August 23, 2005

Fletcher's Failure

Honestreporting recently published another deceptive communique, Fletcher's Failure, in which they berate NBC's Martin Fletcher for not presenting a recent report "in a fair and accurate manner." Yet, in countering some of Fletcher's claims, Honestreporting themselves are neither fair nor accurate.

Honestreporting starts with some creative editing. They print the following fragment from Fletcher's report:

But, the screaming, the shooting, and cursing, that’s from everyone. All the settlers have been screaming and shooting at the army ...
Honestreporting then disingenuously states that the word 'shooting' was "Perhaps ... a typo".

Of course it was a typo. It's painfully obvious to anyone who reads the entire paragraph that it was a typo. Unfortunately, Honestreporting hides this from their readers by only showing part of the paragraph. The entire paragraph is:

But, the screaming, the shooting, and cursing, that’s from everyone. All the settlers have been screaming and shooting at the army and the soldiers basically saying things like, “How could Jews do this to Jews,” and “You’re animals, you’re not worthy to wear the uniform.”
NBC has since corrected their typo.

Honestreporting then makes a factual error of their own. They state that "In fact, the Disengagement was remarkable in that neither side – the evacuees nor the soldiers – bore weapons." Yet this article states otherwise:

Toting an M-16 rifle while strolling on his roof throughout the sweltering afternoon, Ariyeh Itzhaki, 54, warned he would resist with violence should the army arrive. ... After a five-hour standoff, Itzhaki and his followers surrendered, handing over two semi-automatic rifles and a handful of pistols.
In addition, this article quotes an Israeli general as saying that "We have several policemen who have been wounded by acid" thrown by protesters.

Certainly anyone would consider an M-16 a weapon and it doesn't take any stretch of the imagination to consider acid a weapon as well. Still, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for a correction from Honestreporting.

Lastly, Honestreporting takes issue with Fletcher's statement that "the Palestinian leadership promised calm, and so far [this] has been the case". To refute this, Honestreporting lists the following recent Palestinian attacks: a shooting on 8/18, two mortar attacks on 8/15 and 8/18 and an attempted suicide bombing on the evening of 8/17. HonestReporting doesn't mention it, but the only casualty of these attacks was an Israeli soldier who was lighted wounded.

Despite these attacks, Fletcher's characterization of calm on the Palestinian side is a fair one.

Honestreporting's communique simply leaves out the fact that three of those four Palestinian attacks occurred immediately after an Israeli settler killed four Palestinian civilians on 8/17. There were also four Israeli Arabs and two other Palestinians killed earlier this month.

Even Ariel Sharon strongly condemned these attacks. He labeled one of them a "sinful act of a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist." Yet, Honestreporting simply leaves out all these incidents from their communique since it would conflict with their contention that lately, the Palestinians have been doing a poor job of controlling violence. Compared to the Israeli violence during the same time, the Palestinians have indeed been relatively calm.

Honestreporting should start spending some quality time looking in the mirror. They churn out an awful lot of distorted information for an organization whose sole purpose is to critcize others.