Sunday, August 29, 2010

Journo Hack Hearts PR Flack

In Behind the lines of Mr Cool, Fairfax's Middle East correspondent, Jason Koutsoukis, brings his journalistic 'talents' to bear on everyone's favourite spinmeister Mark Regev:

"Regev's greatest gift as a spokesman for Israel is his ability to control himself. It's difficult to imagine him losing his cool, raising his voice or displaying any kind of arrogance and zealotry, which could so easily alienate an audience." (Sydney Morning Herald, 28/8/10)

Yes - in much the same way as Koutsoukis' greatest gift as a journalist is to forgo the kind of homework and hard questions which could so easily have the Israel lobby hassling the Herald's editor.

"'One thing I am meticulous about is to make sure that I am properly prepared and properly briefed on whatever position it is that I am called upon to explain'."

OK. Got that? Before he talks to journalists, Regev must ensure that he has been properly prepared and briefed on whatever position he has been called upon to explain. IOW, that he has the official line down pat.

"'It's never personal for me when I'm on camera'. His boss, Netanyahu, refuses to utter the words 'two-state solution' for fear of inflaming his political allies in [sic] the right, but Regev is unafraid to express his personal view in favour of such an outcome."

So although Mr Spin has just explained that before talking to journalists he learns the official line by heart, the clueless Koutsoukis goes on to describe him as unafraid to express his personal view!?

And this personal view, we are supposed to believe, is really Netanyahu's view - except that he's regrettably forced to take a 'Don't mention the two-state solution' vow of silence for fear of frightening his coalition horses.

OK... And Mr Spin's daring personal view is... ?

"'We need to be respectful of the Palestinian narrative, and of the Arab perspective of this conflict. Palestinians want their own state. I understand that. I support that aspiration'."

Well ain't that nice! His master's voice supports a Palestinian state! What a wonderful world! So I can now move on and blog about something else then?

Not quite. If there's one word in this game that tells you its user is talking through a hole in his posterior, it's the word narrative - a word designed to magically transform the killing fields of occupied Palestine into your proverbial level playing field and conjure up that old cliche about there being two sides to every story.

Nor should it be forgotten (as a vertical German soldier might once have said of a horizontal Pole while standing on the latter's neck):

"'Behind the headlines of this conflict lies the fact that we have been living with each other for such a long time'."

So long, in fact, they're practically best friends:

"'We, Israel and the Palestinians, know each other very well'. Regularly in on-air conflict with representatives for the Palestinian side of the argument, Regev says he enjoys strong personal relationships with the same people off camera."

Yes, Jason, we get along like an olive orchard on fire. But alas, there's a problem:

"'I am strongly of the view that while Palestinian aspiration for statehood is entirely legitimate, I think the Palestinian people have been consistently betrayed by their leadership. Statehood has become a matter of choice for the Palestinian leadership'."

Yes, there's no avoiding the issue. Although Israel is well served by its leaders, the sad fact is the Palestinians are eternally betrayed by theirs.

Now if only they had a visionary leader like Bibi, who, after his meeting with President Obama on July 6, spoke of his "'vision of a demilitarized Palestinian state' that would recognise 'the Jewish state'." (In speech to Jewish leaders, Netanyahu endorses two-state solution, Doug Chandler, The Jewish Week, 7/7/10)

1 comment:

PB said...

Ever noticed that Regev looks vaguely like a Medievel demon?