Lauren Booth Censured by UK’s media standards authority

You might remember Lauren Booth’s essay for Comment is Free, on the Mavi Marmara incident, published on 2 June.  Booth was a passenger on the 2008 Free Gaza boat and can be seen in this photo receiving a Gaza passport from Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh.  (See CiF Watch’s post “How to be a Useful Idiot“)

Booth’s CiF piece included such objective passages as this, which not only defended the IHH terrorists on board the flotilla (portraying them as innocent victims of Israeli aggression), but used rhetoric simply dripping with sarcasm and unbridled contempt for the Jewish state:

“Let me ask you one final question that’s been troubling me, as sympathy for those apparently fragile Israeli commandos continues to pour in. If you were on a boat in the Mediterranean and hundreds of the world’s most notoriously violent soldiers started falling from the sky, wouldn’t you defend yourself? The brave human beings on the Mavi Marmara were acting in self-defence.”

As an excellent post at the blog of Honest Reporting (HR) noted, Lauren Booth was recently censured by Ofcom, the UK’s media standards authority, regarding her coverage of the Mavi Marmara incident.  Regarding a broadcast on the June 5 edition of “Remember Palestine,” Ofcom found that her report on Press TV (an English language network owned by the Iranian regime), failed to show even a modicum of impartiality.  (See Ofcom’s full report.) The report cited, among other breaches of ethical standards, these comments from the broadcast:

  • Lauren Booth: “Israeli commandoes . . . committed a massacre of innocent civilians sailing aid ships to the besieged Gaza strip.”
  • Lauren Booth: “This was obviously a barbarous attack on civilians.”

Ofcom’s report also chided Booth for failing to:

  • “…balance the right to freedom of expression on one hand, with the need…to preserve due impartiality”

On these pages, many of us have noted the phenomenon of so many seemingly sophisticated, highly educated, CiF columnists who possess what can, at best, be described as a remarkably facile view of the Middle East – blindly accepting a narrative of the Israeli Goliath doing battle with the Palestinian David. Such “progressive” journalists’ seeming erudition is reduced to an almost puerile naiveté when dealing with totalitarian terrorist movements – whose leaders are shamefully misogynistic and anti-gay, openly call for Israel’s annihilation, and engage in explicitly anti-Semitic invectives.

Booth, winner of HR’s 2008 Dishonest Reporting award, ended her CiF piece with the following (reportedly, while maintaining a straight face):

“…And because of [Israel’s actions] many died. Something of the hopeful child in me died with them.”

Yes, that pesky Jewish nation – not only randomly massacring innocent civilians, but corrupting the innocence of youth.

(See CiF Watch’s video, “The Lies of Lauren Booth”, for more background)


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