by Howard | March 17, 2014 9:48 am
The stomach-churning menu that is vomited in front of us will revolt any reasonable minded person but when subtle messages and deliberate omissions are used to create a narrative, anyone not on the look out might fall victim to this.
A not so magnificent example of this was Carte Blanche’s segment on the Israel –Gaza conflict. I have grown a little tired of the program simply becoming bored with seeing badly treated and abused animals week after week whilst I eat my Nandos, but given the subject matter last Sunday, I decided to give it a bash. I watched it with the family and when it ended, we sat in silence. There was nothing overt, there was no hate speech or clear anti-Semitism, and yet it left me feeling uneasy.
So I did what any self respecting obsessive compulsive would do – I went to “Catch Up” and I watched it over and over, breaking up each segment into statements and images and what I found, was in my view, the most damaging subtle form biased reporting that I have seen in a while. And not what I would have expected from Carte Blanche.
Take the following statements into consideration:
“ ‘The killing must stop’, says Ban- Ki Moon after another rocket slammed into a UN school killing and displacing civilians”. No mention of Hamas rockets at this point. This is followed by “Israel’s air and ground campaign has killed 1000s” . Apparently Israel acting alone. And then without further ado, the music softens as we see home after home after old person and young child in Gaza.
On the Israel side Webb stands on a hill and compares it to a cinema where Israelis can watch the destruction of Gaza. The impression? This is entertainment for Jews as the Palestinians “scamper” to safety while their “fragile” homes are being destroyed by the brute force of Israeli mite.
We do not see nursery schools and old people in Israel running for cover. We do not see mothers having just given birth in hospitals huddling with their infants in shelters. All we see are two angry Jews who express exasperation and hate for the other side. On the Gaza side of the border we are not shown anger or animosity but simply defeat at what Israel is doing, or in the words of Jon Webb, “In the holy days of Ramadan, these Muslims spent their days in a church.”
We are not shown a single Hamas militant but we are shown Israeli soldiers. We are shown the whole world is protesting the Israeli action (the powerful marketing strategy of- ‘everyone is doing it’) and of course we are shown Malema speaking of the killing of children. We are even shown a picture from space, because that’s how bad Gaza is. The message, the whole world is burning, and its Israel’s fault.
But for one of the lines that tops it all is that as a result of the blockade imposed since 2005 (no mention as to why), the Palestinians have built tunnels. Really? They built tunnels to counter the blockade? Not to carry out terrorist attacks and to smuggle arms? Really?
Of course he skims over the fact that Gaza borders Egypt who has also stopped any transit, he doesn’t mention that Hamas use civilians as shields, he does not mention that they are firing from schools and hospitals and that they seem to want to win the “dead baby count” by demanding that civilians don’t’ move away from areas where Israel has warned of an attack.
And there is a mention of the ceasefire. Apparently it “slipped away”. Yep, it slipped away. It must have seemed unnecessary detailed for Webb to mention that that Hamas has broken every single cease-fire that has been implemented. Besides, as they say in the classics, no need to let the facts get in the way of a good story
I am certainly not negating the plight of those in Gaza. Especially as I believe that they are much victims of Hamas as are Israeli citizens. And I do feel for the old and the young and the in between, the people that have lost their homes and their lives. But this war is a tragedy and it is a tragedy on both sides. Hamas is holding Gaza and the world hostage and it is this type of program that allows them to get away with it.
It’s shameful really. Carte Blanche might have become a little tired, but I have never thoughts of the program as lacking integrity. To say that you value honest reporting but then to create a work that can only be described as a disgrace, and is quite simply embarrassing. Shame on Jon Webb, who I have, until now, held in high regard, and shame on Carte Blanche for standing behind what can only be described as drivel. Perhaps it is best to focus on the forlorn homeless pets so that I can go back to my half chicken, lemon and herb, very well done.
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