Fauxtographic Farces at the Guardian

A Guest Post by AKUS

In the space of a couple of days the Guardian has managed to tag articles with archival photographs that seem to prove that the editorial crew there has completely lost its bearings when it comes to Israel.

The first was the use of a picture of chicken coops in Beijing to illustrate an absurd article on November 9th by Harriet “ChickenLady” Sherwood about the misery inflicted on chickens in Israel. Never mind that the entire population of Israel, as a well-worn joke goes, would barely fill a hotel in China, and the number of persecuted chickens in China, or, for that matter far closer to the Guardian’s headquarters in London would vastly outnumber those in Israel. This farcical article was front and center on “World News/Israel” for the Guardian. As has been well reported here the fauxtograph, purportedly showing a vicious Israeli persecuting chickens was actually of a Chinese worker, with the caption:

A worker feeds chickens at a poultry farm in Beijing. Activists in Israel have set up a hidden webcam televising the plight of caged chickens at one Israeli farm Photograph: China Photos/Getty Images

Note the typically shaded language: In China, a worker “feeds chickens”. How humanitarian! But in Israel, caged chickens face a “plight”. No food for you, Israeli chickens!! (h/t – Seinfeld – “the Soup Nazi”).

November 11th brings a new example of the Guardian’s fauxtography – the use of a picture of the Mavi Marmara interception to illustrate an unrelated article in “World News/Gaza”. The caption reads:

Israeli commandos intercept the Mavi Marmara in May. Two of those on board are also on the boat surrounded by Libyan warships. Photograph: Kate Geraghty/Getty Images

It’s a complicated story which you can read in full here. But the Guardian’s header, which reads like a synopsis of the plot of a Marx Brothers movie – perhaps a version of “A Night in Casablanca” – reveals that this has nothing to do with the Mavi Marmara except that “survivors” from the Mavi Marmara are on board:

Gaza aid team trapped on Greek boat

Six British volunteers and Mavi Marmara survivors among those on Strofades IV shadowed by Libyan warships after captain ‘fled port’

Note the typically biased language used by the Guardian – the idiots on the ship are an “aid team” who “survived” the Mavi Marmara.  Survived what? An attempt to kill Israeli soldiers that backfired?

As the Libyans set out to chase this captain-less rogue ship on the high seas to try to reclaim the ship or get paid for the damage and port fees the Guardian seized on the chance to give the faithful a picture of – Israeli Seals intercepting the Mavi Marmara which has absolutely nothing to do with this case. Remember – this is a Greek ship, not Turkish, which is being chased by Libyans, not intercepted by Israelis!! One might expect to see a picture of a Greek ship or flag, and Libyan naval vessels or flags – but it is so much more likely to attract the Israel-bashing punters if you can flash them a picture of Israelis intercepting the Mavi Marmora!

As if that attempt to whitewash the convoy’s Marx Brothers folly was not enough, the Guardian cannot resist adding the following to play on the survival theme:

“As well as the British volunteers, two Irish, one Algerian and three Libyan officials are on the ship. Among them is Ken O’Keefe, a former US marine, who is a survivor of the Isaeli attack on the Mavi Marmara off Gaza in May this year.”

O’Keefe “survived” … what? Israel tried to make sure no one was harmed and the attack was directed at the Israeli Seals, who had the audacity to fight back – and beat their attackers off.

The Guardian has created a Greek tragedy … er, farce … from this ridiculous episode. In its silly attempt to support its favored cause, Gaza, and to show this foolish convoy in a positive light, it stoops to the best trick it knows – using fauxtography and Orwellian double talk make it appear as if Israel is involved even when it has absolutely nothing to do with this episode. Or Chinese chickens, for that matter.

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