Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hey! What about Jack?

The war-blogging right is having a great time spreading the story of SlightlyDarkerSmokeGate. My own personal email box is sagging from the weight of messages from gleeful friends. "This is the smoking (ha!) gun," they seem to shout. "We told you so. The media wants to screw Israel."

Unfortunately, they all seem to have forgotten about Jack Kelley. Who? Ah, how quickly we forget.

Jack Kelley was a reporter for USAToday who was fired after it was discovered that he had filed hundreds of fraudulent stories. His sins, said the paper after an investigation, were "sweeping and substantial." Along with his famous slander of the Jewish community in Hebron, Jack assisted the the Israeli cause by inventing: (1) A Pakistani student who unfolded a picture of the Sears Tower saying, “This one is mine." (2) A family of Hamas supporters preparing a party to celebrate the death of 21 Jews (3) a Palestenian ambulance that Jack said he saw "dropping off two buckets of rocks and a crate of bottles to be used as Molotov cocktails."

[The fabulist account about the ambulance even found its way into HonestReporting, where the pro-honesty editors called Jack a "brave reporter." Their commitment to "honestreporting" notwithstanding, Jack Kelley's discredited ambulance story has still not been removed from their pro-honesty site.]

Unless I'm mistaken, someone (Ezzie? CWY?) is already writing a comment accusing me of obfusication. "Come on DovBear!" RWers will likely write, with their typical shrillness, "Are you saying that Hamas supporters never celebrate when Jews die? Are you saying that Palestenian ambulances never carry weapons?"

Very good! You got the point! Now, listen carefully: Of course Hamas likes it when Jews dies. Of course that fact that ambulances were sometimes used by Palestenians for nefarious purposes is well documented elsewhere. But isn't it also true that much of Beirut is in ruins? Isn't it also true that Lebanese people are dying in the rubble of blown-out buildings? Does a faked picture change any of that?

While I think it’s unethical for anyone to run a fake news photo, I have to ask: Is there really that much of a difference between the photo and the reality? What realy justifies the wingnutosphere’s latest scream fest? And where were they and their exquisite ethics when Jack Kelley was doing the same kind of thing for our side?

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