David Frum Should Not Apologize for Pointing Out Gaza Media Bias

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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The usual, and a few unusual suspects, are jumping around with glee after David Frum apologized for citing an outside blog post that questioned the authenticity of Gaza “atrocity” photos.

The photos may or may not be real because there are actually various degrees of fauxtography and various degrees of staging. A look at this presentation can be informative in that regard.

A photo doesn’t have to be photoshopped to be fake. It doesn’t even have to be entirely phony if it’s manipulated.

Does it matter whether these photos were staged or not?

Not really.

The larger problem is the sheer scale of media distortion and the unwillingness to question whether a photo is real. There have been plenty of verified ‘fake’ photos from conflicts with Hamas and Hezbollah. And individuals can only speculate at this point whether any individual photo is real or not.

The problem is that the stream of images we are seeing are being produced as a result of bias. Some of the photos are real in that they are unphotoshopped. Some are real in that they even depict actual events. A few may even be real in that they were not staged or manipulated in any way by anyone involved in the process.

But they’re all the product of a selective filtering process that chooses which photos are ‘marketable’ and which aren’t. The attacks on David Frum, whom I am not a fan of, are a cynical attempt at denying the bias by finding a mistake or supposed mistake by a critic of that bias.

New York Magazine, which shamelessly ran the phony Katie Zavadski exonerating Hamas of the kidnapping and murder of three teens based on a Tweet from a BuzzFeed contributor (because journalism) ran a smug post titled “We Are All David Frum, False-Rumor-Spreader.”

Seriously. The magazine whose idea of journalism is sourcing a few Tweets to falsely claim something untrue about a major world event and that continues to run the same false story, is acting as if it’s somehow superior to Frum.

Why? Because David Frum apologized and New York Magazine’s Adam Moss and Katie Zavadski will never apologize because the concept of honesty is as alien to them as it is to Hamas.

New York Magazine’s smugness is really the immunity from accountability that comes from being on the right side of the left.

Speaking of that, Reason Magazine decided to jump in with its own contribution, “David Frum, Gaza Truther”.

At Reason, you can question everything, except the mainstream media when it comes to terrorism. But Reason’s “Truther” smugness is a bit strange considering the magazine’s issues with Holocaust denial. That material is from the 70s, but some of those responsible have still stuck around.

And here’s a eulogy from Reason in 2004.

In trying to judge the motive and conduct of the Allies more objectively than did nationalist propaganda, Martin did slide distressingly into downplaying the crimes of the Axis. In later years his World War II revisionism shifted into Holocaust revisionism, and he joined the editorial board for the Institute for Historical Review. This sort of unsavory association will in the eyes of many discredit all his work, but it ought not.

Right.

  • Hard Little Machine

    The wider point is that if Hamas posted their own pictures of Hamas members raping and killing their own people the same people on the left would shrug and not care anyway. So there’s no upside to pointing out that they’re savages. Everyone knows they’re savages and we’re simply debating who has a moral objection to savagery.

    • Phil

      For the Left they would be more like savages with the potential of becoming proletariat or ‘useful savages’ who come without the ‘baggage’ of Judeo-Christian learning: isn’t this why they keep showing pitiful photos from Gaza, as if to say they are ‘harmless savages’; same strategy used to promote pro-Islamist legislation in Western countries.

  • BMS

    What do you expect from TERRORISTS and an anti-Israel media that supports them other than lies, and spin. They wouldn’t know honesty if it came up and bit them on the a#$.

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    The libertarian movement had and still has a problem with isolationists (like Ron Paul) who blame America for the world’s problems. The anti-interventionists come in two flavors: we’re too good (let’s not use our wealth and people to aid others) and we’re evil (our intervention creates the problems). Libertarians try to unite on domestic economic issues but that brings some unsavory characters into the tent.

    James J. Martin was beloved for his early work on individual anarchism. In the 1970s he directed his “historical revisionism” towards WWII. His claim of “fixing exaggerations and exposing allies’ warts” was clearly a prelude for complete denial. I’m told by his friends that he didn’t buy into complete denial and they pleaded with him to leave the IHR. I gather he eventually went the whole route.

    My theory is that that back then the anti-interventionists were furious that the right lost the anti-Vietnam cause to the left. They believe this should have been their cause and they could have galvanize a generation while further free market principles. This is the Rothbard wing. They tried to “out-left” the left in their attacks on every American military action in the past. Ask Ron Radosh as he worked with Rothbard during the early 70s.

    The main standard bearer of the Rothbard wing today is the demented Justin Raimondo, Rothbard’s biographer and publisher of antiwar.com. Still trying to out do the left, he vilifies every action of the USA and any ally while exonerating the crimes of our enemies. A few days ago (July 18th) in an article titled “Israel Kills — For the Fun of It” he described Israelis as “a population of committed genocidal maniacs” and equated israel with al Qaeda and ISIS. His position is “Israel cannot be reformed or ‘saved’: it can only be dismantled.”

    It’s not clear why the current editors won’t repudiate past mistakes when they clearly never returned to some themes that once soiled their pages. They clearly see Martin’s IHR years in a poor light while they hope to salvage his earlier work on 19th anarchism. Their big tent, while still too big, no longer welcomes the IHR types.

    Just a review from what I remember of the history of that movement as I watched from the sidelines … FYI.

    • liz

      Interesting, and complicated. Rothbard wrote such a lot that was right on target. This aspect is still very murky.

      • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

        He was excellent on economics. I knew students at Brooklyn Poly (which became New York Poly) that loved taking his classes. On domestic policy he had much to contribute. On the foundations of liberty, he was not a subjectivist or relativist as some libertarians. He had a great respect for Aristotle, for example. He went through many phases. I believe he re-aligned himself with Catholic conservatives (Thomist types) in the 1990s. Rothbard is part of libertarian history but he also figures in conservative history. George Nash’s definitive book on American conservative history includes Rothbard.

        • liz

          Yes. His opinions went though a process of development as he learned. Just as one can trace the development in the thinking of some of the founding fathers. Their opinions didn’t remain static, because they studied many sources and thought for themselves.
          Consequently you end up with differing opinions now about what they were – Jefferson, for example, is claimed to have been a Christian by many Christians, a Deist by deists, and even an atheist by some atheists. But they don’t take into account the process of learning and intellectual development that he went through that covered all those areas of thought.
          Then, as now, there were a lot of streams of thought developing that they drew from.

    • Freedom Call

      The United States has been intervening on the global stage since day 1.
      Isolationists are the neo-cons.

  • liz

    As you point out, even if the photos aren’t doctored, it’s still biased – because thats all they show – for every photo of an Israeli (if you can find one) there are 50 of wailing Gazans.
    Amazing how Gazans use children as human shields, teach them how to be suicide bombers, and then wail about Israel’s “unjust” use of self-defense as the culprit when they die.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      their children are a tactic, not people

      • Underzog

        But even the so-called arab palestinians aren’t a people, but rather an anti people; i.e., an advertising device to smear Jews as persecutors and aggressors. Those admen from Paris and Wall Street who helped Nasser create the Palestinians did their job as admen and propagandists very well.

    • Davie Crockett

      wtf are you talking about? What news do you watch? Are you missing the footage of packs of hundreds of Palestinian poeple running through the streets and getting slaughtered by mortars and tank rounds? Do they look like human shields? Or the UN doctors saying they are getting bombed while they are operating on people in hospitals?

      • liz

        And who’s fault is that? Israel is not the aggressor in this conflict – Hamas is. If Hamas would stop attacking Israel, there would be no war, and no Palestinians being killed.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    David Frum should apologize to conservatives for being the personification of a RINO!

  • Underzog

    If one reads the link Daniel Greenfield showed about “Reason Magazine,” it appears that the Libertarians are trying to sneak in antisemitism the way the Hollywood Commies tried to sneak Communism into Hollywood. Ayn Rand in her “Screen Guide for Americans” warned that the Communists in Hollywood wouldn’t come out with a straight Communist movie, but instead, try to insert Commie messages into so-called regular movies such as “The Best Days of our Lives.” Likewise “Reason Magazine” tries to slip antisemitism in through implying that the Israelis did do a massacre in Jenin because the had Arab civilians ahead of them or sumping. The misnamed “Reason Magazine” seemed to be slipping holocaust denial in through such innocuous issues such as the innocence of Tokyo Rose; etc. Part of the reason I no longer favor the legalization of mary jane; etc., is because of the stupidity of the Libertarians on the Middle East. I wonder if it is narcotic drugs that make them favor the terrorist Muslims.