Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Channel 4 News

A summary of their coverage of the Lebanon crisis (I have posted the following on their forum).
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I don't accuse Jon Snow of crimes or even of a direct lie. It's all done by distortion, selection and omission. As I've said before, in C4's coverage reporters are constantly trying to make 'points'. There are various subpoints and subtexts, but here are the main ones.

'point' number 1: all that's needed is for the US (and Britain) to call for an immediate ceasefire.  When a cessation of the violence is proposed, Hezbollah and the Lebanese government reject it and call for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops.

'point' number 2: nobody is prepared to contribute troops to an international force. France and others have expressed willingness.

'point' number 3: in spite of Israel's offensive, Hezbollah continues to fire rockets into Israel. Therefore the offensive is pointless. Even if Israel manages to push them back several miles, Hezbollah has long-range missiles. Therefore, again, it's pointless. Hezbollah has different types of rocket. Most of them are the short-range Katyusha and they only have a few of the longer-range ones (hopefully).

In general, the real issue - the hollowness of Hezbollah's case - has not been addressed at all by C4, and hardly by the BBC on their TV and radio output (though their website has some useful pieces).
© Channel 4 News
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My attention was drawn to the following, from a few weeks ago: Jon Snow (presenter of Channel 4 News) 'recently told a meeting that he had received death threats over his coverage of the Middle East'.

The Guardian article also had this:
One senior journalist posted in London, who asked not to be named, claims that the origins of the current conflict have not been adequately explained. "The prisoners' issue remains unresolved six years after the Israelis were forced out of Lebanon. But nobody talks about that."
I didn't read the article until a link was posted to it on the forum, but I noted around the time of it: 'People speaking for the Arab side usually prefix their remarks with a formula such as, "nobody speaks about the Lebanese prisoners..." Yet they are given plenty of access to the BBC, say, and they always mention it.'

I'm quite happy to talk about the prisoners' issue, seeing as it turns out to be another of Hezbollah's pretexts. Come to think, I did talk about it, on a  thread on the C4 forum, but nobody responded.

In brief, it's not the pro-Israeli lobby that's "in denial", but the pro-Hezbollah lobby.
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Finally, I don't want to see death threats made against Jon Snow, or any other journalist, but I think that if C4 had been strongly pro-Israel, the death threats would have been much more real.

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