Saturday, January 23, 2010

Amanpour's Impulse: Smear Israel

Andrea Levin
CAMERA Media Analysis
21 January '10

CNN's Christiane Amanpour can't seem to help herself. Whatever the subject of the program, she's inclined to inject mention of Israel and its alleged myriad faults. An interview with Tibet's revered Dalai Lama prompted her to insert jarring comparisons of Tibet and the Palestinian "nakba." (Though with no musings on the absence of Tibetan suicide bombers.)

It happened again on January 20, 2010 while she was engaged in a heated on-air exchange involving Marc Thiessen and Philippe Sands about American use of waterboarding in interrogating illegal combatants. Thiessen claimed waterboarding doesn't constitute torture and that valuable information had been gained by the CIA through the use of enhanced interrogation techniques that prevented terror attacks. Sands countered that waterboarding does constitute torture and is ineffectual in eliciting information from prisoners.

Then, quoting directly from her statements in a previous CNN segment, Thiessen charged Amanpour with spreading false information in comparing American interrogation methods with those of the genocidal regime of the Khmer Rouge at its infamous S-21 camp where prisoners were handcuffed and submerged in water-filled metal boxes during interrogation, and where thousands died. Thiessen argued that U.S. methods caused no harm or pain to the prisoner. Hearing her own words quoted back at her and bluntly characterized as false, Amanpour became visibly agitated and uncomfortable. In the tense back and forth focused on American handling of interrogation, Amanpour abruptly and incongruously injected Israel into the debate. Here's the clip, followed by an excerpt from the transcript:

(See video and transcript)

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