Friday, November 16, 2007

Enderlin's Ocean of Blood- Why the Second Draft is Important

Charles Enderlin is adrift in a rising ocean of blood. He is either so arrogant or so blinded by his fear that he is helpless to do what needs to be done to stem the tide. It is a tragedy of Biblical scale. When it all started, he was riding an exhilarating wave. (Backgound: here, here and here)

In October of 2000 he had what must have been a dream job. He was the Jerusalem Bureau Chief for France2. He got to live in one of the great, cosmopolitan, civilized cities of the world and report daily on a simmering, dangerous, richly symbolic conflict at the cutting edge between civilization and chaos. There was always a story. Because he lived and worked in Jerusalem there was never any censorship or physical threat or even any physical discomfort. He had Palestinian stringers who fed him footage and information from the unsafe and difficult areas so he could sit in Jerusalem, edit film in his fuzzy robe and slippers and be a war correspondent.

I am guessing that he just got too sloppy and arrogant to see how he was being used by his trusted Palestinian sidekick Talal Abu Rahma. Rahma knew the boss wasn’t disposed to check up on his work as long as he delivered serviceable goods and he gave him a juicy scoop once in a while. One day, Rahma overplayed the deal and Enderlin was setup for a fall. The rest of the story boils down to what Enderlin knew, when he knew it and whether or not he would take responsibility for it.

His now controversial report on the alleged shooting of a twelve year old boy named Muhammed al Durah at Netzarim Junction in Gaza vaulted him to the top of the jounalistic world. He had “scooped” everyone and had presented a perspective on the Arab-Israeli conflict that had been hinted at by the media and longed for by the liberal and leftists in the dank guilt-ridden recesses of the west- especially Europe. It quickly became apparent that although it had never actually been seen or proven, there was a large and willing potion of the audience that readily took to the image of the Israelis as oppressors and thugs. The film and Enderlin’s presentation of it would, if true, have been proof of murderous brutality by the Israeli army. Enderlin reported that they killed the boy in cold blood. Looking at the report footage now, with the knowledge and background that has come to light it is hard to believe that such ambiguous and poorly staged stuff could have caught the imagination of the world the way it did. But, then, you had the voice of Charles Enderlin telling you what to believe about it in your ear and it is always dangerous to underestimate the size and explosivity of the subterranean lake of anti-Semitic blood-libel that seems to bubble and churn beneath the entire world’s population.

Enderlin’s report and the image it presented roiled that stygian lake from its dormancy. The news media picked it up and propagated it. He suddenly found himself riding a tidal wave of notoriety and recognition. Behaving more like a propagandist than a journalist, he arraigned for his scoop footage to be distributed to any other media outlet that would carry it- free of charge. Usually other media are made to pay dearly for hot items like this, but Charles “Scoopy” Enderlin was in full self-promotion mode.

Still, when questions came up about the sad but oddly bloodless video footage Charles the Delicate, demurred. he refused to back up his report with more proof. Oh, he had more proof, he said, he just didn’t want to bruise our sensitivities. He did it for our own good.

A little more than three weeks after the incident, when some ungrateful defenders of Israel began asking questions and casting doubt on your story and you let it out- (not the actual proof mind you, that might have been too much for us) you told Telerama magazine:

“I cut the images of the child's agony (death throes), they were unbearable. The story was told, the news delivered. It would not have added anything more...”

What a hero he wanted to seem. Not only did he have the goods on the Israelis, he was so very cultivated and civilized about it. Even the Israelis were afraid to call his bluff. What if he did have heart-rending footage of the child’s death throes? They recoiled in horror. Rather than risk even more heart breaking images coming to light, the Israelis pulled back and left it alone.

But a nagging doubt still tormented some of us. Landes, Karsenty, Poller, Gross and others- those with enough faith in what their eyes could see, and enough experience with the Leftist media and its toadying up to the Palestinian propaganda machine to see that it was a bluff and, just as in a poker game, if a bluff is not called, the bluffer wins all.

From the isolation and security of his Jerusalem studio, which he never actually left to investigate this story himself, he had pronounced the boy dead, even as we can see him peeking out from under his arm looking for all the world like a kid who might just be tired of play-acting. It was as if he were saying, “Is it ok to get up? I’m tired of this. I’d like to go home now.”

Meanwhile, if Enderlin had looked down, he would have noticed that the wave he was riding was actually a tsunami of blood. It crashed over the Middle East, inundating it in rage and violence. It has continued to continuously circle the globe, splashing gore wherever it touches

The wave washed over those two off duty Israeli reservists who took a wrong turn, got lost in the west bank and were murdered in Ramallah two weeks after the initial broadcast report aired. More accurately, they were torn limb from bloody limb by an enraged crowd in Ramallah as they chanted the name al Durah over and over. Enderlin might might want us to believe that the savagery in Ramallah might have been worse that day had those “death throes” he used as emotional blackmail been shown. I don’t know how.

In an insensate, vengeful rage they stormed the police station (the police stood by and watched). They beat, stabbed and mutilated the men. They threw them out of a second story window. They pummeled them and mangled them. Finally, they took their internal organs out of their bodies, held them aloft and paraded around with them. I watched that video.

All the while, Monsieur Enderlin was posing as the moderate and even slightly charitable correspondent. He seemed to expect us to thank him for holding back the footage that he claimed to be “really” inflammatory. He had the advantage and no one was able to mount a formidable enough challenge to force his deception into the open. His bosses at France2 backed him completely. So he was able to masquerade as good man who was simply too honest to not tell his compelling story- even if it meant he “had to make the sacrifice” of becoming world renowned in the process. Poor Monsieur Enderlin, thank you for taking the trouble to spare a forlorn world the horror of the truth about Muhammad al Durah’s death- this was so much better.

The wave of blood made it to the US a year later. On September 11, 2001 we here in America watched thousands of our fellow citizens incinerated in airplanes, leaping to their deaths to escape flames in their offices and crushed to a fine powdery dust by collapsing concrete. Afterward we heard Osama bin Laden cite the name of al Durah in righteous indignation in his demonic screed of justification.

Two years later Daniel Pearl was lost under the wave when the name and image of al Durah was used (as incitement and justification) in the video that gruesomely depicted the death by beheading of the Wall Street Journal reporter after he was forced to kneel and “confess” to being Jewish. Ask yourself why this blatantly anti-Semitic atrocity inspired some much less horror in the west than the faked death of Muhammad al Durah and you are forced to confront the fact that the people who were harmed the most by this whole sordid affair are the ones who see themselves as the victors of its aftermath.

The greatest harm caused by the wave was done where it first came ashore among the Palestinian people and the larger Islamic world beyond them. Now this one is overlooked very easily because, as he himself has implied, the Arabs and Islamists are held to a very low standard of behavior and comportment- especially by him and most of the rest of the mainstream media. In a stunning example of the pernicious effects of multiculturalism he and others in the employ of France2 have dismissed the staging and fraud exposed bye ven the most superficial analysis of the outtake footage that we have seen that day as just an aspect of “their (the Palestinian) culture”. The Arabs’ atrocious behavior has been excused as “cultural” and been consistently rewarded and reinforced by people like Enderlin that they have become “The People of the Tantrum”.

There was never any doubt that the story about al Durah served as an accelerant to the flames of Islamic inferiority and rage, Enderlin played a leading role in keeping them locked in the dungeon of resentment, intolerance and xenophobia. He gave them a tangible reason to stay enraged and aggressive and he allowed them to let their imaginations run riot on the idea that was even more distressing footage that they had not seen..

From Enderlin’s point of view, what was the downside, really? Even if his report had been truthful, even if he were dealing with us honestly about his reasons for hiding the footage, even if he had fully come forward with all of the rushes, it could hardly have made things worse than they have turned out. It made for a nice steady news cycle; the rage and violence produced as many incidents as he cared to cover, and his part in the fraud (whether as a willing tool or an unwitting useful idiot) gave him a nice cozy access relationship to the newsmakers.

But Last week, when Charles Enderlin showed up in court with nine minutes less video than he had been ordered to appear with, it was clear that he now had dropped the pretense that he had additional and more damning footage. He is now officially not riding the wave any longer; he is in danger of being pulled under by it. His arrogance when he informed the court that the footage that he did not bring either “didn’t concern that day” or “were irrelevant” actually drew laughs from the courtroom. His equally laughable narrations that went along with the actual screening were just as ridiculous.

Perhaps it is just “his culture” (as he would say of the Arabs) as a high priest of media that makes him believe that he can tell the rest of the world what is of concern and what is not relevant but I suspect (and hope) that the judge will want to be the one making that call in her courtroom.

But that is a legal question and subject to the arcane French laws that allowed Enderlin to win the first case against Karsenty without proving that he (Enderlin) had not known that the report he aired on the incident at Netzarim was based on inaccurate information. The way the law is written made it possible for Enderlin to take Karsenty to court and accuse him of libel without having to prove that Karsenty was wrong in what he had said. Thus the French court was at its own discretion on how hard to look at Enderlin. In this second trial, the court has decided that the plausibility of Karsenty’s original assessment of Enderlin’s work should be considered and that is why Enderlin was finally ordered to produce the video.

As of this past Wednesday, the question is now no longer whether Charles Enderlin is a liar or not, the question is only when, if ever, does he tell the truth and how much of the truth does he tell? Was he lying before he was forced to the courtroom or is he lying now? Really, it makes little difference. What matters is that he must lose his license to misinform the public and he must lose it now!

The management at France2 that gave him a platform to misrepresent and then helped him lie and cover-up should be sacked also. Given that France2 is a government agency, the involvement and motives of the French government (at least pre-Sarkosy) must be questioned.

Beyond the tragedy and the necessary punishment of Enderlin and France2 there are still greater and more perplexing unanswered questions. Why did the world so eagerly embrace the al Durah affair as a new reason to fear and hate “The Jews” (as embodied by Israel). Why were so many people and governments so easily sucked in by this transparent jape of a “news” story while the great and stinking atrocities of our times, the slaughter of innocents in suicide attacks, are shrugged and clucked at? Why, even now, though it is has been on shaky ground since 2004 when Enderlin publicly retrenched to the position that the boy was “killed in a crossfire” instead of intentionally by Israelis will the stain not go away? Why has none of the courtroom drama of last week gained any attention from the Western media? Here is a now proven lie, told in arrogance and perpetuated without conscience that has cause a tidal wave of blood. Who will answer for it?

The sad truth is that no one can stop a Tsunami. Once the propagation of the Icon began, there was no holding it back. Only honesty, fact checking and, most important, safeguards against allowing the power of the media to be manipulated by the likes of Talal Abu Rahma who has publicly stated that his professional mission has more to do with his tribal loyalties than with ethical journalism. Accepting an award in Morocco in 2001 for his work, he told a reporter: "I went into journalism to carry on the fight for my people." In other words, Enderlin made himself a dupe to a propagandist from a culture that views journalism as an extension of war- by other means.

It is not enough for us to respond to these media induced tragedies. Once they have the force of a tidal wave, terrible harm is done before we can even open our mouths to speak. We have to identify and contain the irresponsible, undisciplined and dishonest practices (e.g. unholy alliances between hostile government propaganda agents and our all-too-willing media) before they can create devastating images that get a life of their own. That is why Second Draft is important. We are dedicated to identifying and documenting past cases, and speeding up the process whereby we identify and challenge new cases.

Richard Landes is on his way home from Paris as I post this. Landes has played a key role in the unraveling of Enderlin’s defenses and now that Chirac is not in power to give him the influential testimony of a serving president and if Judge Trébucq believes her eyes instead of Enderlin’s narration, the case should be decided against him. Richard’s dedication to not just correct the lie of al Durah but to learn from it and plan for the prevention of the next variation that may arise is a critical development in the battle for truly free, honest and responsible media.

In the coming months we at Second Draft will be announcing a number of key initiatives to further Richard’s work but for now I’d like to congratulate my friend and to express the hope that all of the hard work that has brought us to the point of at least a symbolic victory on al Durah, and all of the blood spilled in the name of the phony martyr might never have to happen again (or, at least be decreased) if we do our job well.

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Nancy Coppock said...

Just as Nazi Germany used edited newsreel footage to motivate people to support their cause along with other media methods to present the Jewish people as the source of Germany's economic woes, Western Media has become willing dupes to Palestinian propaganda. The carnage of innocents follows in the wake of what can only be classified as lazy journalistic practices where sources are not challenged because the story in the mind of the journalist is already written. The posted story always being that the United States and Israel are the instigators of unrest and death in the world and that every act of benevolence is seen as a duplicitous overturn of the cultural values of our recipients.

The generation that grew up believing the Watergate break-in was akin to Vietnam atrocities rather than the self-centered removal of a woman's name from a roster of Democratic Party escorts at the request of the Council to the President, John Dean, as the perpetrator, G. Gordon Liddy professes, or that Nixon wrote a memo ordering the National Guard to open fire on anti-war protesters at Kent State are now chickens coming home to roost. The Clintons are tainted by White-Watergate where that generation's purest are guilty of greed and corruption and Dan Rather's quest for the "missing memo" actually caused the production of a memo to say what he already knew to be true. With Charles Enderlin comes the truth that newsreel footage of the Israeli / Palestinian Conflict is as close to the truth as a carefully edited MTV music video. The only difference is that nobody actually dies in a music video.

The thought that Enderlin knew nobody died in his video and yet reported it as evidence of another Israeli Army atrocity, thereby causing motive for unparalleled acts of Muslim violence against Western Civilization is unconscionable. The scope of human carnage since the airing of Enderlin's redacted video is akin to the horror American and British soldiers saw when they came upon the closed doors of the German concentration camps or the biography of Hang Noir a real survivor and then actor in "The Killing Fields". One can only hope of cosmic justice when the only threat Enderlin faces is loss of his journalist credentials and license. The chain of events set into action as he lazily produced his "highest achievement" should be viewed as a war crime against the highest ideal of Western Civilization. That his name should become synonymous with "Useful Idiot" through the "Chuckie Award" hopefully will alert other moles of propaganda and political destruction that we are vigilant in searching them out as surely as Nazi perpetrators where tracked down and brought to justice.

Congratulations go to Richard and Yaacov as they see this story to fruition and full media attention. Here, here!

Anonymous said...

Bravo my friend, Just BRAVO! The lie that supports all of islamo-fascism must be exposed to the light of day and the work that you and Second Draft are doing it is shining a very bright light.

SMSgt Mac said...

The best summary of the whole pathetic 'al Durah affair' I've read in one place. Great (once again) job!

wolfline said...

I have cross posted this brilliant piece as well, under separate cover, because I think it needs as much exposure as possible. It is simply the work of a genius:

I've also posted the you tube video: M-a-D was not killed for the same reasons.

God bless!