We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The primary and overriding obligation of a government and its military during war is to accomplish its objectives.Support among its own public and that of influential outside powers is surely important, particularly the longer the armed engagement.
The press’ role can be either constructive toward this, or not.The government may, or may not, be correct in its management of the war and of the press, but it is the government at war that has the requirement to decide, not the press.
It is argued, often correctly, that the press in a war sometimes sees more clearly than the government or offers useful additional insights.Still, it remains that it is the government and its people that suffers from failing to meet war’s objectives, not the press.Failure at war is a far more grievous harm than can be recompensed by a corrections column or apologetic retrospective re-analysis in the newspaper.
Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, in Gaza and the West Bank, have always focused on this priority.All journalists and stringers there are under their strict control, only allowed access to those areas and stories chosen by Hamas and the PA, and physically penalized for straying into criticism or embarrassment of Hamas or the PA.The Western media has gone along with this, in virtual silence and even cover-up, in order to retain any access at all.Meanwhile, the world’s media has had unlimited access and freedom to report anything it wishes in and about Israel.Mostly hewing to excess Western sensitivities and even to anti-Israeli attitudes, much of the world’s media have in effect been active accomplices of Palestinian propaganda.Western and world audiences have thereby been manipulated into undue negativity toward Israel and sympathy toward Palestinians.
Israel recognizes this imbalance and in the current Gaza offensive has taken measures to restrain the press’ undermining of its war effort.
This lengthy article, http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/86631with much more detail than here offers a useful summary of the measures that Israel has taken, and of the establishment press’ opposition.Among Israel’s new approaches is going around the West’s established reporting screen and filters by going directly to the increasingly influential alternative media outlets, including YouTube.As reported in the Jerusalem Post: “'In terms of communicating our message, new media is the future', Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu, the IDF's spokesman, told The Jerusalem Post.”
The ending observation made by the Israeli Defense Force spokesman gets to the heart of the matter: “An army has to fight, not to spend its time in front of television cameras.”Israel is not allowing journalists in Israel to enter Gaza at will, to flash emotional scenes – often stage managed by Hamas – to incite the natural distaste the world’s civilians have toward the hell that is war.For that matter, Egypt is also barring entry for journalists via Egypt.
The Israeli Supreme Court, in the manner of a civilized state, has ruled that some safe pooled entry will be allowed.Egypt has no such civilized, independent court.The response by the Western media, from its Foreign Press Association in Israel: “We believe the Israeli Government should ensure unfettered access for the world's media to Gaza during this crisis.”Of note, there is no such press entity or hue allowed in Egypt, but that is not mentioned or mentionable by these Western press representatives.
It is not the responsibility of Israel to cut its own throat by allowing the sensationalist emphasis, negativity and bias of much of the West’s media “unfettered access.”
If the press had any sense of balance then they would have a case...as it is the inbuilt bias of a large proportion of the press makes them active proponents for only one side in most conflicts...the wrong side.
thud ... I don't think 'the press' should have unlimited license to say anything their fevered dreams of glory dictate, even in peacetime. It is particularly outrageous during wartime, when it can cause injury and even death to soldiers trying to do their jobs, and innocent civilians who are unfortunately in the path of destruction. The members of the press have become quite arrogant on their 'right' to say anything that occurs to them, without researching it. They call it "speaking truth to power," as if there's any danger to them involved. Which there isn't.