As I mentioned yesterday the Court of Appeals overturned a libel verdict won by France 2 television. According to Reuters,
The Paris court ruled in favour of media critic Philippe Karsenty, who called into question the veracity of the report, but it also said that it did not rule out that journalists at France 2 had acted professionally.
Karsenty, head of an online media commentary site, had appealed a 2006 decision which found libellous his statement that the station’s Israel correspondent had orchestrated images which later became a symbol for Palestinian militants.
In February, Karsenty presented judges with new evidence including a ballistics report and footage from other sources, which he said proved 12-year-old Mohammed al-Durra’s death had been staged.
The court said in its ruling the new footage “did not allow to rule out the opinion of (France 2) professionals,” but it also rejected claims by state prosecutor Antoine Bartoli that the new evidence was “neither complete nor serious.”
France2’s newscasts have not mentioned the decision at all; the only place in their website that mentions it is Enderlin’s own blog where he sticks to his guns and says he’s going to appeal. Enderlin wasn’t even present at the supposed shooting. Dr. Richard Landes notices that comments to the contrary are not allowed.
My friends Nidra Poller and Erik Svane are in Paris.
While one can objectively say that France2’s credibility has imploded, the media – both in France and in the USA – is totally ignoring this fact. Erik sent this article from Liberation, Reportage sur la mort d’un enfant palestinien: Charles Enderlin débouté en appel, which repeats Enderlin’s assetion that his fake story is true. Erik comments,
Notice also how they end the article by writing “that he didn’t die at that exact moment” suggesting nothing more than perfidious playing around with the details of what is a very real tragedy. Whereas PK is really saying that his movements prove that not only did the boy not die
at all, he was just pretending to be killed in a deliberately-written script…
The joke is that the media didn’t cover the trials, didn’t consult the documentation, didn’t inform readers that there was a controversry. Now they suddenly jump in, report the verdict, and then reverse it in their sly little way.
Every article I’ve seen in French includes a paragraph that re-reports the death of Mohamed al Dura more or less as Enderlin told it in September 2000. So all these journalists who never came to see what was really happening are now smarter than the court, smarter than Karsenty who won, smarter than their readers who will sooner or later catch on!
Excuse the profanity, but that’s more than smart, that’s smartass!
Here in the US, none of the major newspapers have anything on this decision. If you do a google news search you find that most of the news stories come from Israeli newspapers. A few bloggers are writing about it, among them Yid With Lid, who wants to know where in the world is Muhammad al-Dura. Pamela also posted Nidra’s report, where Nidra noticed how the spin started immediately. ShrinkWrapped expects that the media posturing will continue indefinitely.
Which is exactly what the media is doing.
Based on film footage provided by a Palestinian cameraman, Enderlin’s report has become infamous among students of Arab propaganda both for its destructive effects and for its probable falsity.
Richard Landes explains,
In the asymmetrical warfare of global Jihad against the West, the “weak” side treats the media of the “strong” side as a theater of war, and no single case shows the Western journalism’s vulnerability to this kind of manipulation better than the Al Durah affair. Nothing illustrates the dysfunctions of our media more than their pervasive refusal to reconsider this case, despite the amount of damage it has produced. Nothing endangers Western democracies more than mis-information, and news broadcasts, products of a free and honest media, are the eyes and ears of the civil polity. No creature, no matter how powerful, can survive if its senses betray it, especially in a war zone.
Pajamas Media also has an article by Phillipe Karsenty where he explains what the decision means:
Our victory today was a victory for freedom — the freedom to think and to speak one’s mind; the freedom to question what one is told; and the freedom to disbelieve the solemn pronouncements of others when the individual concludes that his reasoning is correct and that the state and the state-run media — and all of the institutions they represent — are wrong.
The al-Dura lie is an assault on our ability to think, to criticize, to evaluate, and finally to reject information — especially the right to reject information on which we base our most cherished assumptions. One of Europe’s most cherished assumptions is that Israel is a vicious Nazi-like entity that deliberately murders Palestinian Arab children. Moreover, polls conducted in Europe have identified Israel as the greatest threat to world peace, greater than Iran and North Korea, Pakistan and Syria. The al-Dura hoax is one of the pillars on which these assumptions rely.
Phyllis Chesler states,
There are no stories (at least, not yet), in which the mainstream Western media admit that in the past, they have allowed themselves to be fooled, over and over again, by the narrative of Palestinian Victimhood and Israeli Evil because it suited them–the facts be damned.
Expect nothing more from the media.