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

Weekend Edition
April 28, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Slandering Populism: a Chilling Media Habit
Andrew Levine
Why I Fear and Loathe Trump Even More Now Than On Election Day
Jeffrey St. Clair
Mountain of Tears: the Vanishing Glaciers of the Pacific Northwest
Philippe Marlière
The Neoliberal or the Fascist? What Should French Progressives Do?
Conn Hallinan
America’s New Nuclear Missile Endangers the World
Peter Linebaugh
Omnia Sunt Communia: May Day 2017
Vijay Prashad
Reckless in the White House
Brian Cloughley
Who Benefits From Prolonged Warfare?
Kathy Kelly
The Shame of Killing Innocent People
Ron Jacobs
Hate Speech as Free Speech: How Does That Work, Exactly?
Andre Vltchek
Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About “Ecology of War”
Matt Rubenstein
Which Witch Hunt? Liberal Disanalogies
Sami Awad - Yoav Litvin - Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Never Give Up: Nonviolent Civilian Resistance, Healing and Active Hope in the Holyland
Pete Dolack
Tribunal Finds Monsanto an Abuser of Human Rights and Environment
Christopher Ketcham
The Coyote Hunt
Mike Whitney
Putin’s New World Order
Ramzy Baroud
Palestinian, Jewish Voices Must Jointly Challenge Israel’s Past
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 100 Days of Rage and Rapacity
Harvey Wasserman
Marine Le Pen Is a Fascist—Not a ‘Right-Wing Populist,’ Which Is a Contradiction in Terms
William Hawes
World War Whatever
John Stanton
War With North Korea: No Joke
Jim Goodman
NAFTA Needs to be Replaced, Not Renegotiated
Murray Dobbin
What is the Antidote to Trumpism?
Louis Proyect
Left Power in an Age of Capitalist Decay
Medea Benjamin
Women Beware: Saudi Arabia Charged with Shaping Global Standards for Women’s Equality
Rev. William Alberts
Selling Spiritual Care
Peter Lee
Invasion of the Pretty People, Kamala Harris Edition
Cal Winslow
A Special Obscenity: “Guernica” Today
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey’s Kurdish Agenda
Guillermo R. Gil
The Senator Visits Río Piedras
Jeff Mackler
Mumia Abu-Jamal Fights for a New Trial and Freedom 
Cesar Chelala
The Responsibility of Rich Countries in Yemen’s Crisis
Leslie Watson Malachi
Women’s Health is on the Chopping Block, Again
Basav Sen
The Coal Industry is a Job Killer
Judith Bello
Rojava, a Popular Imperial Project
Robert Koehler
A Public Plan for Peace
Sam Pizzigati
The Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed
Jesse Jackson
Jeff Sessions is Rolling Back Basic Rights
Nyla Ali Khan
There Has to be a Way Out of the Labyrinth
Rivera Sun
Blind Slogans and Shallow Greatness
Michael J. Sainato
Trump Scales Back Antiquities Act, Which Helped to Create National Parks
Stu Harrison
Under Duterte, Filipino Youth Struggle for Real Change
Martin Billheimer
Balm for Goat’s Milk
Stephen Martin
Spooky Cookies and Algorithmic Steps Dystopian
Michael Doliner
Thank You Note
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail