Now with Israel finally reducing power supplies to Gaza step by tiny step, it's a good time to review some of the lies and the identity of those peddling them over the past three weeks. Here's a selection.
AFP photographer Mahmoud Hams and the Agence France Press newsagency concocted this piece of nonsense on January 22, 2008. His evidently-staged picture, published throughout the world the following day, shows Gaza "law-makers" meeting to do their vital legislative business in the Israeli-created dark... while bright daylight is blocked out by the drawn curtains. Hams obviously knew he was taking a snapshot in the full light of day. It's evident to anyone with eyes that he is a willing participant in a dangerous charade, a deliberate distortion of reality, a lie. And so are are his AFP masters.
Mohammed Salem of Reuters was there the same day, taking the same snapshot, playing along in the very same charade. Perhaps Mohammed prepared the curtains for Mahmoud... or did Mahmoud switch off the lights for Mohammed? No matter - the pay-masters at Reuters lapped it up, and sent this pic off to their paying newspaper customers throughout the world. With bright daylight barely concealed by the semi-transparent curtains, they must have a considerable degree of contempt for the intelligence of their customers and their news-consumers.
Another newsagency snap - the Pal-Arab legislators of Gaza, forced to do their critical democratic duty by candle-light. Someone forgot to tell the editor in London to crop out the windows whose curtains barely manage to keep the bright daylight out.
Mohammed Salem again - same candles, same daylight streaming through the curtains. Does he have a complete moron for an editor at Reuters?
Hard to imagine a more tragic proof of Israeli heartlessness. Clear evidence the Zionists have cut off power indiscriminately. Collective punishment of the weakest in society, forcing even the preemie ward at this Gaza maternity hospital to pay an unbearable price. But wait a moment, could that be...? (See next pic.)
Yep. Same ward, same babe, different angle. Suddenly it's not a power-deprived hospital because (take a closer look) the electrically-powered monitor off to the side is working just fine.
So who exactly was in the dark here? Certainly not the photographer. He knew the game he was playing. Did his editors?
Desperate Gazans, demonstrating in the pitch dark with nothing but their candles to light the way. Somehow the editors at head office forgot to crop those pesky electrically-powered street lights in the background out of the frame; they're clearly operating here in full force.
Abu Haykel must have forgotten to point out to his Reuters editors that those street lights and shop signs in the background needed to be edited out of the pictures he sent them to illustrate their "Gaza plunged into darkness" stories. There's plenty of darkness here... but it's not on Gaza's streets.
Same Abu Haykel, same idiot editor at Reuters who must have been transfixed by the subtle effect of the candles in the hands of the street protestors. And just forgot that the lights in the background - street lights, commercial signs - are powered by the electricity that isn't supposed to be there.
There's a serious message here. Some of the biggest brand-names in the news-manufacturing world - and certainly including AFP and Reuters - have no problem at all fabricating a story if it fits the agenda of the editors.
The Snapped Shot ("exposing photojournalism one frame at a time") website, among others, does a fine job of tracking the liberties these people are taking with our credulity.
Agenda-driven photographers, photo editors and news packagers are a menace because in a world existentially threatened by jihadists and other terrorists, if you get these stories wrong, you are liable to make the most catastrophic mistakes.
That's exactly what the terrorists want to happen, and their friends in the huge news factories (AP, Reuters, AFP et al) are either their willing accomplices or prize fools.