How can we get a less hyperbolic assessment of the state of the world? Certainly not from daily journalism. News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a reporter saying to the camera, “Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out”—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up. As long as violence has not vanished from the world, there will always be enough incidents to fill the evening news. And since the human mind estimates probability by the ease with which it can recall examples, newsreaders will always perceive that they live in dangerous times.
Photographer Mario Tama positioned himself over Netanyahu's shoulder at the UN General Assembly, and photographed hand-written edits he made to his speech. Here's what he saw. (via The Browser)
"Israel is our only hope as the post-American president is aiding and abetting a nuclear Iran. Barack Obama is enabling Iran’s Islamic bomb" - Pamela Geller
As the "ground zero mosque" story approaches bipartisan consensus, thanks to unexpected statements by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (joining a growing opposition), several journalists trace the origins of how the Park 51 community center became(warning: CNN) a toxic subject. What they found was Pamela Geller, a blogger at Atlas Shrugs, who has some very interesting vlogs. You may previously know her from this cozy 2006 interview with Bush's infamous anti-UN UN ambassador John Bolton.
When authors and poets write the news "It was on an average Wednesday that a very serious Israeli newspaper conducted a very wild experiment. For one day, Haaretz (scroll down and select June 10th) editor-in-chief Dov Alfon sent most of his staff reporters home and sent 31 of Israel’s finest authors and poets to cover the day’s news. Read articles on integration at the giraffe enclosure, love in the cancer ward, mosaics in Tel Aviv, addicts at the Jerusalem rehab centre, and a visit to the grave of a holy man, among others. [via]
A Dispatches documentary Gaza: The Killing Zone shows the shocking reality of seemingly ordinary Palestinians caught in the crossfire between Hamas and Israeli forces. Feels almost like a sci-fi movie about some fictional totalitarian regime. Hard to believe it's their everyday life. WARNING: contains scenes of graphic violence, which you may find disturbing.
Hussein Derakhshan [English site] is one of the leading voices of the Persian blogosphere. His blog [Persian site] manages to reach a wide audience in Iran despite being officially censored. Currently, he is fulfilling his dream of visiting Israel [Flickr pics] and breaking barriers in Israeli-Iranian relations. Lisa Goldman, his host in Israel writes about his visit in her blog, too. He is interviewed by the Israeli press in this Haaretz article. He has written "Democracy's Double Standard", an NYT op-ed piece, [bugmenot]. from Tel Aviv, and delivered a lecture on "Reform, Youth and Technology" at the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University. Oh yeah, he's also a MeFite.
The Best Investigative Reporter You've Never Heard Of died Wednesday from a rare blood disease he picked up reporting in the slums of Bombay. Robert Friedman was beaten by religious zealots after writing about Rabbi Meir Kahane, had a contract taken out on his life after writing about "The Most Dangerous Mobster in the World" and got a Valentine's card threatening rape and murder after writing about Russian organized crime links to the NHL. This December article about the Israel/Palestine situation, which may be the last piece he wrote, is detailed, balanced and yet pulls no punches -- a good example of his hard-hitting style. His death leaves a gaping hole in journalism.
Israeli backlash to Ted Turner's comments prompts CNN offer a series of pieces focusing on the toll Palestinian terror has taken. "Ted Turner apologized, CNN's executives were quick to disassociate themselves from him and to announce he has no influence over the content of the broadcasts, and Eason Jordan, news director for the network, hurried to fly over to Israel and offer 'compensation' - a series of reports on the victims of terrorism.". Indeed, a visit to CNN's website this morning uncovers a series of focus items reporting on Israeli casualties and victims. Is this a case of journalism caving to political and commercial interests, or is Israel effectively combating the liberal bias of Western media?
Boycott France? An American Jewish Congress trade ad placed in Variety and the Hollywood Reporter compares anti-Semitic violence to that experienced during WWII. Some groups are also calling for a boycott of the Cannes Film Festival. Woody Allen doesn't agree. Can the actions of an idiotic minority really justify a boycott?
This week's bit of helpful corrective to the usual problematic coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the recent election.