Watching the Detectives
A Pajamas Media article describes the scene in Ramallah, and also the scene captured by the media for its unfortunate viewers:
... the various foreign television reporters positioned themselves in front of the masked gunmen and spoke seriously to the cameras about the rising tension in Ramallah, trying their best to make it sound as if they were in the middle of a war zone. But if their cameramen had panned out for a wider shot they would have shown crowds of mostly young men hanging around, eating snacks, buying cold drinks from vendors, and taking photos with their mobile phones. There was no sense of fear or menace at all. I even saw one photojournalist, who works for an American newspaper, giggling a bit as she aimed her camera at a masked fighter who was posing...Any of these journalists could have panned away from the terrorists' [that they are presently terrorizing only their own countrymen does not change this fact] photo opportunity. They did not; they served the terrorists at the expense of their own viewers. Thus they honored the de facto bargain long agreed on both sides: terrorists will provide dramatic footage, and in exchange the media will display it with a maximum of drama and a minimum of context, like a star painting hung alone in a gallery.
This is your visual media in action: helping your enemies lie to you.
[Via Glenn Reynolds.]