How do you say 'Rathergate' in French?

Ed Lasky
A major media scandal may be in the process of unfolding on the world stage. Hillel Halkin reports in the New York Sun that a French court has ordered into evidence television footage that has the potential to unleash a media scandal of hsitoric significance. The case concerns the death of Mohammed al-Dura, a Palestinian boy widely reported to have been slain by Israeli gunfire, dying as his father clutched him to his body.

France 2 television ran a television report widely excerpted and re-run around the world, which appeared to confirm this narrative. The only problem is that abundant evidence indicates Israelis didn't kill him. Halkin writes:
The shots seemingly aimed at the boy and his father could not, because of their angle, have come from an Israeli position; Palestinian civilians were strolling unconcernedly between that position and the two el-Duras at the very moment that they were supposedly being fired at it; while father and son were allegedly taking cover behind a barrel, other Palestinians, who were not being shot at, came running by them and could have been joined by them; there was no blood on the sidewalk where Mohammed el-Dura was said to have been fatally wounded; in the film clips he can be seen calmly changing his position to make himself more comfortable after the alleged moment of his death, etc., etc.

Indeed, Mohammed el-Dura may never have died and may not even have been named Mohammed el-Dura. There was never any autopsy and what was said to be the boy's funeral was very likely that of someone else. He could easily have been any Palestinian child from Gaza, paid a few dollars to play his part in the deception, and make himself scarce afterwards.
France 2 sued a French critic for defamation when he wrote that they had participated in a fabricated news report, but refused to release its raw footage.  The television network has now been ordered to submit 27 minutes of raw footage as evidence for review by the court.

This doesn't mean it will become public immediately, though:
Even while ordering France 2 to produce the footage, the court's three judges were hostile toward him - and it is these same judges who will view the 27 minutes of rushes in November and decide after doing so whether or not to uphold his appeal. Unless they choose to bring in experts to scrutinize the footage professionally, Mr. Karenty fears, they may overlook the ways in which it was doctored and end up by whitewashing France 2 instead of exposing it.

Mr. Karsenty is now calling upon the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, who as chief of state has ultimate authority over France 2, to appoint such a panel of experts himself. Whether this is politically or legally feasible, I don't know.
There are several more steps to go, but Sarkozy seems to be just the kind of gutsy leader who could step in and order public release of the footage to prevent a miscarriage of justice and right a historical wrong. If the footage indicates wrongdoing at France 2, this could become a historic moment for not just French media but world media.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky
A major media scandal may be in the process of unfolding on the world stage. Hillel Halkin reports in the New York Sun that a French court has ordered into evidence television footage that has the potential to unleash a media scandal of hsitoric significance. The case concerns the death of Mohammed al-Dura, a Palestinian boy widely reported to have been slain by Israeli gunfire, dying as his father clutched him to his body.

France 2 television ran a television report widely excerpted and re-run around the world, which appeared to confirm this narrative. The only problem is that abundant evidence indicates Israelis didn't kill him. Halkin writes:
The shots seemingly aimed at the boy and his father could not, because of their angle, have come from an Israeli position; Palestinian civilians were strolling unconcernedly between that position and the two el-Duras at the very moment that they were supposedly being fired at it; while father and son were allegedly taking cover behind a barrel, other Palestinians, who were not being shot at, came running by them and could have been joined by them; there was no blood on the sidewalk where Mohammed el-Dura was said to have been fatally wounded; in the film clips he can be seen calmly changing his position to make himself more comfortable after the alleged moment of his death, etc., etc.

Indeed, Mohammed el-Dura may never have died and may not even have been named Mohammed el-Dura. There was never any autopsy and what was said to be the boy's funeral was very likely that of someone else. He could easily have been any Palestinian child from Gaza, paid a few dollars to play his part in the deception, and make himself scarce afterwards.
France 2 sued a French critic for defamation when he wrote that they had participated in a fabricated news report, but refused to release its raw footage.  The television network has now been ordered to submit 27 minutes of raw footage as evidence for review by the court.

This doesn't mean it will become public immediately, though:
Even while ordering France 2 to produce the footage, the court's three judges were hostile toward him - and it is these same judges who will view the 27 minutes of rushes in November and decide after doing so whether or not to uphold his appeal. Unless they choose to bring in experts to scrutinize the footage professionally, Mr. Karenty fears, they may overlook the ways in which it was doctored and end up by whitewashing France 2 instead of exposing it.

Mr. Karsenty is now calling upon the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, who as chief of state has ultimate authority over France 2, to appoint such a panel of experts himself. Whether this is politically or legally feasible, I don't know.
There are several more steps to go, but Sarkozy seems to be just the kind of gutsy leader who could step in and order public release of the footage to prevent a miscarriage of justice and right a historical wrong. If the footage indicates wrongdoing at France 2, this could become a historic moment for not just French media but world media.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky