Home > Bad Journalism, Politics > Sects, lies and videotape

Sects, lies and videotape

Normally I keep my political comments restricted to UK and US, but one of my e-mail alerts this morning drew my attention to a shocking video that’s starting to do the rounds about the views of young people in Israel about the recent speech given by President Obama on the Middle East.

I watch what is happening in the Middle East with utter dispair sometimes, it’s almost as if neither side wants to a budge an inch and that all the leaderships involved are quite happy for the fighting to continue because it’s become the only thing that defines their power.

In contrast then was Obama’s eagerly-anticipated speech in Cairo which basically said “the status quo is not acceptable, there must be change, but the only people that can make that change are the people of the Middle East themselves”.

Although the speech appeared to hit the mark with all concerned, especially both sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict, guaging the reaction of people on the ground was slower in coming, although when it did, the considered response was also welcoming.

One wonders though how much of the story we’re actually hearing, and when you hear the one of the vanguards of 21st Century news, The Huffington Post, is censoring content that runs counter to the preceived wisdom, one has to start questioning how the narrative is being constructed.

The piece that was removed from the HuffPo is a short video vox-pop of young people in Israel giving their views on the Obama speech – the views expressed, especially those from the young American Jews, and the language used are utterly shocking – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED:

Even the people who produced it, Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana were shocked at the views expressed, and the forcefulness with which they were made, but were further shocked when an administrator at the HuffPo removed the video from the site, claiming, according to Blumenthal that: “I don’t see that it has any real news value”.

So I suppose there was “no real news value” last year, when Al Jazeera English broadcast a vox-pop of people attanding a Sarah Palin rally in Ohio, and shocking the world with a similar level of ignorance:

Now I can see many reasons why an old media organisation might remove such a video from their site, or indeed, choose not to publish it at all – some of these, such as the question of taste and decency, are arguably legitimate, and indeed I myself thought long and hard about whether to embed the video or just link to it because of the foul language used.

For a premier blog to remove it because they consider is has no “real news value” is extremely dangerous; it’s exactly the kind of nebulous reason that would be used to justify censorship by an old media outlet like Fox News.

There’s no doubt The Huffington Post has made a massive contribution to the development of the interwebs as a space for news/information that engages with its audience rather than just preaching to them, but the kind of editorial arrogance they’ve displayed over the Blumenthal video will only serve to raise so much unnecessary speculation about their editorial credibility.

The problem is that its co-founder and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington seems to spend more time getting her face on the old media with guest spots on MSNBC and guest hosting Squawk Box on CNBC, which only serves to make her look more and more old corporate and old media; a perception I would be running a mile from if I was running the best politics site on the planet.

The financial downturn, the difficulties faced by old media companies and the collapse of the newspaper industry is the time for organisations like the Huffington Post to be rising above the frey, consolidating and leading the way, not pracing around on TV while quietly adopting the same tired old editorial dogmas they claim to have moved on from.

As for the morons on the video their disgusting comments seem to show where the real oppositon to change in the Middle East lie, and that there is a bedrock of racism and bigotry both in Israel and among American Jews that is going to be Obama’s biggest and toughest obstacle.

These people, the same people who supported the killing of over 1,000 Palestinians in January in the most one-sided war in the history of mankind, all hide their hate behind the shield of victimhood, claiming that the world is against them.

Well here’s newsflash – it is, and on the basis of this kind of disgusting bigotry – is there any wonder why?

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  1. mignon
    June 10, 2009 at 11:37

    after watching these drunk sodden humans and reading up of what went before as in history re ‘their promised land’??? most seem to be no better than than the muslims they so hate, in my opinion these religions are so dangerous especially given that loads of humans have no proof whatsoever that this god, this allah even exists, and that goes for christians too, in short it’s all about helping themselves to other countries and to other people’s land, I cannot feel any sympathy as for the hitler thingo, many were killed who were not jews, and no one gives a damm, israel has been helped by the ,toadies in america which is another weirdo nation, but as for obama, at least he is a far nicer human than that other uneducated yobbo ‘butcher bush’.

  2. mignon
    June 13, 2009 at 08:37

    Look,to be honest only linked onto this site by, my sheer stumbling around to find out how to go about setting up a blog etc, am great with my computer but as I rarely use the internet except to check my emails,well I was rather shocked after a look at the video, guess I just never gave it any thought that the young adults in Israel would be so racist, however it is to be expected when those born there have constant brain washing as to what happened to their ancestors in Europe etc, plus all this religious stuff embedded re Their Land because Their god told them so etc etc etc! I am an Australian, and thankful for that, am interested in politics here and world over but have no raciest issues nor hate towards other countries and their inhabitants have noted many times though that those from troubled countries who want to live free from it all, still carry past baggage and a lot do not mix in even the jews seem to live in a particular area same with the asians,and muslims and l hear lots of comments especially on radio talkback programs,where mainly it’s the older or elderly who ring in with lots of negative stuff to air. What I did not like was that in regard to this conflict between israel and palestine, israel had it all over the Enemy?? only because they were backed up to the hilt in weapons etc by America which has more than enough wealthy jews in business and politics, I want to see Obama do better than the weakling before him after all the Palestinians have always been there, same with the many jews, but most of those jews now there came from Europe in the war years, and do these young adults remember the jewish terrorists who came before them,murderous thugs, the stern gang etc etc, and where later a few even got into political power with the full consent of the jewish settlers, so for me reading all the historical facts last year, was not in sympathy with that country when it went into Gaza, but as for being a laidback lot, and that goes for the palestinians, too many are religious fanatics on both sides carrying grudges from the long ago past, never to be forgotten, those elders politicians,etc etc, will make sure of that as each generation comes along!!!

  3. Tam
    June 14, 2009 at 10:06

    Well said mignon, I absolutely agree, there are fanatics on both sides, and I never fail to be amazed that the Israelis and the Americans point to a madrassah and say it’s a university for terrorists because of the teaching there, but don’t give two hoots about the fact that they are scaring young people like the ones in this video into extremism and bigotry with their fearmongering and lies. I too hope Obama will stop this vicious cycle otherwise it’s just going to get worse.

  4. mignon
    August 6, 2009 at 03:38

    Gee, went on this site today, so unexpected seeing a reply and in agreement too, though at the time of my comments, I was quite upset/shocked,just so much going on in lots of countries which is thought provoking, thanks Tam for your reply, maybe I should think seriously re starting a blog, as am interested in so much pos and neg as in world affairs etc.

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