Fauxtography PSA: Don’t be stupid (Update: More on 70mm rocket)
posted at 5:50 pm on August 29, 2006 by Allahpundit
Well said. Especially this part:
The fact that the sort of damage inflicted on the press van is similar to the damage inflicted on the Lebanese ambulances should not be taken as suggestive of the press-van hit being a fake. It should rather be taken as suggestive that the ambulance-hit stories are more likely to be true, and attempts to debunk them, while well-intentioned and inspired by good questions about the extent of damage inflicted, should be reexamined.
The MSM digs into a storyline or narrative and won’t give it up, no matter what conflicting evidence there might be. It’s human nature, and it’s not suprising bloggers do the same. But still, if bloggers are supposed to be honest brokers more self-aware of the human foibles and biases that infect MSM reportage, we really do need to be more on guard against this.
Yeah, we do. One of the more intelligent bloggers I know IM’d me last night, half-convinced that the Palestinians were tampering with the vehicle because one photo appeared to show the doors on the right side having moved to the left. They hadn’t. He’d simply been confused about where the hole in the roof was vis-a-vis the sides.
Skepticism towards Pallywood is always healthy, but as Ace said to me earlier on IM, “Some people seem determined to prove that Israel hasn’t killed a single person in all of history.” God only knows what this blogswarm would look like if the IAF hadn’t copped to the attack.
Anyway, sorry to lecture. Just don’t want to see our side head off into some variant of Trutherism. And after the great microphone-cord photoshop cover-up, it’s been on my mind.
Update: More from Ace:
I’ve thought there’s been way too many premature calls of “fake” for a while, and I’ve said so. But the Drudge-hyped “disappearing mic cord” shot has made me a much stronger skeptic than I had been (and I was on the skeptical side of the dextrosphere before).
The Drudge thing was just embarrassing for us MSM critics. I don’t know the genesis of that, but it seems to me to demonstrate the great peril of making quick judgments without the necessary expertise to back them up.
Update: Dan Riehl, who was the first blogger on the ambulance story, urges caution.
Update: The intel analyst who sent me that e-mail about 70mm rockets is now commenting in that thread. Scroll down and look for NPP. He stands by his assessment.
Rusty says it’s much too late to start trusting Palestinians in this context.
Update: Here’s my question for Russ and co. Have we reached the point now where anything short of total demolition of a vehicle is ipso facto proof of shenanigans? Corroborative testimony by several Palestinian bystanders is dismissed out of hand; an admission of responsibility by the IAF is explained away as “well, they hit something, but maybe not this.” What would it take to say “yeah, this happened how they say it did”? Or is that option simply no longer on the table when it comes to Gaza, the West Bank, and Lebanon (and Syria, Iran, etc.)?
Update: Could it have been shrapnel? See here.