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Calling ‘shenanigans’ on the ABC

Recently, one of the ABC journalists covering the Middle East contacted this site, something we’re (seriously) very grateful for. It’s genuinely heartening to see he takes pride in his work and wanted his side of the story shown. You can read about it here:

In any case, in this correspondence, this journalist stated that the ABC is always open and accountable on every story they publish and he believes them to be fair and unbiased. He stated that he always uses verifiable and reliable sources and presents both sides of the story.

It’s important to hear the ABC’s point of view explained because in all honesty, it’s possible we get the wrong end of the stick sometimes. I guess the only way we can ‘get a feel’ for what the ABC is trying to do is have another look at their website, today.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

Today’s update, titled “Curfew and clashes in Palestinian town“, is a brief article which explains how Israel is unfairly punishing the residents of a town in the West Bank.

Here’s a few snippets:

“One resident said up to 50 people were hurt by tear gas and rubber bullets”

“A Reuters correspondent on a hill overlooking Nilin saw at least a dozen people walking and shouting through the village”

Now, the first thing you may note is the references used. Who are they? We know it was a Reuters correspondent but we don’t know who. This correspondent in fact is used for the source as the rest of the report.

Now, we’ve already been told by the ABC that all their sources are verifiable and reliable so surely Google will answer this nagging question. And indeed it does.

It seems the source of this report is named “Mohammad Khawaja” and he’s actually a Palestinian resident of the said “locked down” town. Here’s another report from another news agency. They, and many others you can find online, had no fear to tell their readers that the report was actually based on an “eye witness” who has a clear agenda to serve. All online sources quoted the same Reuters article which included this information – however only the ABC chose to omit this detail.

Now, the reporter who helped write the report at Reuters, Wafar Amr, missed out on a mention on the ABC site, as well. That seemed a little unfair, what with her being the lady who did all the work – but if you view the ABC’s site, nearly every single report is from “Reuters” and the name is left blank. Why could this be? Could it be Wafar Amr is a known name, with a known agenda?

Of course, it’s a little difficult to know that. To come up with that sort of opinion, we’d need some sort of super network of information, with computers connecting it all together, in some way.

Fortunately, we have such a thing.

It seems Wafar Amr, the Senior Israeli Correspondent for Reuters (and the head source of all Reuters information which comes out of Israel and therefore winds up on the ABC website), may not be so reliable, herself.

In fact, it appears she is a cousin of former Palestinian minister Nabil Amr and her father was known to be a friend of Yassar Arafat. She’s also herself a member of Al Quds, a known terrorist organisation. In fact, here’s what another news agency (and fellow Reuters staff) had to say about her:

Some of Reuters’s Palestinian stringers are honest and courageous. But, according to several ex-Reuters staffers, they feel the intimidating presence of Wafa Amr, Reuters’s “Senior Palestinian Correspondent.” Amr – who is a cousin of former Palestinian minister Nabil Amr, and whose father is said to be close to Arafat – had this title specially created for her (there is no “Senior Israeli Correspondent,” or the equivalent in any other Arab country) so that her close ties to the Palestinian Authority could be exploited.

As one former Reuters journalist put it: “She occupies this position in spite of lacking a basic command of English grammar. The information passed through her is controlled, orchestrated. Reuters would never allow Israeli government propaganda to be fed into its reports in this way. Indeed, stories exposing Israeli misdeeds are a favourite of Reuters. Amr has never had an expose on Arafat, or his Al-Aqsa Brigades terror group.”

This lady is the actual “source” on well over 90% of the ABC’s reporting on the Israeli / Palestinian conflict. A known anti-Israeli, with links to known terrorists. This is directly where the majority of the ABC’s reports on Israel come from. And they know it. I mean, how could they not? It took me about 2 minutes to find this out and another 2 to find a dozen more sources backing it up.

Here’s an example of Amir at work. The originally submitted piece by the journalist said:

Abbas’ visit is the first by a Palestinian president since 2000, when Middle East peace negotiations collapsed into violence for which U.S. officials often blamed Abbas’ late predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

However Amr re-wrote it as such, before submission:

Washington, eager to end the deadlock in the peace process, has welcomed Abbas’ ability to extract a cease fire from Palestinian militant groups and his efforts to achieve statehood through democratic and peaceful means.

Quite a different story now, huh?

So, ABC. Upfront and forthright about your sources?

I think not.

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