News’ ‘Ignorant Drivel’ as ‘Toxic as Ever’

Writing for the Nation (1/7/09), Alexander Cockburn finds that in “the major media, aside from some passable stuff on the cable news shows, the flow of ignorant drivel seems as toxic as ever,”

maybe worse, since Israel has tried to empty Gaza of all reporters. The Israelis wipe out whole families, phone apartment blocks to terrify the occupants with boasts that their homes will shortly be blown up, and the Israel claque here stresses the consummate humanity of the attackers. Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post celebrates the birth of the new year by extolling Israel for being “so scrupulous about civilian life.” Professor Alan Dershowitz dishes out congratulation for Israel’s “perfectly proportionate” onslaught.

Cockburn’s memory even “goes back to Martin Peretz in 1982 inscribing in the New Republic glowing sermons on the doctrines of humanity instilled in the Israeli Defense Force.” Cockburn notes that these were “words written not long before Israeli generals gave the green light for the killers of the Phalange to go to work, disemboweling women in the camps under the indifferent or admiring gaze of IDF personnel” in Beirut’s Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatila.

Listen to the FAIR radio show CounterSpin: “Ali Abunimah on Gaza” (1/9/09)