11 December 2014

To tell the truth

When I was a kid in the US, black and white game shows filled the afternoon and early evening time slots on the television. One of my favorites was a 'solve the mystery' game of choosing between two imposters and an honest person in a show called "To tell the truth." Bud Collier was the host, and sometimes (as in this episode) Merv Griffin sat in for him.Within 7 minutes the truth was revealed.

See the episode and guess who is the Aussie Reg Evans who saved President John F Kennedy back in World War 2.  To tell episode 1961 (Also in this episode is a set of twins who are bat boys for the new Minnesota Twins baseball team and a cattle photographer). Regular panelists during the 14-year run of the show were Don Ameche, Orson Bean, Johnny Carson, Ralph Bellamy, Polly Bergen, Kitty Carlisle, Peggy Cass, Bert Convy, Hy Gardner, Phyllis Newman and Tom Poston.

The great thing about this fact-finding game is that within 7 minutes you discover truth, the crowd applauds, prize money (up to $1,000) is awarded along with a carton of cigarettes, and it's all nice and neat.

If only finding out the truth could happen in the world today, some 53 years later, with such ease and in such a time frame. Do I dream or is this a delusion?

Today I read a report from Israel. Actually just mention the word "Israel" and immediately lines in the sand are drawn, sides taken, and opinions delivered. How is someone supposed to have a reasonable conversation with another when 'truth' has already either been stated or withheld?

So today I read this about photography. And journalistic honesty. Photo truth from the Jewish Forward newspaper. The photographer is questioned and answers about staging pictures. I think about this often when I'm trying to capture a moment on a golf course, or in a concert, with a baby or family, a wedding...you get it. The tough thing about photojournalism is readiness and patience. And if you miss a moment, be honest-- you missed the moment.

Here's the real photo story about the two Israeli boys. True story The whole episode came to the fore in the Gaza conflict last August. What is the truth about what's going on, or was going on, or will be going on in Israel?

I hear that a lot lately in the US news which I often monitor from here in Sydney. Michael Brown is the black man in Ferguson, Missouri who was killed last August. The 'hands up' commentary by the Rev Al Sharpton and repeated by thousands country-wide is supposed to replicate a scene from last summer, but it's also not the truth. The Grand Jury sorted that out well, and the testimony and evidence is all available. Or is it? Even today more evidence is yet to be revealed. And each of us who wonders wants to know, did the Grand Jury get it right? We actually set ourselves up to be the jury ourselves. Dear CNN and BBS, please send all data to me. I will be deciding and will reveal my decision in due course. Thank you.

BBC has a bit on Grand Jury here

And even as I was driving to work today, I heard on the news about a Palestinian leader, Ziad Abu Ein, who was killed today in the West Bank. The story from the Arab side is  published here.

Who is this man? This from the Israeli side of things today. JPost report

Ziad Abu Ein was sentenced to life in prison by an Israeli court in 1982 for his role in a bombing that murdered two Israeli teenagers in Tiberias in 1979. He was released in 1985 in prisoner swap.

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