Media on media
: I’m making my maiden voyage on Howard Kurtz’ show Sunday. He said tonight after calling for quotes on Eason Jordan, “We’ll have plenty to talk about.” Oh, yeah.
If Kurtz suggests “Blogs did it”, ask him how many blogs does it take to “do it” and how is “it” done.
“The reality is that at least 10 journalists have been killed by the US military, and according to reports I believe to be true journalists have been arrested and tortured by US forces,” Mr Jordan told an audience of news executives at the News Xchange conference in Portugal.” Guardian UK, 11-19-04
So how exactly, Jeff. would you spin this earlier statement to save his job this time? Another ‘mistatement,’ another ‘mistake?’ Seems he makes a lot of them! Did you forget that Jordan is a senior member of the very group he addressed at Davos? He wasn’t a just a guest or participant, he’s an organizer and on the board…so it’s not difficult to get the tape, obviously. He doesn’t have to “demand” it–he already owns it…it’s his show!
And please don’t raise your voice, talk about conflict-of-interest and make Howie cower…he’s already so busted by Kausfiles!
Can you ask him why he’s a tool, always apologizing for the establishment? Thanks.
Dear God. I find myself laughing at and nearly agreeing with something Oliver Willis said.
The reason I say “nearly” is the Kurtz piece for Saturday’s WaPo.
I think there’s an opportunity to bring him around.
One notable bit that Kurtz left out in his summary of blog activity is our review of past Jordan statements.
jordan showed appalling lack of judgment in making the comments: he confirmed suspicions that cnn is arrogant and biased.
the msm missed the story; used to ignoring or slanting inconvenient facts and stories as kurtz did, they are now being held to account by citizen reporters who display skill, industry, and cooperation on the quest–something the msm has forgotten how to do.
jordan destroyed his own career. the pajamahadeen pointed out that “news organizations” in print and tv parade around without clothes.
annette, that was a classic, imho: getting the MSM speakers to be unable to speak or write without having the sneaking fear that they are in fact naked. [Like those dreams I have about going to school in such a state.] It really hits them where they live, in the world of appearances and “perceptions”.
I think Jeff should slip this image in if the opportunity presents.
JRK: … talk about conflict-of-interest and make Howie cower…he’s already so busted by Kausfiles!
Incredibly, Jeff doesn’t think Kurtz’s conflict-of-interest matters.
Maybe the Post should let Kurtz keep his CNN job, but the paper needs to assign all CNN-related stores to other reporters. I don’t understand why Jeff disagrees, especially given Kurtz’s pathetic track record tidying up Eason Jordan’s blunders.
MDP, an interesting find.
I suspect there’s an element of “live and learn”.
It’s also worth noting that we knew of Kurtz’s conflict, and so when he put out his initial response to this story, we largely took it with that in mind. In that regard, he didn’t really help CNN’s/Jordan’s case, but rather added fuel to the fire.
I would say that the person most harmed by the conflict was Kurtz himself, with Eason Jordan being not too far behind.
MDP: Well, Howard Kurtz was the ONLY reporter or critic in big media to write about this. He may not have written about it the way you wanted — no one will ever agree on everything — and he may not have done it as fast we bloggers think he should have, but he did write about it and, as he (and I) say above, the other big media outlets should be embarrassed today that they are reporting the end of the story without ever reporting the beginning of it. The Post made Kurtz’ relationship clear.
If we’re going to demand transparency of journalists (and bloggers), we can’t then say that you can’t talk about anything with which you have a relationship. Rebecca MacKinnon said she worked for and admired EAson Jordan and yet she did very good reporting and commentary on this. Kurtz works for two media outlets but, again, he was the only one to write this story.
The point of transparency is that people will tell us their interests and connections and we can then judge them accordingly. You can still judge Kurtz harshly or you can be impressed that he was the one guy to report this: Your choice. And that’s the point.
I’m not defending Kurtz here. I’m defending a position I found myself in at Time Inc. At the end of the day, it was my personal integrity that made me do the right thing in the face of corporate pressure. Because of that pressure, I left the company and the magazine I started. I gave up three years’ salary, bonus and benefits because I would not sign the editors’ contract that would have required me to keep quiet about my time there. Unfortunately, no one wanted to story anyway. But I can tell you the price of that transparency down to the penny.
The more interesting thing to talk about is to what extent overall are the big media outlets continuing to ignore the effect of the internet and alternatrive media at the cost of making themsleves look out of it? Even though it was nine days after the first reports, Kurtz’ column in the Post this week looks like a bulletin of breaking news compared with the coverage from the New York Times, whose readers didn’t even get 24 hours notice that Eason Jordan was even in trouble before he resigned (on a much bigger scale, try to imagine if the Times’ first story on Watergate had appeared on Aug. 7, 1974).
Kurtz may want to steer the topic towards the inside baseball macinations of the blogosphere in spreading the questions about what Jordan said at Davos Jeff, but hopefully, the effort by the major media outlets in print and on TV to try and lock this story in the closet until almost after the fact will be what you spend most of your time going over today.
Hugh Hewitt said on his radio program last evening that the LA Times is in the awkward position of having to explain to its readers how a top media executive was forced to resign without the Times having covered the growing controversy for the past two weeks. He writes on his blog:
The Times is not alone for demonstrating again a “news judgment” hopelessly skewed by liberal bias. Some big papers got a “just-in-time” treatment of the story into their pages, but most of those gave no hint that a real opinion storm had developed around Jordan, and none of them pushed the story along. It was new media’s work, and only new media’s that brought accountability to Eason Jordan and CNN.
How can the MSM editors reconcile their judgment to ignore this story with claims of objectivity (if any)? Why should the Times’ subscribers trust it to report all the news? After its debacle with attempting to influence the California Governor’s race with its late hit on Arnold, has the LA Times learned anything?
More broadly, the MSM also totally missed the Iraqi election story (in fact they couldn’t have been more wrong). Is this a trend or is it possible that the MSM is projecting to influence the outcome?
The “unnamed commenter” is Michael Pollard, yes?
Kurtz was the only one to write about this story because he was given a scripted version, that was supposed to exonerate Jordan. Most people weren’t stupid enough to bite. They preferrred to know the truth–not a CNN version by a CNN employee. The rest of the leftist media is guilty of exactly the same thing –they are against the American troops. They coddle the terrorists,whom they refuse to call terrorists, and cheer deaths of troops because it feeds their anti-Bushisms. The brainwashing of leftist media has hit a wall—bloggers who won’t swallow their shit.
UN Petition: “Israel Stop Killing us” -Posted; Dec. 3, 2002- 10 days after the Planned Murder of Iain Hook
Dr.Jack Shepard-UN Petition:Israel Stop Killing Us
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Dr. Jack Shepard on the UN Petition: “Israel Stop Killing Us” -Posted 10 days after the Planned Murder of Iain Hook
Dr. Jack Shepard on the U.N. Petition:
“Israel Stop Killing Us”-
Posted 10 days after the Assassination Murder of Iain Hook by 64 U.N. staff and colleagues stationed in Israel and the Occupied Terroritories at the time of Iain Hook’s Assassination!
U.N. Workers Petition Israel:Stop “Beating and Killing” Us
>>> On 3 December 2002, sixty-four U.N. workers issued a stunning petition. Stationed in Israel and the Occupied Territories, they demanded that the Israeli military stop “beating and killing” them.
You might think that such a strongly-worded statement sent by more than five-dozen United Nations workers to the “Middle East’s only democracy” would be highly newsworthy. Apparently not. Among the very few media outlets to cover it were Reuters, the BBC, the Independent (London), Ha’aretz (Jerusalem), and the Jerusalem Post. Notice that all these sources are British or Israeli. Not one American media outlet has covered the story.
Below, I have excerpted all of the direct quotes from the petition that are used in the articles. Below that, you’ll find what seems to be the full text of the petition, which was posted to IndyMedia Israel. While I, of course, cannot vouch for the authenticity of that posting, it does contain all of the quotations from news articles.
Quotes from the petition,
as reported in various news articles
“We write to express our absolute condemnation at the senseless killing of Iain Hook in Jenin on November 22. Based on publicly available information, we condemn the Israeli army in the strongest possible terms for this wanton act against an unarmed man–a man shot in the back by a military sniper while negotiating with the Israeli army to evacuate the women, children, and UN staff who were in the UN compound at the time.”
“For two years United Nations staff have been subject to escalating harassment and violence by Israel’s military, so that the protection supposed to be afforded by the blue letters of the UN is being steadily eroded… UN staff–international and Palestinian alike–have been verbally abused, stripped, beaten, shot at, and killed by Israeli soldiers.”
“From its silence, we presume the Israeli authorities have ignored UN requests for an investigation and report of these two incidents, and have not seen fit to take any disciplinary action against the soldiers involved.
To us, this seems to confirm a pattern of utter contempt on the part of the Israeli army for the lost lives of these men, the safety of UN staff, or the minimum standards imposed by international law which should protect UN staff and other humanitarian workers.”
“In these tragic circumstances, rather than easily uttered regrets, we expect the Israeli government take the necessary steps to stop the harassment, beating and killing of UN staff.”
The petition, as posted to Israel IndyMedia
December 3, 2002
To whom it may concern,
We, the undersigned,
are staff members of the United Nations,
but we write in our personal capacities.
All of us work in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
bringing badly needed humanitarian relief to a population in distress.
In the course of our duties we have witnessed much tragedy on both sides of the conflict. We have come from all over the world to work, without bias or favour, to try to alleviate some of the pain and suffering that has for too long afflicted this land.
Now we find that, once again, tragedy has touched us.
For us, expressions of sadness and grief are not enough.
The diplomatic language of the bureaucrat will not suffice.
We write to express our absolute condemnation at the
senseless killing of Iain Hook in Jenin on November 22.
Based on publicly available information, we condemn the Israeli army in the strongest possible terms for this wanton act against an unarmed man–a man shot in the back by a military sniper while negotiating with the Israeli army
to evacuate the women, children and UN staff
who were in the UN compound at the time.
Our condemnation is reinforced by the knowledge that the soldiers refused to allow an ambulance called to evacuate Iain to travel the last few yards needed to reach him.
Instead, UN staff
here [were] forced to seek an alternative route to rescue him.
This caused a delay and made sure that the work done by a bullet was completed by the Israeli army’s refusal to respect the most elementary standards of humanity.
The shock of that day’s events does not come in isolation.
For two years, United Nations staff have been subject to escalating harassment and violence by Israel’s military,
so that the protection supposed to be afforded by the blue letters
of the UN is being steadily eroded.
UN staff–international and Palestinian alike–have been verbally abused, stripped, beaten, shot at and killed by Israeli soldiers.
There has been armed interference with UN employees and vehicles, including attacks on UN ambulances and medical personnel.
UNRWA schools, health clinics and offices have been hit by bombs, rockets, tank shells and gunfire even during daytime,
thereby endangering the lives of staff and,
in the case of schools, the lives of refugee children.
Buildings occupied by UN staff have been repeatedly damaged during Israeli airforce bombing.
Tragically Iain Hook
was not the first person working with the UN
to die at the hands of the IDF this year.
In March, Kamal Hamdan was shot and killed while travelling in a clearly marked UNRWA ambulance in the West Bank.
In April, Husni Amer died
in Israeli military custody in Jenin after, according to witnesses, receiving a brutal beating by the soldiers at the time of his arrest.
From its silence, we presume the Israeli authorities
have ignored UN requests for an investigation and report of these two incidents,
and have not seen fit to take any disciplinary action against the soldiers involved.
To us, this seems to confirm a pattern of utter contempt on the part of the Israeli army for the lost lives of these men, the safety of UN staff or the minimum standards imposed by international law which should protect UN staff and other humanitarian workers.
The official military spokesperson’s statement
on the initial investigation
into Iain’s killing asserts that shots were fired from UNRWA’s compound in the Jenin refugee camp towards Israel’s forces.
This contradicts eyewitness accounts of our colleagues in Jenin and the information relayed to UNRWA’s Field Office by Iain just prior to his death.
The most charitable characterization one can make of this statement is that it lacks any credibility.
To us, it has all the makings of propaganda
designed to tarnish the reputation of the UN,
excuse the killing of an unarmed man and perpetuate
the false charge that UNRWA shelters terrorists, in the public mind.
We strongly request that any investigation carried out by the Israeli government will be independent, transparent and impartial.
We strongly request that the Israeli government will bring those responsible for Iain’s killing promptly to justice.
Only the most lawless societies allow gunmen in uniform the impunity to kill
aid workers without fear of punishment.
We are confident Israel does not wish to see its troops painted in the same colours as the militiamen who have stalked some of the world’s other conflicts.
As UN staff, we expect the protection of the Israeli government to enable us to undertake our humanitarian responsibilities wherever they are needed.
This is not a matter of courtesy or favour,
but rather an implementation ofIsrael’s own obligations
under international law
and its express commitment to UNRWA to facilitate the Agency’s operations in the occupied territories.
Israel’s often stated regret at the loss of civilian lives is not an impervious shield that can deflect all criticism.
It is a shield that is, in our view, tarnished by the attempts of Israeli spokespersons to link Iain’s death to wider political issues or to claim that the UN was somehow culpable for his killing.
In these tragic circumstances, rather than easily uttered regrets,
we expect the Israeli Government take the necessary steps to stop the harassment, beating and killing of UN staff.
We expect respect and protection as United Nations employees.
As international staff members, we hope and expect to return alive to our own countries and families after our work here is done.
We hope and expect no less
for our Palestinian colleagues so they can live and work in safety until the parties to the conflict eventually find the road to peace.
Sally Airs, Australia; Naomi Ando, Japan; Ignacio Artaza Zuriarrain, Spain; Alan Barnie, Australia; Peter Bartu, Australia; Pamela Bell, USA; Susan Brannon, USA; Marlise Brenner, Australia; Deidre Connolly, USA; Marisa Consolate Kemper, Canada; Joanna Corbin, UK; B. Scott Custer Jr., USA; Omar Dajani, USA; Calvin Dasilvio, USA; Isabelle dela Cruz, Germany; Marc De la Motte, Italy-France; Mark Dennis, USA; Ray Dolphin, Ireland; Juliet Dryden, UK; Teresa Fallarme, Philippines; Jean-Marie Frentz, Luxembourg; Christopher Gabelle, UK; Jagannathan Gopalan, India; Philippe Grandet, France; Pentti Hakonen, Finland; Roger Hearn, Australia; Grigor Hovmannisyan, Armenia; Thierry Kaiser, France; Sima Kanaan, Jordan; Elizabeth Kawambwa, Tanzania; Jan Kolaas, Norway; Antje Kunst, Germany; Marc Lassouaoui, France; Brett Lodge, Australia; Ali Mahmuda, Canada; Henrik Mathiesen, Norway; Carlos Mazuera, Columbia; Paul McCann, UK; Amanda Melville, Australia; Severine Meyer, France; Zeina Mogarbel, Spain; Merethe Nedrebo, Norway; Gustav Nordstrom, Finland; Patrick O’neil, Ireland; Melissa Parke, Australia; Joachim Paul, Germany; Alex Pollock, UK; Gerhard Pulfer, Austria; Timothy Rothermel, USA; Sam Rose, UK; Ehab Shanti, Canada; Shahwan Huda, Jordan; Jean-Luc Siblot, France; Guy Siri, France; Elna Sondergaard, Denmark; Juerg Staudenmann, Switzerland; Angelo Stefanini, Italy; Gretta Van Bleek, Netherlands; Arjan Van Houwelingen, Netherlands; Andrew Whitley, UK; Hanna Wintsch, Switzerland; Cecilia Wreh-McGill, USA; Ros Young, UK; Kirsten Zaat, Australia
Dr. Jack Shepard says why? Patrick O’Connor, an American and British Citizen, here seen helping young Palestinian children is presently imprisoned by Israeli’s Shin Bet Intelligence Agency for help Palestinian Children, his letter from Maasiyahu Prison below:
Patrick O’Connor with some Palestinian children in Gaza.
Recently the Israeli authorities have begun searching for and arresting experienced International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and international activists. My arrest and attempted deportation is another example of this. Evidently the Israeli authorities find nonviolent resistance and active support of Palestinian rights to be threatening. Despite claims to the contrary, they have adopted an unstated goal of breaking down and eliminating the ISM and other groups using nonviolence to support Palestinian rights.
During the past three years over 100 ISMers have been denied entry and 62 deported. At the same time Israeli authorities have launched a propaganda campaign against ISM and other activists, with attempts to falsely link them with terrorism. My recent interrogation by the Shin Bet shed some light on the tactics.
On the morning of January 25th I was taken from a Ben Gurion airport detention center to Maasiyahu prison in Ramle. I was put in a 20 foot by 10 foot cell with six other men served with deportation orders. After a few hours I was called from my cell without explanation. My legs were cuffed together and I was led out of my section to another building. I was taken into a room with two men in plainclothes. They closed the door, searched me thoroughly, and then set me down with the leg cuffs still on.
The two men were fit, had short hair and sport shirts – typical Shin Bet agents, working for Israel’s domestic General Security Service (GSS). Only one spoke, the other observed. He began by saying he was from Shin Bet and asked me if I knew why the Shin Bet was interested in the ISM. I replied, saying that their interest was misplaced, because the ISM supports nonviolent Palestinian resistance, and there should be no reason for Israel to oppose that.
He laughed and said that the Palestinians might be nonviolent by day and violent by night. Then he started on the internationals, mentioning two incidents from 2003 that have been badly distorted and are often used by Israeli authorities to slander the ISM. He brought up the arrest of a “wanted” man in the ISM apartment in Jenin and the two British suicide bombers, people who had absolutely no connection with the ISM. He didn’t seem interested in listening to my response (for details on these two incidents see http://www.palsolidarity.org at the frequently-asked questions sections).
Instead, he had read my affidavit to the court in 2003 from my appeal of my denial of entry, and he claimed it said that I had participated in violent demonstrations. I responded that he had misread my affidavit, because it said clearly that I have participated in peaceful demonstrations that had been met with violence by the Israeli military. I also told him that if the “secret evidence” against me were revealed, it would not stand up to scrutiny.
He asked me if I had ever carried correspondence for “wanted men”, helped wanted men to move about, or given my passport for someone else to use. He asked if I had ever hit a soldier or thrown stones. He asked if I had ever received weapons or arms training. I answered with indignant ‘No’s, reiterating that I was a nonviolent activist.
“Maybe you are a real peace activist,” he said, “but can you guarantee that others are?” I told him that ISM requires all activists to commit to the use of strictly nonviolent means.
He asked me for names of Palestinians working with the ISM. I told him that I was sure he had other sources of information and that I would not give him any information. He also asked me if I was familiar with Israeli peace activist Tali Fahima (jailed and accused of being in contact with “wanted” men from Jenin) and whether I had met Zakaria Zbedi (The head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in Jenin).
“While I have heard of both,” I said, “I have met neither.”
The interview ended and I was returned shackled to my cell.
There are issues I was afraid to discuss frankly during my interrogation – issues relating to Israeli violence, Israeli double standards, international law and the arrest of Tali Fahima. The Shin Bet agents are in a position of power over me as I sit in an Israeli prison. I know they may distort and manipulate things I say to punish me and achieve their goal of damaging the ISM.
However, the inequality of power and threat of punishment is far less for me than it is for a Palestinian who goes through interrogation. I have governments, which will support me and prevent the worst abuses. I can afford a good lawyer, who I will be given access to. I have a strong support group and access to the media. I will also leave here and will not continue to live under Israeli control.
Over and over again we have seen that the international community will not protect Palestinians from Israeli abuses. They can be imprisoned arbitrarily and tortured. They are often denied access to lawyers, their homes, lands and their jobs. Freedom of movement can be taken away, and their families are threatened with the same punishments. The media will not cover their story. Nor do Palestinians have an option to escape Israeli domination. Power and threats mean that Shin Bet interrogations of Palestinians produces incomplete and twisted information.
What disturbed me most about my interrogation by the Shin Bet agent, was his seeming certainty about his information. Not only do the Israeli authorities produce propaganda about the Occupation and about the ISM, but some of them appear to believe it themselves. The Shin Bet also seems to aim to intimidate by giving the appearance of being all knowing, but their “intelligence” is obviously flawed. Israeli intelligence is generated from collaborators, surveillance, and interrogation. It serves the corrupt and corrupting goals of continued military occupation, land seizure, domination and manipulation.
Israeli intelligence treats all forms of opposition as a threat to be eliminated. It labels all Palestinians as ‘terrorists’ and all Israelis and internationals who work with them as ‘collaborators with terrorism’. This produces a distorted characterization of Palestinian society, lacking direct experience with normal Palestinians and failing to recognise Palestinians are people with rights and aspirations.
The Shin Bet agent called me ‘naive’, but I think he is naive for believing that he can understand Palestinian society from a position of domination and inequality, and somehow use that understanding to control and manipulate Palestinians to eliminate all opposition to the Occupation.
Pat O’Connor has managed humanitarian aid programs in the Middle East and Africa, and volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank supporting non-violent Palestinian protest against the Wall. He is currently in detention at Maasiyahu prison in Ramle awaiting deportation
Buy my new book and get clickable footnotes and links.
Buy my new Kindle Single on Amazon.
Now out in paperback!