Sat,May 25,2013 16 Sivan 5773
By now, it's a known fact that modern warfare, especially when it involves terror groups, is played out as much in the media as on the battlefield. Looking at the situation in Gaza, now five days in, media winners and losers are starting to emerge.
Reuters — While not perfect (CNN's mea culpa concerning footage of possibly faked Palestinian injuries blamed the newswire as its source), Reuters has been lightning fast—and seemingly accurate—in reporting news, at least about attacks on Israel. A valuable resource in this regard.
CNN — In spite of some absence of due diligence on video sourcing (see above), CNN has been on top of the story. They've also aired some interesting and unexpected pieces, like Michael Rubin's thought piece exploring implications of Gaza on the future viability of "land for peace," and put well-placed Israeli sources like Danny Ayalon on air for commentary (though they did so while airing footage of Gaza suffering, which distracted from the content of Ayalon's message).
Jerusalem Post — It might sound suspicious coming from a Jpost blogger, but let me first say that I'm not a Jerusalem Post employee and have never been paid by the outlet. That disclaimed, JPost has been on the forefront of reporting on-the-ground in Israel in English, though with less emphasis on commentary and analysis.
Atlantic — Atlantic got out in front of the IDF on social media story, which was a nice touch—original, interesting, limited in scope.
Gawker — The gossip outlet's fumbling attempt at explaining the Hebrew name of the IDF operation by engaging in biblical exegesis was cherry-picking silliness at its worst. Had the reporter used a scholar as a source it might have been understandable. But sourcing the story by asking the Israeli dude at the next cubicle over and then Googling the result is just embarrassing.
New York Times — The Times seems to be playing a game called "out-New York Times the New York Times on Israel coverage." Its first story out the gate dubbed Israel's operation "ferocious"—in the article's lede. The op-ed page has since been logjammed by pieces critical of Israel. Ethan Bronner did do an interesting analysis piece on rocket-range, but that was about it.
BBC — When it rains it pours, and BBC is getting drenched. Really, the British network's only coverage of note has been its airing of looped footage showing an "injured" Palestinian man being scooped up and rushed to medical attention and then, about 15 frames later, standing around doing just fine. Maybe the footage's shots were out of order but come on, guys, at least do your homework.
A few outlets have taken less interest in the events in Israel and Gaza, and seem to be recycling old tropes or not doing any original reporting at all. We might class these as
The Remainder Bin:
The Daily Beast — Peter Beinart's weird "Ask Peter Beinart Anything" video (with Peter Beinart looking weirdly like Michael Jackson) really answers NO questions. While the Peter Beinart commentary about American Jews (and American Jewish media, and racism, and...) on the Peter Beinart blog gave nothing about Israel or Gaza, it did give us something about...Peter Beinart. There were some memes on the Beast about social media—about four days behind the trend—and some snark about the Israeli right from others. But not really sure it's worth it, even on discount.
Slate — Slate coverage has been solidly "meh." The outlet hasn't seemed all that interested. Fair enough. One longer piece about how this operation will surely, definitely, definitively isolate Israel is a total non-exception to the "bad war" analyses, with its "changing regional dynamics" litanies and quotes sourced from other outlets' reporting. Why bother?
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