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The Second Draft Takes on ’Pallywood’; What do You do When You Can’t Trust Public Information in the Mainstream Media (MSM)?


WASHINGTON, Sept. 14 -- Following is a release of The Second Draft:

What do you do when you can’t trust public information in the mainstream media (MSM)?

Critical minds have increasingly come to mistrust our MSM (or, as some call it with a nod to Chomsky, M$M). We begin to feel the kind of “information vertigo” one normally associates with totalitarian societies.

We offer a refuge from this information vertigo: The Second Draft: Historians Look at Journalism. Here we take a close look at some of Journalism’s “first drafts of history.” On Sep. 14, 2005, The Second Draft opens with a dossier on “Pallywood” and a five-year retrospective on the way the MSM presented the “Al Aqsa Intifada” (October 2000).

Of course the MSM is not the only problem. If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that you don’t need Big Brother to get brainwashed. People do it to themselves, by going to the sites that only tell them what they want to hear.

That’s the function of the MSM. To stay impartial, unbiased, to act as the gatekeepers of a public discussion that filters out false information, paranoid conspiracy theories, and hate- mongering. We need the MSM. They are the eyes and ears of civil society.

But in the one case that we at The Second Draft know well - Pallywood - the MSM have shown exceptionally poor judgment, credulous at best, dishonest at worst. The raw footage from September 30, 2000 shot at Netzarim Junction in the Gaza Strip shows us male youth faking scenes of conflict and injury (especially ambulance evacuations), filmed by Palestinian cameramen with Western equipment. The footage then goes to MSM news agencies where, stringing together the most believable sight-bytes, our newsmen present these scenes as news. Viewing this footage we present you here, taken on a day when the world was told the most harrowing of tales of wanton violence, is literally surreal.

How often our media are this sloppy, we don’t know. But we do know that these things must be confronted, however great MSM’s reluctance to self-criticize.

The Second Draft, offers you your own look at the evidence, our take, and an invitation to a much larger discussion about

-- What are the problems that led to this failure?

-- What were its consequences, if any?

-- How often do such fiascos occur? and

-- How can our MSM avoid them in the future?


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