Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Weak local media coverage of the protests

Thousands march in Brooklyn

Why has there been so little press coverage in Chicago media, aside from the small obligatory news reports, on the large, downtown protests, calling for an end to the Israeli attack on Gaza? Could it be because the marchers were overwhelmingly Palestinian and Arab? Or that the large protests, while militant, were mainly peaceful and disciplined? 

It seems that unless there are violent confrontations with police or rioting at protests, editors are relegating coverage of anti-war demonstrations to small stories on back pages with little or no in-depth reporting. 

I was also dumbstruck by the national timid media response to Israel's missile attack which leveled the building that housed AP/Al Jazeera/BBC offices in Gaza. 

A fake news story in Business Insider and elsewhere, claimed that former Associated Press editor, Matt Friedman, had backed Israel’s claim that the Hamas did, in fact, have offices inside the building.  

The Israel Defense Forces claimed the building contained military-intelligence assets for Hamas, including "intel for attacks against Israel." But they offered no proof or hard evidence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was all over the Sunday news shows calling the building a "perfectly legitimate target," and "a tower of terror." 

The Insider reports:

But Matti Friedman, who worked as a reporter and editor at the AP's Jerusalem bureau from 2006 to 2011, contradicted his former employer on Sunday, tweeting: "A conversation with a friend who is intimately familiar with military decision-making right now suggests there were indeed Hamas offices there."

But then, Friedman tweets in response:

In my two essays from 2014, I gave multiple examples of the way news organizations like the AP had been compromised by Hamas in Gaza. Contrary to what I’ve seen attributed to me today, I didn’t write that Hamas operated out of the same building, and don’t know if that’s true.

I have no idea as to whether or not Hamas really had an office in the building. But even if they did, given the fact that Hamas is part of the existing government coalition supported by most Palestinian citizens of Gaza and the West Bank, Israel's rationale for its missile strike against the foreign press offices has rightfully drawn international condemnation

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