Cross-posted from Antiwar
Poor Diane Sawyer -- recently kicked upstairs by ABC News, she started off her Wednesday report on the Israeli assault on Gaza by giving us the Bizarro World version of the latest news. In a conflict where as of this moment 86 Palestinians have been killed -- nearly all civilians, mostly women and children -- and as many as 1,000 wounded, with exactly zero casualties in Israel, Sawyer directed our attention to "the rockets raining down on Israel" -- while on the screen we saw Israeli jets pounding Gaza. Pointing to a still photo clearly of Palestinians dragging a mattress through the rubble, she described it as "an Israeli family trying to salvage what they can."
In Bizarro World -- where up is down, black is white, and truth is falsehood -- this makes perfect sense. And it kind of does in our world, too, on at least two levels.
ABC later acknowledged the "error," but one wonders: a lie, once in circulation and widely accepted, is hard to refute, no matter how many "corrections" are issued. Lots of people still think Saddam Hussein organized the 9/11 attacks, and they don't all work at the Weekly Standard. War propaganda, which is largely dependent on visual images larded with shock value, is not especially subtle. The idea is to bypass the rational mind and appeal directly to the target's emotions.
On another level, as Peter Hart over at FAIR put it, "ABC's error should be seen less as a simple mistake, and more as a reflection of a worldview." It's an intriguing idea -- intriguing because we aren't told exactly what worldview. Or whose worldview. Hart vaguely describes this unidentified bias as being a sin of "the corporate media," but what does this really mean?
All media is "corporate" in the sense that it consists of groups of people working to bring you the news and somehow making money at it -- or, in our case, as in the case of all non-neocon nonprofits, generating some income albeit barely breaking even. So what does being "corporate" -- assuming this means "for profit" -- have to do with being unabashedly pro-Israel?