More and more evidence of media manipulation just keeps pouring in.
Left & Right has a good blog detailing the photo-shop work done on a picture of a smoky Beruit skyline, in an effort to make it look worse then the reality.
The Jawa Report details fake smoke trails and fake "bombs" added for dramatic effect to detail missiles being fired from an Israeli F-16.
The kicker on this last one is that the caption run by Reuters on the doctored photo read
"An Israeli F-16 warplane fires missiles during an air strike on Nabatiyeh in southern Lebanon, August 2, 2006. (LEBANON)".
Any military expert can tell you the smoke trails in the photo don't come from missiles, but from defensive flares being popped out of the airplane in an effort to confuse Hezbollah heat seeking SAM's.
So, not only did Reuters not catch the very basic problem with the facts of the story that the photographer provided,(missiles vs. flares) but they didn't catch the fact that the photos were doctored until the blogosphere ignited and began screaming bloody murder!
The news agency was either complicit in the conspiracy to lie to it's readers, or duped by Pallywood reporters and photographers with an agenda to sell. My bet is on being duped, because (everyone say it together) the photos are more compelling and sensational than the truth because they have been doctored to be such, and Reuters wants to (let's all say it again) sell papers and footage to make money.
Finally, after hearing the masses demanding honesty, Reuters fires a Lebanese freelance journalist for providing photo-shopped pictures.
This was Reuters, folks, not some little small town newspaper. Reuters is one of the worlds leading new agencies, with a reputation for accuracy and integrity. They have fact checkers, vetters, and copy editors all over the world, and they missed these very important, widely publicized photos.
How many more get through? How often is the media selling you and I a bag of lies? This is scary stuff folks, and just the tip of the iceberg.
They can't even agree on the facts. Forbes.com says in their story that "Since the fighting began, at least 689 people have died on the Lebanese side of the conflict. The Israeli toll stood at 100 killed - 36 civilians and 65 soldiers. "
But the Independent Online says "....Israel's war with Hezbollah fighters that has cost around 1,000 Lebanese and 101 Israeli lives in four weeks."
ABC.NET says "At least 961 people have been killed in Lebanon in the conflict, with dozens more still missing and presumed dead. 98 Israelis have been killed since Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers on July 12 touched off the war."
(Even that last paragraph is incomplete in it's reporting. Don't forget that Hezbollah captured the two Israeli soldiers after attacking their small convoy unprovoked, killing 8 Israeli soldiers in the fighting, THEN captured the two that they KIDNAPPED.)
So who's telling the truth?
You'll notice the Israeli death totals are very consistent, +/- 3 in the stories, while the Lebanese count ranges +/- over 300 or so. Is Israel being more truthful? Is information harder to get out of Lebanon since that's where the fighting is going on? Does Hezbollah or the Israelis have an agenda to sell to the west? Are reporters willing to take the most dramatic numbers available and run with, since it sounds more... hmmm... sensational?
Who's telling the truth?
I don't know, I can certainly tell you some people are lying to us, and it plain makes me sick.
Ok, back to my 5-hours of Star Trek and Deep Space Nine on SpikeTV in the afternoons. I need to keep my blood pressure down.