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Decipher the Media July 27, 2006

Posted by j-dub in News - National.

I know all of you watch television. I’m sure you’ve seen coverage of the current Middle East Crisis being aired. Let me help you decipher the media. When you are watching television and you hear the TV correspondent say “Hezbollah showed us…” or “Hezbollah officials told us…”; You are getting the terrorist’s side of the story.

I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes, because why would I point out such an obvious thing? Well the reason I’m mentioning this is because the reports you see on TV will, often times, barely mention the source of the information. Why is this a problem? The problem lies in the fact that a good majority of people take these “stories” or “accounts” to be the “whole truth” about what is happening over there.

I personally saw one report (can’t remember which media outlet) in which the Hezbollah fighters gave this specific media crew a “tour” of an area inside Lebanon. And wouldn’t you know it, they showed all the buildings the Israelis destroyed and all the carnage that had taken place in this area.

I know war isn’t good and there usually isn’t much good to report during an actual conflict, but please, please, be conscious of what you are hearing/seeing/reading. And always consider the source of information.



1. Anonymous - July 28, 2006

Good point j. Not only is it important for that reason, but when the report gets picked up by other news outlets or second tier markets the attribution tends to be left out or is presented as fact. The interesting thing about Hezbollah ‘officials’ giving a tour to reporters is that the reporters won’t be told that Hezbollah had military equipment next to the residences causing the collateral damage and from that point on you know where it goes.

2. j-dub - July 28, 2006

I’m honestly amazed at how well these “terrorist” cells (Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, etc) are at manipulating the media, and just the simple fact that they know how important it is to their respective cause(s).

They all have their own TV stations, websites, etc. I think their ability to affect people’s perceptions/thoughts about these wars is even more crucial than the actual warfare that ensues.

It’s like they know the best way to try and defeat an enemy is to have it’s people divided (see Vietnam, etc). Their psychological tactics are truly remarkable and effective.

3. Anonymous - July 28, 2006

Hamas learned from Hezbollah who learned from the PLO regarding legitimacy. The PLO slowly turned away from out and out terrorism and morphed itself into a political entity (Fatah) to gain international legitimacy. It did not rein in Hamas essentially giving them the green light to continue to conduct terrorism on their behalf. Hezbollah tried to retain its militant stance and still be political. With the help of Iran and mainly Syria it established political offices and built its own TV station to get its hate message out. It holds seats in Lebanon’s government and even holds two Cabinet seats. It has succeded as such, but it could only have happened in Lebanon. Or so people thought. Hamas unexpectedly comes to power after ousting Fatah earlier this year and is now in charge of of the PA. It also is building thier own TV station to get their hate filled message out.

Their websites are essentially things that preach to the choir. The TV stations have been far more successful in reaching and motivating people because of the facade of legitimacy. They have come to see that public opinion can have some positive effects to their cause and try to manipulate the ‘news’.

What is sad is how some Western news services have been duped to peddle some of their tripe.

4. j-dub - July 28, 2006

I remember reading about their seats in the Lebanese government, and I did find it interesting that they hold some political power in Lebanon.

I still don’t think that justifies the force of the Isreali attack, but Hezbollah is much more entrenched than the media will openly admit at times.

The disappointment I have in MSM is great, and is prevalent each time they get “duped” by an obvious setup. I’m just amazed they can’t see it.

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