Monday, August 11, 2014

11-Aug-14: So did Hamas intimidate reporters or not? Seems to depend on whose Tweet stream you believe

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If it were not for the deep respect we have for the fairness and objectivity of the New York Times, these two mutually contradictory Twitter posts below would lead us to wonder how a NYT bureau chief could make so blunt a statement without any follow-up questions, clarifications or comments.

Start with the Tweeted statement of the Foreign Press Association in Israel ["Established in June 1957"] from this morning:
Condemning Hamas intimidation sounds straight-forward. Here's what their referenced "condemns Hamas" statement says, in part:
The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month. The international media are not advocacy organisations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground. In several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media. We are also aware that Hamas is trying to put in place a "vetting" procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a procedure is vehemently opposed by the FPA...
Sounds fairly definitive to us. And now, Jodi Rudoren's Tweet from this morning (she's the bureau chief for the NYT in Jerusalem):
Can you figure this out? We can't. She says that the FPA's complaint is nonsense. Does that mean Hamas doesn't intimidate anyone? They don't intimidate forcefully? At all? Ms Rudoren knows this? Or has not heard about it from anyone?

Whichever way you look at it, there's something a little disturbing about the chief of the New York Times's local office responding in such a definite, and yet uninquisitive, way. Is this because the NY Times finds it hard to believe Hamas could ever do such a thing?

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