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August 2, 2006

On The MSM's Hizballah Sources For News They Report As Fact

Topics: Follies of the Mainstream Media
A major segment of the global media is behaving in a manner that makes terrorism and mass killings more likely rather than less likely.
Charles at LGF has a piece that addresses the naivite (or is it outright bias against Israel?) of the MSM, and points to an AP report filed by journalist Nasser Nasser on the IDF operation in Baalbek that consists of nothing but context-free Hizballah propaganda, starting with the headline: Heavy equipment used to bury the dead (which includes Nasser Nasser's photograph showing a bulldozer carrying one body). Nasser Nasser was also one of the photographers who participated in staging photos at Qana: AP Rewards Qana Photographers.

As I was reading Charles' piece, I was also listening to a CNN commentator (a woman, her name escapes me) interviewing LBC journalist Sultan Sleiman on the Israeli raid on the Baalbek hospital. She was asking him questions about the neighborhood, the hospital, and how he makes sure that the information he reports is accurate. Her tone was one of her being a school child asking an impeccably honest and reliable teacher, it was nothing less than laughable (his answers would have you ROTFL). However, when the CNN reporter asked the Lebanese journalist, who she qualified as having lived there all his life, if the hospital was used only for civilian purposes, the Hezbollah propaganda that spewed from Sleiman's mouth was incredibly so far from the truth that even the slightest perusal of the news from reliable sources would quickly debunk his report as an outright lie. Nonetheless, the CNN reporter swallowed it hook, lyin, and sinker, and even thanked him for the "lesson." What was the huge lie that the CNN reporter swallowed so gullibly?

With a straight face, not even cracking a smile or taking time to stick his tongue in his cheek, Sultan Sleiman told the gullible CNN reporter that the hospital was only used strictly for civilian purposes, only for patients, that it was operated by a "peaceful Islamic charity," (where have we heard that before?) and that there were never ever any people with weapons any where near the hospital.

Interesting information from our supposedly unbiased and trusted Lebanese journalist. However, what does everyone else have to say about the very same things he so brazenly attested to?

Fox News (aired news report) - The Baalbek hospital had no patients.

570 KLIF - The hospital, which residents said is financed by an Iranian charity that is close to Hezbollah, was empty of patients at the time of the raid, the guerrilla group said. ... Olmert said that, although the scene of the fighting is called a hospital, "there are no patients there and there is no hospital, this is a base of the Hezbollah in disguise."

Ynet - Hospital raided by forces serves as Hizbullah's 'outpatient clinic,' place for meeting with members of Iranian Revolutionary Guards . ... Ten terrorists were killed in the operation around the hospital in Baalbek, all of them armed and wearing bullet-proof vests.

DEBKAfile (via Liberty Post) - the Israeli force fought its way into the Dar al Hikmeh hospital which Hizballah's Beqaa commander Muhammad Yazbek had converted into his staff headquarters.

BBC - "Baalbek is a Hezbollah stronghold and home to several senior members of the group, which has been repeatedly bombed by Israel since the conflict began."

Turkish Weekly - "Local residents told AP the hospital was run by people close to Hezbollah and funded by an Iranian charity.."

London Free Press - Residents said the Dar al-Hikma hospital is financed by an Iranian charity, the Imam Khomeini Charitable Society, which is close to Hezbollah. The hospital is also run by people close to the militant group, the residents said on condition of anonymity.

AP - Baalbek is a city with spectacular Roman ruins as well as the barracks of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards when they trained Hezbollah guerrillas there in the 1980s.

Now let's compare:

According to Sultan Sleiman's "unbiased" report, the hospital was used strictly for civilian purposes ... Only for patients ... Operated by a peaceful Islamic charity ... and there were never ever any people with weapons any where near the hospital.

According to everyone else except the tooth fairy (actually, sources far more reliable than a Shi'te who grew up in the Bakaa Valley, the heart of Hezbollah, with at the very least a questionable affiliation - and let's not forget about al-taqiyya), the Dar al Hikmeh hospital had been converted by Hizballah's Beqaa commander Muhammad Yazbek into his staff headquarters (the present operators of the facility), there were no patients in the hospital (any wonder that the press and media were prevented from going upstairs), and 10 terrorists were killed who were armed and wearing bullet-proof vests (since when did patients start carrying arms, wearing bullet-proof vests, and running around outside the hospital?)

Conclusion: Our CNN "student" reporter got snookered. However, a cable news channel viewed all around the world just reported all of "sly" Sleiman's Hezbollah propaganda as fact.

And we wonder how the Arab street and the leftists in the West get so screwed up!

Posted by Richard at August 2, 2006 1:53 PM

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