Ed O'Loughlin is prolific in this morning's Melbourne Age with not one but two articles from the Middle East. The first, a report on the terrorist massacre on Thursday of eight students at a religious institution Massacre puts Israel on high alert and the second, a really touching human interest puff piece about Palestinian rocket and explosives engineer - Rocket man gets call from the foe.
The latter story begins ... ""'ABED' is a 28-year-old father of two and a rocket and explosives engineer for the Popular Resistance Committees, a close ally of the Islamic movement Hamas.
Imagine his surprise when he received a phone call recently from the Israeli Government," ... and from there is only gets worse.
That there exists a newspaper editor on the face of this earth who has such a lack of taste as to publish such an abominable piece at the very same time that the bodies of the eight student victims of the massacre are being buried, and on the same page as the report of their murder is testament to the madness of journalism as a profession. The gods must surely have driven him crazy!
As for O'Loughlin, his disingenuousness shines through as if on schedule. While he does mention at the end of his article on the massacre that the "attack was greeted with jubilation in Gaza City", he lets Hamas off the hook once again by conveniently omitting to mention how a Hamas statement welcomed the terrorist attack. "We bless the [Jerusalem] operation. It will not be the last." To leave that out is a startling omission from a person who was praised in the Australian Jewish News by a lone fan, Mr. Steve Brook of Elwood. Brook wrote this in a letter that appeared in this week's AJN:
"If O'Loughlin has a bias, it is only implicit - all violence is evil, whoever its perpetrators."
On Thursday night, Yitzchak Dadon was the first to shoot the Jerusalem terrorist. His violent act of firing his gun at this man stopped his murderous rampage and saved the lives of many of his fellow students, some as young as 15 years of age. When a nation defends its people in a war against those committed to its destruction and whose methodology is to attack innocent civilians, it is sometimes necessary to carry out some violent acts in response and civilians used a shields by the other side will sometimes get hurt. That's what Hamas wants (but we're not always reminded of that by certain journalists). Like the journalist he admires so much, Brooks' moral compass is dramatically askew.
ODD SPOT: In his insipid attempt to justify his reporting from Israel last month in the Australian Jewish News, O'Loughlin gave as his excuse for not reporting on a Human Rights Watch report accusing Hezbollah of committing war crimes by bombarding Israeli civilian centers during the 2006 war, the fact that "I was on another assignment in Gaza at the time of its release. In my absence, the story was covered with a syndicated piece from The New York Times." However, AJN columnist and media watchdog Tzvi Fleisher claims he couldn't find this syndicated piece.
Today's double whammy from O'Loughlin shows that it is possible for him to report from two places at the same time.
What he lacks however, is the capacity to produce a really good piece of interviewing and his rocket man piece proves that beyond doubt.
In the end, Abed insists that his rockets are home made and that he is "working on one that will go 45 kilometres. The real trouble is the cost. The new 45 kilometres rockets will cost $7,000 each ($A7,530) to build," while the most commonly fired missiles "cost 1,500 shekels ($A445) to make".
The question that any interviewer worth his salt should be asking at that point in light of his newspaper's recent report on Gaza’s dire humanitarian situation which revealed that “more than 1.1 million people out of a population of 1.5 million are now dependent on food aid” and according to the Oxfam website most of these people are living in households “earning less than $1.2 per person per day“ is one that would be bleedingly obvious to anyone who really believes in exposing the evil of Hamas but the lame duck O'Loughlin obviously passed on that one.
And the excuses just keep sounding lamer as every day passes.