Thursday, February 28, 2013

Part 1: HuffPost gives super-coverage to "homesick" jihadi - and continues ignoring victims of jihad

Continued from the Introduction

HuffPost and the "homesick" jihadi

For four years, HUFF-WATCH has been documenting how HuffPost has been inciting and tolerating hate against the U.S. military, Israel and Jews, based on false, unprovable or grossly-decontextualized allegations, and biased story choices and positioning --- while whitewashing or ignoring the acts and threats of Islamist terrorists.

In January we documented the fact that HuffPost published a story on its front page, entitled "The 'gentle' face of Al Qaeda," which it matched with a photo of a weepy-eyed woman.  The article discusses, in part, how the terrorist group provides assistance to destitute mothers of young children --- yet makes no mention of the fact that jihadis view of rape as a weapon of war

On February 8, however, HuffPost took its pro-Islamist bias to an new low, by giving "super-coverage" on its front page and World page to a "news" story about a self-professed jihadi terrorist who complains that he's “homesick”:

Excerpts from this “news” story (emphasis added):

Once his reputation was of a feared fighter, an American-born extremist who left small town Alabama to wage war alongside Al-Qaeda-linked Somali Islamists and who called on other foreigners to join. Today, Omar Hamami -- better known as Abu Mansoor al-Amriki or "the American" -- has split from the insurgents, who want to kill him.
He cuts a forlorn figure: homesick, stuck somewhere in Somalia, and telling anyone who will listen about his apparently doomed career path. [...]

"War booty is eaten by the top dogs, but the guys who won it are jailed for touching it," Amriki says in one message on Twitter. It is a sharp turnaround for a man who once issued rap videos aimed at recruiting foreign fighters. [...]
"What I would like though is to have a three day visit to see my mom, dad and sister... I often wonder what this whole experience has done to them," he writes in the book, adding he misses his daughter whom he abandoned in Egypt as a baby.
"I'd like to make a round of the restaurants and get some Chinese food, some hot (chicken) wings, some Nestle ice cream, some gourmet coffee and a slew of other foods and beverages."
To ensure the maximum possible global sympathy would be garnered for this “homesick,” disgruntled terrorist, HuffPost kept this “news” story on its front page for two days straight (February 8-9), and on its World page for five days straight (February 8-12).

As if using its unrivaled reach and influence to elicit sympathy for a terrorist wasn't deplorable enough, HuffPost's compounded this outrage by:
  • Making no mention of the stomach-churning way that jihadists define “war booty.”
  • Making no mention of the unspeakable terror and savagery that members of this "homesick" jihadi's gang perpetrate on Somali women and girls.
  • Publishing not a single story on its front page or World page concerning the February 11 awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor, to an Army officer who fought jihadis in one of our military's most intense post-9/11 firefights. Instead, it devoted these top-line pages to nonsensical, titillating, exploitative “news” stories.
Rather than being an isolated incident (or an “accident,” as HuffPost's management is prone to say when it's caught in embarrassing situations), the dynamics of its actions in regards to this “homesick jihadi” are part of its consistent, long-term pattern of:
  • Giving top-line, personalized, photo-rich coverage to “news” stories that present whitewashed, sympathetic depictions of jihadis (some of which HuffPost edits to remove the details of the atrocities that they perpetrated; examples 1, 2, 3)
  • Ignoring the civilians whom these jihadis deliberately target and murder, and their survivors – or providing only brief, depersonalized coverage, buried deep on a secondary page, then quickly removed (see Part 2 of this report for extensive documentation of this fact).

Is it really possible that HuffPost isn't aware of the stomach-churning way that jihadists, particularly in Somalia, define “war booty”?

“War booty” is traditionally defined as the valuable, inanimate physical objects that are seized by a conquering military force, such as art, jewelry, money, etc. Somalia has precious little traditional “war booty,” though; it is one of the world's poorest, violence-torn nations.

Jihadi terrorists, however --- particularly those in Somalia --- define “war booty” in a very different way.  To jihadis, "war booty" also includes the women and female children that they capture, rape, keep as sexual slaves (through forced "marriage"), and often murder on a whim. 

Major newspapers have been reporting on this phenomenon in recent years – particularly in the context of Somalia, and the Al Qaeda-linked Al Shebaab terror group that HuffPost's "news" story claims the “homesick” jihadi has been a member of since 2006.

See Appendix 1: Could HuffPost really not know how jihadis define "war booty," and of their rape campaigns in Somalia? for detailed documentation of:
  • Numerous news accounts and UN complaints re the unspeakable horrors that the "homesick" jihadi's terror gang perpetrates on Somali women and girls. 
  • Example after example of beyond-obscure "news" stories that HuffPost's army of researchers and editors uncovered, and to which its editors give top-line coverage --- such as stories about (a) a Brazilian "penis snake," (b) an Australian man who "married" his dog, etc.
  • The fact that federal prosecutors and terrorism analysts point to Al Shabaab as one of the most dangerous terror groups facing America, because of its ability to recruit U.S. citizens (including the "homesick" jihadi).
After reading Appendix 1, you'll have to judge for yourself whether HuffPost could have been unaware of what the "homesick" jihadi meant when he referred to "war booty" --- or whether it decided to not inform its readers of this fact.

HuffPost positioned the “news” story about the “homesick" jihadi on its front page for two days straight (February 8-9), and its World page for five days straight (February 8-12).

See all the screencaps that prove this fact in Section 1 of Appendix 2: HuffPost and the 'homesick jihadi' - evidence file.  The top left of each screencap shows which page the story appeared on; at the lower right is the date and time that the screencap was taken (click to enlarge): 

Why would HuffPost give sustained, top-line coverage to a “news” story whose only purpose could be to humanize and elicit sympathy for a jihadi terrorist? You might ask HuffPost's senior management, here.

HuffPost did not publish a single story on its front page or World page about the February 11 awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor to an Army officer who fought jihadis in one of the most intense post-9/11 firefights.

On February 11, 2013 U.S. Army Sgt. Clinton Romesha was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Obama, in the White House.  Romesha is only the fourth living soldier post-9/11 to be awarded this highest military honor.  The Free Beacon compiled a brief biography of Romesha's seemingly super-human courage, valor, character and modesty.
Romesha and his comrades in Bravo Troop (3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division) had become engaged in what President Obama described as “one of the most intense battles of the entire war in Afghanistan,” against an overwhelming number of jihadis who snuck onto their base. Romesha, however, said that he was only accepting the award “on behalf of all soldiers who served with me that day... for the eight soldiers that didn't make it, and for the rest of the team that fought valiantly and magnificently that day.”

The story was given top-line treatment starting soon after the ceremony by Fox News, ABC News, the Washington Post, the Wall St. Journal, and many other news organizations. 

HuffPost, however, made no mention of Sgt. Romesha, his comrades, or this award, on either its front page or World page, on February 11 or any day since then. This is despite the fact that HuffPost has at least one full-time “reporter” who, for the last four years, has reported from inside the White House and Congress.

Instead, from February 11-16, HuffPost devoted its front page and World page to publishing “news” stories such as:
  • “Sole surviving food taster reveals new details about Hitler's diet” (4 straight days on World page)
  • "My boyfriend demands sex and gets violent while asleep” (2 straight days on front page)
  • "TV station broadcasts fake zombie alert"
See Section 2 in Appendix 2 for screencaps that prove all these "news" stories --- and nothing regarding Sgt. Romesha --- appeared on HuffPost's front page and World page during this time period.
“We are aiming to go beyond just facts, to create a narrative... [W]e think bringing journalism to a new level is exactly what people are looking for.”
- Arianna Huffington, October 20, 2009

HuffPost did not publish a single story on its front page or World page about U.S. Army Sgt. Dennis Weichel, who sacrificed his life while fighting jihadis to save an Afghan child.

Although this incident occurred nearly a year ago, it illustrates how HuffPost also ignored the super-human courage of another American soldier.
U.S. Army Sgt. Dennis Weichel was a beloved father of three and, by all accounts, a man of exceptional character and generosity. He died while saving a little Afghan girl from certain death.  According to a March 28, 2012 Army press release (excerpt):
"On the morning of March 22, Weichel and members of his unit were leaving the Black Hills Firing Range in Laghman province, Afghanistan, when they encountered multiple Afghan children in the path of their convoy. Weichel was among several Soldiers who dismounted to disperse the children away from the vehicles. As one child attempted to retrieve an item from underneath a U.S. Army mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle, known as an MRAP, Weichel moved her to safety and was struck by the MRAP in the process."
Starting on March 28, Fox News, CNN and small blogs, such as Jawa Report, all ran top-line stories about Sgt. Weichel's heroism, and why he was so beloved by his fellow soldiers.  

HuffPost, however, made no mention on either its front page or World page of Sgt. Weichel on March 28, or any day since then.  Instead, from March 28-30, HuffPost devoted its front page and World page to publishing “news” stories such as:
  • "Six-legged calf is adorable and milking the attention”
  • "Dolphins' sexuality may be more open than you think”
  • Numerous exploitative stories focusing on womens' bodies

See detailed documentation of this incident in section 2 of: 
"HuffPost's cyber-jihad against the U.S. military: Nazi stormtroopers and boobs edition."
[Arianna Huffington] is offended and bewildered by the suggestion that other news outlets think she's getting a free ride. She sees herself as the future of journalism, not the end of it.
- Arianna Huffington: The Web's New Oracle
, by Belinda Luscombe, Time, March 19, 2009

Key questions --- and action items  

(1) Why would HuffPost decide to give top-line coverage to “news” stories such as those – and to the “homesick jihadi” – but nothing to Sgt. Romesha and his comrades in Bravo 3/61/4/4 Cavalry, who gave, and lost, so much in the course of fighting jihadis?   

(2) Why would HuffPost decide to give top-line coverage to “news” stories such as those – and to the “homesick jihadi” – but not to even a single one that recognizes the sacrifice of Sgt. Weichel, a beloved military hero who died in the course of fighting jihadis?  

(3) How does this all compare with HuffPost's public declarations that it is a "nonpartisan" newspaper, that adheres to journalism's highest standards and finest traditions?
You can ask HuffPost's senior management those questions, here.
You might also ask HuffPost's advertisers if they're aware of what they are enabling, here.

Continue to Part 2 of this report, to discover how HuffPost:
  • Gives blaring, graphic, top-line treatment to jihadis and Palestinians who are killed or meet with misfortune
  • Downplays or ignores the victims and survivors of jihadis' murderous attacks


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