Wednesday, November 14, 2007


The ABC's Middle East correspondent David Hardaker recently presented a story on The art of Middle Eastern conspiracy theories in which he covered the resurgent theory in certain circles that "Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died not because he was a naturally ailing 75-year-old, but because he was poisoned"..

Hardaker opened the article with this statement,

"The reporter's job is to get the facts. Sounds simple enough, but try doing that in the Middle East."

What Hardaker is telling us essentially is that when you report things from this particular region then you need to beware of the bullshit factor. He concludes with the opinion that,

"Truth might be stranger than fiction, but in the end, there is one overriding lesson for reporters and for policymakers. Fiction is far more powerful than truth, especially if it is said by someone with power."

Strangely enough, Hardaker himself hasn't learned from his own writing as his recent AM report on Palestinian drug addicts will attest. In it he allowed some damning, unsubstantiated allegations of the nastiest kind to be made without challenge and our ABC aired the blood libel against Jews.

The bullshit factor even operates with Israel's own media as can be seen from this laughable item currently being run on Ha'aretz - Gazans: Palestinians detained by IDF return naked. Here we have allegations made on Israel's Channel 10 by Palestinians residing near the Kissufim crossing in the central Gaza Strip that residents taken away for lengthy questioning by IDF troops are being returned without their clothes. According to the IDF however, "all suspects are returned in their clothes with all their possessions in hand."

The witnesses don't really say that the IDF sends people back naked. They actually mention "paper clothes" that (believe it or not) somehow disappear with into thin air with the wind so Channel 10 cameras, which doesn't provide any footage of the supposedly naked returnees, can't even show us one item of this alleged paper clothing despite the fact that we are told that "dozens of such testimonies from the residents of nearby villages" have been taken.

And so we have another case whereby a reporter has failed dismally in completing the job of getting the facts in the Middle East, which makes the story one that should jump out of the blank pages any day now.


Gulliver_on_tour said...

This story has the smell of O'Loughlin all over it. I can picture his unquestioning treatment of the unsubstantiated complaints of the Palestinians followed by a brief paragraph at the end where the IDF denies the story but says it will investigate. Did I say smell?

Anonymous said...

What really is amazing is that Ha'aretz allows some repulsive views to be expressed in its talkback section from idiots who swallowed this fantastic story lock, stock and barrel and then used it pour their racist hatred on Israel and the Jews.