Corrections

CiF Watch prompts Indy correction to false claim by Robert Fisk about Netanyahu


On Oct. 3 we posted about a Robert Fisk commentary focusing on Israel and Iran in The Independent which was full of hyperbolic rhetoric and apparent fabrications. (’US cowardice will let Israel’s isolated right off the hook‘). 

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Arguably the most egregious example of Fisk’s sloppiness was the claim made in the following passage regarding Binyamin Netanyahu’s response to the “charm offensive” of Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani:

What we do know is that when Mr Rouhani started saying all the things we had been demanding that Iran should say for years, Israel went bananas. Mr Netanyahu condemned him before he had even said a word. “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.” “An anti-Semite.” 

As we noted in our post, the suggestion by Fisk that Netanyahu called Rouhani an “anti-Semite” appears to be a complete fabrication, as we were unable to find any examples of anything even resembling such an accusation by the Israeli prime minister.

Evidently, The Independent agreed. After contacting the paper’s editors, the passage has been amended and the claim that Netanyahu called Rouhani an “anti-Semite” was completely removed.

We commend Indy editors for their prompt revision to Fisk’s false claim.

22 replies »

  1. I imagine Fisk will see this as a conspiratorial assault upon his journalistic freedom (rather than what it is – a correction to another shoddy claim by a propagandist.)

      • They know that he’s a disaster waiting to happen for them.

        They also mention Howard Jacobson, who admittedly does fight a lonely battle against anti-Semitism (particularly when it is disguised as ‘criticism’ of Israel). What they miss, however, is the fact that his writings are diametrically opposed to the paper’s editorial line, and the other columnists they employ.

        • What they miss, however, is the fact that his writings are diametrically opposed to the paper’s editorial line, and the other columnists they employ.

          Oh please. That’s just nonsense.

          • If it’s ‘nonsense’, then why does the ‘Indie’ employ Fisk?

            It’s not because of the quality of his reporting, because his dishonesty as a journalist is one of the British media’s worst-kept secrets.

  2. “What we do know is that when Mr Rouhani started saying all the things we had been demanding that Iran should say for years, Israel went bananas. Mr Netanyahu condemned him before he had even said a word.”

    Of course he had more than ‘said a word’. He had according to Fisk ‘started saying all the things we had been demanding’

    • Fisk successfully and artfully created two diametrically opposing assertions in two consecutive sentences. Even with his kind of pathological liars this performance must be considered exceptional. Could be that The Indepedent hasn’t enough many to employ a redacteur?

      • The problem is that Fisk – like Johann Hari – is the ‘star’ columnist of a newspaper which is losing readers fast, and is leaking money. I suspect that his copy is untouchable, even though the editor knows full well that he’s a disaster waiting to happen.

        • I agree. The author of this article appreciates the quick correction by the Independent editors. I don’t. They just did what they were forced to do in order to further embarrassment. I’ll belive them when they stop to publish obvious lies and libels by Hari/Fisk like shit.

  3. Journalists in Israel are spoiled in terms of quality of life and how they are treated by their publishers. Jerusalem is the plumb Middle East – Africa bureau, bar none, and yet their datelines are always claiming Tel Aviv as the capital, their articles rarely include leveled discussion or praise for Israel within the first 3 paragraphs, and their junior reporters and translators are, quite frankly, raised to be stark raving mad. The LA Times, my boyhood paper, is a perfect example of total lack of balance and care for the subject matter, and yet the same reporters have been pounding these beats for over a decade at a time. If Israel was truly a horrible country, there would be a bit more turnover, don’t you think? Why would the LAT have only two separate bureau chiefs over the past 30 years if everything these paragons of virtue have to say about the culture is true?

    It seems to me, without knowing much about Mr. Fisk, that he tends to project like an I-Max theater.

  4. Mr Netanyahu condemned him before he had even said a word. “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.” “An anti-Semite.”

    I asked this on the previous Fisk thread: where did Fisk claim that Netanyahu called Rouhani an anti-Semite?

    As we noted in our post, the suggestion by Fisk that Netanyahu called Rouhani an “anti-Semite” appears to be a complete fabrication

    But that very claim itself appears to be a fabrication. Or was the “anti-Semite” reference subsequently removed frmo the Fisk article?

  5. Just to clarify …
    The original Fisk article actually said: “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.” “An anti-Semite”?