Zombie has posted an invaluable, exhaustive expose on the shoddy work of the mainstream media at work in the Lebanon war: “The Red Cross ambulance incident: How the media legitimized an anti-Israel hoax and changed the course of a war.” Zombie writes:
On the night of July 23, 2006, an Israeli aircraft intentionally fired missiles at and struck two Lebanese Red Cross ambulances performing rescue operations, causing huge explosions that injured everyone inside the vehicles. Or so says the global media, including Time magazine, the BBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and thousands of other outlets around the world. If true, the incident would have been an egregious and indefensible violation of the Geneva Convention, and would constitute a war crime committed by the state of Israel.
But there’s one problem: It never happened.
Firstly, were many of the scenes during the rescue/recovery effort at Khuraybah on 30 July 2006, staged? The answer has to be yes.
Secondly, were journalists (with or without cameras) aware of the staging and complicit in it? Again, the answer has to be yes.
Third, did the media (the western media in particular) accept the images uncritically, without in any way inquiring as to their authenticity – even though there were good grounds for suspicion? Here, the answer almost certainly has to be yes.
Finally, has there since been a cover-up by the agencies and other media organisations which produced or used the material, and a sustained campaign by them either to ignore the issue or neutralise criticism? Once again, the answer has to be yes.
These two outstanding pieces of work both demand to be read in their entirety, and both demand a calling to account.