Follow by Email

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Latest Gaza Flotilla: The Freedom Flotilla Coalition Makes a Laughing Stock of The Washington Post

Must reading from beginning to end!

This morning, I sent another letter to the editor in chief and the managing editor of The Washington Post, inquiring why there had been no correction of William Booth's June 29 article that stated that Israel had intercepted an "aid ship" on its way to Gaza:

Dear Mr. Baron and Mr. Marida,

On June 29, 2015, on the Washington Post homepage under "More Headlines," there was a link "Israel intercepts Gaza-bound aid ship" which took you to the article "Israel intercepts Gaza-bound aid ship in Mediterranean" by William Booth. Booth states in his article:

"The Swedish-registered Marianne of Gothenburg was attempting to enter Israeli-controlled waters in the Mediterranean Sea and deliver aid packages to Gaza."

Israeli Defense Minister Ya'alon, however, according to The Times of Israel, declared on June 29, 2015 that there was no aid aboard the said ship:

"There was no aid on board."

I have asked WaPo to correct this article (I received two Washington Post ticket numbers pertaining to my request for a correction), but I have received no response from your newspaper.

Does The Washington Post wish to contend that Israeli Defense Minister Ya'alon was lying? I would appreciate a response from a WaPo editor.

Moreover, I would appreciate any evidence forming the basis for Mr. Booth's contention that the Marianne was delivering aid packages.

I understand that in January 2013, three senior editors of The Washington Post sent a memo to the newspaper's staff regarding practices and standards for online corrections, which stated:

We are committed to accuracy and transparency. We generally revise the story to make it accurate AND append a correction to the file. Typically, online corrections read like this: “Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported …”

I kindly ask to be informed if you believe Mr. Booth's article was accurate and that Israeli Defense Minister Ya'alon was lying.

Yours sincerely,

. . . .

Today, I received the following reply from Mr. Martin Baron:

We handled the matter this way:

The link is to a second article, also written by William Booth and published by WaPo yesterday (no one from WaPo notified me that it had been published), observing that the Marianne carried two cardboard "aid" packages:

"The Gaza activitists said the larger cardboard box contains a solar panel, donated by a Swedish magazine, ETC, which also runs an 'environmentally-friendly electricity company.' The panel was bound for Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City.

Ighe said the Swedish Association of Midwives also donated a nebulizer, a machine used to inhale medicines, often used to calm asthma attacks. That is the small cardboard box."

. . . .

My response to Mr. Baron:

Dear Martin,

First, thank you for getting back to me.

Mr. Booth writes in his new article:

"The Gaza activitists said the larger cardboard box contains a solar panel, donated by a Swedish magazine, ETC, which also runs an 'environmentally-friendly electricity company.' The panel was bound for Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City."

However, as reported by Tablet on July 29, 2014 regarding Al-Shifa Hospital:

"The idea that one of Hamas’ main command bunkers is located beneath Shifa Hospital in Gaza City is one of the worst-kept secrets of the Gaza war. So why aren’t reporters in Gaza ferreting it out? The precise location of a large underground bunker equipped with sophisticated communications equipment and housing some part of the leadership of a major terrorist organization beneath a major hospital would seem to qualify as a world-class scoop—the kind that might merit a Pulitzer, or at least a Polk.

So why isn’t the fact that Hamas uses Shifa Hospital as a command post making headlines? In part, it’s because the location is so un-secret that Hamas regularly meets with reporters there. On July 15, for example, William Booth of the Washington Post wrote that the hospital 'has become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.' Back in 2006, PBS even aired a documentary showing how gunmen roam the halls of the hospital, intimidate the staff, and deny them access to protected locations within the building—where the camera crew was obviously prohibited from filming. Yet the confirmation that Hamas is using Gaza City’s biggest hospital as its de facto headquarters was made in the last sentence of the eighth paragraph of Booth’s story—which would appear to be the kind of rookie mistake that is known in journalistic parlance as 'burying the lede.'"

Or stated otherwise, the solar panel was intended for a building that serves not only as a hospital, but also as Hamas headquarters and a command center. This is "humanitarian aid"? Why didn't Mr. Booth refer in his second article to the dual function of the 'hospital'?"

Also, why did Mr. Booth accept the claims of the "Freedom Flotilla Coalition" in his first article without checking the facts?

In addition, his first article, claiming that Israel intercepted an "aid ship," was provided a homepage link. Was his second article also provided a homepage link?

Best wishes,

Stay tuned . . .

1 comment:

  1. Excellent focus, JG.

    The new title of that second story changed to: "The ‘humanitarian aid’ aboard a recent flotilla to Gaza fit in two cardboard boxes"

    with a photo of the two boxes.

    In other news, Egypt was cited as building a ditch along their border with Gaza (sorry, forgot the link, from today's report on the Sinai). No explanation for how a one mile wide moat reported more than six months ago, is now a ditch, depending on the journalist.