I suppose viewers of Jon Snow’s Channel 4 News don’t expect impartial journalism, any more than viewers of Fox in the States expect their political opponents to get a particularly fair hearing. This is, after all, a journalist whose first reaction when the Malaysian airline plane was shot down over Ukraine was to express concern that the deaths might distract attention from Israel’s war with Hamas.
Awful danger that the shooting down of flight MH17 will provide cover for an intensification of Israel’s ground war in Gaza
— Jon Snow (@jonsnowC4) July 18, 2014
But what an extraordinary way to present the situation in the Middle East: Hamas as a sincere social welfare organisation who have been kind enough to allow Jon Snow to report under their reporting restrictions, Israel as an abomination with a lust for killing Palestinian children.
The level of disservice in this video is extraordinary. Snow completely fails to inform his viewers. For instance he emphasises Israel’s advantage of having a missile defence system, which he is eager to stress as being partly paid for with American money (as though that is just one additional sin. Why does he not mention that Hamas’s infrastructure of tunnels has been paid for with diverted UN and EU money, among other things?). He also misrepresents Israel’s partial defence advantage. Israel’s missile defence system is not, as he says, by any means 100 per cent effective. If it were, then no Israelis would have been killed by rockets and 80 per cent of Israel’s citizens would not have to dart to shelters every time the sirens go off because they are in range of Hamas rockets. Besides, even if the system were 100 per cent effective, why should any country tolerate 80 per cent of its people having to live under rocket fire or residing in shelters while the welfare group Hamas lets off steam and thousands of rockets?
Jon Snow probably thinks that he is helping to solve the Middle East problem. But the truth is that biased, inaccurate and one-sided reports like this in fact only help to perpetuate it. This Channel 4 report is not journalism. It is pure crowd-baiting. And what might some half-informed young hot- head do with such a simplistic version of events? Work to bring about peace? Or, thus rallied, dream of war?
Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.