Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Why Hamas loves HuffPost: Marwan Barghouti image-whitewashing edition

See July 21 update at end: Arianna surrenders, posts actual, non-manipulated AP story (but posts new lie, about when it did so).

For the past two years, we've been documenting in detail how HuffPost (the self-proclaimed "nonpartisan" newspaper) selects and edits "news" stories in ways that could only serve to (a) make Israel and Jews look as bad as possible, often on false grounds, or (b) make Hamas and militant Islamist terror gangs appear humane and benevolent.

What we witnessed and documented today, however, is the single most egregious example of HuffPost's efforts to whitewash the image of an Islamist murderer since this incident, two years ago.

On July 20, 2011 HuffPost published this story near the top of its World page.

Note that HuffPost's headline claims this man in handcuffs is "a leader." Hm. Why would a "leader" be handcuffed? Let's click through to the story page, to learn more, shall we?

Click to enlarge the above screencap, and note the ad for Weight Watchers at right. Do you think its CEO, David Kirchhoff, knows that his company appears to be visibly supporting HuffPost's pathological pro-Islamist bias, and its incitement of hate against Israel and Jews? If you'd like to ask him, give him a call at 212-589-2700, or drop him an email here.

From this headline, we learn that the handcuffed man's name is Marwan Barghouti, and he's a Palestinian "leader." But why would he be in handcuffs?

Let's read the copy of the story, which HuffPost claims it obtained from the AP (see credit just below the picture in the screencap above). Here is the copy from HuffPost's version of the story --- in its entirety (emphasis of relevant content added):
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- A prominent jailed Palestinian leader is asking millions to take to the streets in September in a bid for Palestinian statehood. Marwan Barghouti said widespread protests in Palestinian areas and abroad will strengthen support for statehood. Palestinian officials are seeking U.N. recognition in September.
He called for the protests in a letter published Wednesday in Palestinian newspapers. Barghouti, who's 51, is widely admired among Palestinians for leading an armed Palestinian uprising against Israel in the early years of the last decade.
He is serving five life sentences in Israel for his role in the conflict.

Wait just a darned moment. This poor man led "an armed... uprising against Israel"... but he's serving five life sentences, for his role in "the conflict"?

Is that really what happened?

Is that really why he received such a long sentence?

No. And HuffPost knew it, before it published this "story."

The reality is that Marwan Barghouti is a mass-murderer, and a trainer and funder of Islamist terrorism against Jewish civilians, whom Hamas is trying to get released from Israeli prison.

Yet HuffPost made the conscious decision to edit the AP story to ignore all that, and instead, depict him as merely a "leader" in a "conflict."
How do we know all this? Because it's all right in the original AP story that HuffPost accessed, and which newspapers around the world published as-is... but which it decided to chop apart and reword until it served its intended purpose: to whitewash the reality of this monster (er... "leader").
And what is it that Barghouti did? Here's the actual, unedited AP story (courtesy of the Houston Chronicle), which HuffPost decided to slice and dice to serve its purpose. (Note: We've highlighted certain passages to indicate what HuffPost chopped out):
RAMALLAH, West Bank — An imprisoned Palestinian uprising leader held by Israel called Wednesday for "millions" of people to take to the streets in support of a Palestinian independence bid this fall — a scenario that Israeli officials warn could spin into a new wave of violence.

With peace talks stalled since 2008, the Palestinians have said they will instead ask the United Nations to recognize their state during the General Assembly session in September.

In an effort to avert a showdown over the issue, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made his first Arab media appearance to appeal for a return to negotiations. He told Al-Arabiyah TV that he would be willing to travel to Ramallah in the West Bank, if needed, for face-to-face talks.

Netanyahu's interview and the appeal by imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti illustrated the wide gap between the positions of the two sides.

Israel wants peace talks but refuses to stop West Bank settlement construction first and makes demands the Palestinians reject — like recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and maintaining an Israeli military presence in the West Bank _while the Palestinians appear to be giving up on negotiations.

Barghouti, the most prominent Palestinian prisoner held by Israel and a potential future presidential candidate, dictated the message to his lawyers during a recent visit to his cell, according to his wife Fadwa. It was published in Palestinian newspapers, and a copy was sent to The Associated Press.

He called on Palestinians in the occupied territories as well as those in other countries to "peacefully march in their millions during the week of voting in the U.N."

Barghouti said the sight of protesters waving the black, red, green and white Palestinian flag worldwide would strengthen the Palestinian cause.

Barghouti, convicted on murder charges in 2002, is serving five life sentences for his role in fatal Palestinian attacks.

Israeli officials say neither Israel nor the Palestinians want renewed violence, but that even one individual — a Palestinian rock thrower or an Israeli soldier who opens fire — could set off an explosion.

Barghouti, 51, was a leader of a Palestinian uprising that began in 2000, during which a wave of suicide bombings rocked Israeli cities and killed more than 1,000 civilians. About 4,000 Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli forces during the violence, which lasted several years.

[Read the rest here]

The actual AP story, before HuffPost mangled it, presents just a bit of a different picture of this "leader," doesn't it?

Before going any further, scroll up and take another look at that headline that HuffPost created --- and the way it chopped up the AP story, omitting these key facts... then ask yourself: Why would HuffPost do that?
Keep that question in mind as you read the rest of this article.

Wasn't there just a bit more detail about this "leader" that HuffPost could have uncovered, had it done some Journalism 101-level research?
Yes. Had HuffPost's army of "hundreds of editors and reporters" done some basic research into Barghouti, here's some more information they easily could have uncovered:
Here is an excellent briefer on the lying monster that Barghouti actually is, by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
"(Barghouti is) the founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades which has carried out a large number of deadly terrorist attacks killing scores of Israelis and wounding hundreds... (H)e received large amounts of funds from different sources both inside and outside Israel... (which he used) to finance... dozens of attacks, including a large number of suicide bombings within Israel. (Examples include):
  • Jun 12, 2001 - The murder of a Greek Orthodox monk on the road to Ma'ale Adumim.
  • Jan 17, 2002 - The shooting attack during a bat mitzva celebration.. (s)ix Israelis were killed in this attack, 26 were injured. (UK Telegraph account here; BBC's account here; Wikipedia entry here)
  • Jan 22, 2002 - The shooting spree on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem. Two Israelis were killed, 37 wounded.
  • Feb 25, 2002 - The shooting attack in the Jerusalem residential neighborhood of Neve Ya'acov. One Israeli policewoman was killed, 9 Israelis were wounded.
  • Feb 27, 2002 - The murder of an Israeli at a coffee factory in the Atarot industrial zone of Jerusalem.
  • Feb 27, 2002 - The suicide attack perpetrated by Daryan Abu Aysha at the Maccabim checkpoint in which two policeman were injured.
  • Mar 5, 2002 - The shooting spree at the Tel Aviv Seafood restaurant. Three Israelis were killed, 31 wounded.
  • Mar 8, 2002 - A suicide terrorist was killed in Daheat el Barid as he was on his way to carry out an attack in Jerusalem.

And over at the Investigative Project on Terrorism, we find this:
In the negotiations for (Gilad) Shalit's freedom, Hamas officials are demanding that Israel release leading terrorists including... Marwan Barghouti, a senior Fatah member.

Gee, why would Hamas --- which is supposed to be at mortal odds with (Mahmoud Abbas's) Fatah --- want Barghouti released? Do you think it might have something to do with the fact that he is, as the IPT says, "a leading terrorist," and has the blood of dozens on his hands?

Notable Quotes:
"If you're going to produce great journalism, you have to build a team of people who are working together and driving toward the same goals editorially.”
– Arianna Huffington, April 7, 2011 --- two months after being put in control of all of AOL's "news" and "content"

"AOL's acquisition of HuffPost has allowed us... to continue to change the culture here."
--- Tim Armstrong, Chairman, AOL, the genius who bought HuffPost and put Arianna in charge of all "news" and "content" --- May 14, 2011

“[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.”
- Arianna Huffington, July 29, 2008

“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

Conclusion & Action Items

Was this HuffPost's latest effort to placate its 700,000* unique monthly visitors who originate in Muslim-majority nations --- including 250,000 from the world's three primary incubators and exporters of Islamist terror and anti-Semitism: Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan?
(*up from 350,000 six months ago)

Or was this merely HuffPost's effort to use its status as the #1 most-read blog on Earth, and a top-ten U.S. “news” site, to continue whitewashing the reality of Islamist terror, and inciting hate against Israel and Jews throughout the world?
Most importantly, do you think HuffPost's advertisers really know what it is that they are enabling? You can do your part --- by asking them.

Action Items: If you'd like to make your voice known on this matter, write to HuffPost's advertisers here, and its senior management here.

UPDATE, July 21, 5:50pm: Arianna surrenders, posts actual, non-manipulated AP story (but posts new lie, about when it did so)

Thanks apparently to more than a few calls to the Weight Watchers CEO, we learned via a hat-tip from "silverdog" that HuffPost took away its pro-Islamist-murderer edit of the AP story this afternoon, and replaced it with the actual, unmolested AP story. Hamas is now reportedly furious with Arianna, and is threatening to disqualify her from 2011 "Most Useful Idiot" award competition.
But apparently, HuffPost couldn't resist posting one more lie --- this one, about when it made this change, apparently, thinking no one would notice. We noticed, Arianna.

Below is the screencap of HuffPost's original story page, showing it was posted on July 20 at 7:55am:

Now, take a look at the screencap of HuffPost's "new" version of the story; HuffPost claims it posted the story five hours later, at 12:45pm, also on July 20:

Why is this important? Because apparently, HuffPost was trying to claim to anyone who inquired that, "Oh, we realized our 'mistake' (as if mangling copy to whitewash a mass murderer's image is a 'mistake') and quickly corrected it."

No, you didn't, Arianna. Because our story here wasn't published until 4:46 PST --- four hours after you supposedly published the updated version. The fact is, you didn't swap out these stories until sometime on the afternoon of July 21 --- 24 hours after you claim.

A teachable moment: It's not nice to try to fool HUFF-WATCH, Arianna. Because as you know, you always, always get caught.


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