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Washington Post reporter Anthony Shadid is at it again. Shadid is the world's foremost practitioner of "They killed my baby!" journalism.
His technique is to appear at a war scene after a bombing and conduct an emotionally loaded interview with someone who has just lost a child or spouse. The despair of the grieving civilian comes to represent the amazing brutality of war, almost always the brutality of Israel or the United States. The Post headline writers cooperate by placing an over-the-top, emotionally loaded headline on his piece, which therefore takes on the trappings of propaganda.
Good examples of Shadidism are "He Kept Bleeding" in 2002,"Father, Son Died, Family Wonders Why" (a 2002 account of Palestinian casualties), "The Whole World Cries" (in 2003, an errant U.S. missile lands in Baghdad, thus becoming a symbol of American heedlessness), and "God Stop the Bombs" (this morning's account of suffering civilians in Lebanon).
Shadid writes that "anger, fear, and abandonment poured forth" from Tibnin General Hospital. Someone says, "They were destroying the houses over our heads. Fine, let soldier fight soldier, but we're civilians." This would have been an excellent time for Shadid to mention Hezbollah's strategy of placing military sites in heavily civilian areas, presumably to guarantee Shadid-type coverage.
Shadid calls the hospital a "Guernica-like tableau of suffering, desperation, and anguish." Guernica-like? That means the Israelis are Nazis. Aren't big-time editors supposed to delete wretched excesses like this? Or is the Shadid virus spreading at the Post?
"They've Infected My Journalism!" anguished staffers aver as "The Whole Newsroom Cries!"