What should we make of the so-called "trifecta" of scandals hitting the Obama White House? And what questions should we ask about the IRS/Tea Party story? Also this week: Chris Matthews wants Obama to take charge–just like the union-busting Ronald Reagan. And the Newseum decides two Palestinian journalists shouldn't be considered part of their tribute to journalists who died reporting the news.
An Israeli airstrike on Gaza yesterday is being reported as a breach of the cease-fire agreement that was reached after violence last November between the Israeli military and Hamas forces. But the new accounts are misleading: They give the impression that Israel hasn't regularly violated the agreement already.
Some days the Newspaper of Record says a lot–not always in ways you might expect. Today (3/21/13) a story by Mark Landler and Rick Gladstone about allegations of chemical weapons in Syria includes something you see often–anonymous government sources. That can often be a bad thing; but today it's pretty useful: Two senior Israeli officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak, said that Israel was sure that chemicals were used, but did not have details about what type of weapons were used, where they came from, when they were deployed, or by whom. [...]
A new report from the United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights tallies the extent of the death and destruction from Israel's attacks on the Gaza Strip last November. But the headlines generated by the report focused on one child in Gaza, 11-month-old Omar al-Masharawi, and the claim that he was not killed by Israelis.
When NewsHour anchor Gwen Ifill said, "We will hear more from Margaret [Warner] as she travels through Israel, the West Bank and Gaza over the next week and a half," That sounded like it could be be an interesting opportunity for TV viewers to get a glimpse of Palestinian life. But that's not what PBS chose to put on the air.
FAIR TV: Big Papers Withhold News, Curious 'Confirmation' of Israeli Gov't Claims, 60 Minutes Plays Softball
This week on FAIR TV we take a look at the the "informal arrangement" between several media outlets–including the New York Times and the Washington Post– to not report news about a CIA drone base.
We also talk about the curious standard for "confirming" news from Israeli government officials, and we take a look at the 60 Minutes softball interview with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
NBC's Richard Engel report that "what we've been able to confirm" is that a Syrian convoy attacked by Israel "was packed with fairly sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missiles." It is highly doubtful that Engel could "confirm" any such thing–unless by "confirm" he means that NBC is confirming that government sources are claiming what they are claiming.
On the new FAIR TV: The Washington Post says France had better slash wages and benefits in order to be more like Spain. Why would they want to do that? The New York Times erases a headline referring to the occupation of the West Bank. And when the Wall Street Journal wanted to show what the new tax deal meant for "you"–who exactly did they have in mind?