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Sunday, March 30, 2008

The mainstream media's strange notion of balance

In an interview with Richard Landes that was published late last week in the JPost, Landes explains why he decided to put his material on the Internet rather than convince the mainstream media to cover it (Hat Tip: Mrs. Carl in Jerusalem).
How do you know that these kind of scenes are staged?

By watching the rushes [raw footage]. So, for example, in one scene in the rushes - a scene we call "Molotov cocktail kid" - there is a Palestinian with red "blood" on his forehead, indicating he's got a head wound. And he's running along with no sign of pain whatsoever, then hands over what looks like a Molotov cocktail to a friend and runs into a crowd. Then, in the next frame, all of sudden he's being picked up and carried into an ambulance, all the while holding his head up high in spite of his supposed serious injury. It's really obvious that it's fake.

How do you have access to these rushes?

Getting it was connected to the al-Dura investigation [spear-headed by Israeli physicist Nahum Shahaf], which I started looking into partly as a medievalist. Even before I thought the footage might have been staged, I knew that it was being used as a blood libel. In other words, one Jew allegedly kills a gentile child in cold blood, and all Jews everywhere are responsible. That's the beginning of the wave of anti-Semitism that literally has marked the 21st century, and we have not seen the end of it. This is where cyberspace can play a crucial role.


I made a documentary film called Pallywood, and tried to shop it around. I figured [the network] ABC would be interested in it as rivals of CBS whom we criticized [for bad coverage]. I was wrong. The guy at ABC said, "I don't know how much appetite there is for something like this."

Then I ran it by somebody else, who said, "We couldn't broadcast this unless it were balanced."

When I asked him what he meant by that, he said, "We'd have to have something showing how the Israelis also fake it."

So, I gave up. Remembering the outcome of the Dan Rather affair [involving a 60 Minutes II report - broadcast on September 8, 2004 - on George W. Bush's National Guard service, which was exposed by bloggers to have been bogus. The incident ended in Rather's resignation from CBS.], I decided to post Pallywood on the Web.

That was in the fall of 2005. By the summer of 2006, it had already been seen by a good 50,000-100,000 people.

Then, when the [June 9, 2006] Gaza beach incident occurred [in which a blast - killing eight Palestinians, seven from the same family - was attributed to IDF artillery shelling; a subsequent investigation proved this to be false<.i>], I immediately started getting letters asking me whether I thought this was an example of "Pallywood."

We've since done a movie on it, which is up on the site.
And you wonder what's wrong with the MSM?


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