Friday, March 09, 2007

Telegraphing bias

London's Daily Telegraph has a couple of examples of anti-Israel and anti-American bias in an article on the defection of Iranian general Ali Reza Azkari.

Starting with the headline:
Mossad implicated in missing defector mystery
The word "implicated" is usually used in a news context as being involved in something criminal or unsavory; which means that the Telegraph seems a little upset over the idea of an Iranian official switching sides. It also implies that this was not a voluntary defection on his part, but that Israel somehow forced him against his will.
It was also suggested Mossad paid Azkari a large sum of money to defect.
Who suggested this? Iran? An anonymous source in the West? Is this meant to play towards the Jew/money nexus that anti-semites are so fond of?
Hizbollah surprised experts with the vast number of rockets in its arsenal across southern Lebanon and the quality of other weapons, notably its anti-tank missiles which caused significant damage to Israel's tank units.
Besides the tone making Hizbollah seem almost heroic, this is just false. I quoted London-based Arab newspaper Asharq Alsawat in April, 2006 saying:
As for the Lebanese Hezbollah, several loads of arms have been sent to; they include rockets, explosives, and guided missiles. Hezbollah's arsenal includes more than 10 thousand rockets short-range rockets and missiles including Fajr, Nour, Arash, Hadid.
So either the "experts" don't know the first thing about their subjects, or the Telegraph doesn't know who a real expert is, or the Telegraph is just channeling how surprised they themselves were.
He could provide crucial information about a Hizbollah attack on the US Embassy in Beirut in 1983 which still festers in the collective memories of the CIA.

Eight of the CIA's top regional specialists, including the CIA's Near East director Robert Ames, were among those who died, something that explains America's continued reluctance to downgrade its listing of Hizbollah as anything but a terrorist group.
You see, in the Telegraph's universe, attacking Israel with thousands of rockets and training and supporting Palestinian Arabs to kill Jewish women and children are not terror attacks and not indicative of Hezbollah being a terror organization. Killing hundreds of Marines and others with truck bombs is also A-OK and should not affect how much the world respects Hezbollah. Only because the US is still sensitive over the largest loss of life in a single attack before 9/11 does the US refuse to do the intellectual and enlightened move of treating Hezbollah as a respected political party.

Clearly it can't be because of attacks on Jews! Jews are supposed to be blown up - it is the normal scheme of things and it is no reason to penalize the humanitarian Hezbollah organization with its being listed as "terrorist."

Inane and borderline bigoted articles like this is the exact reason the world feels that Israel is a threat to world peace and that Hezbollah is respectable. The Telegraph's choice of language makes it clear not only what its biases are, but also how it communicates its bias to its readers - these points are not explicit but implicit, as if everyone knows that Hezbollah is not terrorist and only extra-sensitive people like the US and Israel are so out of touch as to think otherwise. To point it out explicitly would open the Telegraph up to attack, but if it can slide things like this by as background information in an article, readers are not as alert to the fact that they are being made into puppets of far-left propaganda.