My last neologism was Nigaleian, perhaps it is time for a new one.

reuter’d: To be fooled by propaganda masquerading as news. Derived from punk’d and fake Reuters news photographs from the 2006 Israel-Lebanon Conflict.

Reuters has admitted the fakery. See here and here for more overviews of the controversy.

But what does this have to do with Williams? Good question! It seems to me that Professor Marc Lynch may have been reuter’d.

Not supposed to be blogging this weekend. Supposed to be playing with my kids. Pictures like this from Qana, where more than half the victims were children, do not help.

lynch_qana.jpg

Source: al-Ghad

Sorry, no more. When my boy wakes up from his nap, and my girl gets back from the coffeeshop, I’m going to hold them for a long, long time.

How did Marc interpret this picture? Just the way we all did. An innocent child is dead, killed by Israeli bombs. A father is grief-stricken, holding the lifeless body of his child. A rescue-worker does what little he can in the background.

But is that the full story? Not everyone thinks so. My first introduction to the controversy around “Green Helmet” and “White Tee-Shirt” came from EU Referendum. (Further (lengthy!) comments here and here. Contrary view here. Wikipedia is, as usual, an excellent resource.)

My opinion: too soon to tell whether or not the particular photo that Marc presents to us is “staged” or in any meaningful way “fake,” but I predict that this story is not going away, that for someone, like Marc, interested in the media and the Middle East, it will be one of the most important stories of 2006. I look forward to reading Marc’s observations going forward. I suspect that he would place someone like Richard North — the main writer at EU Referendum — in the same camp as 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists.

UPDATE: This is not the original source for the photograph, but it is obviously taken at almost exactly the same time and location. The caption reads:

A man screams for help as he carries the body of a dead girl after Israeli air strikes on the southern Lebanese village of Qana 30 July 2006. At least 51 people were killed, many of them children, when Israeli war planes blitzed Qana, the deadliest single strike since the Jewish state unleashed its war on Hezbollah 19 days ago.

Maybe I am just an old Zionist, but that description does not strike me as, uh, excessively neutral. See EU Referendum for a different perspective on exactly the same “facts.” If we can’t agree on what really happened in one bombing in one village during a brief war, then the historian’s job is a difficult one indeed.

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