Urgent: Update Below the Fold!
CNN, as is their typical style, has ignored facts and reality when reporting an incident involving an encounter with a Gaza relief boat, and an Israeli patrol boat.
Karl Penhaul, a CNN correspondent aboard the pleasure yacht known as Dignity, and frequently on the wrong side of an issue, was pretty much allowed carte blanche in recalling the incident -- an incident which was as much publicity stunt for the so-called Free Gaza Group and former Congressnut Cynthia McKinney, as it was peacekeeping mission -- while the report simultaneously shrugged off the Israeli point of view.
The presentation clearly wants you to believe that the Israeli boat was hostile and went well out of their way to attack the ‘peaceful' minded vessel. In reality though, it was nothing more than a typical group of protestors who use the word ‘peaceful' as a security blanket in their malicious efforts to defy authority, whether it be the authority of the United States government, or in this case, the Israeli navy.
A report via the Atlanta Journal Constitution (H/T Michelle Malkin) indicates the pre-determined goal of the mission (emphasis mine throughout):
Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney is a high-profile member of a boatload of activists that set sail Monday from Cyprus to deliver medicine to war-torn Gaza...
...The activists, organized by the Free Gaza Group, said their 66-foot yacht called "SS Dignity" would defy an Israeli blockade of Gaza and ferry 16 activists and three tons of Cypriot-donated supplies. The supplies are intended to help treat the wounded from Israeli bombings against targets in Gaza, in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns.
Defying an Israeli blockade and calling it peaceful seems counterintuitive. So does aiding and abetting the terrorist regime known as Hamas.
Better yet, the captain of the Dignity flat out lies when saying he had no prior warning of their illegal activities, a deceitful statement that CNN fails to point out for its obviousness:
The captain of the Dignity told Penhaul he received no prior warning. Only after the collision did the Israelis come on the radio to say they struck the boat because they believed it was involved in terrorist activities.
Ignore for a moment that the Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman claims this is absolutely false. One problem remains in that the captain of the Dignity did receive prior warning. As the aforementioned AJC excerpt indicates, the entire mission was well aware of the fact that what they were doing was illegal.
Penhaul also glosses over the fact that the Dignity was given ample warning to turn their luxury yacht around. Tucked away within their reporting, CNN offers a slight glimpse of what really happened:
But Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor denied that and said the radio message simply warned the vessel not to proceed to Gaza because it is a closed military area.
But hey, why would an American news station take the word of an American ally over the word of a ‘peaceful' protestor?
The Jerusalem Post also seems to indicate that the Dignity was actually the aggressor in this altercation:
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the boat ignored an Israeli radio order to turn back early Tuesday.
Palmor says the boat tried to outmaneuver an Israeli navy ship and crashed into it, which lightly damaged both vessels. The navy then escorted the boat out into the territorial waters of Cyprus.
Also take note of the discrepancies in the damage assessments. The Jerusalem Post (H/T Carl in Jerusalem) indicates that both vessels were lightly damaged. However, CNN's Penhaul proclaims that the incident was actually the second coming of the Titanic:
The collision was so severe, Penhaul said, that the passengers were ordered to put on their life vests and be ready to get in lifeboats. The Dignity began taking on water, but the crew managed to pump it out of the hull long enough for the boat to reach shore.
Embellish much? In fact Palmor seemed to verify that both sides were aware that the damage was minor by stating:
Palmor said the vessel refused assistance after the incident.
Clearly had the Dignity truly been in a race against time to get to shore before all of her passengers would need to bail out in lifeboats, then the crew would have accepted some sort of assistance.
Advice for peace protestors: Do not defy a military vessel. It rarely turns out in your favor.
Advice for journalists: Do not try to become the news, and then pretend you were an innocent bystander. It rarely turns out in your favor.
Advice for former Congresswomen turned crazed activist: Well, you're actually too far gone for advice.
Advice for the main stream media: Being fair and balanced means presenting both sides of a story, not simply taking the account of a lunatic fringe protest group who is trying to promote a cause. It rarely turns out in your favor.
Photo Credit: CNN
Update: NewsBusters reader, Hunter12, exercised a keen eye when he spotted this fairly recent article involving the SS Dignity, the kind of keen eye that is sorely lacking in the journalistic efforts of the main stream media.
As was stated above, the captain of the Dignity has no right to claim ignorance of the consequences involved in attempting to break the Israeli blockade. In fact, according to the aforementioned article, they tried it several times before with 'three ships,' under the pretense that, as activist Renee Bowyer says so eloquently:
"The trip here is to show that obviously no one can stop us."
This time -- Renee, Karl, and Cynthia -- Israel obviously did.