Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Last Thursday evening I attended a presentation given by Boston University Professor Richard Landes. The subject concerned the ways in which the Palestinian Arabs manipulate the foreign media - often with the foreign media's cooperation. The focus of the presentation was, of course, on the Muhammed al Durra hoax, and included large quantities of the unedited video from that day.

I saw Professor Landes give this presentation once before, and reported on it at length last September here: Truth is Essential - "The Mideast Conflict Through the Eyes of the Media" Report. Since that time, the al Durra hoax has begun to become accepted as such in an increasing number of places, and France 2 - the French media outlet primarily responsible for the slander - is very much on the defensive. Landes now has a much-improved and far more professional DVD set-up of his video, and the event was taped for use by CAMERA. I won't bother going into detail here again, you can read my previous piece, as well as CAMERA's extensive al Durra (or al Dura) backgrounder here for a timeline and explanation of the scandal. All the same issues of mainstream media refusing to be critical of Arab claims, holding Israel to a different standard and not being particularly interested in objective truth remain the same.

Clearly, the more "slicked up" DVD presentation is something that's being prepared for release, and this is very exciting - not just because of the way it exposes this particular scandal, but the way it will cause people to re-examine everything they see in television media. It's very important stuff.

Landes also gave us a sneak-peak of his new web project, 21st Century Media Group. It's passworded now but should be open to the public next month. Trust me, it looks slick inside. Hopefully the content will match the gloss. He plans on presenting raw video footage from media sources in order to get people to re-examine what they're being shown - starting somewhat generically, then, once people understand how badly images in the Arab/Israeli conflict are manipulated ("once they learn how to see"), moving into the specific case of the al Dura incident. In the future, as material becomes available, he will move into other areas and issues as well. It will not be limited to the Middle East, but will, if I recall correctly, be about media accountability and re-examination.

I didn't post this right away as I was hoping to couple this description with an interview with Professor Landes. I think it would be a very interesting one, but he hasn't responded to my email. If anyone knows the professor, please tell him I don't bite, and doing a blog interview can't hurt him. I have offered to do the exchange by either an email exchange - and then reassembling the pieces into a "simulated interview" - or going to see him tape recorder in hand to do it the old fashioned way. So if any of my readers knows him, give 'im a nudge. I'm sure he's a busy guy, but I'm also sure he could spare a few minutes to get the word out!

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Richard Landes and Pallywood.

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1 Comment

As I told you below in the Klocek email I might be able to help you.
Email me if you're interested.

PS I may request a small payback favor on your part. :-)

"Syme: It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. You wouldn't have seen the [Newspeak] Dictionary 10th edition, would you Smith? It's that thick. [illustrates thickness with fingers] The 11th Edition will be that [narrows fingers] thick. Winston Smith: So, The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect? Syme: The secret is to move from translation, to direct thought, to automatic response. No need for self-discipline. Language coming from here [the larynx], not from here [the brain]" -1984 (film)


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