Countering Bias and Misinformation mainly about the Arab-Israel conflict

Media fraud - Bloggers expose evident deliberate media misinformation

DEIR YASSIN - startling evidence
About Maurice Ostroff

Scandalous photo frauds revealed by bloggers

By Maurice Ostroff

Click here for video clips of misleading journalism


The word "blog" has become a familiar part of our vocabulary. It is an abbreviated form of weblog, an evolving type of website on which "bloggers" express their views on everything from food to politics.



Some are frivolous, others blatantly contain misinformation and yet others are plainly hoaxes. On the other hand, there are many serious blogs and web sites containing important and valuable information, which stimulate serious discussion among opinion makers. In fact bloggers can no longer be ignored. They have become the latest trend in journalism while gaining increasing credibility and penetrating the preserves of the mainstream news media. In the USA they even join poiticos on campaign trips and in many cases they have driven the media to investigate matters, which would otherwise have gone unnoticed.



The definition of communication "media" must now add "bloggers" to the press, radio and television. All have a profound influence on our lives With the focus of world attention on the Middle East conflict, bloggers have raised pertinent and very serious questions about the accuracy of mainstream media reports on the Arab-Israel conflict.



For example the immediate attribution of the tragic deaths of of a family of seven Palestinians on a Gaza beach on 9 June to an Israeli shell, has been questioned by the German newspaper Sueddeutche Zeitung. An in-depth analysis of the incident and discussions surrounding a film and an orphaned girl Huda Ghalia who overnight became an international celebrity, was summed up pertinently by Ami Isseroff. He wrote 


“The big question is not whether the film was faked, but how the explosion happened. Israel has had hundreds of victims of intentional terror attacks, none of whom were made into media heroes the way that Huda Ghalia was”.




The Qana tragedy is an example of how volunteer bloggers have produced evidence that has been either overlooked or deliberately ignored by the regular media. The credible evidence strongly suggests that the scenes we have witnessed on TV were skillfully staged. At a press conference, IAF chief of staff General Amir Eshel said there had been three air strikes on Qana on June 30. Only the first strike, which occurred at 01.00 hit the building in which the civilians were staying; the other two bombs hit areas at least 400 meters away. He added that foreign press statements reported that the building did not collapse until about 08.00 creating an unexplained gap of about seven hours.


With the increasing credibility of bloggers, allegations raised by them that Hizbullah may have staged the Qana tragedy on June 30, cannot be ignored. Bloggers have suggested that this time delay gives rise to several theories about the ultimate cause of the collapse. Was it perhaps due to explosives stored in the building? It also raises the question why the militants left the building and allowed only weaker adults and children to remain.



The IAF chief’s statement has been confirmed by the Israelinsider blog, which wrote that Brent Sadler of CNN reported that the Israeli ordnance did not even hit the building but landed "20 or 30 meters" from the structure, that the roof of the building was intact and that journalist Ben Wedeman of CNN noted that there was a large crater next to the building, but observed that the building appeared not to have collapsed as a result of the Israeli strike.




 It questions "Why would the civilians who had supposedly taken shelter in the basement of the building not leave after the post-midnight attack. . .They just went back to sleep and had the bad luck to wait for the building to collapse in the morning"


National Public Radio's correspondent reported that residents of that building had left and the victims were non-residents who chose to shelter in the building that night. What we do know is that sometime after dawn a call went out to journalists and rescue workers to come to the scene. And come they did, in droves. Lebanese rescue teams did not start evacuating the building until the morning and only after the camera crews came. The absence of a real rescue effort was explained by saying that equipment was lacking. There were no scenes of live or injured people being extracted.


The blog cited a CNN report that the victims had died in their sleep. It seemed highly improbable, the piece asserted, that people could have slept "through thunderous Israeli air attacks. There was little blood, on the victims CNN's Wedeman noted. The blog also speculates that the setting was perfect for a propaganda scoop. Ten years ago, Qana was the focus of world condemnation of an errant Israeli shell that hit a civilian compound. Now it was used as a primary site for launching more than 150 rockets against Israel, thus drawing an Israel air force attack. Just as the Israeli bombing of Qana in 1996 brought a premature end to Operation "Grapes of Wrath," so too, they figured, Qana II could damage Israel.


The blog suggests that the scenario would be a setup in which the time between the initial Israeli bombing near the building and morning reports of its collapse would be used to "plant" bodies killed in previous fighting, (reports in previous days indicated that nearby Tyre was used as a temporary morgue), place them in the basement and then engineer a "controlled demolition" to fake another Israeli attack.




Condoleeza banner


Adding substance to the above theories, bloggers point to an event that should have prompted investigative reporting, but which has hardly been mentioned in mainstream media. An AFP dispatch reported that almost immediately after the Qana disaster, Hezbollah supporters hung a pre-prepared 30 feet (3 storeys high) banner picture of Condoleezza Rice bearing the legend in Arabic: "The massacre of children in Qana 2, is the gift of Rice".


( ).



The date and time of the dispatch (AFP/Ramzi Haidar) AFP - Sun Jul 30, 2:36 PM ET are highly significant.  On his web site, Stephen Pollard queries how the Hizbollah was able to produce this huge poster so quickly ? a question any serious, even junior, journalist, anxious to discover the truth, should ask. (


A professional poster maker advised Pollard that the 30-foot banner could only have been prepared in advance of the Qana tragedy, leading to serious questions about whether the entire event was staged. The poster-maker added that just putting that large picture together would be an all day affair for most print houses even with a grand format printer. In addition time would be required to transport it and the cost would be in the thousands.


Pollard concedes that this may be a red herring. But given Hezbollah's media savvy, and their contempt for human life, he says it's far from impossible that they staged the entire thing.


 Posed pictures


The EU Referendum blog, which discuss issues, related to the UK's position in Europe and the world, posted a very disturbing page on July 30, containing distressing photos, which it claims, were posed in order to maximize shock value. In the article, entitled "Milking It?" the blog presented a sequence of eight photographs taken by Reuters and AP showing the same rescue worker repeatedly removing the same baby from the destroyed building over a period of several hours



The blog calls the main actor "Green Helmet" because of his olive green hard hat. In some pictures he has a radio in his jacket pocket and his hands are bare. In others the Radio is absent and he is wearing gloves. The several shots are clearly posed.



Next day

The following day, the site posted another very disturbing page about "Green Helmet" photographed with a dead child, which appeared in differing evidently artificial poses in newspapers around the world. Claiming that this man was a poseur the blog said "If he had been a genuine rescue worker, he would deserve a medal".


A Day Later

The same man is photographed a day later watching while a bulldozer clears rubble of a building in Sreefa, 30km south east of Tyre. Ten Years Earlier The blog then showed the same, though younger man at the center of action in Qana in April 1996 "in his now classic pose of handling a victim of an Israeli "atrocity".


Kudos are due to the blogging generation for taking a concerned interest in the world around them and for pointing the way back to honest in-depth investigative reporting


Stop Press. For a detailed overview of media photo fraud, visit the site of Zombietime.

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