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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NYT journalist has a laughable defense of his anti-Israel libel

After I wrote my critique of David Carr's slimy article claiming that Israel targets journalists yesterday, other media outlets cited the evidence I used to show that the "journalists" were in fact terrorists. Among them were Tablet and Commentary.

Now Carr - a journalist, mind you - is using proof by assertion to double down that the people targeted were nothing but innocent journalists themselves:
New York Times media reporter David Carr defended his Monday column accusing Israel of killing journalists in Gaza on Monday, after Israeli officials and their allies accused him of conflating Hamas operatives and reporters.

"The three men who died in missile strikes in cars on Nov. 20 were identified by Reuters, AP, AFP, and Washington Post and many other news outlets as journalists," Carr told BuzzFeed in an email. "The Committee to Protect Journalists, which I treat as a reliable, primary source in these matters, identified them as journalists. (as did Reporters without Borders.)"

"I ran my column by reporters and editors at our shop familiar with current events in the region before I printed it," Carr said. "And I don't believe that an ID made by the IDF is dispostive or obviates what the others said. Doesn't mean that I could not have gotten it wrong, only that the evidence so far suggests that they were journalists, however partisan."
Now, I posted a photograph of one of these "journalists" - Mohamed Abu Aisha - in uniform, clearly showing the logo of Islamic Jihad on his beret, from the Al Quds Brigades of Islamic Jihad website, where he is described as a member of their military.


I also showed that another one was described in a Hamas forum as a "mujahid." (I am not certain that he is the one the IDF said was the leader of Hamas in southern Gaza. He might be, but Hamas is not yet releasing the names of their "martyrs" the way Islamic Jihad is. Since IDF statements are not believable according to Carr, I am sticking with evidence from jihadist sources only.) 

Carr is asserting that that the IDF is making up their accusations that these people were militants out of thin air. I show incontrovertible proof that one of them is a terrorist and evidence of a second.

Here we have a journalist whose idea of "evidence" is to cite other journalists, and willfully ignore real evidence!

Is this how a journalist acts? To ignore anything that proves him wrong and to cling to the authority of people in his profession as infallible? 

How many of these other journalists even spent five minutes to research the lives of those the IDF targeted?  

After all, they were on the ground in Gaza. If they had attended the funeral of their fellow "journalists" they would have heard the leader of the Al Quds Brigades praising Aisha as a jihadist and burying him next to his brother, Imad, who was also an Islamic Jihad terrorist. 

There is also the complete blindness to the fact that terrorists have day jobs. After all, 75% of Gaza policemen killed in Cast Lead were also members of terror groups. The same lack of logic that caused Goldstone to call them civilians is the one we are seeing here. One can argue that the IDF doesn't have the legal right to target them when they are not in uniform, but Carr isn't making that argument - he is saying that the IDF targeted them because they are anti-Israel journalists.

Real journalists are supposed to be skeptical. They are supposed to be spending their time uncovering the truth. They are supposed to be honest enough to admit when they are wrong, to revisit the story when facts indicate they are mistaken, because the real story should be more important than their egos. 

This is not just an indictment of Carr. This is a systemic problem in the entire profession. The smugness that they are infallible, and the groupthink that they can rely on others' work without double-checking it, all indicate that there is some significant daylight between how many journalists do their work and what the truth really is. 

But what do I know? After all, I am not a journalist, and real journalists apparently know that all they have to do is cite their fellow journalists' lack of research as proof and ignore what mere bloggers say. 

Because we are not - journalists.