Monday, January 16, 2012

The Three Rules of Western Discourse and Why The Media Must Always Blame Israel

Starting with two specific stories--one distorted, one ignored--that show how media bias against Israel works, I deduce three rules that govern contemporary media coverage on all issues.

By Barry Rubin
It is truly astonishing how, it often seems, how Western media coverage must blame Israel for everything that "goes wrong" in the Middle East, including murderous hostility to Israel.
Sentences often seem carefully formulated to push this claim and exclude any possibility of balance, much less accuracy. And no matter what the subject, it seems, this message must be snuck in.
Consider these two paragraphs in a Washington Post story about the Egyptian government's cancellation of a Jewish pilgrimage to a site in Egypt:
"The government’s move underscores the changing relationship between Israel and post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt. The former president maintained relations with Israel, as laid out in the 1979 Camp David peace treaty, in part by curbing civil liberties with his expansive police force. Since his ouster last winter, anti-Israeli sentiment driven by Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has risen to the surface, and Israeli-Egyptian tensions have grown.
"Relations soured further in the fall after a mid-August cross-border attack from Egypt led to the killing of at least five Egyptian border guards as Israeli troops pursued alleged militants. Many activists called for revisions of the peace treaty and protests outside the Israeli Embassy turned violent when some demonstrators stormed the building."
Let's list the subtle points made in these few sentences:

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