Tuesday, August 01, 2006
What I can do
I can't watch the NBC Nightly News anymore. I love Brian Williams, and I grew up watching Tom Brokaw, but the current coverage of the War in Israel has sickened me. In its attempts to be "balanced" in its coverage, it has given equal time to Israeli and Lebanese casualties, and folks, the Israeli side of that equation just can't hold up. If you get your news only from Network TV, this is what you will learn:
War sucks. Wars should never be fought. Both sides in this war are right about some things, and wrong about others. Both Israel and Lebanon (?Hezbollah?) are inflicting civilian casualties. But Israel is clearly worse than Hezbollah (?Lebanon?). Why? Because Israel is suffering far fewer (civilian) casualties. Therefore, if we apply our moral equalizing lens to the situation, Israel is the bad guy, and Hezbollah is a bad guy, but not as bad, and Lebanon (man, how do you keep track of all this in a 15 minute news segment?) is the innocent caught in between. And as we know from Star Trek (the source of all morality), it is NEVER justifiable to inflict civilian casualties, even if it is the only way to destroy evil. Besides, yesterday's evil will undoubtedly become tomorrow's friendly Klingons. And...cut to commercial.
Honestly, how can a few pampered Israelis running to bomb shelters compare to hundreds of innocent women and children actually dying? Photo-journalism says the side with the most casualties will always win our sympathy and our support. Of course, Hezbollah knows this, and is working hard to make our news personnel into willing propaganda artists for terrorism.
So last night I switched off NBC and flipped over to Fox News Channel, and proceeded to clear off the table and load up the dinner dishes, when The O'Reilly Factor came on. All I can say is, THANK GOD FOR MICHELLE MALKIN. She was up there on my TV, MAKING SENSE. Saying all the things that were being left unsaid by the Network News, putting things in perspective, and taking the media to task for the ease in which they made assumptions, used semantics, and generally ignored facts in their rush to be balanced.
I'm getting my news these days from "right wing" sources. Debka, Bill Bennett, Robert Avrech (who's posting something every 20 minutes it seems), my mench Jameel, Treppenwitz, and others. And that works for me. But what can I contribute to the War effort? I'm not running over there to join the IDF. I go to shul and I daven and say Tehillim. I can give limited funds. Is that it? Is there no important role that I, a mild-mannered physician in Wisconsin, can play?
Actually, I think there is. In an earlier post, I mentioned that Israel is fighting a war on 3 fronts. Gaza, Lebanon, and the World Media. You can argue about how it's doing on the first two. But I don't think there's any question that it is doing poorly on the third. So maybe there's something I can do about that.
Now, I realize that the readership here is not large, and also I suspect that most of the people (let's not count the trolls) who come here feel similarly about Israel. So ranting and raving over here accomplishes little. Besides, Ezzie and Yourish and Malkin and Baleboosteh can keep track of the facts much better than I can and more eloquently to boot. And I realize that the reason you're all checking back here is that you're hoping I'll post more Caveman pictures.
So what can I do? I can fight the Media War in real life. I can talk to those who do get their news from the mainstream media. Who get "balanced" pictures and "sound bites" and are quickly becoming indoctrinated in Star Trek-like moral equivalence. Who haven't been shown the whole picture. Who haven't figured out that we are indeed in the middle of World War 3 and we'd better start acting like it or we will lose.
I can talk to my friends, my co-workers, the people who like and respect me, and tell them what I think about the War in Lebanon. And the shooting in Seattle. And the train bombing in India. And no, I'm not a right-wing nut job. I just have a little more perspective and I'm willing to help them connect the dots. These informal lunchroom discussions can make a difference. I just hope it's not too little and too late.