Lies and damned lies

This morning brings us more evidence of how lies are quickly spread by the media around the world to create a kind of ersatz reality which it is hard to debunk.

From Haaretz we finally learn that the IDF did not attack the UN school, that the falsehood eas spread by a branch of the UN itself and that the eyewitnesses were prevented by the UN from telling the truth to reporters.  The truth is now out but the media which carried the oritginal story is nowhere to be found at correction time:

The United Nations has reversed its stance on one of the most contentious and bloody incidents of the recent Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza, saying that an IDF mortar strike that killed 43 people on January 6 did not hit one of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools after all. ...

Maxwell Gaylord, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Jerusalem, said Monday that the IDF mortar shells fell in the street near the compound, and not on the compound itself.

Gaylord said that the UN "would like to clarify that the shelling and all of the fatalities took place outside and not inside the school." ...

Senior IDF officials had previously expressed skepticism that the school had been struck, saying that two mortar shells could not kill 43 people and wound dozens more.

Questions about the veracity of the claims that the school had been hit by the IDF were also raised last week by the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. ... The newspaper said that the teacher had been told by the UN not to speak to the media. "Three of my students were killed," he said. "But they were all outside."

At the same time we learn that the  large civilian casualty figures in Iraq  published by Lancet in 2006 are undoubtedly phony and certainly not backed by credible evidence:
The Executive Council of the American Association for Public Opinion Research said Dr. Gilbert Burnham, a Johns Hopkins University professor, had repeatedly refused to cooperate with an eight-month investigation into his research on the Iraqi death toll that made headlines in October 2006 when it was published by The Lancet, a British medical journal.

The widely publicized study headed by Burnham contended that nearly 655,000 Iraqis had died because of the U.S.-led invasion and war in Iraq.

"When asked to provide several basic facts about this research, Burnham refused," the council said in a statement. It noted that the group's Code of Professional Ethics and Practices calls for researchers to disclose their methodology when survey findings are made public so they can be independently evaluated and verified.

"Dr. Burnham provided only partial information and explicitly refused to provide complete information about the basic elements of his research," said Mary Losch, chair of the association's Standards Committee.
This morning brings us more evidence of how lies are quickly spread by the media around the world to create a kind of ersatz reality which it is hard to debunk.

From Haaretz we finally learn that the IDF did not attack the UN school, that the falsehood eas spread by a branch of the UN itself and that the eyewitnesses were prevented by the UN from telling the truth to reporters.  The truth is now out but the media which carried the oritginal story is nowhere to be found at correction time:

The United Nations has reversed its stance on one of the most contentious and bloody incidents of the recent Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza, saying that an IDF mortar strike that killed 43 people on January 6 did not hit one of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency schools after all. ...

Maxwell Gaylord, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Jerusalem, said Monday that the IDF mortar shells fell in the street near the compound, and not on the compound itself.

Gaylord said that the UN "would like to clarify that the shelling and all of the fatalities took place outside and not inside the school." ...

Senior IDF officials had previously expressed skepticism that the school had been struck, saying that two mortar shells could not kill 43 people and wound dozens more.

Questions about the veracity of the claims that the school had been hit by the IDF were also raised last week by the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. ... The newspaper said that the teacher had been told by the UN not to speak to the media. "Three of my students were killed," he said. "But they were all outside."

At the same time we learn that the  large civilian casualty figures in Iraq  published by Lancet in 2006 are undoubtedly phony and certainly not backed by credible evidence:
The Executive Council of the American Association for Public Opinion Research said Dr. Gilbert Burnham, a Johns Hopkins University professor, had repeatedly refused to cooperate with an eight-month investigation into his research on the Iraqi death toll that made headlines in October 2006 when it was published by The Lancet, a British medical journal.

The widely publicized study headed by Burnham contended that nearly 655,000 Iraqis had died because of the U.S.-led invasion and war in Iraq.

"When asked to provide several basic facts about this research, Burnham refused," the council said in a statement. It noted that the group's Code of Professional Ethics and Practices calls for researchers to disclose their methodology when survey findings are made public so they can be independently evaluated and verified.

"Dr. Burnham provided only partial information and explicitly refused to provide complete information about the basic elements of his research," said Mary Losch, chair of the association's Standards Committee.