Thursday, January 30, 2014

A teachable moment about reporting in yesterday's attempted (but foiled) terrorist attack

...Reminder: don't ever expect Reuters - or any of the other large media organizations that package the news in this area - to tell you this or anything like this. It just doesn't pay for them to be that frank and honest.

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
29 January '14..

Reuters reports that a Palestinian Arab man, identified by "a Palestinian medic", was killed today by Israeli soldiers. The nameless medic gives the dead man's name as Muhammad Mubarak. The Reuters report says, without actually quoting anyone, that the dead man was 21 and "a laborer from Jalazoun refugee camp near the Palestinian city of Ramallah, north of Jerusalem".

It's interesting to us that the Reuters editors, evidently not wishing to actually mix in, avoid expressing any view as to the circumstances in which Mubarak "was killed".

Perhaps they just want readers to make up their own minds about what happened. Thus, according to Reuters:

An Israeli military spokeswoman said a Palestinian gunman was shot after attacking troops stationed near the settlement of Ofra. "The soldiers responded immediately to eliminate the imminent threat to their lives and fired at the terrorist, identifying a hit," she said.

Two versions: an un-named "Palestinian medic". And the official spokesperson of the IDF.

Reuters is saying, as it often does in Israel-related stories, take your pick. As if its news gatherers have never before encountered the phenomenon of the obvious spinning of contentious facts by interested parties when the source is (a) anonymous) and (b) not especially well placed to know or to say.


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