Saturday, June 28, 2008
A few days ago the Scotsman ran this short 29 line piece
A FRENCH television company yesterday won a libel case over accusations that it faked a report into the killing of a Palestinian boy whose death in 2000 became a symbol of the uprising known as the second intifada.
....Media Ratings accused France2 of using staged footage in a report on the death of Mohammed al-Durra, 12, which accused Israeli troops of shooting the boy as he took cover with his father during a gun battle between Israelis and Palestinians.
Harrowing footage showing the pair crouching in terror behind a wall apparently seconds before he was shot, was screened around the world.
The Israeli army initially apologised for the boy's death, but later said Palestinian gunfire had probably killed him.
Which is considerably less coverage than several articles they have produced over the years about how dreadful this was for example. & even so plays down the degree of deliberation in this fraud.
Melanie Philips elsewhere says "....court to order France 2 to produce the evidence it had hitherto refused to make public — the untransmitted 27 minutes of footage that Abu Rahma claimed he had filmed.
I was in the Paris court on the day France 2 reluctantly complied and I saw the footage (minus a few minutes that Enderlin had excised and which are said to be even more explosive). This showed clearly that the whole thing was a set-up from start to finish.
The cameraman said the Israelis had fired continuously for 45 minutes. Yet the footage did not show people falling under fire. It showed instead Palestinians demonstrating, throwing rocks and so forth, in a positively carnival atmosphere. Youths strutted about, giving declamatory interviews and grinning at the camera; boys rode by on bicycles. And no one showed any sign of injury. There were no wounds; there was no blood. From time to time, demonstrators were pushed on to stretchers and into ambulances — but with no evidence of any disturbance to their anatomy.
Enderlin said he had cut out the scenes of al-Dura’s actual death agony because ‘it was unbearable’. But when the footage was shown, it became clear no such scenes existed. There was no agony and no death. Al-Dura and his father showed no sign of any wound or injury throughout. Supposedly riddled with bullets, their bodies remained totally unmarked. There was no blood anywhere. A red stain on the child turned out to be a piece of red cloth, which suddenly materialised.
You see the boy slumping to the ground. But before he does so, while he is still hanging on to his father and screaming, a voice shouts in Ara bic: ‘The boy is dead! The boy is dead!’ Asked to explain this astounding prescience, Enderlin’s team replied that the Arabic in fact meant: ‘The boy is in danger of dying.’ At this, the courtroom laughed out loud.
After Enderlin pronounces the boy to be dead, the corpse mysteriously assumes four different positions. You see the cameraman’s fingers making the ‘take two’ sign to signal the repeat of a scene. And then you see the lifeless martyr raise his arm and peep through his fingers — presumably to check whether his thespian services are still required or whether he can now get up and go home.
This extraordinary footage was first uncovered by Nahum Shahaf, a physicist in Israel’s defence establishment, who was at the centre of the Israeli army’s own investigation of the incident. Shahaf analysed frame by frame the untransmitted rushes from many TV crews.
....This extraordinary footage was first uncovered by Nahum Shahaf, a physicist in Israel’s defence establishment, who was at the centre of the Israeli army’s own investigation of the incident. Shahaf analysed frame by frame the untransmitted rushes from many TV crews.
He observed, from pictures of al-Dura’s autopsy, that the state of the body suggested he had been dead for at least a day; that this boy was older than 12; and that although there were bullet holes in his forehead, there had been no blood on the ground nor on the wall behind him. He also noted, from pictures of the boy’s funeral on the day of the shooting, that shadows indicated this took place around midday. He was told by two doctors at Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital that al-Dura’s lifeless body was brought to them before 1pm. But the incident at Netzarim had not started until 3pm.
Shahaf then discovered from al-Shifa’s records that a dead boy named Rami Jamal al-Dura had been brought into the hospital the day before.
There have been previous occasions of apparent fabrication of Palestinian film & of Hamas pictures during the Lebanon war. This compares with the "marketplace bombings" of Sarajevo, 2 of which were found by the UN forensic scientists to have come from mortars located within Moslem lines & the 3rd that there was no actual evidence of an explosion & that the bodies had been dead before the time of the alleged explosion.
Probably the best known is ITN's allegedly accidental faking of a concentration camp video (orchestrated without Moslem administration help). In that case the judge summed up for ITN by saying that though LM magazine had proved their claim that the video was faked was "essentially true" that "didn't matter" & the jury obediently did their duty. Fortunately French courts are more trustworthy.
Also there has been proof that photos produced by our media of Tibetan rioting were in some cases cropped to distort & in some cases actually were of Nepalese police.
This is not an isolated instance or even 2 or 3 isolated instances. This is a clear & long term trend of our media either deliberately lying or, at best making no real attempt to distinguish between the truth & a lie. It also shows that when caught out their corrections if any (though the Scotsman ran it I say nothing on BBC or ITN are not only long after the damage has been done but comparatively short & well hidden. Also, obviously, the victims of such allegedly accidental fabrications are uniformly of people the media want us to hate.
They say pictures never lie & it is certainly the case that we have reason to believe stories backed by pictures in preference to simple news stories. However it is quite clear that pictures do lie & that we are being constantly lied to by our media, whenever there is somebody we are supposed to hate.