(Rashomon - how many ways to interpret an event? Can we count them?) With the events in the Middle East of the last 24 hours, and reading the com
May 31, 2010

(Rashomon - how many ways to interpret an event? Can we count them?)

With the events in the Middle East of the last 24 hours, and reading the comments posted about it, it seems there are as many ways to interpret an event as incidents taking place in the event itself. I was reminded by one writer to my colleague David Neiwert's post that "as many as sixteen" and "at least sixteen" held wildly different connotations. And were these observations based on the fog of events, the political beliefs of the players, or the simple choice of words? And how these observations translate into reactions on the parts of the viewers and listeners.

So I thought I would take a quick roundup of the English speaking broadcast media throughout the world and get a sampling of how the event was interpreted. Certainly isn't scientific. Some of the reported is decidedly slanted (i.e. the Israel National Radio segment is an extreme example), but you get an idea of just how many views can be had when an international incident takes place.


Let's start with the BBC World Service Newshour, probably one of the most widely listened to broadcasts throughout the world and how they saw it.


RTE, the national radio network of Ireland offers their interpretation of events, which coincide with a member of the Irish government taking part in the flotilla and how the Irish view this event.


CBC's Hourly newscast from 12 noon (EDT) today. Israeli Prime Minister Natanyahu was visiting Canada before his arrival in the U.S. later this week, which was cut short because of the event.


ABC Radio National's PM newscast gives their view on the event.


Closer to the source, Kol Israel, considered the more moderate of Israeli news outlets gives a matter-of-fact description of events in their 10:30 am newscast


And finally, Israel National Radio considered (even by them) to be the most right wing and extreme of radio outlets in the world, offers their views on the event with a 45 minute wrapup.

Somewhere in all of this is probably where the truth of the event lies. The Turkish media, broadcasting the event live and non-stop since it broke does not have English broadcasts available. Needless to say, the event will continue to unfold over the next several hours and days and no doubt the opinions and observations will grow and galvanize as well.

One event seen six different ways.

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