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July 30, 2014 12:22 pm

Huffington Post Takes its Propaganda War Against Israel Into Outer Space

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Arianna Huffington in 2011. Photo: Wikiepedia

“[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.”

On July 24, 2014 the Simon Wiesenthal Center again condemned The Huffington Post, this time for “taking the art of lying and self-delusion to new depths,” in regards to its latest act of anti-Israel bias and incitement.  That incident was merely the latest in a long string of exposes by the SWCHuff-WatchHuffPostMonitor and others of HuffPost’s pathological incitement of hatred against Israel and Jews, and whitewashing or legitimizing the Palestinian narrative.

On July 25, however, HuffPost broke the bonds of gravity and took its propaganda war against Israel into the heavens – literally.  Specifically, it gave top coverage to a “news” story that had been debunked by multiple sources 24 hours earlier – that the explosions and rocket fire in Gaza are so massive, that they can be seen from space.

Here is a screencap of how HuffPost presented this “news” story on its front page:

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HuffPost’s source for the story was a July 23 tweet by German astronaut Alexander Gerst, which read:

“My saddest photo yet. From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza & #Israel.”

Before you succumb to automatically believing whatever astronaut Gerst says, some facts to consider (which HuffPost’s army of “editors,” “researchers” and “journalists” either didn’t, or ignored):

  • The International Space Station orbits the Earth from an altitude of approximately 240 miles.

  • The rockets that Hamas fires at Israel, and those that are fired by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system to knock them down are each about 10 feet long.

  • The reason that stars appear to “twinkle” to the naked eye is because of a phenomenon called scintillation. Passing clouds, combined with optical distortions caused by pockets of hot and cold air in the atmosphere, cause illuminated objects to appear brighter one second, and dimmer the next.

Given all these facts, do you really think that the exhaust from these rockets, and the explosions they cause, can be seen from 240 miles up? And if you were a (legitimate) news editor, wouldn’t these facts lead you to at least question the veracity of the astronaut’s claim?

Before you answer, consider some additional facts:

  • Twenty-four hours before HuffPost published that “news” story, numerous lone Internet sleuths had already debunked it.  First, blogger “Dmartyr” at the Jawa Report blog pointed out this deception by comparing Gerst’s image to a map of Israel, proving that the areas of Gerst’s image that appear to contain “explosions” are actually major Israeli population centers – Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa – and that Gaza is enveloped in darkness.

  • Another blogger, “CandidBouncyGraySquirrel,” demonstrated this fact further, by constructed a two-frame overlay animation:

    [iframe src=”http://gfycat.com/ifr/CandidBouncyGraysquirrel” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” width=”450″ height=”450″ style=”-webkit-backface-visibility: hidden;-webkit-transform: scale(1);” >]
  • Then, in his expose, “Now we’re getting propaganda from space,” blogger Thomas Wickter points out through video that at night, even while standing directly under Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system as it knocks down the rockets that Hamas fires at its civilians, one can barely see either projectile in flight: [iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/5oCaPNIZsx0?feature=player_embedded” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>]

Would it really be possible to see these rocket trails from 240 miles up, without the hyper-magnification of an NSA spy satellite?  Of course not.

Keep in mind that these facts were uncovered by individual bloggers on July 24 – a full day before HuffPost published Gerst’s allegation as “news” on its front page.

One by one, legitimate news sources in Israel began picking up on these blog reports, and doing their own research.  Notable among these was The Times of Israel, which enlisted geology professor Michael Harper for a story it also published on July 24, that completely debunked the astronaut’s allegations.

With all this knowledge in mind, it is reasonable to ask:

  • Is it really possible that HuffPost, which as of 2011 had a bigger “news” room than even The New York Times, and has only grown larger still in the following three years, missed all these reports – before it published its version of this story, one day after it was debunked?

  • Why did HuffPost editors change the basic allegation in astronaut Gerst’s tweet? In his version, he claimed the image showed “explosions and rockets flying over Gaza & Israel.” HuffPost’s headline, however, falsely claimed that the image focused only on Gaza (“This is what Gaza looks like right now”)?

  • Why did HuffPost not publish a retraction, clarification or apology in the 72 hours after posting this debunked story, acknowledging that it had deliberately misled its readers?

To know HuffPost, however, is to know the answers to these questions:

  • This was not an isolated incident, or an “accident,” as HuffPost likes to claim when it’s caught in one of these situations.  Rather, it was a continuation of its pathological mischaracterization of news concerning the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, in a way that can only result in unjustifiable public hatred of Israel and Jews.

  • Since the start of this conflict, HuffPost falsely depicted Israel as the aggressor, and Hamas as merely acting in response to this aggression. And rather than presenting an accurate and contextual picture of this conflict, its causes, and the steps each side is taking to avoid (or deliberately cause) civilian casualties, HuffPost’s “coverage” has been so dishonest and lopsided that it could have been written and directed by Hamas itself.

  • For years, this dishonest, inflammatory approach has under-girded all of HuffPost’s “reporting” on Israel’s efforts to defend itself against Islamist terrorism, and has even extended to domestic Jewish issues.  For example, who can forget HuffPost’s 2012 front-page “news” story that falsely claimed “a pack of Jews” chased Mitt Romney away from a wedding?

In the broadest context, HuffPost giving top-line coverage to a demonstrably false story alleging that the explosions in Gaza are so massive they can be seen 240 miles into space, after it had been debunked by sources large and small, is not that significant.  But it does represent the grimly comical outer-orbit of HuffPost’s willingness to do whatever is necessary to ensure that its readership is incited to hate Israel, and sympathize with the very Palestinian forces that have caused this war, and are deliberately causing civilian casualties.

On the bright side, however, HuffPost has not completely lost its moral sense, and desire to correct erroneous public perceptions.  For example, on July 28 it posted at the top of its front page a weepy-eyed defense of pit bulls.

Perhaps one day, HuffPost will decide to feature such a passionate defense of Israel, to correct the egregious public misconceptions and hatred that it has deliberately and maliciously fomented about it.  And if it were really interested in atoning for its propaganda war against Israel, HuffPost would run the story so prominently that it could actually be seen from space.

“HuffWatcher” is the anonymous creator and editor of HUFF-WATCH. Contact: huffwatcher1@gmail.com.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • John Smith

    They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste. If that is so there is landfill of wasted minds at Huffington.

  • HLMencken

    Huffington Post — where idiots and half-educated housewives wander to when hitting F5 doesn’t yield anything on their precious FB timeline.

  • The Huffington Post continues to disseminate anti Israel sentiment and articles. They are a true enemy of Israel.

    • Selma Prager

      Several years ago I signed up to comment on the HuffPost. I noticed that just about all the comments were anti-Israel and I decided to test that situation. I posted a pro Israel comment which was never posted so I realized that they only posted the anti-Israel comments. I confronted them with that information, so they blocked me from commenting.

      Fast forward a number of years- comments are made using Facebook info.. Again, all the comments are anti Israel, so, again I posted a pro Israel comment- 5 times and it was deleted every time. I want to send them a nasty comment but I decided it could come back to bite me using my Facebook information. Ariana is revealing herself as being worse than anti-Israel.

  • Blangwort

    Anyone who has looked down at the earth from an airliner cruising at 35,000 feet on a clear night (approximately six and a half miles up) knows that seeing anything beyond city lights is next to impossible.

    This view was taken from 240 miles away –about 35 times the distance of that view from an airliner. At that distance, one MIGHT be able to see the contrail from a very large rocket, but a picture like this doesn’t have the resolution to show it.

    I won’t dispute that astronaut Gerst may have seen exactly what he claims, but this picture does not contain any evidence of it.

  • dora summer

    Please shut up!

  • Patricia McGehee

    She speaks with impure lips.

  • Martin Bookspan

    And the journalistic qualifications of the lady herself are exceedingly thin. Her long ago biography of Maria Callas is full of factual errors and musical ignorance.

  • Quince

    Arianna Huffington, or Popadopulous, whichever you like, has always been a suspected anti-Semite. But, what was always in question was the degree of her antisemitism — we are slowing finding out.

  • Fred

    Goebels has become these days the “Patron Saint of the News Media” you lie long enough, your lies a grubby , & you continue your steady stream of lies your audience will come to believe these as truth.

    • Edward Paul Campbell

      “Mein Fuhrer, I CAN WALK…!”

      Our dearly departed Rumpelscheißeskin, Joseph Goebbels, was a great admirer of ‘Das Achtung Juden’ Edward Bernays, nephew of Die Aufmerksamkeit sucht jüdisch Psychologe Dr. Sigmund Freud, and bought his whole ouvre to stock his library. His most famous werk being ‘Propaganda’. There were other contemporaries of course but his book really set the pace for the last 3/4s of the 20th century. Wonder who’s going to be the new Goebbels for ISIS?

      “You talk about being a Nazi Muslim as if it’s a bad thing”… Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al Husseini and uncle of Yasser Arafat (PBUH).

  • Professional liars know that well: the more a lie is gross, the best it works. Irrational fears and thoughts are comforted by irrational fears and thought. Shame on Huffington Post.

  • montlasky

    Huff & Puff viz: Huffington Post and “blow the house down.” How biased and anti Semitic can they get….they are coming close to the New Yok Times…..

  • Ever notice how almost every media source states the # of palestinain deaths…meaning women and children of course, then they give the Israeli soldier death count. Ive never actually heard a hamas fighter death toll.

    • Edward Paul Campbell

      Hamas fighters never die. They are translated to the 7th Heaven immediately upon being ‘retired with extreme prejudice’.

  • aall55

    ok they are virulent anti -semites , but I am wondering : are these people sane ?

  • Dr. Zhivago

    I think Michael Huffington, the ex of Arianna Popadopulous (her real name; wonder why she is not using it?!), should sue her for misuse of his family name. BTW, according to the recent ADL report, Greeks are the biggest anti-Semites in Europe. So, no big surprise here!

  • Arianna Huffington is the Ilse Koch of our time.

  • judithg

    the huffington post is remarkably similar to those old kkk pamphlets featuring hooknosed Jews and rife with canards, blood libels, and of course, pathological lies. it not only merely vomits anti semitism. it is a repulsive venue created exclusively by and for Jew haters. for comic relief, however, there are always the huffington post’s illiterate ignorant braindead commentors.

    • Edward Paul Campbell

      Please stop insulting Mehdi Hasan, he can’t help being the Political Director of Huffington Post UK. He was forced to take the post by a Russian KGB agent called Mikhail Kalashnikov, and a Muslim extremist called AbÅ« al-Qāsim Muḥammad ibn Ê¿Abd Allāh ibn Ê¿Abd al-Muá¹­á¹­alib ibn Hāshim (aka ‘Big Mo’, according to CIA and MI6 sources).

      Hasan argued in November 2011: “Wouldn’t it be rational for Iran – geographically encircled, politically isolated, feeling threatened – to want its own arsenal of nukes, for defensive and deterrent purposes”? A perfectly sane comment, if you ask me.

  • LouA

    The scum over there have blocked me for defending Israel from the pack of hernia posters they attract.

    • judorebbe

      If we are evil enough to use the bold of Christian (and now Muslim) children for our matzah, then we are evil enough to use rockets that are detectable from 240 miles above Gaza.

      Amazing how irrational anti-Semites can get !!!

      • Edward Paul Campbell

        ‘Rocket Man’ by Elton John is the ‘New No1’ with Gaza Pop Radio DJs (except they can’t play it on air because he is a ‘najusa dhimmi’ and a gay kafr).

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