Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Is Sky News pandering to British anti-semitism, or is just dumb, lazy journalism?

For much of today Sky News has been running the story of an female Israeli who posted picture of herself posing with Palestinian detainees. A story on Sky's website talks about photos and images without mentioning how many; it appears there were all of two, amongst an album containing a couple of dozen photos spanning the range of military life (At least they didn't stoop to the level of this French website which actually reproduced one of the pictures twice to pad out its treatment of the issue).

An accompanying video on the Sky website includes a bit of editorialising, or making things up, on the part of the reporter supplying the voiceover. She refers to the prisoner's 'confined' quarters, when the pictures make it impossible to judge the immediate surroundings (they actually look to have been taken outdoors), or how long the detainees were kept there. I say reporter when the mangled English sounds more like the work of a teenager on a summer work placement: "...on her lap, the plastic wrist tie used to restrain those over whom she is responsible..." (Just the one tie for all of them? Responsible over? But kudos for the correct use of the increasingly rare 'whom'). And in the inevitable comparison with Abu Ghraib, she refers to the U.S. soldiers jailed over that scandal as officers.

On the evening news version of the story, the correspondent even acknowledged that what occurred was not abuse and was not comparable to Abu Ghraib. So what could possibly explain a British news channel running this story as one of its leads all day, or the fact that it's the second most viewed item on the Sky website?

Hang on...

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