Thursday, January 08, 2009

Let's Take it Real World...

Crossposted from my other blog.

I was talking with some folks (as I do constantly) about the matzav (situation) in Israel. I feel a bit obsessed, as I think many of my fellow Israel-lovers and bloggers do, with the news. I can't stop refreshing Muqata and IsraellyCool and I scroll through my tweets looking for the news.

There are so many misconceptions being played out in the mainstream media (MSM). I nearly have an aneurisum each morning as I read my newspaper and I definitely almost ripped the radio out of my car the other day as I heard Jerome McDonnell say "well, there have just been a few rockets sent into Israel, right? and no one's really been hurt by it, right?" as he interviewed an Israeli journalist. (Who responded, wonderfully, by saying "That's like having the doctor say - your 14year old is pregnant but the good news is that she's only a little bit pregnant. There is no such thing as good rocket fire.")

I really believe that I am getting a balanced view. I'm sure there are those who would disagree with me, who would say that all my sources are Israeli in origin so I'm bound to get a biased view of the operation from that perspective. And I suppose that would be true. But I do believe that the MSM seems so biased against Israel, and since I continue (oddly enough) to read newspapers and MSM websites, I feel that I'm getting a pretty good sense of what might be the "Real Story."

(Picture from - of Israelis sheltering from a Qassam missile.)

The thing that bothered me the most this week, however, was the very well-intentioned person who listened to me refute information about the UN "school" that was bombed. (When we think of school, I'm pretty sure you all have the same idea in your head that I do - kids running around, books, desks, teachers, papers, pencils and erasers....but this is not that kind of school. So I feel that it puts the wrong idea into people's heads right off the bat. But I digress...)

Back to the well-intentioned person. She asked in a not-snottty, totally honest and well-intentioned way: "How are those of us who are not as informed supposed to know all of this?"

And I know that she is not an internet user, beyond the email and other tasks in the office. I know that if I asked her to regularly visit Muqata or even she would not really be able to do it. So truthfully, I was a bit stumped and didn't quite know how to asnwer her except to say that I could provide her with a list of sources for her to look at.

But she probably won't.

She'll probably continue, in her kind and well-intentioned and well-informed way, to read the newspapers and watch the 6 o'clock news (which I haven't watched in's still on, right?). And she'll believe, like so many Americans and Europeans do, that the nicely coiffed men and women sitting so officially behind those shiny desks or standing in front of those pretty flat-panel monitors are telling The Truth and reporting The Facts.

When we know they're not always.

So I offer this challenge to you, my dear readers. I am always asking you to blog or tweet or comment or visit. But today's challenge is a little different.

I'm asking you to pick one site or post or picture that you feel is representative of The Truth -- not the stuff being thrown around by the MSM but the stuff that you find to be Real and Right. Start, perhaps, with one of Jack's round ups or one of Jameel's liveblogs, or even just the count from your QassamCount status update.

Print it out. 
(I know, I know, I'm supposed to be all green, but bear with me.)

And share it with the people that you care about most, the people that you think will not be reading it, the people that you think might look at you when you suggest that they log into TwiddleEast as though you're suggesting they jump through the Looking Glass. Share the paper with your co-workers, your friends, your grandmother.

We're all working so hard out here on the Internet. I think the time has come to move beyond that and back out into the Real World, Old School...

Are you with me?

1 comment:

Josh said...

Thanks for this entry, Phyllis. I agree that printing and distributing pages of TwiddleEast is a great way to show people who wouldn't otherwise see these opinions what is being said on the internet.

As such, I've changed the design of the way TwiddleEast prints. It now uses about half the paper that it would have before, and far less ink. That way we can be ever so much greener as we spread this message.

Shabbat shalom.