A white light on dark lies

(Image courtesy of United Artists)


If only one could’ve interrupted the meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egypt’s new Islamist President Mohammed Mursi and done, like Woody Allen did in the opening scene in "Annie Hall," where he trots out Marshall McLuhan to prove his point.



In this modern instance though, one could whip out an iPad and share the actual footage of President Mursi nodding and agreeing at his own rally, to some of the most inflamatory rhetoric spoken on his behalf.



If only one could share with the world via mainstream media and for a mass audience such hate-filled diatribes, perhaps then it would poke a hole in the make-believe fabric woven out of an Egyptian charade of fake diplomacy and expose him for what he truly is.



But alas, as Woody says at the end of the famous scene, “If life were only like this.”



For as Caroline Glick and others posted back in May on her blog , a clip from a campaign rally for Mursi makes it quite clear what his and their party’s real intentions are. (Notice the constant nodding of Mursi.)



Further supporting this endless and ongoing occurrence of saying one thing to American diplomats while uttering the complete opposite line to their own citizens, we have, a month later in June, Mohamed Badie, General Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in a speech saying, “the sole goal for all of them (Muslim Brotherhood) is the recovery of al Aqsa Mosque, freeing it from the filth of the Zionists, and imposing Muslim rule throughout beloved Palestine.” (He  doesn''t mean the disputed territories either, but all of Israel.)


This kind of hate-filled rhetoric that fills the airwaves of the Arab street and can easily be accessed online, is made public to news organizations by watchdog groups like The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), yet needs the brighter white light and exposure by the MSM to drain it of its foul nature.



Historically, a quick rewind of the tape shows that the propaganda fed to the citizens of Nazi Germany worked because there was no media to counter balance it. As the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum makes clear, Propaganda “is not always successful. Its effectiveness depends upon a variety of factors, including the receptivity of an audience to the message and a favorable social context. Propaganda alone, regardless of the skills of its users, cannot win wars or transform thinking human beings into mindless automatons.



But you can see how receptive the Arab streets are to this kind speech. It’s greeted wholeheartedly and enthusiastically. If government propaganda and anti-Semitic hate is all that’s fed to them from the time they’re infants, it’s no surprise that this is what their elections have turned out. Where’s their free-press to counter such one-sided anti-Semitic distortions and anti-Israeli government fed diatribes?



Yet while the Arab world may barely have what we consider a free press, western media has a multitude of access points to first see and then expose and report this twisted style of journalism. But we continuously allow it to be perceived as if it were the truth.



Only when it is exposed for what it is, will the diplomatic dancing around it end.



It was after all Joseph Goebbels, who famously said, “the press is like a grand organ on which the government can play.” But while the Arab media loudly broadcasts these speeches, the free press in the West can expose it.



But that’s not what’s happening on a broad enough scale. Just last week here in the land of free speech, were false ads placed along the Metro-North train route of New York City. The online magazine Tablet and much of the Jewish press covered it. But did the MSM note its distorted claims i.e., that the land of Israel in 1946 was Palestinian, whereas in fact it was a British Mandate ruled by Great Britain? Did they point out that in 1967, it wasn’t the nation of “Palestine”, but the disputed territories in question were part of Jordan?But the deeper issue is what’s at the heart of deliberate lies. Spreading false narratives that are wrapped up in a guise of truth and are able to incite the Muslim Street, as the famous and fake Muhammad al Durah story was able to do, captures the hearts and minds while spinning a lie into a violent frenzy. Indeed it borrows so heavily from Goebbels’s own playbook, that to not expose it is to be complicit in it.



One doesn’t have to click very far to find the lies are plentiful: from Iran lying about their nuclear ambitions, to Assad’s pledge of peace, to twisting truth from beyond the grave with the effort to exhume Arafat’s body in order to pin the blame on Israel.



The Internet, social media, blogs and the like have allowed for news to flow from the bottom up. With it comes a great deal of garbage. Some is worthy of greater attention. The problem is, when there is a truth to be told, it gets muddied with the rest. But that’s where mainstream news organizations can use their power and the authority to check the facts, be champions of the truth - be the white light on it.


Abe Novick is a writer and communications consultant and can be reached at abenovick.com.