While these junkets do carry some risks, (therefore most news media outlets refuse their journalists’ participation) he points out that both managed to give an open accounting of why they were in Israel, as well as drawing attention to some very embarressing legal proceedings against Israel’s acting president Moshe Katsav (perhaps a knee-jerk reaction resulting from the junket).
While disparaging Israel “journo junkets”, there is no mention of the dilemma that faces the news media in reporting on a conflict in which one side is a democracy with a free and very vocal press, and the other that subjects both its own media as well as the international community’s to intimidation and violence.
Part of the problem also stems from the fact that there is a very limited number of Western journalists who are fluent in Arabic, making them dependent on local Palestinian stringers who are fluent in all three languages of Hebrew, Arabic and English. If a journalist wishes to maintain open doors with the Palestinian Authority, one does not report everything as it is, but in a round-about-way without appearing to come down too hard on key principal Palestinian players.
This explains in part, why Israel is always at a continual disadvantage vis-a-vis the Palestinians concerning the international news media and its news reporting. The latter cares very little for the facts, as long as the sensationalized news hype gets carried out to the world via the major news wire services.
What I also find interesting is his belief that Israel, somehow receives “kid glove” treatment by many US journalists, while the opposite is true. Perhaps he is influenced by the outright vitriolic news reporting by the British/European media, viewing the US media’s reporting as being tame in comparison. Fair enough, but grossly unfair reporting by the Europeans does not however, absolve the biased reporting of their American cousins.
Guano’s post (that Toby links to) is full of standardized Palestinian “boiler plate” propaganda that includes a link to the radical (guru rabbi) Michael Lerner’s shpiel on AIPAC. (Lerner is a far-Left loon who waves around his title of “Rabbi” (with a very little -r-) so he can apologize for Palestinian terrorism, promote Marxism, and leftist anti-Semitism. [Jews control debate on Israel in the US bla bla bla ad nauseum/Jimma Carter])