Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Remember the waving flag images in the corner of every news broadcast?

This analysis of how the Israeli press got caught up in the country's nationalistic fervor in the recent conflict is worth reading. But it's worth remembering that that is basically what happened to the U.S. media after 9/11, when the U.S. became "we" and American reporters paid almost no attention to the death and destruction that American weapons were inflicting on people in far off places.

People go a little crazy when their country goes to war. News sources are run by people, so the coverage is going to be affected. But these days the distortions are not limited to the country in the conflict. Over the past few weeks I watched friends and relatives repeat misleading or distorted stories about the world from Israeli sources on social media, creating a kind of alternate reality bubble from which they viewed the world. When confronted with a conflicting narrative from a non-Israeli source, that source was immediately dismissed as "biased" and so the bubble never gets popped.