Sunday, March 01, 2015

  • Sunday, March 01, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Seriously, the news media needs to shape up.

Newsmax:
President Barack Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli planes in 2014 if they were sent to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, according to reports attributed to a Kuwaiti newspaper.

FoxNews quoting TruthRevolt:
A Kuwaiti newspaper is reporting that President Obama, angered at Israeli plans to strike Iran nuclear facilities in 2014, threatened to shoot down Israeli planes before they could reach their targets.
The paper, Al Jarida, cites only anonymous sources and just a handful of other publications have followed the story. But according to israelnationalnews.com, the Arabic newspaper quoted "well-placed" sources as saying Benjamin Netanyahu and two top aides "had decided to carry out air strikes against Iran's nuclear program after consultations with top security commanders."

Daily Caller, JTA, Jewish Press, Breitbart, Arutz-7....

Al Jarida has a long history of making up absurd scoops.

Last year they pretended to have an exclusive interview with Egypt's Sisi immediately after he was elected president, which was immediately denied - why would Sis choose a Kuwaiti paper for his first post-election interview?

As I wrote in 2012:
Now, if you were a high-ranking Israeli official, and you wanted to leak a spectacular news story, would you go to a Kuwaiti newspaper? Or would you call up Ha'aretz or the New York Times?

There have been dozens of "scoops" in Kuwaiti newspapers over the years, often about Hezbollah or the PLO. None of them that I remember have ever panned out. (Al Jarida reported that a Shalit deal was imminent - in 2009; that Israel was ready to bomb Iran - also in 2009; Israel was planning a series of assassinations of Hezbollah and Hamas figures - in 2008. There are many more.)

The idea that Kuwaiti reporters have better connections in Israel or Lebanon or the territories than local media strains credulity. 

I understand that news media want to sell papers, but they should do at least a basic sanity check on items like this. Whatever happened to getting two independent sources? 

Articles like these encourage unsavory reporters (and, of course, unethical bloggers) to make things up or to bypass even the most elementary fact checking when breathlessly reporting scoops from anonymous sources. While there will always be unethical bloggers and reporters, it is the responsibility of the more respected media to do a modicum of verification before reporting a story like this - or, at the very least, to inform readers that Al Jarida has a track record of being spectacularly wrong in its scoops.

At least the Washington Times decided to be slightly skeptical about the report and reports the White House's denial.

But, seriously, why does the media - both left and right - have such low ethical standards?

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون



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