(Last update: May 22, 2018)
In the early 1970's, the celebrity journalist Hunter Thompson wrote, "...there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms" (Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing: on the campaign trail '72", Popular Library Edition, 1973, p. 48). That was more than 45 years ago. We no longer speak about journalism with such cynicism.
Today, we are far beyond 'no objective journalism'. With the reporting we have seen regarding the recent May 2018 Hamas-sponsored rioting at the Gaza-Israel fence, we have even gone beyond last year's favorite journalistic trope--'fake news'. Today, journalism has become --purely and simply--all about lies.
How else do you describe last week's headlines about 60 Palestinians killed during those fence riots on May 14th? What was reported had nothing to do with truth.
The facts told a gruesome story: Hamas officials had sworn to use these riots to kill Jews (see the Daniel Greenfield source, below). Hamas had also said the riots--intended to rip out Jewish hearts--would be 'peaceful'.
Nobody wondered aloud how 'ripping out hearts of Jews' and 'peaceful' went together. Nobody cared to know.
World headlines--and UN officials--preferred a simpler approach: Israel was killing innocent civilians. Report-after-report repeated that lie.
Now, just after those 60 had been killed at the fence on the 14th, we got some truth. A Hamas official said in a TV interview that 85% of those killed that day were Hamas operatives (here).
One inference to be drawn from this claim was that Israel had been right all along--that the riots were 'war against Israel by other means'. The 'peaceful' stuff was a lie.
Did journalists care that Hamas itself had just revealed the truth, that its intentions were to get terrorists through the fence? No.
The Hamas revelation was simply ignored. The world of news and professional journalism had already made up its collectively anti-Israel mind. To hell with truth. The riots were peaceful. The riots weren't riotous.
Hamas helped these journalists. The same Hamas official who had revealed that the 50 of those 60 dead on May 14 had been part of Hamas had also said these operatives hadn't been armed (ibid).
Did any journalist or major news editors ask for any evidence from Hamas to support that claim? No. No one asked.
Where was the proof these 50 Hamas operatives were not armed? No proof was offered.
No proof was necessary. You see, when it comes to the Arab-Israel war, the accepted journalistic standard these days is, if Hamas says it's true then, by golly, it's true.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights added his own "High" anti-Israel opinion. He condemned the "appalling, deadly violence" in Gaza. But the High Commissioner for Human Rights didn't blame Hamas for those deaths. For the UN, those deaths had nothing to do with Hamas terrorists intermingling with civilians and, using those civilians as human shields, trying to break through a border fence to get into Israel with hand grenades, molotov cocktails, knives, butcher cleavers and hand guns in order to attack and kill Jews. Why in the world would anyone anywhere even suggest such a thing?
Rather, the UN High Commissioner followed the lead of the 'journalists'. He ignored the fact that these 50 Hamas operatives were terrorists. He suggested instead that they were innocents who had been killed by an appallingly evil Israel (Bill Chappell, "With 60 killed in Gaza, UN Rights Commissioner criticizes Israel", npr, May 15, 2018--here).
That's certainly how NPR reported the news that day. NPR, always the eager propaganda shill for Hamas, saw nothing wrong with such a characterization.
Pro-Israel advocates, meanwhile, displayed an unusually sharp outrage at such blindly vicious anti-Israel characterizations. David Weinberg couldn't believe how insane the headlines were. His vocabulary was singular: ...it is, he wrote (here), unmitigatingly maddening to see the West succumb to Hamas' lies. He was infuriated that the West, so supposedly committed to human rights, should be so willing to ignore Hamas' murderous intentions against Israel.
David Collier (here) spoke of how the West has been basically silent in the face a truly genocidal Arab-Arab war in Syria that has so far killed 500,000 people and, at the very same time, appear so loudly on the verge of collectively tearing up because some 50 Hamas terrorists had been killed while cynically using their own citizens as cannon fodder for covering terrorist attacks against Jews.
Daniel Greenfield was, in my estimation, livid as he described, with some sarcasm, how the Gaza fence riots have been treated by the West. Referring to how the West has repeatedly reported the rioters as peacefully demonstrating, he wrote (here):