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October 23, 2011 10:20 am

Media Hypocrisy: Stupidity or Hatred?

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is interviewed by Egypt TV. Photo: Channel 10/Reuters screenshot.

Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists, was freed last week. Incomprehensibly, Egyptian State TV conducted the first and exclusive interview with Shalit. An Egyptian flag faced Gilad, while a Hamas terrorist in full regalia (black face mask and green headband of the Qassam Military Brigade) stood behind the newly-released captive. Are we supposed to believe that Gilad Shalit wanted to do this interview? The Daily Telegraph, distributed throughout the UK and internationally, deems these facts irrelevant.

During the 12-minute interview, Shalit breathed laboriously and was visibly shaken. He had not yet been allowed to greet his parents or receive medical treatment, but was forced to answer questions such as:” During all that time of captivity, you did just one video to tell the world and your family that you’re alive. Why just once? Why didn’t it happen again?” (Did one think he was allowed to grant interviews of his own volition while terrorists controlled him?) The reporter asked him what “lessons” he learned in captivity, and other offensive, absurd and inappropriate questions. Israeli TV anchor Yonit Levy called the interview “borderline torture,” and Channel 10 commentator and presenter Raviv Drucker said the Egyptian reporter’s questions would “likely win the title of the stupidest questions of the past 100 years.” It was low, unethical and awful.

Now another journalist, Mary Riddell, columnist and political blogger for The Daily Telegraph, reports the Shalit interview as if it was an actual sit-down interview that he initiated or, at least, agreed to — not one with a man who just moments before, emerged from five years in hell in the hands of terrorists.

Riddell cites the Shalit interview in stating: “Gilad Shalit has been a fine ambassador for peace and for Israel. His government should follow suit. In calling for peace, Shalit made the boldest gesture possible. The Hamas regime may be loathsome, but the Netanyahu Government, which bears the responsibility of an advanced democracy, also has a shameful record in its treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank. The blood of the Gazans killed in Operation Cast Lead is a stain on the name of Israel.”

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It’s simply amazing that a political blogger ignores the fact that this was a tortured man doing a forced interview. One often wonders whether hypocrisy or hatred drives the media regarding Israel, the only country whose existence the media questions.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, 1 of the 25 largest PR firms in the US, and author of the just released PR book “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations.”

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