things are fine in lebanon tonight

…Do yourself a favor and don’t believe a damned thing you’re hearing about Lebanon. (Whatever you do, don’t listen to George Gallaway.) Everything’s fine. Really. People there are having a wonderful time… They certainly aren’t dying. And those that look dead really aren’t. Seriously, every photo is faked. Seriously

If you were reading a right wing blog right now instead of this one, you’d have the impression that everything was fine in Lebanon tonight, and that all the suffering we’re seeing was created somewhere on a sound stage. It’s simply not the case… While I think it’s deplorable that people on either side of the conflict would manipulate the media in order to win international support, and while I think it’s great that the online community is identifying incidents of fraud, I think it’s a hell of a leap to suggest, as some are, that because a few of the images we’re seeing have been altered, or staged, that the horrors of war are any less real. It’s absolutely shameful.

If you didn’t follow the third link above, please do. It will take you to a site where, yesterday, they gleefully pointed out a photo which showed what they maintained was a dead, sheet-covered, body “getting up,” as though his photo shoot had just wrapped. Unfortunately, as they discovered today, that wasn’t the case. The man was indeed dead, twisted in rigor mortis.

Like I mentioned above, I think it’s great that, thanks to the internet, everyone can get involved in the process of fact-checking. I think it’s important on both sides of the aisle. I think at some point, however, we cross a line, and I think that’s what’s happening here with regard to the coverage of Lebanon. What we have right now is a rabid mob that’s looking at this as a game, trying to pick the live babies out from the dead, and I find that horribly sad. As I said, I realize that questioning images in today’s world is absolutely necessary, but the spirit with which it’s done doesn’t have to be so detached and joyful. People really are dying and lives are being destroyed. The discovery of a few fake images doesn’t change that fact.

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  1. oliva
    Posted August 10, 2006 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Todd Mundt on WUOM, when he had his own show, I learned about, which is a very good site for distracting yourself from work–links to essays, book reviews, and other things. But it also provides very handy links to papers such as the Beirut Daily Star and Ha’aretz and others. Used to be you could read really sweet opinion pieces in the BDS about trees, birds, good books. These days it’s all about war and grief and tragedy. But very worthwhile–and heartbreaking.

  2. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted August 10, 2006 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Let’s take up a collection to send a right wing blogger or two into Lebanon, where they can poke the bodies themselves.

  3. mark
    Posted August 10, 2006 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link, Olivia. I’ll check it out.

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