Nobody who is aware of the history of U.S. media coverage of the death, on March 16, 2003, of American college student and peace activist, Rachel Corrie, on the eve of the beginning of our Iraq invasion, is surprised at the scant and somewhat biased attention to the early phase of the civil trial in Israel, that seeks to compensate the Corrie estate for wrongful death.
Of the flagship U.S. print media, the New York Times has so far only published a story gleaned from the Associated Press. The Washington Post also relied upon Shira Rubin of the Associated Press.
Additionally, the Washington Post reprinted a fairly short, very biased article from Reuters, that ends up giving the last word to Israeli rightwing slanderer, Steven Plaut (who was one of many to slander me back in 2004 and 2005 for my work dedicated to Corrie, The Skies Are Weeping). Although the Washington Post web site doesn’t name the author of the Reuters piece, apparently it was written by Allyn Fisher.
There is a daily digest of coverage of the trial at The Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice.
Ma’an News Agency‘s English Language page is linking to articles in their "Latest News" niche.
If you haven’t watched Amy Goodman’s interview on Democracy Now from the beginning of the week, of Rachel Corrie’s parents and sister, you probably should. It is not only quite detailed, it fully shows the amazing warmth and humanity of the Corrie family.
Philip Weiss’ influential, high-quality blog, mondoweiss, has been looking at the trial from several different perspectives this week. This morning, Rachel Corrie’s aunt helped commenters understand some of the details that have emerged in the pre-trial phase.
I have been following this case since mid-March 2003. I was fairly convinced from then until this week that Corrie’s death was most likely an unfortunate accident. But from what her parents and U.S. officials have been able to glean from what little evidence the Israeli government has handed over to them, I am beginning to have my doubts about the accident scenario.
The entire morning of bulldozer operations against which Corrie and other International Solidarity Movement volunteers were acting, was photographed, videotaped and recorded in color and high quality audio. All of it. The Corries have only received a few minutes of grainy, black-and-white footage. Five minutes before Corrie was killed, orders were given to the bulldozer driver who apparently killed Corrie, to change his tactics. And the cameras were briefly turned away from directly monitoring that bulldozer during the time Corrie was struck and killed.
One writer I would like to see come back to this story, and perhaps vindicate himself, is Joshua Hammer. His September 2003 article for Mother Jones, The Death of Rachel Corrie, was pathetic and very, very unprophetic.
The pathetic aspects of Hammer’s article were covered back then by Evergreen College professor Phan Nguyen, in his article, Mother Jones Smears Rachel Corrie – Specious Journalism in Defense of Killers.
The unprophetic nature of Hammer’s 2003 article, might best be summed up by quoting him:
Five days after her death, Rachel Corrie’s body was shipped home to Olympia. The idf has since pulled out of the northern part of Gaza, but demolitions along the Pink Line continue. The inquiry promised by Ariel Sharon cleared the soldiers of any wrongdoing, and momentum has faded for a U.S. congressional investigation. A skeleton staff at the ISM Rafah ofﬁce spends most of its time attempting to revitalize Corrie’s sister-city project. And Corrie herself has faded into obscurity, a subject of debate in Internet chat rooms and practically nowhere else.[emphasis added]