16 September 2008

Robert Fisk - see how it is done

No, I don't plan another example of fisking per se. Just a vague mealy-mouthed vignette on the general lines of how some unscrupulous journos use sleight of hand to deceive and mislead the reader, especially one that desires to be mislead and confused or just doesn't give a flying donut. Here is a quote from Fisk's recent piece, and I am not even going to talk about the general thrust of that piece:

And I am reminded now of how Benjamin Netanyahu released Sheikh Ahmed Yassin from prison after two of Israel's Mossad would-be killers tried to murder Khaled Meshal of Hamas in Amman. King Hussein had angrily demanded the antidote to the poison they gave Meshal – which is how Yassin obtained his release. Then, after Yassin had been greeted by his Palestinian followers and gone ranting on about the need to avoid recognition of Israel, praising suicide bombers into the bargain, an Israeli pilot fired a missile into his wheelchair – not exactly a noble act since the old man was a cripple – and once again we heard about the barbarity of the now dead Yassin.
The master (some call him venomous professional hate pedlar, but this is not my point), takes two true incidents: 1) release of the Sheikh by Bibi and 2) Sheikh's demise by metal poisoning.

Fisk conveniently forgets that the first incident (release) happened in 1997, while the second (demise) in 2003. Thus creating an impression that the Sheikh was released just to be cruelly cut down in prime of his free life.

And of course, he doesn't mention several hundreds of murdered and several thousands wounded and traumatized for life (during this period) Israelis, and the much higher numbers of Palestinians sharing the same fate as a result of our response. A major part of this feast of death was inspired by the poor, paraplegic, nearly blind and confined to a wheelchair monster.

But why should Fisk mention all this? After all... but see above re the mislead and confused.

And re "venomous professional hate pedlars" - yeah, let's leave it alone for now. After all, you have to do something with your spare time.

Cross-posted on Yourish.com.