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December 22, 2011

What Are Ben White and Electronic Intifada Hiding From?

EI's Spam Filter.jpg

A few days ago, there was a disturbance in both the Blogosphere and the Twitterverse. (It was pretty bad, Ben Kenobi was nearly doubled over in agony.)

The disturbance began when that pillar of the journalistic community, The Electronic Intifada, published an article by Ben White (another pillar of said community), assailing a piece written by CAMERA's Alex Safian, who in turn was calling the New York Times to account for a factual error made by its stalwart, Ethan Bronner. Safian's piece by the way, prompted a correction from the New York Times.

Safian has tried twice to post a response in the comments section underneath White's article. The first (unsuccessful) attempt triggered Electronic Intifada's spam filter, prompting Safian to post again, this time using a verizon email account. That response has yet to appear on EI's website.

Has Electronic Intifada included CAMERA's domain in its spam filter? And is Electronic Intifada sitting on Safian's response? The answer to the first question seems to be yes. Another CAMERA researcher attempted to post on EI's website only to find his comment blocked by the spam filter. (See the image at the top of this entry.)

For the record, a slightly edited version of Safian's response is posted below.

I'm the author of the article, Ben, and I must say it's curious that you omit my main objection to Bronner's report, which the Times corrected the following day. Don't you think your readers ought to be informed that the Times admitted CAMERA was right?

Here are the details that you deceptively omitted. In his article Bronner wrote that:

Sarah Abu Sneineh came with her family to greet her grandson Izzedine Abu Sneineh, who was arrested three years ago at age 15 for throwing stones and hanging Palestinian flags from telephone poles. “He was just a schoolkid when he was arrested,” she said as she waited for him outside the tomb of Yasir Arafat. “We want him to go back to school. Only education is the way forward.”

I pointed out that the teenager was actually convicted of attempted murder and possession of weapons and explosives, and that is why he got serious time -- because he committed a serious crime.

Again, it is curious you kept all this from your readers.

As far as amending the article in response to your tweet, I must admit I don't follow you. I was editing the article (at around 1 AM NY time) just after posting it, apparently as you were reading it. So yes, it was a coincidence.

And re B'Tselem, we don't consider them a particularly credible source, but I'll have to refer readers to the articles on our site about B'Tselem for the details.

Now will you correct your article to let your readers know that the Times was wrong and CAMERA was right? If not, then you are the one guilty of omitting material facts.

Posted by dvz at December 22, 2011 03:40 PM

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