Has Time magazine joined the ranks of Hamas and come out in favor of the destruction of Israel? Probably not, but what else is a reader to think after just the first couple paragraphs of this Tim McGirk story from last week? You’d think McGirk’s story couldn’t get any worse than the headline — “Can Israel Survive Its Assault on Gaza? — but you’d be wrong. Read:
With each passing day, Israel’s war against Hamas grows riskier and more punishing, with the gains appearing to diminish compared to the spiraling costs — to Israel’s moral stature, to the lives of Palestinian civilians and to the world’s hopes that an ancient conflict can ever be resolved.
That’s pure, and unsubstantiated, conjecture. No sources, no facts, no figures. And in a news piece. You’d think things really couldn’t get worse from there, but you’d be wrong again. Read a little further down:
But after 60 years of struggle to defend their existence against foreign threats and enemies within, many Israelis may be wondering, Where does that end lie? The threat posed by Hamas is only the most immediate of the many interlocking challenges facing Israel, some of which cast dark shadows over the long-term viability of a democratic Jewish state.
Go back and read that again. That pounding you hear isn’t just a headache, it’s the drumbeat of surrender. McGirk has, somehow, turned a fairly limited incursion into Gaza — which Israel occupied in its entirety for almost 30 years — into a referendum on the very existence of the Jewish state.
Notice again that McGirk hasn’t quoted any actual Israelis, or anyone else for that matter. He’s simply asserted that “many” Jews “may be wondering” if there’s any “long-term viability.” McGirk is making stuff up and reporting it as news. And his editors at Time seem to be fine with that. But don’t be surprised — McGirk and Time have quite the history of making stuff up together.
McGirk was the “journalist” who “broke” the “story” of the “massacre” by U.S. Marines at Haditha, Iraq. In fact, he fought with his editors to get the word “massacre” in the lede of the story, calling it “a battle I lost.” A good thing, too, because the story of the Haditha Massacre has been proven to be a fake.
But, as Clarice Feldman noted in an American Thinker article asking if McGirk was “the new Mary Mapes,” McGirk is no stranger to the moral equivalence game. Reporting from a Taliban hideout weeks after the 9/11 attacks, McGirk wrote that he left, “thinking that maybe this evening wasn’t very different from the original Thanksgiving: people from two warring cultures sharing a meal together and realizing, briefly, that we’re not so different after all.” Surely, McGirk’s access to the Taliban is no mystery.
Unfortunately, McGirk isn’t Time’s only questionable hire.
Tony Karon has been writing for Time since 1996, and serving as a senior editor since 2000. In a December 29, 2008, article on the Gaza War, Karon proved himself almost as incapable of hiding his biases as McGirk. He can hardly go a paragraph without spouting Hamas propaganda:
But Hamas has good reason to expect that Israel’s military campaign will be limited, and it believes it can come out ahead in the strategic equation despite the heavy cost in blood that will be paid by its own leaders and militants, as well as by Palestinian civilians.
Ah, those brave Hamas leaders, willing to pay any price and bear any burden — to fire rockets from school yards and into civilian areas. The suffering of the Palestinian people is all too real — but left unsaid is how much of it is caused by the terrorists Palestinians themselves elected to lead them. Context is everything, and Karon does his best to skew it to one side.
Again, do not be surprised. If you click over to Karon’s personal website, you’ll find he thinks that “The fact of Israel’s survival” is “a grim reality” for its Palestinian citizens. Does that mean that if Israel were to somehow just … go away … that life would become not-so-grim for the Palestinians? It seems that Karon has left the answer to that question as an exercise for the reader.
Tim McGirk is Time’s Jerusalem bureau chief, and Tony Karon is the senior editor for world coverage. They are not simple stringers, or even on-assignment reporters. They help shape, define, and determine Time’s coverage of the Middle East — and thus shape, define, and determine what millions of people the world over learn about a vital region.
Everyone has their biases — here at Pajamas Media, we wear ours proudly on our sleeves. If only the folks at Time were so forthcoming.