Sunday, January 13, 2008

Letter to Pajamas Media

I've sent the following letter to Pajamas Media in care of the editor:
To the Editor:

I note with concern your decision to hire Alyssa A. Lappen to write for Pajamas Media (Does Sharia Libel Law Now Apply in the U.S.? and Shari'a Finance: Cordless Bungee Jumping).

Lappen wrote a December 28, 2004 piece for FrontPage Magazine that should give any editor pause. Entitled The Israeli Crime That Wasn't(1), she described in it the October 2000 lynching of two IDF soldiers who had strayed beyond army checkpoints deep into Ramallah. Lappen wrote they had "their innards eaten by hysterical and frenzied [Palestinians] screaming Allah Akbar..."

As brutal as that lynching was, this is of course a fantastic claim. A Nexis search of all foreign and domestic English-language media between 2000 and 2004 produces nothing to corroborate cannibalism in Ramallah. A Google search, however, reveals a 2001(2) web page(3) by a break-away faction of the JDL (the Jewish Task Force), which may have been Lappen's source, although it only describes the lynching as "cannibalistic", stopping short of giving details. There are two possibilities: Lappen made the claim up out of whole cloth, or she embellished the JTF account without sourcing it.

Either way, Lappen's piece is a gross violation of journalistic ethics. The claim is a vicious lie meant to portray Palestinians as subhuman. The JDL, described by the FBI in Congressional testimony as a "violent extremist Jewish Organization"(4), was active in terrorism in the United States between 1968 and 2001(5). The Jewish Task Force broke away from the JDL additionally to oppose "emigration from the Third World" to America, which was "transforming this once great nation into a banana republic"(6).

Pajamas Media's "intention [is] to provide a significant alternative to mainstream media", partly by providing "exclusive news and opinion". If so, you might be alarmed to learn you have hired a writer who authored a blood libel whose likely inspiration was a propaganda site run by dormant terrorists.


John-Paul Pagano
The Socialism of Fools

(1) Ref.
(2) Ref.
(3) Ref.
(4) Ref.
(5) Ref.
(6) Ref.

Labels: , , ,