Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jeffrey Heller: propagandist moonlighting as journalist

Reuters Editor-in-Charge in its Jerusalem Bureau, Jeffrey Heller, picks up the ball on the latest piece of Reuters propaganda:
More than 500 Israeli civilians died in 140 Palestinian suicide bomb attacks from 2000 to 2007. More than 4,500 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the same period.
Heller is actually employing two propaganda techniques here: card stacking and repetition.  In an illustration of card stacking, whereas Heller cites the total number of Palestinians killed by any means during the period, he cites only the number of Israeli civilians killed and only those killed in suicide bomb attacks.  In fact, over 1,000 Israelis were murdered by Palestinians from 2000 to 2007.  We note the second propaganda technique, repetition, because this is at least the third time in recent weeks Reuters correspondents have repeated this distorted message in stories appearing on the Reuters website.

Along the way, Heller censors the word terrorist, substituting the word militant while paraphrasing an Israeli perspective:
The area, where Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority holds sway, is enjoying economic growth and Palestinian security forces have been praised by Israel for taking measures to curb militants.
And with another propaganda technique/logical fallacy, appeal to authority, Heller defers to a non-authoritative body in an effort to portray Jewish communities beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines as illegal:
Settlements on land that Israel occupied in 1967 have been deemed illegal by the World Court, a finding the[sic] Israel disputes.
In fact, the World Court's decisions are purely advisory and non-binding on all parties.

All of Heller's rhetorical devices cited above represent violations of the Reuters Trust Principles and Handbook of Journalism.

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