Tweeting Rick Leventhal [updated with video]

The ceasefire between Hamas and Israel is in its early hours, but I’m still firing my critique of media coverage of the war. Yesterday FOX News broadcast a report by Rick Leventhal from Gaza City regarding an IDF missile strike on a building/residence. I’m inserting the video below. Please check it out.

In his report Leventhal interviewed the aggrieved occupant of the late building/residence. He had received a call on his cell phone from the IDF. The IDF asked him: how long will it take you to vacate the house? Ten minutes, he replied. The IDF gave him five, and five was enough for him to survive to tell his tale to Leventhal. Like Ishamel in Moby-Dick, he only had escaped alone to tell us.

The building was another matter. Three IDF missiles arrived punctually on time to score a direct hit. The building was demolished, leaving a pile of smoldering rubble. Plaintively the man asked, why? I am not Hamas. I only had a diaper factory in the basement. End of report.

Leventhal’s story provides a kind of comic coda to the pathetic media coverage of the war. One could deduce from the surface of Leventhal’s report some remarkable facts about Israel’s conduct. The IDF has taken extraordinary measures to protect the lives of innocent civilians. It has good intelligence. It has carefully targeted its attacks. And it has achieved a significant measure of success in achieving its aims. I took the alleged diaper factory as a giveaway that all was not as it was presented with respect to the residence.

Leventhal left the viewer to draw his own inferences against the grain of the story told by
the pictures. The pictures presented a scene of apparently unprovoked devastation. They presented another Palestinian victim of Israel in a suffering situation. They left the viewer to fend for himself. If Leventhal reported and left the viewer to decide, according to FNC’s motto, he provided the viewer with insufficient information to do so.

Roger Simon tweeted to Leventhal that he had been taken. Roger being Roger, he elicited a denial from Leventhal, and Roger took it at face value like the gentleman he is. I contributed what turned out to be another Twitter soliloquy. The exchange is embedded below and accessible here. (Note: Moses Wine is the hero of Roger’s detective novels going back to 1973′s The Big Fix.)

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