Appearing on FNC's The O'Reilly Factor Wednesday, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather conceded there's a "problem" with America's media in its treatment of Hezbollah and Israel with "moral equivalence," even including himself as part of the problem.

An email was sent out to Associated Press staffers that praised the work of its photographers during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict. There's even a cash prize of $500 dollars that apparently will get split eight ways. The photographers who took the pictures of dead children in Qana will take part in the reward.

Is this what it takes? If we paid them $500 dollars, maybe photographers in the region would take pictures of terrorists hiding behind human shields.

Rachel Neuwirth writes in The American Thinker that the media have made the job of the terrorists much easier as the media provide the version of reality the terrorists hope to convey. The media never blame the terrorists who hide behind civilians who get killed, and Neuwirth writes that therefore the media are "directly complicit in enabling this tactic to continue and for more Lebanese civilians to be killed."

The Jerusalem Post reports today that the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) is investigating arguments, first raised by bloggers, that Hamas may have staged the alleged "atrocity" that occurred when building collapsed in the Lebanese city of Qana.

As reported by NewsBusters and elsewhere, significant doubts are being raised as to whether the building's collapse was caused by Israeli bombs or was deliberately destroyed by Hamas to gin up anti-Israeli sentiment.

Mentioned prominently in the article is NewsBuster Bob Owens's blog, Confederate Yankee, which in the fine MSM tradition of accuracy, is called "Conservative Yankee" by the Post. (See Bob's response post here.)

An excerpt from the JP article is after the jump...

A wave of New Testament fever seems to be gripping liberal media types. As reported here, during a recent Good Morning America, Chris Cuomo stated that the Gospel of John identifies Qana as the place where Jesus turned water into wine. Who would have imagined that Adam Shatz - of the far-left Nation magazine - would be a New Testament maven?

The Poynter Institute's Romenesko weblog draws some strange letters, where some feel passionately that dictators like Fidel Castro and terrorist groups like Hezbollah have been maligned by media labeling. Yesterday, Harrison Chastang of the non-commercial San Francisco radio station KPOO-FM complained:

There’s absolutely no doubting where The New Yorker magazine has come down on the War on Terror – it’s been there from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib to insist the anti-terrorist side is full of human rights abusers. Former Time reporter Jon Lee Anderson is the latest New Yorker correspondent on the bandwagon, finding Israel has completely mucked up Lebanon and Hezbollah. PBS gave him a platform on the July 31 edition of "Charlie Rose."

Israel Insider says the Qana incident shows all the classic signs of a staged Israeli "massacre." There is even a term for such fiction, "Pallywood," as NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard reported today.

In 1938, the leaders of Europe got together in Munich to, for all intents and purposes, give Czechoslovakia to Germany in exchange for peace in the region. Given the recent events in the Middle East, it quite appears that Israel – though well-intentioned – has performed the same act of appeasement with its enemies, and sadly with the same results.

Take for example the following revelation from an Associated Press article published on July 23:

Syria said it will press for a cease-fire to end the fighting but only in the framework of a broader Middle East peace initiative that would include the return of the Golan Heights.

Middle East-based reporter Neil MacFarquhar appeared on the Charlie Rose show Monday night and made anti-Bush comments regarding Israel’s war against the terrorist group Hezbollah.

In light of recent revelations of possible media manipulation in Qana, Lebanon, as reported by NewsBusters Monday, a 2005 video has been circulating throughout the Internet (hat tip to Ms. Underestimated with extraordinary video link to follow). In reality, this is an almost unbelievable look at how film footage from Israel that made national news after the Second Intifada began in September 2000 (including CBS’s “60 Minutes”) appears to have been staged, choreographed, and produced rather than real events that transpired in front of video cameras. 

The film's producer, Dr. Richard Landes, teaches history at Boston University, and is the co-founder and Director of the Center for Millennial Studies. He also is the proprietor of The Second Draft, a website “devoted to exploring some of the problems and issues that plague modern journalism”: