Roger L. Simon

The MSM, Gaza and Pajamas TV

If your only information about the current Middle East crisis came from CNN, you’d think it boiled down to a bunch of high-tech Israeli bullies running around Gaza torturing Palestinian women and children, while tossing smart bombs on hospitals and blowing up UN schools with Merkava tanks. Almost no context is given. That Israel had done virtually nothing for the three years since voluntarily withdrawing from Gaza but grin and bear it, as missiles after missile, many courtesy of Iran, flew willy-nilly into the Southern part of their country – a fusillade no nation on Earth, civilized or uncivilized, would begin to tolerate – is barely mentioned or mumbled into a half-audible mike while the video plays bloodied Palestinian infants screaming for mama.

The New York Times may be worse. Bending over backwards in a morass of cultural relativist obfuscation, the paper seems to have imbued moral equivalence with a religious fervor usually found at Lourdes.

Of course, the Israelis have the media ticked off. Remembering well the media’s role in the second Lebanon War when some, notably AP and Reuters, went so far as to try to palm off Photoshopped Hezbollah pictures as authentic photos from the front when the forgeries were so obvious bloggers caught them in minutes, this time the IDF has the media cordoned off miles from the action. This time they don’t have the chance to lens endless photos of the same “green man” popping up at one scene of “Israeli brutality” after the other.

Who could blame the Israel government for having had enough of the propaganda wiles of the MSM? I had to laugh when I heard CNN’s Ben Wedeman complaining last night that the network had to rely on their Palestinian stringers inside Gaza, but assuring us they were excellent and reliable. We’re supposed to take that seriously from the network whose former executive director finally admitted after several years that they had covered up (effectively lied about) Saddam’s atrocities in order to get access inside Iraq? Have these people no shame? Well, I guess not.

So that brings us to Pajamas TV. We have decided to help right this imbalance in our small way by emphasizing coverage from Israel as long as this crisis is going on. We have a live camera in Jerusalem and we are going to feature the following talent there, among others: Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post, our own Middle East Editor Allison Kaplan Sommer (a Tel Aviv resident), Richard Landes of Boston University and a part-time Jerusalem resident and Nitsana Leitner of the Israeli Law Center. We admit we are biased in favor of Israel, in favor of the side we view as the good guys in a moral struggle. So bear that in mind when you tune in, but tune in every day for our Gaza Update.