Who Edits and Vets these Reuters “Posts? Michael Williams on Hezbollah
The danger of these english-language pieces – ones which endlessly and sloppily talk up Hezbollah weaknesses, corruption, craziness etc (and make no mistake: these aspects are indeed likely elements associated with the party-though certainly no where near dominant elements and the extent and context is exceedingly difficult to understand and analyze) – is that they contribute – they enhance and amplify – bad policies, particularly of the variety that ALWAYS calls for – agitates for – military solutions for problems in the middle east (even though we have often seen the disasterous moral and strategic consequences of this approach).
It seems that one major consequence of the breakdown of traditional journalism has been the serious erosion of fact checking and basic journalistic rules – about anonymous sources as but one example. We know this trend, it’s obvious… sure.
What is not obvious and which is deeply troubling is why think tanks, respectable news organizations and well endowed academic institutions often dont seem to have many substantive rules and procedures anymore in place to vet and screen the statements and information they are cycling through the policy making and public discourse. It is NOT a question of financing here – especially for the think tanks and academic inst…. it is a choice that is being avoided.
Williams write, among other things:
“…In a clear departure from the past, where Hezbollah would not take revenge on Israeli attacks, Nasrallah stressed that the group has the right to respond in any way or time it deems fit….”
— What? Even if you like the neo-con version of Hizbullah foreign operations – accusations which have some weight, surely – NO ONE has said that Hizbullah used to NOT respond to Israeli attacks. The response has happened many times… Just read Jean Aziz’s english-language piece in monitor today!
A basic factual error – but how can we take the rest seriously?