Il Foglio sembra il Wall Street Journal, ma il Wall Street Journal sembra il Foglio

Avevo parlato troppo presto: al Wall Street Journal hanno giudicato inconsistenti le proteste di Charles Enderlin sulla presunta fabbricazione del video di Mohammed al-Durra e a questo punto mettono i piedi nel piatto.

More About France 2

December 10, 2004

Two weeks ago on this page, Stéphane Juffa, editor in chief of the Israeli-based Metula News Agency, accused French state-owned television channel France 2 of the most serious crime a news organization could possibly be charged with: He said France 2 journalists aired a false a report and that the TV channel refuses to publicly acknowledge the deception. He was referring to TV images that showed a young Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Durra, allegedly being killed by Israeli soldiers in September 2000.

On Tuesday, we published a letter by Charles Enderlin, the Jerusalem correspondent of France 2 and one of the two accused journalists. But his 560-word rebuttal never addressed the actual charges leveled against him, his Palestinian cameraman Talal Abu Rahma or his employer.

Mr. Juffa accused Mr. Enderlin of having falsely claimed that additional film material exists that shows the child’s death throes. Mr. Juffa also says that France 2 admitted that Mr. Abu Rahma, the sole witness to the alleged crime, has retracted his accusations against Israel. Yet, France 2 has not made a retraction public. Instead of trying to refute the charges that the images were faked or misrepresented, Mr. Enderlin cites other evidence seemingly in support of his case. But we are unable to corroborate his claims.

Mr. Enderlin wrote that France 2 “has filed several libel suits against Web sites and individuals accusing us of having participated in the staging of the video.” But we have contacted Mr. Juffa as well as Serge Farnel and Philippe Karsenty, two Frenchmen who have also taken up the al-Durra case. None of them are the targets of any lawsuits, they told us.

We asked France 2 about this and were sent a list of several lawsuits the channel said it has filed. However, they were not against “individuals” or “Web sites” but against “X,” parties that are as yet anonymous. When we inquired why France 2 wasn’t charging individuals directly, we were told: “From a legal perspective, it is false to say that ‘we know exactly’ who Messrs. Juffa, Farnel or Karsenty are.”

But that really shouldn’t be so difficult, one would think. Mr. Farnel, a Frenchman residing in Paris, is one of those accusing France 2 on his website of having staged the al-Durra scene. He challenges France 2 to sue him: “I will fully avail myself to the station in order to give it the elements necessary to take legal procedures against me,” he writes on the site. He is still waiting.

Mr. Karsenty, the president of a French media-rating agency, offered to donate

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