Wednesday, August 21, 2013

21-Aug-13: The lies that news videos tell

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Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based and globally-operating satellite television news service, kicked off its US live news broadcasts yesterday. A direct-mail promo that came to us breathlessly announces the launch saying
You know what Al Jazeera America is about, but today is your first chance to see our unbiased and fact-based approach to journalism in action.
We do indeed know a little of what Al Jazeera is about. As it happens, their "unbiased" and "fact-based approach" is in the news today, courtesy of, an advocacy website arguing for one of the sides in the Syrian bloodbath that, as a result, appears to have little sympathy for the Qatari channel.

Yesterday, they posted an Al Jazeera Arabic clip from Egypt. Here's their description:
In a coverage aired live on the Qatari-owned news channel, a hysterical woman is heard screaming and condemning the Egyptian army for allegedly killing peaceful Brotherhood protesters as al Jazeera videotapes a man who appears dead, a supposed victim of the armys crackdown on this peaceful protest. Covered in blood, his hand rests on what would seem to be the source of that blood, a gunshot wound. “Doctors” surrounding him as he lays there, eyes shut and face frozen. One of the “doctors” then decide to lift the mans shirt up and to the viewers big surprise, there is no wound underneath the shirt! The supposed dead man, wanting to obstruct the view of his non-wound for the camera, then effortlessly re-positions his legs in way of the camera.
Hmmm... video coverage of armed conflict in Arab world. Victim, bleeding profusely, is visibly dead - but, wait, suddenly he's not.

For insight on how this is sometimes done, please see: 8-Aug-13: This video clip might just upturn the way people think about the conflict

And for an understanding of why it's done, you might want to take a look at and a cornerstone analysis by Prof. Richard Landes, "Pallywood, Muhammad al Durah and Cognitive Warfare in the 21st Century".

Meanwhile here's that very brief Al Jazeera Arabic clip via FSACrimes:

We'll stick our necks out and predict that this latest "unbiased", "fact-based" Al Jazeera news scoop will not be featured in any Al Jazeera direct-mail promos anytime soon.

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