judge for him or herself. If her principle were transparency, this would have been over long ago.

***

Enderlin Backup II: The Journalist’s Guild

So how do Chabot and Enderlin continue to show sheer contempt for the public’s intelligence? Because they have the full backing of the guild. Here’s René Backmann, a supporter of Enderlin who tried to get my presentation of this material at a faculty luncheon at Harvard blocked several years ago, and who subsequently signed the infamous petition of support for Charles after the court ruled against him.

The boy was killed and the father wounded. Everyone knows that. For me, the fact that the boy was killed is indisputable.

[Note the correction of the English subtitle, based on the German voice-over, itself a translation.]

It’s hard to imagine a more Luddite position… something along the lines of:

    The Emperor wore magnificent clothes. Everyone knows that. For me, the fact that the Emperor was naked is not up for discussion.


The chancellor responding to a question about the Emperor’s Wardrobe.

This kind of support doesn’t stop with Enderlin’s good friend, René Backmann. Immediately after the court decided against Enderlin, his friends started a petition at Le Nouvel Obs (a major French weekly newsmagazine) in support of Charles. The text is a monument to the guild mentality of French journalists. It rejects both the principles of journalistic transparency, and the notion that a private citizen has the standing to question the work of a “veteran journalist.”

It’s even worse than that. Some (how many?) of the journalists who signed are guilty of the same shoddy work; and many (most?) never saw the evidence before signing. Indeed, an Italian journalist who’s preparing a piece on this affair told me recently that he interviewed Jean Daniel, the spearhead and sponsor of the petition, the editor-in-chief of Le Nouvel Observateur, a major French (“Jewish“) intellectual, who admitted he still hasn’t looked at the evidence.

When I got involved in this case six years ago, I had no idea it would lead me to realize such extensive intellectual corruption, such contempt for evidence among the most prominent members of the MSM. Nor did I imagine it would all come out publicly so obviously.

Is anyone paying attention?

73 Responses to “What’s Your Problem with that?”: Enderlin and the Intellectual Corruption of the MSM

  1. Excellent, Richard!
    President Obama told the Iranians “The World is Watching”, but is he and “the world” really learning anything?
    Not without clarity and accuracy from the media, unfortunately.
    http://breathofthebeast.blogspot.com/2009/06/iran-where-blood-is-real-and-world-is.html

  2. Jonathan Levy says:

    When reading this article on Pajamas Media, some of the pictures did not load for me. If other people are experiencing the same problem, it would be good to correct it as soon as possible.

  3. Robert says:

    RL, I’m on your side, but you write a long post about disregard for evidence and then refer to 16 year old Neda who is referred to as 27 in the article you yourself quote in the next paragraph. You might want to watch for mistakes like that.

    thank you. the difference btw me and the people i criticize in this case is, when you point out my errors i a) correct them, and b) don’t erase the evidence of the error. i count on my readers to keep me honest. again, thanks. -rl

  4. Jonathan Levy says:

    I would ask a question from a different angle.

    There are many people in Iran taking dramatic video footage, with improvised cameras, almost-empty batteries, etc, as Talal was, according to his story.

    How many of those Iranians produced 6 separate ~10-second shots?

    It’s much more difficult to fake a continuous scene; But if you can edit it, you can get rid of all the mistakes.

  5. Phil says:

    Well done, Richard!
    Can’t we find friends of Enderlin and make sure they read your post?

  6. E.G. says:

    AP report, emphasis mine:

    “Obama noted the killing of a young woman, Neda Agha Soltan, whose apparent shooting death was captured on video and circulated worldwide.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5juui7didNwh_vzBmJyrbjxkeF-IgD990GHAO4

    Prudent, eh?

  7. E.G. says:

    And now, the French version:

    Le président des Etats-Unis a évoqué le cas de la jeune Neda Agha Soltan, devenue une icône pour le mouvement de contestation en Iran après la diffusion sur Internet d’une vidéo montrant la mort présumée de la jeune fille semble-t-il atteinte par balle lors d’une manifestation.
    http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2009/06/23/01011-20090623FILWWW00616-obamairan-le-monde-est-horrifie.php

    Extra prudent!
    “Presumed death” and she was, “it seems”, touched by bullets (whose bullets? no mention!)

  8. Eliyahu says:

    EG, an excellent example of propaganda. When you can’t simply deny an undesired fact, one unfavorable to your cause, you minimize it or do the “apparent” or “semble-t-il” trick. That’s how newspapers and news magazines are written.

  9. nelson says:

    It is arguable that Israel was a kind of testing ground for the MSM where they checked how much they could stretch their readers’ gullibility. Since it worked, they then applied the same methods to something much more important and much closer to home: a presidential election.

    It would have been prudent for the MSM by now to revert to a less openly militant mode in order not to overstretch their publics’patience and to keep their gunpowder dry for the next serious confrotation with truth and reality. That’s not what they have been doing. What I’d really like to know is when will they overplay their hand and when (or whether) their game will some day be called.

  10. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    The best (?) part is is that Obama was not so cautious when he spoke about Neda.
    And, speaking of propaganda, Ynet reports that the Iranian/Teheran police are now claiming that Neda was killed by illegal foreign weapons, not by the regular forces. Couldn’t find any other report about this.

  11. E.G. says:

    Nelson,

    Me too. And the sooner, the better.

  12. noah says:

    Totally mind blowing. I understand the twisted rationale for Pallywood from the arab perspective and MSM, but what is the advantage for MSM to write “presumed death” here?

  13. E.G. says:

    Le Monde’s welcome gift to Netanyahu.
    Oh, and it’s called an analysis.

    L’improbable Etat palestinien de Benyamin Nétanyahou

  14. Joanne says:

    I did feel a deep sense of frustration after reading this very detailed post.

    Not only do I sense a closing of the wagons among European journalists, I also sense a means-justify-the-ends mode of thinking. By the latter I mean the view that, if Israel is in the wrong anyway, then it doesn’t matter if one uses dishonest methods to show it. Another take could be: If Israel shouldn’t even exist, who cares if it’s been smeared in this particular case.

    Apparently, all’s fair in love and (ideological) war.

    It’s great that this website offers a venue for this stuff to be seen. However, the problem remains that RL is preaching to the converted. There are lots of people out there who won’t care to look at this material; and, even if they did look at it, they’d refuse to draw any general conclusions about Palestinian propopanda.

    Unfortunately, the only people who will think that the Al-Dura incident reveals Palestinian manipulation of the media are those who want to think that, anyway.

    This is not to say that RL (and Karsenty, Schapira) shouldn’t continue with this work. It’s just that I find it frustrating that it can’t seem to have more impact. Even when there is decent proof, those who don’t want to draw uncomfortable conclusions won’t want to listen.

    It’s like shouting into the wind.

  15. E.G. says:

    Joanne,

    There are also passive readers – those who do not post comments. I used to be one. And, on several sites, still am.

  16. Jeremy says:

    I agree entirely with Joanne.

    The people who really, really need to make a dispassionate and honest reevaluation of the whole Muhammad Al Dura affair are the Muslim Clerics, and Muslims the world over.

    However, even if shocking new footage of little Muhammad getting up and smiling after the photo-shoot were to be unearthed, these people would denounce it as fraud. They have their narrative and they are certain of it. They do not need their clear-thinking to be clouded with fact. They are completely certain that jackbooted Israeli soldiers shoot innocent children, in all likelihood just for fun.

    And the western world largely accepts this narrative, usually with an argument such as “there’s no smoke without fire”. Lazy, intellectually dishonest thinking that permeates many of the PC “truths” that are held to be self-evident about Israel.

    Richard, you are doing a grand job trying to disillusion the duped masses but while Phillipe is winning his battle, Israel lost the propaganda war long ago.

  17. Cynic says:

    However, the problem remains that RL is preaching to the converted.

    And I know of some people who were converted by RL’s preaching.
    I also know of a community that has become far wiser and more secure thanks to the efforts of RL, and others, at exposing the lies and distortions prevalent today in what can be sarcastically termed news media, and providing the needed context.

  18. Joanne says:

    I hope your right, Cynic. And I didn’t mean to discourage RL. But I repeat that I’d just wish that the discrepancies about Al Dura had had more impact. It does seem to be an uphill struggle.

  19. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G., I was away in the mountains for a week (solar electricity only and no internet, great rest, sunburns on my hands, the mountain stream at its fullest, the meadows full of gaudy flowers, some snow remaining higher up, total paradise), and you completed my return to ordinary civilization by suggesting I read Mr Bôle-Richard’s intellectual production in “Le Monde”. In fact, Bôle-Richard is obviously a card carrying member of the anti-israeli and anti-american party, whose central organ is “Le Monde”. He is not into reporting facts, but into making facts suit his opinions, and a little tweaking of reality will not frighten him. I am always appalled that the so-called “quotidien de référence” has in its employ a Bôle-Richard. I’d say that it is not an accident. On the contrary, it is a deliberate choice. Most of my relatives and friends are devoted readers of “Le Monde”, and from time to time, I try to point out a few difficulties, but to no avail. I must admit that the newspaper even reaches the beautiful isolated mountain chalet where I stayed. Just pick it up from the mail box at the post office 4 kilometers away…

  20. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    Le Monde Diplo has just lost a precious contributor: Amnon Kapeliuk passed away. I’m sure you share my deep sadness.

  21. Michelle Schatzman says:

    E.G. do you think that I am a crocodile? I’m just some sort of bogeywoman, and weeping the demise of my enemies does not fit my persona :-).

  22. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    You should be handing out candy :-)

  23. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Candy? I’m not a dentist, I don’t need more customers…

    :-)

  24. E.G. says:

    No, Michelle,

    And you don’t live in Gaza or in the Palestinian towns of Judea-Samaria so as to rejoice over each attack, killing innocents – especially Jews.
    That’s when they distribute candy and sweets on the streets.

  25. Eliyahu says:

    EG & Michelle, I too weep over the late Amnon, je pleure copieusement a chaudes larmes. Even more than over Michael Jackson.

    by the way, let’s not forget that LeMonde is still under the wing of the Quai d’Orsay. Likewise, national public radio is a US govt funded broadcaster, like pbs. So what is called “left” is often govt funded, both in the US and in France. It is curious moreover that “leftists” who consider themselves serious writers and analysts –or seem to do so [like Amnon K]– don’t see any problem with serving capitalist govts. Indeed, many of the groups considered “leftist” and trying to influence public opinion in the Western countries are actually funded by one govt or another or by institutions close to and influenced by govts or by unions of govts, such as the EU. So what does Left mean today anyhow?? The Left is to a great extent a body of public opinion manipulated by govts through the mass media and through small groups, small group organizers. Pres. Obama worked in that field, in that profession, when he was with ACORN. Those small groups too work in the cogwar/psywar field, building up and manipulating public opinion.

    In Israel, much of the “Left” is funded by outside govts, which is why they are more dangerous than otherwise. The EU is a major funder of Israeli “leftist” groups. Maybe of the ones that Noam belongs to. The EU and the “cooperation” agencies of various Euro states [and South Africa] fund Arab anti-Israel bodies too, such as al-Haq, one of those bodies working on inventing or enhancing alleged Israeli abuses of Arab human rights.

  26. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu,

    Welcome to the tear pool. Together, we’ll increase the level of the Kinneret!

    I hope your tears will flow even more as I join your linking Left style vocabulary, anti-Zionist/Israel agenda, and public funding of organisations using this kind of Newspeak.

    I must stop, an iceberg is melting in the corner of my (left) eye.

  27. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    Here is the link to an article published in Portuguese, which maybe Nelson can translate for everybody to read and pass judgment on its veracity?
    It should prove interesting in showing that nothing has changed in political chicanery.
    It is by the Brazilian magazine ISTOÉ and is about an accord which was to have been signed by Brazil and Iran during Ahmadinejad’s proposed visit earlier this year.

    It was about getting around sanctions imposed by the UN’s Security Council and the US.

    Brazil helps Iran get round sanctions

  28. Michelle Schatzman says:

    Through the heavy waterfall of my tears over the late Amnon K. (paix à ses cendres), I read Eliyahu’s statement “let’s not forget that LeMonde is still under the wing of the Quai d’Orsay”, and this even increased my deep sadness. I am at the bottom of an oceanic, and I’m digging! I’m digging because I am looking for a proof of the said statement, and I have no idea where to find it. In fact, I believe that the statement is plain wrong, and that “Le Monde” is quite mature enough to write disgusting lies by itself and of its own volition.

    Eliyahu, if you have a good proof of your statement, I may consider shooting back upwards to the surface. Otherwise, I may have to continue staying in my yellow submarine, somewhere 30 000 ft below (or 10 000 m, I am metric minded, but I can consider converting to imperial units :-( ).

    By the way, E.G. I saw the allusion of Cynic to candy handing out by the Hamasnikim, and I did not want to do that. If I am not sad about the death of Kapeliouk (met the man once in the late sixties or the early seventies, at my parents’ home), I am not going to rejoice. Only on Passover’s night do I feel allowed to rejoice about the death of human creatures.

  29. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    weeping the demise of my enemies does not fit my persona :-).

    So I assumed, rather presumptuously, that being happy at their demise did ….
    By the way I presume that you have never witnessed an Indian funeral – great jollity and much feasting at the deceased’s departure for heaven.
    What they do for enemies I never did find out.

    E.G.,
    Anything like an Irish wake??? :-)

  30. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    But you still pay for their dental care. Each and every day, year after year.

    Media professionals and diplos are mutually feeding back in many places. Indeed, I’d add to Eliyahu’s assertion some other outlets (e.g., le Canard) and the great influence that the journal of reverence exerts over its readers, among whom…

    Recall what Georges Malbrunot told his Iraqi kidnappers? That they were French journalists, and France was against the war.

  31. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    An Irish wake? Any Irish event?
    Never again!

    Well, to make things clear, I feel no Schadenfreude over anti-Israeli people’s death. I do recall muttering “good riddance” when the bearded arch-terrorist had the courtesy to get off the stage.

  32. Michelle Schatzman says:

    OK, I pay for their dental care, but the dentists do not hand out sweets anymore as mine did after he took care of the cavities in my milk teeth… nowadays, people with cavities eat sweets by themselves.

    Le Canard Enchaîné indeed gets lots of its information (true or false) from insiders. In particular, “le journal de Carla” comes from… Carla Bruni-Sarkozy herself.

    Media professionals and politicians feed each other, often with little regard for truth and facts. Part of a game, obviously. If you can persuade the elector/reader that things are less complex than they are in reality, then you can also defend simplifying policies.

    Thinking of Malbrunot, he wrote an immortal paper in his blog on Le Figaro, explaining that fraud does not explain the election of Ahmadinejad :

    http://blog.lefigaro.fr/malbrunot/2009/06/iran-pourquoi-une-telle-surpri.html

    How can he develop such arguments? Is he deeply paternalist and racist? Does he love the muslim world, as one could love one’s dog?

  33. Eliyahu says:

    Cynic, I read the beginning and a few other parts of the article about how Brazil helps A-jad laugh at the sanctions imposed by the US and by the UN insecurity council. [Brazil “ajuda Ahmadinejad a burlar as sanções impostas pelos Estados Unidos e pelo Conselho de Segurança da ONU“]

    The problem is that this publication is misinformed. The Brazilian author seems to think that the US or the Secy council is really interested in imposing any effective sanctions on Iran for violating its own signature of the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty. It is telling, I think, that very few articles in the American press mention that Iran has broken its own commitment to the NPT by developing a nuclear bomb. So the average reader, assuredly poorly informed, would be led to think that the US and Israel and others are complaining about an Iranian policy rather than about a violation of an international commitment made by Iran, albeit by the Shah’s govt.

    It is my view that the State Dept and other US foreign policy agenices do not care in the least that Iran may get The Bomb. Indeed, they seem to want it to get the Bomb. And this was before obama spouted his asinine arguments about persuading the ayatollahs. Obama’s policy is not new. It’s just that he’s more brazen about it. And probably more dangerous therefore than Bush.

  34. Eliyahu says:

    Michelle, I can’t refer you at this moment to any documentation as to LeMonde and LMDiplo being owned by the Quai d’Orsay. However, I have read this several times from sources that I considered well-informed and reliable. Moreover, as I recall, it was a certain Hubert Beuve-Mery who founded LeMonde at the end of WW2. He may have set it up as a kind of journalists’ cooperative, I think. But the hand of the French foreign ministry was always there. I will try to find some source to refer you to. Meanwhile, I thank EG for his support and his supply of another media outlet, Le Canard, to the list, whereas you yourself [Michelle] say that Mme Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is a source for Le Canard.

    M, to check on my claim, you might check up on beuve-mery, and even inquire as to where the money came from to start up Le Monde in 1944 when capital may have been in shorter supply in France than now.

    Since I’m at it, nobody denies that bbc is a UK govt agency, although some would deny that the foreign office dictates its policies. However, during WW2 and the Holocaust, nobody doubted it. If you or anyone you know reads Yiddish, check up on what Shmul Zigelboym of the Jewish Socialst Bund wrote about bbc during the war, and its policy of failing to report the ongoing Holocaust until it became too well known otherwise, and then the bbc minimized the news. This was UK govt policy, according to British researcher Barbara Rogers.
    See link:
    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2006/05/british-governmental-guidance-of.html

    Also look up bbc and Zigelboym on my blog.

    While I’m at it, could it be that the Guardian and Independent, etc., are under Foreign Office guidance?

  35. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu and Michelle,

    The latest on “Le Monde” is the Cohen-Péan volume from a few years ago. I don’t recall a specific case or citation but there might be one or more. There’s an older book, from the early 70′s I think (that reads as if it were written today) – I’ll post the title/reference later.
    To the best of my knowledge, nobody ever claimed the paper is actually owned by the Mosquai d’Orsay. The AFP is a governmental agency. And most French MSM as well as administration is subscribed to the agency’s services.

  36. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    Does he love the muslim world, as one could love one’s dog?

    How could you? Equating loving a dog, which Muslims find not quite as filthy as Jews, with loving Muslims.
    Sacre Bleu!

  37. Cynic says:

    Eliyahu,

    I mentioned the article as I thought it would be interesting for more people to be aware of what is going on and to consider in so much as it mentions that while Lula was being all lovey-dovey with alibama his foreign affairs guys were busy hatching this agreement.

    It has been obvious that ali has not been against the Iranians getting nuclear weapons and as he was bred by a Muslim and schooled in a Muslim environment maybe he is even in on this.

    Who knows what shenanigans he is brewing.

    Now how will all those patriotic Americans react if they get to know the details, whatever America’s covert policy might be?

  38. E.G. says:

    Eliyahu & Michelle

    “Le Monde tel qu’il est” by Pierre Legris, 1976.

  39. Michelle Schatzman says:

    “Le Monde”: there is a third book, which I own somewhere in my personal heap of books. Basically, everything is known about the financial construction of its capital. There is no state-owned part, if I remember correctly. I must add that all newspapers in France receive state subsidies, according to law, and following a public key of repartition. Therefore, it is incorrect to state that the relation between the Quai d’Orsay and “Le Monde” belongs to the ownership category. They belong more to the collusion category, and for many years, under de Gaulle, and before, under the fourth republic, “Le Monde” spoke very much the voice of France. It probably works by exchange of information, time shared employees (a few years here and a few years there).

    Beyond that, I half disagree with Cynic on who brought up Prez O.: his father disappeared fast after his birth, and his Indonesian step-father was not much of a Muslim, if I understand correctly. From what I read, the man who held the longer influence on O.’s education was his maternal grandfather. I am much more wary of the influence of the reverend hateful from Chicago throughout his later years…

    And yes, I know that muslims consider dogs as very impure animals. So, let me upgrade Malbrunot’s love for muslims. Maybe he loves them as he loves his horse(s)?

  40. E.G. says:

    Michelle,

    How can he develop such arguments?

    Easily. Talked to a few persons who are supposed to know and understand something about Iran, activated a few analogies drawn from memory, consulted a Google map of Teheran…

  41. E.G. says:

    Israel losing psych-ops war against “industry of lies” – asserts Israeli sociologist Ben-Dror Yemini

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucC3e5gC5Jc

  42. Cynic says:

    Michelle,

    :-)
    And yes, I know that muslims consider dogs as very impure animals. So, let me upgrade Malbrunot’s love for muslims. Maybe he loves them as he loves his horse(s)?

    Camels? They even have Camel beauty pageants if I’m not mistaken.

    Basically, everything is known about the financial construction of its capital. There is no state-owned part, if I remember correctly. I must add that all newspapers in France receive state subsidies,

    I have now reached the stage where I first ask if “bribery” could possibly play a part? Money is fungible and while one cannot tie in any state participation on the face of it …… :-)

    This business of treating journalists and reporters as naive or ignorant is just playing the politically correct game.
    They might be honest if it’s within their agenda but basically they seem to be malicious with regard to many events.

  43. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    WRT #41, just think of Roger Cohen’s NYT pieces on Iran earlier this year.
    The writer doesn’t go out of his way to discover any facts but sits in the HolyLand Hotel Tehran Plaza and talks to a taxi driver and with BDS he has to display Alibama’s policy as the correct right way.
    Bush’s axis of evil policy must be negated at all costs.

    (Disclosure: I am neither a psychologist nor psychiatrist or a dowser)

  44. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    You forgot the stringer/translator/Komissarchik :-(

    Would you please explain the sms-ish WRT?
    TY! ;-)

  45. Eliyahu says:

    Cynic, you say, It has been obvious that ali has not been against the Iranians getting nuclear weapons and as he was bred by a Muslim and schooled in a Muslim environment maybe he is even in on this.

    In this the Obominable One is just continuing Bush’s policy of allowing Iran to get The Bomb while his UN spokesmen pretended to oppose –which they did, verbally. Nor did the UK of the continental Euros want to stop Iran from getting the Bomb. Certainly Not the UK or Germany!! The Euros’ “Iran Contact Group” or whatever it was called has been chewing the fat with Iran for about seven or eight years now. And now Iran is closer to having a bomb.

    What about the Paki bomb that might fall to al-Qa`ida?? Does the US really care about that happening? Neither Bush nor obominable nor clinton [both h & b] etc., is doing anything to stop that dread eventuality.

  46. Eliyahu says:

    corrections:

    – …his UN spokesmen pretended to oppose IT…

    – Nor did the UK OR the continental Euros want to stop Iran…

  47. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Would you please explain the sms-ish WRT?

    With all due respect mlud, you and council for the persecution, oao, were sms-ing over the course of those threads with Ray-of-Seattle RoS?? so I assumed that WRT-with respect to was instantly recognizable.
    Then again I suppose that it could also be interpreted as with retort to but given the dourness of my reply there was little hope of finding anything witty in it to misconstrue the sms.

    Maybe it is better that we continue using the whole word, and nothing but the word …….
    In today’s world some people see CIA and think of Central Intelligence Agency, but what comes instantly to mind is Covert Incident Agency – nothing oxymoronic in that.
    YW.

  48. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    Maybe Torquemoao used RoS, escaping my notice. I believe I complied to your request.
    It could have been With Regard To, so it’s a pleasure to ack the Respect.

    TYSM*!
    RS (Reconverted Smsnik)

    *Ts-Ts! not that! Merely “So Much” :-)

  49. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    TYSM*!

    Hee! At first glance I thought you misspelled TYSON, then logic kicked in and knew it had nothing to do with this thread. Then short for tiresome??
    Nah! :-) I didn’t notice the twinkle in my haste.
    Scintillator, scintillator …..

    By the way have you forgotten my gripe some months back that I could not get the gist of your sms’s?

  50. Balls says:

    No doubt you will let us know what you think about Orlev’s Bill

  51. E.G. says:

    Why Cynic,

    Your smsophobia is the sole reason for my reconversion!

    TBIYTC

  52. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    TBIYTC ??? Too bad if you take credit? :-(((

  53. E.G. says:

    Elementary Cynic,

    The Best Is Yet To Come.
    Would you mind if I used this from time to time?

    How ’bout this one?
    /TiC/ Tongue in Cheek

  54. Cynic says:

    E.g>,

    The Best Is Yet To Come.
    Would you mind if I used this from time to time?

    Don’t mind at all if it is intuitive, within the context that is.
    But please clarify yet to come. When is that? Before or after the Messiah?

    TiC is all very well as long as it is not overdone leaving the reader with too many tics. :-^)
    More than a mouthful is messy along with the possibility of choking.
    Maybe we will revert to trogloglyphics as time passes by. Now what would Judi Dench say to that?

    Blame all this on a slow Sunday; reminds me of an episode of Hancock’s Half Hour about a Sunday afternoon.

  55. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    As Hillel the Elder put it: if not now, when?

    Trogloglyphics :-D reminds me of a discussion between an old computing engineer and a less older one about programming language evolution. I too remarked that it was like the passage from cuneiform to ideograms or hieroglyphs.

    Don’t worry, I’m not going to “sew you a file”. tic-tac-toe.

  56. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    “sew you a file”
    I presume that you are hinting at embroidery files as the .sew is a file format used by machines to embroider; or are you using some colloquial localism?

    I must admit that it was much easier reading machine language directly than trying to understand the modern glyphs written by a bunch of troglodytes.

  57. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    How’s your Hebrew?

  58. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Not as it should be. What I learned was was gleaned from the market place. Why?

  59. E.G. says:

    To sew a file (LiTfor Tik) = make (up) a case against someone.

  60. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    What can I say except that I don’t mix in those תפירת circles.
    I know that I can make a להביה but embroidering them has never been my forte.

    Anyway much too abstruse for my present מצב רוח.
    Where does Tic-tac-toe come into this?

  61. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    T’was a hint. Playing on words in more than one language can be challenging.

    As for sewing, except for a button, I don’t even know it in theory. What’s a להביה? A kind of Jalabiya?

  62. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    What’s a להביה?
    OOPS! Spelling error
    !להביא See what I mean by מצב רוח?
    No jalabiya unless the case one makes up/against turns out to be a straight jacket :-^)

  63. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    I hope the “state of the wind” turns soon!
    Are you sure you didn’t mean לביא? That would sound more like an engineer’s production…

  64. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    I hope the “state of the wind” turns soon!
    Well you no doubt remember the lyrics of that popular song:
    The state of the wind lies in your answer my friend.

    Are you sure you didn’t mean לביא?
    Trying to confuse my brain twixt my eye and my sight?

    I just went to Kernerman – Lonnie Kahn
    “Oxford”
    English – Hebrew
    Hebrew – English
    dictionary to check my eyesight and memory and לביא is lion. לביאה – lioness

    להביא – to make a case (for or against an argument).

    I know I’m getting old but not so old so quickly.
    This tic-tac-toe business can be quite stressful, what?

    That would sound more like an engineer’s production…
    Only if G&S got in on the act with a very modern model of a major ingenuity.

    How much longer do you think I can keep this up? :-^)

  65. E.G. says:

    Cynic,

    להביא – to make a case (for or against an argument).

    There should be sthg after להביא in order to make this sense (e.g., טיעון, מענה). Just like to bring forth/up a reply, a counter-argument…

    When you wrote that you know how to make a “bring” I wondered whether you didn’t mean knowing how to make the Lavi jet fighter.
    I’m truly sorry for the misunderstanding.

    Till the next word game round – Cheer up!

  66. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    There should be sthg after להביא

    sthg? somethug? :-^)

  67. E.G. says:

    Ooooo La-la! Acutely מצוברח (that’ll be found in a slang dictionary*) to get into such pedantry.

    *and here too: http://milon.morfix.co.il/Default.aspx

  68. Cynic says:

    E.G.,

    Yup.
    “The President’s treatment of the Fly community has been extremely disappointing,” said Newkirk. “He almost seemed to relish his bloodthirsty attack on Mr. Vvzzvzwwzzz. It’s obvious he’s in the pocket of Big Manure.”

    Chicago politics.

  69. [...] Given that for the next forty minutes at least the boy was under fire and bleeding to death, the evacuation could have occurred only sometime shortly before 4, and arrival at the hospital only sometime after 4:30, so this is a distinction without a meaning. Clutching at thin straws, and typical for Enderlin, addressed to an audience of ignoramuses. [...]

  70. [...] rebuked.” So her response? I’m looking into suing you for defamation. Shades of Charles Enderlin and the Streisand effect. « Swallowing the Bitter Pill: A Comment from an Islamophobe [...]

  71. [...] n’importe quoi) out and have the Western media snap it up, so Charles Enderlin can make the most outrageous comments (at least where professional journalism is concerned), and have his colleagues circle the [...]

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