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February 10, 2008

Israel's First Electricity Cut, The LA Times' Dilemma

When I picked up the papers this past Friday and learned that Israel had for the first time cut electricity to the Gaza Strip -- by a whopping 1 percent -- I couldn't wait to get my hands on the Los Angeles Times. Why? Because on Jan. 28, the Times' Richard Boudreaux had falsely reported:

With Egypt's cooperation, Israel began reducing the flow of electricity, fuel, commerce and travelers across Gaza's borders after the militant Islamic movement Hamas, which had won parliamentary elections in 2006, seized full control of the territory in June.

Thus, according to the LA Times -- the facts be damned -- Israel had begun reducing the electricity flow to Gaza as early as June. So what's the paper to do when Israel actually began to cut electricity for the first time just this past Friday? Ignore the development? Or report it but ignore their earlier false report (and likewise ignore CAMERA's requests for a correction)?

Well, it seems that the illustrious paper -- which has recently taken a hit from a federal judge for "manufacturing facts" -- opted for the latter option. A brief on Friday reported:

Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians, including a schoolteacher, during a campaign to stop daily rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip, and added a new economic pressure -- cutting electricity by a symbolic one percent.

Likewise, the paper's Web site includes an AP timeline which correctly notes:

Feb. 7: Israel starts reducing the 120 megawatts it provides from its own power station. Initially just over 1 percent will be cut.

There is, of course, a third option -- an honorable one at that. The Times can report the new development -- as it did -- AND print a correction noting that it had earlier erred.

Posted by TS at February 10, 2008 03:32 AM


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