"Don’t believe everything you read" takes on a new perspective after you spend some time discovering how the media uses statistics.
A FRIGHTFUL CASE COULD BE MADE made that in the age of television, and especially since 1967, there has not been a news event of major transformative effect that has not been presented to the public without serious distortions. Some have been outright lies. Damn lies even. The seriousness of the effects of these distortions cannot be understated. Here are a variety of examples as put forth by Yaacov ben Moshe over at his Breath of the Beast blog:
In 1967 the world was given the impression that the great victory in The Six Day War had solved the Middle East problem and secured Israel’s existence. This distorted view has set the stage for the Arabs, who still vastly outnumber the Israelis, are far richer and have an undiminished desire to utterly destroy Israel, to claim the mantel of “underdog” and even “victim” in the eyes of a majority of Europeans and very large numbers of Americans.
The defeat of the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive in 1968 was presented as proof that further support of freedom in Southeast Asia was futile. This perception turned allied victory into defeat and caused a substantial bloodbath in Viet Nam and contributed heavily to the cataclysm in neighboring Cambodia.
In 1987 the video of the Rodney King incident was shown over and over to the public on the evening news without the first segment of it which showed King attacking one of the officers. The public then could not understand the verdict when the jury (who, in court, had seen King’s aggressive attack) acquitted the police officers. The reverberations of the riots, in which 48 people died, that followed are still poisoning the “conversation about race” in the US today.
The systematic demonization of the Serbs in the Balkans and the complete bestowal of “victim-hood” on the Moslems of Kosovo. Led to allied bombing of the Serbs and an overall tilt toward the Moslem side which gave prestige, courage and comfort to many foreign Islamist fighters who were active in the Balkans at the time. Many of those fighters, including Osama bin Laden himself, have gone on to terrorist activities against the west.
The al Durah blood libel poured fuel on the fires of Islamist Jihad and the resulting wave of “retaliatory” violence that reference al Durah included the Ramallah lynchings, the beheading of Daniel Pearl and 9/11. Even more damaging than the directly related violence, though, is that the wide acceptance of this particular fraud as truth has given credence to every other fraud, misrepresentation and slander since that time.