Wednesday, July 14, 2004

It’s amazing to see how flexible Yediot Aharonot is about reporting the facts, even when they later turn out not to have been the facts. According to Yediot, the most popular and widely read newspaper in the country (Haaretz’s readership is tiny, the Jerusalem Post’s - microscopic), the fate we had thought had befallen that most imaginative of girls on the train in Paris was far more horrible than any of you read in your national papers – the swastikas weren’t just written on her body, they were carved there; her hair wasn’t just cut, it was shaved off; and her baby’s stroller wasn’t pushed over, the baby was kicked.

That was a whole two days ago. Yediot apparently assumes that the entire body of their readership possesses the collective IQ of an ant and the memory of a rabbit. In this morning’s paper they write about it all being a hoax. Forgotten are the blaring headlines screaming of swastikas scraped on female flesh. ‘I drew them on my stomach myself’ they now quote her as saying. Do they think we can’t remember the accusations they bandied around at the beginning of the week?

What worries me is that they obviously really don’t care, and this is only one example among many.


I have noticed that habitual liars appear to feel no embarrassment on being caught. Everyone around can be visibly cringing, as if it were they who had just been exposed, while the person in question is quite untouched, oblivious of the ridicule or disgust felt by all present.

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The story of swastikas carved on the bare flesh of a young lady sounds familiar. I distinctively remember reading a similar story somewhere a while back (was it on a blog?) and remember thinking that if this was true it should have been front-page news. Could this messed up young lady have been living out a popular French urban legend? Creepy.