Such a precise number of victims but not a single photo -- in a conflict where smartphones are ubiquitous
Guess what, there is still not a shred of evidence that the supposed Aleppo massacre of 82 innocent civilians widely reported in the western press last week actually took place.
Funny how last Tuesday we even had precise numbers. 82 civilians, 58 men, 11 women and 13 children. Somebody was able to count them. Yet despite of how common smartphones are in Syria that somebody has not been able to snap a single photo of any of the bodies?
And let's think a moment about the supposed massacre. So the Syrian army has been willing to evacuate thousands of Islamist rebels, including from notorious groups like Jabhat al-Nusra and Nour al-Din al-Zenki but is at the same time going around executing children??
You think then the BBC, Reuters, The Guardian, The Independent, to name a few, may have jumped the gun on that one? Would it have been more prudent to just not bother relaying such unconfirmed information, or else make it very clear it originates from sources who have an agenda and incentives of their own and are only allowed to operate under the supervision of al-Qaeda-type groups?
But here is the thing about new reporting. Western big media no longer reports what it knows, but what it fears,
Information is no longer checked against facts but against one's preconceptions.
The Economist article on the alleged massacre of 82 provides a splendid case in point. Subtitled "The fate of up to 100,000 civilians is terrifyingly unclear" it comes with this tidbit:
The failure of the world to act means that what happens next to the remaining population of east Aleppo, numbering anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people, could be atrocious. In recently captured neighbourhoods, pro-regime troops have begun to slaughter civilians inside their homes, according to reports received by the UN and sources inside the city.
In what it described as a “complete meltdown of humanity” inside Aleppo, the UN said reports suggested that at least 82 civilians, including 11 women and 13 children, have been murdered in recent days. Government forces have also detained hundreds of men, the UN said; others have been conscripted into the Syrian army.
Even though there has been no actual evidence of any massacres or executions whatsoever The Economist nonetheless insists the fate of 100,000 civilians is "terrifyingly unclear"and "could be atrocious". After all how do we know that they aren't all being murdered right now?
Since western media fears that Assad is a butcher the burden of proof obviously lies on him -- even if he has to prove a negative.
The reporting we are seeing no longer involves journalists relaying information from the ground, but instead giving voice to their own fears, fantasies and dislikes.
The information of value of a report such as the one by The Economist is literally worthless, the only bit of information it conveys is that The Economist really, really dislikes Assad.