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The father of all fauxtography

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 12, 2006 03:54 PM

The staging of pro-terrorist photos for the theater of jihad has been going on a long time.

I’ve blogged before about a notorious incident involving iconic images of a Palestinian boy, Mohammed al Doura, broadcast by French state-owned television in 2000. The boy was allegedly gunned down by Israeli soldiers. But as Nidra Poller and David Gelernter, among others, have reported, the truth was not on the terror sympathizers’ side.

See also Pallywood and the investigation by Richard Landes here.

Now France-2 TV is suing critics of the Mohammed Dura video for defamation. The trial starts 9/14. Pesach Benson is blogging.

Pajamas Media is covering the trial, with exclusive reporting from Nidra Poller.

Richard Landes will also be trial-blogging at at Augean Stables.

And IHC writes:

Is it defamation to question the media? I would say that it’s downright irresponsible not to. But remember, this is 21st century France, and the Lady of the Republic has been raped, Lady Liberty’s in bondage, and Lady Justice has a migraine – as she’s been standing on her head for way too long.

But what is most difficult for a lot of us Anglos to understand, is that this is more about a French code of honor than anything else. People are being put on trial for expressing opinions that dishonor or embarrass France, as France 2 Television represents the French Republic. Forget the courts – this calls for a duel.

The Al-Dura trials begin this 14 September in Paris. The mainstream media may not deem the story fit for coverage (which in and of itself is intriguing and worthy of investigation), so I guess it’s up to us concerned and informed folks to push this issue into the headlines.

Perhaps it’s the public’s love affair with the macabre, and their lust for the sensational which enticed France 2 television to recklessly release footage reportedly depicting the shooting to death of a young boy, and the wounding of his father – at the hand of the Israelis (at least that’s what the voiceover said). In the rush to air 55 seconds of exclusive footage, which was rushed to France 2 by their Palestinian cameraman who filmed the scene; 27 minutes of rushes (unedited footage) were deliberately left on the editing room floor. France 2’s Charles Enderlin was so anxious to get the news out, that he generously distributed the 55 second clip free of charge to the global media.

Despite the incredible questions surrounding the case, France 2 has persistently refused to release the unseen footage to the general public. However, those few who have seen the footage report that it’s rather embarrassing, as it essentially records 24 minutes of youths feigning injuries, and ambulances evacuating the uninjured. ‘

This is not some over-the-top conspiracy we are dealing with. Highly regarded journalists and historians have gone out on a limb to question and probe the circumstances surrounding the case – the kind of people who can comfortably sip Chardonnay and discuss liberty, equality’, and brotherhood with top intellectuals in Paris – and they can do it in French (uh, let’s see… that would be liberté, egalité’, et fraternité). The kind of people who have Harvard, Princeton and Oxford under their belts and whose writings are published in the the Atlantic Monthly, Commentary Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and respected academic periodicals.

But the mainstream, mediocre media just doesn’t want to go there. They’ve lost their ability for serious introspection, cutting edge journalism and investigative reporting. And why bother when, thanks to that very same media, so much of the public is dumbed down, passive and scandal-fatigued anyway?

Some argue that even if France 2 was negligent in handling the affair, why obsess over an event which happened six years ago. Leave it for the history books and get on with it already.

Except that it isn’t exactly history yet. At present, we’re still living, in realtime, the results of France 2’s rendering and editing of that footage. Inasmuch as there’s a surprising lack of blood in the footage, there’s been a staggering amount of blood spilled in this world in the name of Mohammed Al –Dura’s image…

…Whether we’re dealing with negligence, recklessness, or outright lies; the handling of the Al-Dura affair by France 2 was obscene, irresponsible and possibly devious. It must be taken seriously by the public.

Asking the right questions now and demanding valid answers may be the best way to avert further tragedy.

Watch this one.

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