Richard Silverstein’s Fact-Checking FailMarch 28, 2012 11:28 by Pesach Benson
On Planet Silverstein, HonestReporting conspires with the Israeli government, NGOs, and bloggers like Avi Mayer — who blew the whistle on Badawi’s photo being from 2006:
Mayer passed the story off to Ron Prosor, Israel’s UN ambassador, who ten days later demanded Badawi’s head, accused her of deliberate fabrication in an attempt to smear Israel. They said that her behavior typified that of the entire UN and the only way the organization could clear its name was to sack her. They’ve now enlisted the pro-Israel media advocacy group, Honest Reporting, to amplify the campaign, taking it to the streets, as it were.
This typifies a relatively recent Israeli government strategy by which they collaborate (or more accurately, connive) closely with right-wing NGOs like Im Tirzu, Honest Reporting and StandWithUs to advance Israel’s political interests. The NGOs take over where the government leaves off. They can get their hands dirty (as SWU has with the Olympia Food Coop lawsuit it just lost) in ways an Israeli official might not. The line between the government and the NGO is so thin as to be almost non-existent.
Silverstein didn’t bother contacting HonestReporting to confirm how we fit into this broader Zionist media conspiracy, so let’s clarify the timeline:
- Khulood Badawi tweets photo of a girl who died in 2006, misrepresenting it as a 2012 fatality.
- Avi Mayer exposes Badawi’s misrepresentation.
- HonestReporting (not Mayer) discovers that Badawi works for UN and launches petition calling for her dismissal.
- Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor calls for Badawi’s dismissal.
- UN responds that it is investigating Badawi’s tweet.
- Badawi retracts tweet.
Regarding the government’s involvment in our petition, Silverstein gives it too much credit. It’s is too big and too constrained to get involved in NGO campaigns like our petition. HonestReporting independently discovered that Badawi is an OCHA staffer. Whatever inside info the governmnent has about her hasn’t trickled down to us.
As for Silverstein, I previously elaborated on his numerous fact-checking failures. Just yesterday, he provided new grist in an amusing Twitter conversation with AP reporter Diaa Hadid. (Hadid’s story about a baby dying because of Gaza’s fuel crisis was retracted because Hamas lied about key information.)
Silverstein couldn’t fact check his own telephone number if you gave him a phone book.
(Image of Silverstein via YouTube/AussieDaveinIsrael)