Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Far out, man!

Name Calling is a propaganda technique intended to "create fear and arouse prejudice by using negative words (bad names) to create an unfavorable opinion or hatred against a group, beliefs, ideas or institutions [the propagandist] would have us denounce. This method calls for a conclusion without examining the evidence. Name Calling is used as a substitute for arguing the merits of an idea, belief, or proposal. It is often employed using sarcasm and ridicule in political cartoons and writing."

Immediately following his lede, note how Reuters correspondent Jeffrey Heller deploys this technique in an effort to disparage Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and discredit in the minds of readers, anything Lieberman believes or is reported to have said:
"I think there's room to lower expectations and get real," Lieberman, a far-right member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, told Israel Radio.
According to Heller, Lieberman is "far-right" and obviously, that means his views are -- take your pick of ugly stereotyped allusion: extreme, radical, outrageous, hateful, vicious, fascist, racist, etc, etc, etc.

Heller doesn't label Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in any similar fashion although Abbas:
1) wrote a doctoral thesis denying the Holocaust and claiming collaboration between Zionists and the Nazis,
2) is reported to have financed the Palestinian terrorist attack and murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics,
3) has refused, as per his obligations under the RoadMap, to end incitement against Israel and Jews,
4) has called for the continuation of armed violence against Israel until the Palestinians get everything they want.
Indeed, Reuters usually refers to Abbas in its stories as a "moderate".

A violation of the Reuters Handbook of Journalism and Trust Principles?  You betcha.

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