Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Forging The Narrative...


Last week,
Michelle Malkin made this timely point regarding the uncertain events involving the Lebanese village of Qana,

Thank God for persistent bloggers and non-dhimmis digging and scrutinizing and asking questions the blinded, blase MSM won't care to ask.


And the Big Jenin Lie.

And the Iraqi museum looting hype.

And CNN's deal with Saddam.

And Nic Robertson, Hezbollah tool.

And the NYTimes' news-stagers and sycophants.

And photo-staging suspicions in Ramadi.

And rampant insurgent photo propaganda everywhere.

That is the context in which people who refuse to sit back and swallow
the Theater of Jihad are viewing Qana.

Blogger Yoni asks one critical question. "Where were the men and boys?" The implication being, if an innocent village was attacked, why were its victims segregated from fighting-aged males. Its a valid observation for a 'journalist.' And yet it was not made by a single MSM reporter.

Yet, even as Michelle's point regarding biased and deceptive news coverage began to sink in,
Reuter's news agency was caught red-handed in the act of manipulating the imagery used to report on world events surrounding the global war against Islamic fascism. Once again, Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs exposed an MSM forgery.

Michelle Malkin continued to track the story surrounding photographer Adnan Hajj and Reuters. And yet, even as that one unfolded, Powerline highlights an exchange between Howard Kurtz and Washington Post reporter Tom Ricks, on this past weekend's Reliable Sources. Kurtz asks if the current fighting between Israeli and Hezbollah contains, 'echos of Iraq?' to which, Ricks replied,

Echoes of Iraq, yes. But also the Israelis are very sophisticated in their handling of the media. They consider it part of the battlefield, officially. The word "narrative" always comes up with conversations with Israeli national security officials. They consider shaping the narrative, the battle for the narrative, to be key as part of any war fighting. So they see the media as part of the battlefield. And, in fact, there's some belief from our reporters that they have occasionally targeted the media.

Emphasis added to highlight the key points.

Here, not only do we have a prominent American journalist misrepresenting the facts regarding both ongoing conflicts, he does so with complete ignorance (be it deliberate or ill-informed) of the conditions surrounding ongoing reporting and its manipluation by Islamic fanatics with the aid of Hajj and others to manifest a narrative that defies facts in their favor.

Tom Ricks is also the author of a popular new book, called
Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq. When interviewed yesterday by Hugh Hewitt, it is clear that much of Rick's historic anaysis regarding the Battle in Iraq, is based on anonymous sources and otherwise off-the-record conjecture. Given what we are learning about Western meida's tarnished objectivity, their questionable devotion to accuracy, and their reliance on anonymous sources, it might seem that Mr. Ricks regards ' shaping the narrative, the battle for the narrative, to be key as part of any war fighting' even where his own efforts are concerned. Clearly, as part of the Bush-hating media establishment, he is acutely aware of the media's role on the battlefield... both strategic and political. And he too, like Hajj and Rather, deploys his munitions accordingly, albiet more discretely!

Today, at
Real Clear Politics, Jack Kelly blows this all wide open with a comprehensive look at the Reuter's scandal,

Reuters announced Sunday it was suspending its relationship with Adnan Hajj, a freelance photographer in Lebanon who had worked for the British news service since 1993, because he doctored a photograph on the aftermath of an Israeli air strike in south Beirut. Mr. Hajj cloned the image of a plume of smoke rising from a bombed building, which made it appear the damage was more widespread than in fact it was.
Kelly provides an excellent summary of events surrounding this story, complete with accurate and approriate credit to the keebies who exposed it. He goes on to discuss Qana,

Mr. Hajj was among those whose dramatic photos of dead children being pulled from the wreckage of a building the Israelis bombed in the village of Qana July 30 helped turn world opinion against Israel. Dr. Richard North, a British Web logger (EU Referendum), thinks these photographs were staged, because rescue workers clearly carrying the same corpse are wearing different gear in different photographs. The time stamps on the photos suggest they were taken hours apart, he said.

Other Web loggers have noted that while some of corpses allegedly retrieved from the site were covered with dust (as one would expect from a collapsed building), others were not. Some apparently were in rigor mortis; others not.

There have been questions about Qana the news media have made little effort to answer. The Israeli air force bombed the building at 1:00 a.m., but says it didn't collapse until around 8:00 a.m. This could have been a delayed reaction to the bombing; the result of secondary explosions (the Israelis thought Hezbollah was storing munitions in the building), or the product of demolition by Hezbollah.
And Kelly concludes,

This is a major scandal. Reuters has been transmitting Hezbollah propaganda. We need to know how much, whether photo editors were complicit, and what Reuters intends to do to keep this from happening again. And if Mr. Hajj staged photographs at Qana, he wasn't alone. Stringers for AP and Agence France Press transmitted the same images. It's often been said that truth is the first casualty in war. But it shouldn't be the news media that kills it.
Back in June, Dueler posted a short essay titled, Owning the Narrative where he made the point,

Reality shapes opinion. Facts shape reality. If you’re a member of the mainstream media, these are the concepts you live by. It’s all about Owning the Narrative. Now that the MSM monopoly is gone, they have had to become much effective in the delivery of their product. Note that this is not the same as reporting of fact.

There are but two ways the narrative can be forged. It can be minted in principal and formed like silver into a true timeless, priceless form. In that way, it can be exchanged effectively in a way that guide's one's actions here and now in a manner consistent with history's emminent verification ... its approval or condemnation.

On the otherhand, the narrative can be faked , like a check signed by a scoundrel from an account that is bankrupt of principal and worthless in fact. Either way, both products are now available for mass consumption. It is however, as always, the buyer that must beware.

1 comment:

dueler88 said...

The manipulation of that Beirut photo was SO obvious to even the casual observer that one has to seriously question the motivation of anybody that would propegate it knowingly as a "real" photo.