As anyone knowledgeable about the Israel-Palestinian conflict knows, the Western press often presents a distorted picture of events, and has been known to misrepresent the truth wildly. But, according to a recent open letter bearing the signatures of numerous journalists—including such influential figures as the Pulitzer Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones—the news media should be doing more to shape its reporting into a “narrative” that demonizes Israel. Noah Rothman writes:
The almost total lack of curiosity in the press over the sequence of events that resulted in May’s eleven-day conflict is an abrogation of the press’s responsibility to its audience. But that abrogation is exactly what these reporters want. The activist journalists who signed this letter seem to believe that the credulous repetition of a simpler narrative—just another uprising against oppressive Israelis—is best practice.
This leads us to yet another ponderous assertion made by these self-described journalists: Western journalism tends “disproportionately [to] amplify Israeli narratives while suppressing Palestinian ones.” As evidence for this staggeringly blinkered claim, they cite the media’s efforts to fact-check Israeli politicians (which proves the opposite of the point they’re trying to make). . . . The very notion that the news media somehow [cannot] “accurately reflect the plight of the Palestinians” is so solipsistic that one has to wonder what reality these reporters inhabit.
But perhaps rationality has been subordinated to emotion. After all, as Vox reported, progressives in government and the press have come to view the Palestinian cause as an extension of the Black Lives Matter movement. They use BLM’s campaign against police violence as a heuristic to navigate a conflict they don’t understand and which they don’t seem to want to understand. Rather, they want it to comport with a childishly simplistic, Marxist-flavored narrative about how power dynamics explain the world.
Call that what you will, but you can’t call it reporting. What these alleged journalists want isn’t journalism. They are on a “sacred” mission to promote “contextualized truth.” Another way to say “contextualized truth” is “lie.”