French Injustice


October 25, 2006

French Injustice


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Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,

In a disappointing climax, the defamation case brought by France-2 against Philippe Karsenty, who claims the September 2000 footage showing the death of Mohammad Al-Durah is a hoax, ended with a win for the state-run TV station. Karsenty was convicted of libeling France-2 and its Israel correspondent Charles Enderlin, the court ordering him to pay a fine, legal fees and a symbolic 1 euro in damages to each of the plaintiffs. (See Nidra Poller’s report from the Paris courtroom here.) 

Commenting on the decision, Richard Landes questioned the MSM’s [mainstream media’s] lack of interest in the story until this point:

Why do the MSM media only feel comfortable weighing in on this case when they can put another nail in the coffin of Israeli responsibility for the Intifada? No rethinking, no picture of the scene Enderlin cut, and then lied about, but images of the icon, money pictures of the boy before he’s been "hit."

For more comment, see Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile, in another case involving the French media, the Supreme Court struck down a lower court’s ruling that a commentary published by Le Monde in June 2003 defamed Israel. (See here for a translation of the original article.) In May 2005, a lower court ordered Le Monde to print a retraction and pay a symbolic fine of one euro. However, this was overturned, as reported by the Irish Times:

"The text in reality targeted the policy of the government of Israel against Palestinians, and not individuals or groups of individuals because of their national or ethnic origin, their race or religion…" the Supreme Court concluded.


Is the BBC finally acknowledging the bias that many believe is endemic within the organization? According to the Daily Mail:

It was the day that a host of BBC executives and star presenters admitted what critics have been telling them for years: the BBC is dominated by trendy, Left-leaning liberals who are biased against Christianity and in favour of multiculturalism.

A leaked account of an ‘impartiality summit’ called by BBC chairman Michael Grade, is certain to lead to a new row about the BBC and its reporting on key issues, especially concerning Muslims and the war on terror….

At the secret meeting in London last month, which was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is … anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians.

One veteran BBC executive said: ‘There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness.

‘Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC’s culture, that it is very hard to change it.’

Helen Boaden attempts to defend the BBC on its Editors’ Blog. HonestReporting invites subscribers to add their comments at the bottom of the page.


In what is becoming an all too familiar story, Spanish photographer Emilio Morenatti, working for AP in Gaza, was kidnapped by Palestinian gunmen before being released several hours later. As recently as August, two Fox News employees were taken hostage for nearly two weeks before being freed. In that case, the Palestinian Authority claimed credit for freeing the hostages, convening a press conference with the two newsmen and Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh. Should not the PA be responsible for the safety of the media in the Gaza Strip? And how do such intimidatory tactics influence how journalists cover Gaza? As Joel Campagna of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says: "It all has a chilling affect on journalists’ ability to report the story."


HonestReporting’s Gary Kenzer is now roving around the country coordinating events, activities and lectures on many issues of interest to HonestReporting subscribers and the wider community. If you would like Gary to speak in your region, contact him at

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