Den amerikanske historikeren Richard Landes står bak bloggen The Augean Stables og websiden Second Draft, der eksponering av medias noe kreative omgang med sannheten fokuseres. Særlig kjent er Landes for sitt engasjement i Al-Dura-saken, som førte til at han begynte å bruke betegnelsen «Pallywood» om palestinske etermediers arbeidsmetoder.
Landes er nylig intervjuet i Jerusalem Post. Det er ikke så mye nytt i det han sier for documentarister, men intervjuet gir en grei oppsummering av jihadisters og deres vestlige sympatisørers historieforfalskning:
What period in Jewish history most resembles the current one?
I would say probably around 1900, when there were a lot of blood libels – the Dreyfus case and so on. What you have then is a series of blood libels that take on even more strength once the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are published in 1903-1905. But already in 1892, [Zionist thinker] Ahad Ha’am, in an essay on blood libels, wrote, «Is it possible that the whole world is wrong and that the Jews are right?»
Now, that’s exactly what [former UN secretary general] Kofi Annan said after Jenin: «Is it possible that the whole world is wrong and that the Israelis are right?»
You’re dealing with the circulation of these nasty stories about Jews, and there’s this astonishing appetite for it. That’s the depressing thing: how eager people are for these stories.
Som blogger ser Landes naturligvis cyberspace som effektiv medisin mot løgn, og trekker parallellen boktrykkerkunstens barndom:
Now, there’s a very close parallel – I teach a course on this – between the printing press and cyberspace. Both dramatically transformed the nature of reading, writing and communicating. One of the things that happened initially with the advent of the printing press is the Protestant Reformation and with it the proliferation of new religions, most of which were apocalyptic when they began, and a proliferation of «prophecies» – reports from around the world of wondrous things, etc. At that time, the fight between the Lutherans and the Papacy was vicious. The cartoons we have today are around that same level of viciousness. The Pope was depicted as the anti-Christ or as an animal and other such images.
But printing also had another effect: the emergence of scientific discourse. Over time, the scientific discourse won. So, the question for today is how do we help people in touch with empirical reality win in the blogosphere?