FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Relativity, LA Times Style

by ALISON WEIR

Well, I just got hung up on again. This time by an editor on the Los Angeles Times foreign desk. He didn’t give me his name.

I had called and attempted, as politely as possible, to give him a correction for the story on the Times, website tonight. This will probably be their front-page lead news story tomorrow morning.

The trouble is, their headline and lead paragraph are just plain wrong. And now, of course, they’ll stay wrong in the paper tomorrow.

The headline proclaims: “Palestinian Suicide bomber Shatters Calm of late.” The lead sentence then goes on to state that this bomber “shattered a months-long period of relative calm”

The fact is, however, that the truce and this “calm” were shattered long before this. The last suicide bombing against Israeli civilians was Nov. 1, 2004 It took three Israeli lives. Since that time, while Israelis have basked in “relative calm,” 170 Palestinian men, women, and children have been killed.

During this LA Times, “relative calm,” another 379 Palestinian men, women, and children were injured and maimed. Anyone who has been to the West Bank or Gaza knows what this means: leg bones splintered, intestines torn open, teeth shattered.

Also, of course, during this “calm” over 8,000 Palestinians have been sitting in Israeli prison cells, routinely abused and grotesquely humiliated; over 300 of them children.

None of this mattered to the editor I talked to. He explained that the story said relative calm. When I tried to question this adjective, he hung up the phone. So I guess I’ll just have to explain this word for myself.

Maybe he means that relative to 7 Israeli deaths, 170 Palestinian deaths are insignificant. Maybe he means that relative to Israeli grief, Palestinian grief is basically unmentionable. Maybe he means that relative to the weeping of Israeli mothers and fathers, the weeping of Palestinian mothers and fathers multitudes more of them is negligible.

Maybe he means that relative to his power, my attempt to set the record straight is laughably feeble.

Over all, I guess what he means is relatively obvious:

That he can run what he wants, distort what he desires, lead with his lies. I guess he means that facts don’t matter, truth is irrelevant, and deceit the order of the day.

I guess he means that Americans are pawns, readers are sheep, and people will just keep swallowing whatever the media choose to dish out.

I hope you’ll tell him he’s wrong: 213-237-5000 / readers.rep@latimes.com

ALISON WEIR is Executive Director of If Americans Knew.

Alison Weir is executive director of  If Americans Knew and president of the Council for the National Interest. An excerpt of her book was published in the March 21-23, 2014 issue of CounterPunch. Upcoming book talks can be seen on the book’s website.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 18, 2017
Gary Leupp
The Extraordinary Array of Those Questioning Trump’s Legitimacy (and Their Various Reasons)
Charles Pierson
Drone Proliferation Ramps Up
Ajamu Baraka
Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama
David Underhill
Trumpology With a Twist
Chris Floyd
Infinite Jest: Liberals Laughing All the Way to Hell
Stansfield Smith
Obama’s Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Ron Leighton
Trump is Not Hitler: How the Misuse of History Distorts the Present as Well as the Past
Ralph Nader
An Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
NATO and Obsolescence: Donald Trump and the History of an Alliance
Zarefah Baroud
‘The Power to Create a New World’: Trump and the Environmental Challenge Ahead
Julian Vigo
Obama Must Pardon the Black Panthers in Prison or in Exile
Alfredo Lopez
The Whattsapp Scandal
Clancy Sigal
Russian Hacking and the Smell Test
Terry Simons
The Truth About Ethics and Condoms
January 17, 2017
John Pilger
The Issue is Not Trump, It is Us
John K. White
Is Equality Overrated, Too?
Michael J. Sainato
The DNC Hands the Democratic Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors
John Davis
Landscapes of Shame: America’s National Parks
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Politicians and Rhetorical Tricks
Chris Busby
The Scientific Hero of Chernobyl: Alexey V. Yablokov, the Man Who Dared to Speak the Truth
David Macaray
Four Reasons Trump Will Quit
Chet Richards
The Vicissitudes of the Rural South
Clancy Sigal
“You Don’t Care About Jobs”: Why the Democrats Lost
Robert Dodge
Martin Luther King and U.S. Politics: Time for a U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Jack Sadat Lee
I Dream of Justice for All the Animal Kingdom
James McEnteer
Mourning Again in America
January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Clobbers Ocean Life
Patrick Cockburn
The Terrifying Parallels Between Trump and Erdogan
Kenneth Surin
The Neoliberal Stranglehold on the American Public University
Lawrence Davidson
Is There a Future for the Democratic Party?
Douglas Valentine
Who Killed MLK Jr?
Robert Fisk
The Foreign Correspondent in the Age of Twitter and Trump
Dale Bryan
“Where Do We Go from Here?”
David Swanson
The Deep State Wants to Deep Six Us
Dan Bacher
Obama Administration Orders Speedy Completion of Delta Tunnels Plan
Mark Weisbrot
Obama Should Make Sure that Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera are Compensated
Winslow Myers
The Light of the World
Bruce Mastron
My Latest Reason to Boycott the NFL: Guns
Weekend Edition
January 13, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Gregory Elich
Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?
Jeffrey St. Clair
The President Who Wasn’t There: Barack Obama’s Legacy of Impotence
Anthony DiMaggio
Ethics Fiasco: Trump, Divestment and the Perversion of Executive Politics
Joshua Frank
Farewell Obummer, Hello Golden Showers
Paul Street
Hit the Road, Barack: Some Farewell Reflections
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail