Saturday, July 29, 2006

CNN's Coverage of the Israel/Lebanon War

In order to keep up to date about the latest developments in the Middle East on an ongoing basis, I have to stay tuned to CNN TV. Canada's CBC news online is a good resource for in depth articles, but it's 24/7 news channel, Newsworld, just doesn't provide the kind of detail I need - often veering off by choosing to broadcast fashion shows and stories about people fishing in some obscure lake in Ontario. That's okay. We're not a military-based culture, so I wouldn't expect that shots of bombs exploding constantly would be something that many Canadians would want to tune into constantly anyway.

Now, about CNN. One of the most annoying things (and there are many) I've had to endure is watching reporters John Roberts and now Anderson Cooper trying to talk to CNN anchors while standing in front of IDF artillery positions where missiles are being fired. First of all, I wonder if they - or the viewers - give much thought to the people on the receiving end of that artillery who are being killed as those reporters speak. That bothers me. Secondly, I don't know about you but I'd probably go deaf listening to that firing over and over again, not to mention the constant barrage on the brain that responds to each blast as a perceived threat - even if they are being set off by 'friendly forces'. Lastly, why the need to stand in front of them anyway? Well, it's good propaganda value for the IDF - missile after missile after missile being lobbed into Lebanon shows just how hard the Israelis are fighting (which might actually mean something to some people if they weren't constantly killing civilians and destroying things like hospitals).

Then there's that Australian guy. Now there's a reporter with enthusiasm. Nothing wrong with that, but every time I hear his reports I can't help thinking about Steve Irwin, that in your face crocodile hunter guy who wears me out whenever I find myself accidentally having to watch him while channel surfing. If you look up 'annoying' in the dictionary, you'll see his picture. And CNN's Australian guy war reporter sounds just like him. It's scary, actually. I wonder if they're related.

On the more serious side, the amount of Israeli propaganda on CNN is astounding. Hour after hour you can catch Benjamin Netahyahu, Shimon Peres, Dan Gillerman (Israel's UN ambassador), that female mouthpiece Israeli government spokeswoman Miri Eisin and on and on. And they are rarely challenged when they spout off lies. Believe me, they have told outright lies like asserting that Israel is not holding any Lebanese prisoners. Larry King seems to be doing an okay job in the 'fair and balanced' department - not perfect, but okay. On the other hand, pitbulls Lou Dobbs and Paula Zahn prefer to shout down anyone who dares criticize Israel. (I've never had much respect for either of them anyway but they've both become very poisonous in the ME debate and, afaic, could use a vacation somewhere - soon. And Kyra Phillips? Well, don't even get me started. She might as well wear an Israeli flag on her lapel. She's been appalling.

One of the worst things I've seen this past week on CNN was an IDF equivalent of a snuff film in which they showed a person on a seadoo (or whatever you call those things) being literally blown out of the water by the Israeli navy while the reporter tells the audience that he was suspected of being a suicide bomber. I doubt any kids who might have caught that on their teevee screen (which was shown without any kind of warning about its graphic nature) will ever want to get on one of those personal water vehicles again or ever. That clip was a cruel display of Israel's military might and was certainly not suitable for daytime teevee viewing.

So, I'm left with my love/hate relationship with CNN. I can't get FOX or MSNBC, which is probably just as well since my head would likely explode if I had to watch FOX, so I'm stuck with the warmongering network: CNN. As Kipling said, the first victim of war is the truth and that is being played out every day on a television screen near you.

No comments:

Post a Comment