Media Blog

Staging the News

Go watch this video now. In it, cameras roll as a German reporter with NDR describes Hezbollah’s manipulation of the media at Qana, while you watch. One familiar figure – a green-helmeted so-called emergency worker — is clearly shown telling the camera to keep rolling as a dead child is unloaded and then reloaded into an ambulance.

Bryan Preston on what it means:

This is post-modern warfare. The story created is that Israel is committing war crime after war crime, while the reality is that it’s defending itself from an organization run by Iran that is itself a war crime. We’ve seen it over and over in the month since Hezbollah attacked Israel on July 12, in the inflated casualty figures from Qana and other strikes, the pictures of dead children paraded for the cameras, the garbage dump dressed up as a downed Israeli jet, from the mouth of Lebanon’s PM calling Israel’s troops war criminals while ignoring Hezbollah’s targeting Israeli civilians every single day with thousands of rockets. And through it all, the MSM usually plays along, giving us faked and staged photography, aping the Hezbollah line and hewing to Hezbollah’s command not to photograph any Hezbollah fighters or their rocket launch positions.

Even after all the blog posts documenting Hezbollah media manipulation, seeing it with your own eyes on this video is something else entirely. And it makes these people look like fools:

The AP said information from its photo editors showed the events were not staged, and that the time stamps could be misleading for several reasons, including that web sites can use such stamps to show when pictures are posted, not taken. An AFP executive said he was stunned to be questioned about it. Reuters, in a statement, said it categorically rejects any such suggestion.
“It’s hard to imagine how someone sitting in an air-conditioned office or broadcast studio many thousands of miles from the scene can decide what occurred on the ground with any degree of accuracy,” said Kathleen Carroll, AP’s senior vice president and executive editor.
Carroll said in addition to personally speaking with photo editors, “I also know from 30 years of experience in this business that you can’t get competitive journalists to participate in the kind of (staging) experience that is being described.”
Photographers are experienced in recognizing when someone is trying to stage something for their benefit, she said.

I’m sure they are. It’s just that sometimes, they find it convenient not to share that detail.


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