You may have noticed that anti-Israel media bias has gotten markedly worse recently. Sketchy sources are given unquestioning platforms so long as they creatively bash the Jewish state, and finding ethically defensible Gaza war reporting has become the 2023 version of Where’s Waldo?

Those aforementioned shady sources have somehow found their way to the center of news coverage about the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. And their participation in a slew of dishonest reporting shines a light on the motivation behind the media’s turn toward unvarnished Hamas propaganda.

Outlets frequently cover Israel through the use of dubious comparisons. I’ve written about this phenomenon before: If you just explain Israel’s laws and policies, for example, you will prove that it is not an apartheid state. So writers instead deploy the comparison to apartheid South Africa and stop there.

The current trend in this type of misreporting is to find increasingly absurd apples to compare to Israel’s oranges and then quote some Ph.D. candidate calling them all apples. We were treated to a perfect example of this in yesterday’s Associated Press story, which begins: “The Israeli military campaign in Gaza, experts say, now sits among the deadliest and most destructive in history.”

Now, to be sure, the Gaza counteroffensive is obviously not anywhere close to the deadliest campaigns, and there is not a single legitimate way to defend that particular characterization.

But set that very clear lie aside. Although it means the AP editorial staff is full of people who have no business being in journalism, it’s not the real point of the article. The point is the “destructive” part. Because the word “destructive” is subjective enough that if you wanted to find some overeager researchers to lend their names to a dishonest interpretation of the term, you surely could.

For example, a student at CUNY and an associate geography professor at Oregon State convinced a bunch of outlets to cover their science project. They used radar data to “map” any changes in the building landscape in Gaza since the war started and chalked up every single possible change to Israeli bombing.

I want to be entirely fair to the researchers here: They do point out that they don’t really know what their results mean. “Applying that method using radar signals from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellite,” ABC News reports, “the researchers said they were able to detect the number of buildings damaged, but were not able to determine how badly the buildings had been affected.”

Possibly as many as half the buildings in northern Gaza were affected in this extremely vague way, say the duo. That got translated, in the Associated Press version of the writeup, to: “Israel’s offensive has destroyed over two-thirds of all structures in northern Gaza.”

Then the AP offers a truly braindead comparison: “By some measures, destruction in Gaza has outpaced Allied bombings of Germany during World War II.”

Apples, oranges, kumquats—just toss everything together for the reader to sort out themselves.

The real reason, however, for this to be a story at all is made clear by the explanation of the researchers’ other areas of interest: “Aleppo and Mariupol.”

So the purpose of this entire exercise was to compare Israel to Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime murdering Syrians who didn’t like the government—sometimes with poison gas—and Vladimir Putin’s Russian invasion of Ukraine, which was not only unprovoked but carried out explicitly with the same rationale as Hamas’s invasion of Israel that started this war: the idea that the other nation and its people didn’t deserve to exist.

Experts say this entire genre of “journalism” has revealed a wide swath of media institutions to be corrupt beyond our wildest imaginings.

+ A A -
You may also like
Share via
Copy link