Tuesday, August 3, 2010

7/31/10: Is HuffPost even more anti-Israel than Al-Jazeera? Yes.

  • HuffPost, the #1 most-read blog in the world, has repeatedly claimed to be a “nonpartisan” source of "news," said that it seeks “to debunk the left-right way of thinking,” and that its purpose is “to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.”
  • HuffPost obtained a story from the AP about how, in response to Hamas rocket attacks on its civilian centers, Israel launched an airstrike that killed Hamas's top rocket maker.
  • HuffPost chose to change the AP's headline in such a way that simultaneously humanized the rocket maker, by referring to him as a "leader" --- and vilified Israel, by implying that it assassinated a political figure.
  • News outlets around the world --- and even the jihadists' favorite propaganda organ, Al-Jazeera --- played the story "straight." Only an internal Palestinian "news" agency played the story with more of an anti-Israel bias than HuffPost.
  • This incident is merely the latest in HuffPost's long history of pathological anti-Israel bias --- and like others, it incited a torrent of hate-filled anti-Semitic comments, which it reviewed, approved, and decided to publish.

On July 30, the AP published a story with the headline:
"Israeli airstrike kills senior Hamas rocket maker"

Excerpt (emphasis added):
Israeli warplanes fired missiles, killing a senior commander of the Hamas military wing and wounding 11 people in five targets hit across Gaza overnight, the group and the military said Saturday.

The Israeli military said the strikes were in response to a powerful rocket fired from Gaza that hit the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon on Friday, causing damage but no injuries.

Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers said their slain member was Issa Batran, 42, a commander of the groups' military wing in central Gaza and a senior rocket maker.

And note that on the right margin, the copy beneath the picture reads that the picture is not Batran:
Palestinians wheel a wounded man at the Shifa hospital following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, late Friday, July 30, 2010. Late Friday, Israel targeted back two buildings in Gaza used by Hamas militants as a training facility, Palestinian security officials said.Gaza militants fired a rocket into the Israeli city of Ashkelon early Friday.
So, Israel retailated against Hamas firing rockets into its civilian population centers, by targeting and killing a Hamas terrorist, whose hands were stained with the blood of Israeli civilians who'd been deliberately targeted by his jihadi brethren in Hamas, using rockets he'd built for them through the years.

All in all, sounds like a good day's work (assuming you are a civilized human being).


So how did HuffPost choose to play the story --- which it obtained directly from the AP?

HuffPost (which has repeatedly claimed it is a nonpartisan "news" source, and calls itself "The Internet Newspaper") chose to deviate from the reality that the AP presented in two key ways, which could only serve to simultaneously humanize Batran, and vilify Israel.

instead of using the correct headline, HuffPost chose to fashion its own (emphasis added):
"Israeli Airstrike Kills Senior Hamas Leader"

Interestingly, the word "leader" shows up
nowhere in the AP article. That's probably because Batran was no "leader." He was Hamas's version of the "military industrial complex." But unlike our MIC, which is designed to target military forces and installations, the "rockets" that Batran built for Hamas are designed and exclusively utilized to target civilians.

Second, even though it ran the correct headline on its story pages (below), HuffPost chose to not include the AP's description of the man in this photo --- leaving the reader to perceive that this... civilian? political leader? was targeted for assassination by Israel. Note that the Washington Post, which utilized the exact same article and AP source materials (below), did not leave the picture "naked," as HuffPost did.

Three questions regarding the headline that HuffPost wrote for this article:
(1) Did HuffPost not have enough room to put "rocket maker" in its headline?
Clearly not. As shown above, there's plenty of white space on the second line, to the right of "Leader." And as shown elsewhere on the screencap, HuffPost regularly gives other headlines three lines --- whereas this one only required two.
(2) Why did HuffPost replace the words "rocket maker" in the headline with "leader" --- if not to deliberately mislead its readers into believing that Batran was a political figure, or a diplomat?
What motive could there possibly be, except to confuse the reader, and elicit sympathy, when this headline was matched with the picture of an individual (whom the AP acknowledges is not Batran) --- presumably a Palestinian civilian ---- being rushed away, on a stretcher?
(3) If HuffPost decided to change the AP's headline, why did it not add in that the strike was in response to rockets being fired by Hamas at Israeli civilians?
Let's do a headline-character analysis (which will also help to answer the above questions, too). HuffPost's headline, as it is, occupied 42 character-spaces on two lines:
Israeli Airstrike Kills Senior Hamas (36)
Leader (6)
Each of HuffPost's headline blocks accommodate approximately 39 characters per line. So, assuming HuffPost wanted to honestly "frame" this story, here is what it might have looked like:
In Response To Hamas Rocket Attack On (37)
Civilians, Israeli Airstrike Kills (34)
Senior Hamas Rocket Maker In Gaza (33)



So how did the terrorist-friendly, notorious Al-Jazeera play the story in its headline?

While HuffPost decided to humanize a Hamas rocket-maker by refusing to call him that, and instead calling him a "senior leader," Al-Jazeera, one of the world's most anti-Semitic, anti-Israel propaganda organs, played the story "straight":
"Hamas Rocket Maker Killed In Raid"


How did other (real) news entities play the story in its headline?

The Independent (UK), which, like HuffPost, which also obtained its story from the AP, played the story "straight":
"Israel kills senior Hamas rocket maker"

Washington Post, which also obtained the story from the AP, played it "straight":
"Israeli airstrike kills senior Hamas rocket maker"

Note also that unlike HuffPost's "coverage," the Washington Post included a blurb that identified the man being wheeled away on the stretcher as
"a man," and not as Batran, the deceased rocket-maker/terrorist (click to enlarge).


So was there any "newspaper" anywhere in the world that played the story with more anti-Israel bias than HuffPost?

Yes, but it's located within the mythical nation of "Palestine," in which everything outside of the U.N. is ruled with an iron fist by Hamas (Gaza portion). The Ma'an News Agency reported:
"Israeli airstrikes kill 1, injure 10 in Gaza"

Notably, the Ma'an "News" Agency claims to be "independent" (below). Right. Sort of like HuffPost's
claims that it is "nonpartisan."

(Anyone who believes either claim should be aware that HUFF-WATCH is now the exclusive agent for timeshares on Neptune.)

For reality-bound readers, here's an example of a Ma'an "News" Agency propaganda piece:
"Hamas: Airstrikes response to Arab League decision"
Excerpt (emphasis added):
The renewal of Israeli air strikes on Gaza were a response to the Arab League’s decision to resume direct peace talks, a Hamas official said Saturday. Ismail Radwan said negotiations can only lead to further "judaization" of Jerusalem, and Israeli crimes against Palestinian people, citing Saturday's air strikes on Gaza as an example.
Nope, no bias there.

At least HuffPost can take pride in the fact that it did not demonstrate the most anti-Israel bias in its coverage of the Israeli air strike.


This incident as part of HuffPost's continuing pattern of anti-Israel bias, and inciting hatred of the Jewish state

HuffPost has repeatedly
claimed to be a “nonpartisan” source of "news, and said it's "not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news,” that it seeks “to debunk the left-right way of thinking,” and its purpose is “to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.”

So, why would HuffPost so deliberately manipulate this story, on behalf of Hamas, and against Israel? Only HuffPost's management can answer this question. Perhaps someday, someone in a position of influence will ask it to do so.

As for HUFF-WATCH, we contend that the way HuffPost "played" this story is representative of the continuing,
well-documented pattern of the anti-Israel (and arguably, anti-Semitic) bias it applies to its "news" stories. Examples include:
5/29/09: Using a biased Arabic "news" source to present a distorted account of a terror suspect killed by the IDF - Similar to this case, but magnified many times over, in terms of clear anti-Israel bias. HuffPost actively shielded a Hamas terrorist who literally had blood on his hands, by rejecting legitimate news accounts of his killing, and instead picking one by a biased Arabic source that denied vital facts, and referred to him as "an activist."

2/17/10: HuffPost manipulates headline to falsely incriminate Israel in assassination (Users unleash hate; HuffPost: "Approved!!!") Another example of how HuffPost uses manufactured "facts" in order to convict Israel of an "assassination," even when the (real) facts point elsewhere --- as Hamas itself acknowledged. Did that dissuade HuffPost from its "journalistic jihad" against Israel? Guess.

6/2/10: HuffPost's total blackout of "the rest of the story" regarding the "Peace Flotilla" - A particularly disgusting example of how HuffPost publishes accusations against Israel, then, when "the rest of the story" comes out --- meaning, the facts --- it gets little or no coverage.

3/11/09: Fomenting anti-Israel hatred by telling only one side of the Charles Freeman withdrawal story

7/13/09: The anti-Hamas story that HuffPost didn't publish


So what kinds of user comments do you think were incited by HuffPost's headline --- which it then approved, and decided to publish?

The answer is: pretty much what you'd expect. HuffPost threw out the red meat incitement, and the Israel-haters that it attracts and protects took it from there, with the standard-issue anti-Semitism:
  • Demonization of Israel
  • Jew-based conspiracy theories
  • Claims that Israel owns the U.S. government
None of this should come as a surprise, if you've been following HUFF-WATCH's meticulous documentation of HuffPost's pathological incitement and tolerance of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic hatred.

What is noteworthy here, though, is that HuffPost even allowed its "Community Moderators" (bolded) to get into the act. (See notes after comments for more key things to keep in mind regarding them.)

Also note that HuffPost admits that user comments only appear after it has reviewed, approved and decided to publish them. And as shown below, at one point 22 submitted comments were awaiting HuffPost's review --- meaning every one of the following comments had passed this test. (Thanks to "ABP" for comment-captures)

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