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Tuesday, July 18, 2006


My disgust with the media

I'm citing a Washington Post article, but really I could find this exact formulation from every single print and broadcast media outlet, at least in the U.S.:
Early today, Israeli warplanes pounded Hezbollah's stronghold in south Beirut.
This is so easy to read right past and just take for granted. You aren't being told that Israel bombed a Hezbollah headquarters, which they have done (and has been reported). You are being told that Israel is bombing an entire area of a city, because it is a "stronghold" of Hezbollah. And what does that mean? It means it's an area where the population strongly supports Hezbollah. It doesn't mean they are members of Hezbollah, not that that would entitle Israel to kill them at will either. This is like reading (I'm going to stretch here for analogies, I'm afraid) about someone bombing San Francisco because it's a "Democratic stronghold," or bombing Washington, D.C. because it's a "ruling-class stronghold." Or, perhaps a better example, more precedent than analogy, would be bombing and leveling Fallujah because it's an "insurgent stronghold."

The phrase "banality of evil" comes to mind.

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