Human Rights

Robert Fisk, depressing but courageous journalist

“I believe journalists should be (passionate and intense). This business where we have to go, oh, we have to give 50% of the story to one side, and 50% to the other in order to be ‘partial’ is absolute rubbish. We should be partial. We should say who the bad guys are. We should denounce the Syrians when they commit murder in Hama, and the Iraqis when they gas people, and the Israelis when they massacre refugees on the road to southern Lebanon.

“You know, if we were covering the slave trade, would we give equal time to the slave ship captain? No. We would talk to the slaves, wouldn’t we? If we were present in liberation of the Nazi extermination camps, do we give equal time to the spokesman of the SS? Forget it. We talk to the survivors, and talk about the victims. When I was in Jerusalem in August of 2001, that’s when a suicide bomber blew up a pizzeria full of women and children. I went and wrote about the women and children I saw dead in front of me. Israeli children, of course. I didn’t give half of my story to the Islamic Jihad spokesman. The same as Sabra and Chatila, I didn’t write about the IDF [Israel Defense Force], I wrote about the victims.

“So we should have a side. It should be a moral side. Okay, we may get it wrong occasionally. But if we are not gonna write like that, what the hell is the point of being there and taking the risk and sending a correspondent all over the world?”

– Robert Fisk (35:28 of this video)


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