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Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Spinning the news from Gaza

The AP reports the good news that BBC reporter Alan Johnston has been freed in Gaza. But they just can't resist spinning the story:
Hamas had demanded Johnston's freedom since it violently seized control of Gaza last month, in an apparent bid to curry favor with the West.
Really? Says who? No one but the reporter, evidently. Because the very next paragraph reports:
But a senior Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, denied that Hamas acted in an effort to improve its relations with the West, which is boycotting the Islamic group over its violently anti-Israel ideology.

"We didn't work to receive favors from the British government. We did this because of humanitarian concern, and to achieve a government aim to extend security to all without fear," Zahar said.
The AP reporter doesn't even have the sense to quote some "anonymous British or U.S. government official" as the source for the claim that this was "done to curry favor with the West." No, we're simply supposed to take it as a given - Hamas did something that most people would consider a good thing, so they must have some underhanded or otherwise non-praiseworthy motive for doing so. We can't have anyone thinking there's something inaccurate about that "we're the good guys, they're the bad guys" way of thinking.

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