World Media Wavers in Support of Israel- FOX News' Sheppard Smith propagandist for Hezbollah ?
July 24, 2006
By William A. Mayer, Editor & Publisher - PipeLineNews.org
July 24, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Many longtime viewers of Fox News - who remember with great fondness the cable network's promise, back in the day [1996-2000] - must be appalled at its coverage of the Middle East crisis, especially the decision to give Shepard Smith such a prominent role.
With Smith at the helm, "civilian casualties" have become the center of gravity around which all else revolves - an easy decision since Hezbollah is happily guiding pack journalists around by the nose, touring wrecked "civilian" neighborhoods while al-Jazeera films the proceedings.
Of particular note, in a mid-week segment Smith conducted an aggressive near cross-examination of a young member of the Israeli Air Force. Smith's tone was belligerent; his manner accusatory as he grilled the soldier about whether he felt good about the activity he was engaged in, as if Smith was speaking to a member of the Waffen SS.
Later Smith went ballistic - eyes popping - when a guest of his called members of Hezbollah "animals." This sent the correspondent into a bizarre rant along the lines of, "no matter what we think about them they provide essential services...food, housing and after all they have the loyalty of the people," etc.
On Sunday the 23rd, Smith filed a live report from Israeli at their local time of 4AM Monday. In response to a question from Sean Hannity regarding Hezbollah's practice of hiding its missile launchers in or near civilian homes, schools and mosques, Smith felt it necessary to mouth what is clearly Hezbollah propaganda. He maintained that "over the years according to all the observers here" Hezbollah's function in Southern Lebanon was "to protect" those who live there. He did not state an opinion as to whom the terrorist group was protecting them from, but offered his belief that the relationship between Hezbollah and the local population "works."
All of this is quite perplexing as is Fox's coverage of this war in general; especially the network's employment of split screens with one side showing a Fox talking head or guest and the other side video of smashed buildings and hospital shots of bloodied Lebanese women and children.
The inference being inescapable.
Could it be that this is merely another example of Fox being rolled by the left and the Islamist lobby - ala "24" - or is it a signal that Rupert Murdoch's new chumminess with Hillary Clinton goes deeper than the politics of hedging your bets?
One thing seems certain, Shepard Smith is making the most of the opportunity that Fox has foolishly given him, using his on-air time as a long-form audition tape.
Don't be too surprised if he bolts to another network if the money is right...it doesn't require much in the way of imagination to see Smith providing considerable yin for Christiane Amanpour's yang.William A. Mayer
Editor & Publisher
--------------------------------------------------- World Media Wavers in Support of Israel
Friday, July 21, 2006 / 25 Tammuz 5766
American newspapers have almost unanimously backed Israel's retaliation against Hizbullah. Some say Israel is doing what Bush should have done, but Europe and Asia want a withdrawal.
Canadian and Australian dailies also have sided with Israel. Most British newspapers followed a tepid anti-Israel line, noting understanding of Israel's concerns. The Times of London expressed sympathy for Israel's reaction, but added, "It would not be in Israel's interests to regard the moral high ground from which it set out nine days ago as a free hand to act without regard to the world around it....Now, easing the bombardment unilaterally rather than waiting for US pressure to do so would earn the Israeli Prime Minister wider respect."
The Daily Telegraph refrained from criticizing Israel but concluded that only diplomacy and a surrender of all of Judea and Samaria will allow peace in the Middle East. Indonesian, Indian, and other Asian newspapers sided with the Arab claim that Israel is an aggressor and must retreat.
Israel's only major forthright editorial support came from the United States, Canada and Australia.
The ChicagoSun-Times wrote, "Israel must rigorously defend its right to exist," and the Detroit News News concluded, "Ultimately, Israel has the right do what's necessary to protect its people."
The Richmond, Virginia Times-Dispatch criticized those who denounced Israel's reaction as "disproportionate" and declared, "If anything, Israel has acted with remarkable restraint."
The Augusta, Georgia Chronicle asked if the critics of "disproportionate" reaction would say the same thing "if the United States were responding to rocket attacks on its sovereign territory." It called the civilian toll in Lebanon "reasonable."
Israel is "completely justified," according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel , and USA Today noted that it was difficult for Israel to calculate its response.
The Washington Post, which traditionally leans to the left, backed Israel but expressed reservations concerning its stance "if the current rate of civilian casualties and damage continues."
A major California newspaper took a swipe at the American president. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that "the Bush administration's response has been to stay out of Israel's way, save for a few benign statements about a need for restraint. The world can't afford to wait."
In Canada, the Edmonton Sun reminded readers that Canadians were part of a United Nations peace-keeping force on the Israeli-Lebanese border and that "the problem, sadly, remains Lebanon's."
The Toronto Globe & Mail praised Prime Minister's Stephen Harper's for "saying what he thought" in his forthright support for Israel.
In Australia, support for Israel was also noted. "The outrage about the accidental wartime deaths of Lebanese children seems to far outweigh that felt for Israeli youth deliberately targeted by suicide bombers in calculated acts of murder. Likewise in the occupied territories," according to The Australian. However, it advised Israeli supporters "to calmly deploy an arsenal of facts" instead of relying on emotions to convince opponents.
"The assumption of many in the media that there is something suspicious about a democracy that fights, rather than appeases its enemies, makes it easy for the ignorant and the anti-Semitic to paint Israel as an aggressor," it said in an editorial.
The China Post hedged and simply wrote that all sides should seek a cease-fire while backing American demands that Hizbullah terrorists release two IDF soldiers they kidnapped last week.