HuffPost is the #1 most-read blog in the world, a top-ten U.S. "news" site, and is supported by some of the world's biggest advertisers. Its senior management has claimed it is a nonpartisan "newspaper," and that journalism's highest mission is "to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned." Further...
"[At HuffPost] there are guidelines that have to be followed -- and they include a prohibition on... inflammatory claims. [Glenn Beck] is the latest example of what the great historian Richard Hofstadter called "the paranoid style in American politics," which he defined as angry minds that traffic in "heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy."
- Arianna Huffington, Jan. 31, 2010
Last year, we thought HuffPost had hit rock bottom in terms of publishing inflammatory, libelous, anti-Semitic headlines, via this stunt (right).
This was doubly the case here, as HuffPost's own "news" story revealed that the "reporter" who wrote it had "no idea, no clue" if this blood libel was true or not. (In fact, the source for the story later admitted that she'd never alleged any of it. HuffPost neglected to publish a story about that, though.)
Predictably, that inflammatory headline --- combined with the picture of grinning IDF soldiers that HuffPost chose --- served to incite a torrent of anti-Semitic hate comments from the cyber-jihadis and radical leftists that flock to the site. And HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish a slew of them --- even though it claims they're prohibited.
On September 30, 2010, however, HuffPost sunk even lower, at least from an American perspective, when it published on its front page a headline that claimed Israel "executed" a U.S. citizen:
U.N. Fact-Finding Mission Says Israeli Killing Of U.S. Citizen Was "Execution"
Did HuffPost base this inflammatory claim on its own research? Nope.
Did HuffPost source the story from the AP, as it usually does for news stories? Nope.
Did HuffPost source the story from another reasonably credible source, say, CNN or NBC? Nope.
So where did HuffPost get the source material from which to construct such an inflammatory headline? Let's take a look at the story page, to which the headline links:
Note it says, "Originally published at Truth-Out." What is "Truth-Out"? You mean you haven't heard of it? It's okay, we guess only about 99.9% of Americans haven't, either.
Short version: As you'll soon discover, Truth-Out is the "journalistic" equivalent of the comical banner that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi habitually stand in front of, that reads: "Honest Leadership, Open Government."
Here's a bit of information about "Truth-Out":
- It describes itself as a nonprofit charitable organization representing "independent news... free of bias..." yet they "work to spread... progressive ideas."
Try to reconcile all that in your brain. You can't --- because it's all a cleverly-worded obfuscation to prevent it from calling itself what it is: a radical leftist screed journal disguised as a "news" source. (Come to think of it, that's how HuffPost would describe itself, too, if it were honest; check out its "About Us")
- Truth-Out features the rants of anti-Semitic propagandist and conspiracy theorist Juan Cole.
- One of Truth-Out's "reporters," Jason Leopold, falsely reported that Karl Rove had been indicted by a grand jury. After the story had been revealed as completely bogus, "Truth-Out" then doubled-down, insisting it's true. To our knowledge, "Truth-Out" has never apologized to Karl Rove (and fortunately for them, he never turned loose his lawyers).
- One of Truth-Out's advisers was the pro-Islamist, 9/11 truther Howard Zinn.
Yet "Truth-Out" is the "news" source that HuffPost relied upon to construct one of the most inflammatory, anti-Semitic, libelous headlines in its history (and that's saying something). For as you'll soon see, this "report" --- produced by what is quite possibly the most corrupt, unprofessional organization in the world today --- is rife with hypocrisy, blood libels and anti-Semitic bias.
A look back: BBC's "Panorama: Death in the Med" documentary provides insight on what really happened on the "Flotilla of Terror" --- and the reality of its organizers' mission
The BBC produced this very good documentary (30 minutes), that gives voice to all sides, which aired on August 16:
Now, let's examine HuffPost's inflammatory headline, one claim at a time
"U.N. Fact-Finding Mission...":
The "mission" to which HuffPost refers is actually the body appointed by the U.N.'s "Human Rights Council" (UNHRC). And what nations comprise the HRC? Only some of the worst human rights violators on Earth, including Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Libya. HuffPost apparently didn't think this was important to mention. [Update: As Robin Shepherd points out, 80% of the nations that voted to condemn Israel are classified by Freedom House as either unfree or partly free.]
Next, as pointed out by numerous analyses (below), it is clear that the last thing this "mission" was interested in was in finding facts. Rather, its own "findings" revealed that it was only intent on constructing a report that would support the UNHRC's initial, vehement condemnation --- hours after it occurred --- of Israel's actions in stopping the "Flotilla of Terror." As one source pointed out, this even meant that the "mission" admitted its own witnesses provided non-truthful testimony (re IDF commandos allegedly firing while rappelling down to the ship) --- but it gave more weight to that testimony than to Israel's videotaped evidence, showing they were lying.
Did the HuffPost story make mention of any of this? Nope.
"Israeli Killing Of U.S. Citizen...":
The individual in question, Furkan Doğan, was born in the U.S., but has not lived here since he was a toddler. He was, in fact, a Turkish citizen, who happened to hold dual citizenship by virtue of birth location --- and nothing more. Interestingly, back on June 3, though, HuffPost referred to him as a "Turkish-American" --- yet here, in this inflammatory headline, it refers to him only as "An American."
Did the HuffPost story make mention of any of this? Nope.
"... Was Execution":
Here are the facts about Doğan --- which, as we document in extreme detail here, Arianna Huffington and her crack team of 53 "editors" could hardly be unaware of:
- Hours before the flotilla approached the Gaza coast, Doğan claimed in his diary, to his brother, and to others on board, that his objective was to die as "a martyr" --- a claim also made by the militant Islamists on the ship who attacked and attempted to murder the IDF commandos.
- The fact that he was shot at close range several times indicates that he fulfilled his mission, and was part of the gang that attacked the IDF, and was killed while the IDF commandos defended themselves from this lethal assault.
Did HuffPost's story make any mention of any of this? Nope. To the contrary, the implication within the HuffPost story is that Doğan was just minding his own business, maybe playing solitaire on a deck chair, when a mean IDF commando just shot him, point blank, for no reason, then kept shooting at him while he lay injured, on the deck. Further, as shown in the articles below --- all of which were published before HuffPost posted this story --- there are many ways that Doğan could have incurred the gunshots he did, none of which involve him lying on the deck, injured.
So how many reputable sources thoroughly discredited the UNHRC report --- in the days before HuffPost published this inflammatory headline and story?
Here are just a handful of the stories that emerged before September 30, when HuffPost published its story:
UNHRC Abuses Human Rights
Danny Ayalon, Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Jerusalem Post, September 27, 2010. Excerpt:"The recently released report ostensibly investigating the events that surrounded the interception of the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara in May is a modern blood-libel, and another nail in the coffin of the council’s credibility. Once again, a report has singularly blamed an event almost solely on Israel while refusing to assign responsibility or even suitably investigate any other actor. What makes the report so absurd is the recent release of many first-hand accounts by people on the Mavi Marmara.
"These accounts, written by some hostile to Israel in the first place, depict very different scenes to those described in the report. In his recently released book, Turkish journalist Sefik Dinç, while sympathetic to the militant IHH, writes that the crisis was “calculated” by those on board, and reportedly describes how the IDF soldiers did not open fire until after other soldiers were taken hostage. Dinç describes in his book, with the aid of photographs, how preparations for confronting the Israelis on the Mavi Marmara were “not going to be that passive".”
The UN Accuses Israel of War Crimes — Again
Michael Weiss, The Weekly Standard, September 29, 2010. Excerpt:"[The UNHRC's] the most naked acknowledgment of its own distorted approach to fact-finding, the report states the following in its Methodology section:"This act of dismissing from the outset the ample video footage of protesters attacking and beating up Israeli soldiers where its contents did not chime with the passengers’ versions of events tarnishes the entire mission from the start. Moreover, much of the seized footage referred to above actually corroborates the documentary video, audio and photographic footage recorded by the IDF."
In ascertaining the facts surrounding the Israeli interception of the Gaza-bound flotilla, the Mission gave particular weight to the direct evidence from interviews with eye witnesses and crew, as well as the forensic evidence and interviews with government officials. In light of seizure of cameras, CCTV footage and digital media storage devices and of the suppression of that material with the disclosure only of a selected and minute quantity of it, the Mission was obliged to treat with extreme caution the versions released by the Israeli authorities where those versions did not coincide with the evidence of eyewitnesses who appeared before us.
WJC Condemns UN Human Rights Council Probe on Flotilla Raid
The World Jewish Congress, September 29, 2010. Excerpt:"A profoundly unbalanced report [...] reveal[ing] an underlying bias against Israel through its distortion and perversion of the facts [...] Despite the submission to the investigative mission of evidence of the clearly violent intentions of the IHH terrorists who were on the Mavi Marmara, the report ignored the fact that the Israelis were attacked by a violent group that had articulated its will to become 'martyrs', with the intent to commit suicide in order to kill the Israelis..."
UN Flotilla Report Lacks Credibility and Transparency
NGO Monitor, September 29, 2010. Excerpt:The UN Human Rights Council’s (HRC) report on the May 31, 2010 flotilla violence is based on secret and unverifiable allegations, is highly biased, and is therefore no more than hearsay, finds NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institution. The HRC-appointed “fact-finding mission” submitted the report to the HRC during the Fifteenth Session currently underway in Geneva. “This so-called fact finding mission met with numerous political advocacy NGOs and interviewed hundreds of witnesses from different countries, but it refuses to disclose these names or their statements,” says Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “The UNHRC and their latest ‘report’ indicting Israel have no legitimacy if the sources of the allegations and narrative are hidden. Unfortunately, this is indicative of the general lack of transparency surrounding the role of NGOs in the exploitation of human rights and international law.”
Did HuffPost's story make mention of any of the facts contained in the above articles? Nope.
Did HuffPost run any of those stories as separate items, even Ayalon's article in the Jerusalem Post --- a source that it regularly cites (when it wants to)? Nope.
Basically, HuffPost closed its eyes and ears to any and all credible sources that knock the legs out from under the inflammatory, libelous way that it chose to frame this "report." Perhaps this is what HuffPost's CEO meant when she said, several years ago, that the site approaches news with "new ideas about balance and fairness."
Is this the first time HuffPost has chosen to rely on an unknown, clearly-biased "news" source in order to libel Israel? Nope. Here's another example, from 2009:
5/29/09: Using a biased Arabic "news" source to present a distorted account of a terror suspect killed by the IDF
Have you ever heard of Albawaba? Neither had we. That is, until we began documenting how HuffPost ignored the real story of a notorious Hamas terrorist with the blood of ten Israeli Jews on his hands who was killed in a shootout with the IDF --- available 24 hours earlier --- and instead, published an egregiously biased version of the story from an unknown Arabic "news" source, that claimed Israel murdered an "activist." Predictably, a torrent of comments containing anti-Israel, anti-Semitic hate, libels and conspiracy theories were submitted by cyber-jihadis and radical leftists in response to this incitement --- which HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish.
All in all, this story, and this extensive archive demonstrate that in order to evade and decontextualize reality to malign Israel and Jews, Arianna and her crack team of 53 "editors" must twist themselves into poses that circus contortionists would envy, but would get them expelled from any respectable Journalism 101 class at a community college.
Why do they do this? Perhaps one day, someone in a position of influence will ask HuffPost to explain itself.
ACTION ITEMS FOR HUFF-WATCHERS
If you share our view that HuffPost's actions in regard to this story --- and its long, long history of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias --- are reprehensible, we urge you to do two things:
(1) Make your voice known to HuffPost's senior management (politely, please), here.
(2) Forward the link to this story along to others who support Israel
While you're at it, you might also remind HuffPost of its namesake's claims regarding the journalistic principles of her "newspaper":
“The editorial stance of the Huffington Post is to debunk the right-left way of thinking, which has become completely obsolete."
- November 14, 2007
“[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned...”
- July 29, 2008
“[W]e are increasingly seen ... as an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news.”
- May 22, 2009
So what kinds of user comments were incited by this "red meat" --- which HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish? Need you ask?
HuffPost dangled this "red meat" very prominently before the salivating snouts of the radical leftist and Islamist "wolves" that flock to the site, who predictably submitted a torrent of comments containing anti-Semitic hate, libels and conspiracy theories (which it claims it prohibits, and will not publish).
So how many of them do you think HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish, in response to its incitement? Below is a sampling. As you review them, ask yourself: Could some of these "approved" users be cyber-jihadis from among the 350,000+ unique monthly visitors to HuffPost that originate in Muslim-majority nations --- including Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia?
Also, note how many of these users have 20 or more "fans" meaning they are not hit and run "trolls" that Ms. Huffington falsely claims are the ones responsible for comments that violate her site's policies (such as libels, ad hominem attacks, etc.).
First up, this classic anti-Semitic comment by "JesusGlock9OilBaron," which HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish, while 7 others were under its review:
That was actually pretty mild, compared to some of the really vicious comments that HuffPost decided were appropriate for the thread --- starting with the allegation that Israeli Jews today are no better than Nazis were in World War II, and that Gaza is equivalent of the Warsaw Ghetto:
Israel-supporting users who attempted to post (but were often blocked) from posting factual rebuttals to the insane hate comments that HuffPost was approving, were themselves accused of being part of a Jewish conspiracy:
Had enough? If not, here's some more...
Want more? Go see the thread for yourself.