Why Report From Yemen When There Is Bacon In Jerusalem?
Here’s the reason why you don’t see much news about Yemen and the disaster unfolding there under a proxy war fought between Saudi Arabia and Iran:
Saudi Arabia is not only starving Yemenis, but it is also barring journalists (including me) from getting to Yemen to document the hunger. https://t.co/VjKQVxZYx1
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) March 11, 2017
I wrote a long time ago about the disastrously high civilian death rate in Yemen. That gets nothing like the breathless coverage which Israel’s unbelievably careful airstrikes in Gaza get. I also wrote about the tragedy of ending a millennia of Jewish life in Yemen, with Jews finally driven out by Muslims fighting each other.
When so many journalists are hanging around Israel, enjoying the safety, security, fine restaurants and other amenities, you have to look at all the places where they don’t go. These journalists love the easy life here: pre-written, pre-researched “stories” are handed to them in the form of “research papers” by far left NGOs with strong anti-Israel agendas. That’s not happening in Yemen. Kudos to Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times for actually trying and reporting why he can’t go to Yemen.
A major part of the complaint against Lethal Journalism in Israel is undue and overblown attention on Israel. It’s worth remembering this from Matti Friedman’s earth shattering revelations from inside AP in Israel (Aug 2014):
Staffing is the best measure of the importance of a story to a particular news organization. When I was a correspondent at the AP, the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” eventually erupted.
This vast oversupply of journalists is met with a corresponding plague of left wing, well financed NGOs and Palestinian “spokesmen” feeding them easy press release stories with little extra leg work involved.
The numbers have changed but the relative staffing levels haven’t. Obviously it’s damned dangerous to be a journalist in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and all the other Islamic states currently going through murderous turmoil. So stay in Jerusalem, the American Colony hotel has a non-kosher breakfast including bacon!
Ever since Trump’s infamous “last night in Sweden” line, my social media timeline has been filed with reports of every single shooting, stabbing, rape and bombing which occurs in the tiny nation of Sweden (population around 10m). The point being not that these events should or shouldn’t be international news, up to now they most certainly haven’t been. It is largely alternative media sources that are now reporting this, the established media tried hard not to cover the steadily deteriorating public safety situation in Sweden for years. Highlighting it would expose their failure to inform their audience. For years Sweden has demonized Israel with exactly this kind of undue focus on negative stories. It’s fun watching them freak out when applied to them.
It is not necessary for the established media to lie about something for them to create a completely #FakeNews impression. They only need to be highly selective on what they do report. If you report every act of unkindness perpetrated by an Israeli and every act of kindness by an Arab while ignoring so many terrorist attacks, your audience will reach a guided conclusion. If you ignore civilian deaths in Yemen and report only on civilian deaths when Israel defends herself, of course Israel will be demonized and Saudi Arabia and Iran will receive little attention.
That is the essence of lethal journalism.