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Wednesday, July 21 2010

Fauxtography Files: MSM Cries Foul

Earlier this week, two Palestinian photographers were injured by the IDF; in response, the Foreign Press Association griped about the state of free press.

Now, a foreign photographer posted this video of the incident. It actually highlights the fauxtography going on.

A few things strike me about this video.

Fil Kalers, the British photojournalist who shot this video, is a well-known Palestinian sympathizer. Here are some examples of his work. This already raises some questions about this video's objectivity. It's not surprising that a photographer like him received advance notice for this photo-op.

It seems to me that there are more photographers than bona fide demonstrators -- even if you include kids as legitimate demonstrators.

This video contradicts photos taken by the wire services. It clearly shows photographers right in the soldiers' faces, and debunks the FPA's accusation of soldiers "smashing the face of a clearly marked photographer working for a known and accredited news organization with a stick." The only photographers I saw injured were one with a hurt leg still snapping shots from a sitting position (2:15 point) and another who I presume was stunned by a stun grenade that exploded too close for comfort (3:15 point).

Rest assured that any photographer smashed in the mouth in front of all his colleagues would've become the posterboy of Israeli press restrictions.

Such are the risks journalists proudly take when covering combat zones. After all, here's what the FPA said about Israeli press restrictions on Gaza when Operation Cast Lead began:

The claim that this is being done "for our protection" is patently ridiculous.

(Yes, the claim was ridiculous. Reporters are big boys. Here's the real reason for the media restrictions)

So what kinds of images hit the wires? Images one, two, three and four. They fail to convey the role of the kids, the minimal number of real protestors. Half emphasize the victimhood of the poor journalists who lost my sympathy after watching the video.






The film's best moment wasn't reflected in any of the coverage I saw. At 4:00 a soldier asked one of the demonestrators why he brought children along. If only the MSM would ask that question.

Related reading: And You Thought Vuvuzelas Were Annoying



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