Summers: Not all opinions worthy of discussion

Your recent story (“The man who won’t go away,” Nov. 24) put me in mind of Jonothan Kay’s Nov. 5 piece in the National Post. Kay starts by stating Gaza has become a forgotten issue, and then goes on for several more paragraphs, demonstrating this is not the case. Reading your article, I came away with a similar sense of the author protesting just a little too much.

In terms of the tone and focus of your piece, it is clearly your role as a journalist to find the most effective and direct means to communicate what you feel to be news-worthy. I think everyone acknowledges that is your job.

Where I did have more of a problem with what you wrote, however, was your uncritical quoting of comments by other journalists (including Kay), but without first fact checking what they told you.

Givon Prison does not, as Kay maintains, have Wi-Fi. Heap’s whining, as he calls it, was not broadcast over the Internet, but instead passed in the form of a handwritten note to his lawyer.

In a similar vein, you write that Israel denied using a Taser on Heap, however Israel issued no such denial. The incident was, in fact, witnessed first-hand by a journalist also on board the Tahrir. Al Jazeera English journalist Casey Kaufmann was immediately released by the Israeli authorities when the boat docked in Ashdod. Kaufman’s report of the takeover of the two boats was filed two hours later in Jerusalem and broadcast shortly thereafter over the Doha-based network. As there was no Israeli denial of the use of the Taser, I am left wondering, what was your source for their denial?

I have heard of ‘rip-and-run journalism,’ but this seems more like ‘make-it-up-and-run.’

Andrea Summers
Delegate Support for the Canada Boat to Gaza

Editor’s note: On Nov. 7, an Israeli army spokesman told the Canadian Press (CP) no one was injured during the boarding of the vessels. “The claims of this lone activist are patently untrue,” Capt. Eytan Buchman said in an e-mail to CP. “At no point during the boarding was any violence used and certainly no Tasers were used.”