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Random Notes On An Interrupted War

Continued from last week, some random observations of what others have been saying about the warfare in Lebanon, beginning with a series of fiercely anti-Olmert columns by Ari Shavit in Haaretz, Israel’s preeminent left-wing daily.

A Curious Alliance

Are some conservatives willing to sleep with the devil in order to fight pro-gay legislation? An exclusive report by Evan Gahr on www.JewishWorldReview.com makes the charge that "prominent religious conservatives - Jews, Catholics and Evangelical Christians - are allied with a radical Islamic group to stop gay marriage."

Three Stooges Named Jennings, Gumbel And Hamill

"Peter Jennings, Palestinian sympathizer first, journalist second?" is how the conservative Media Research Center (MRC) put it in its CyberAlert of Dec. 4. "Israel," the alert went on, "was the victim of a murderous terrorist attack by a terrorist group, Hamas, which claimed credit.

Watching The Returns

7 p.m.: Brit Hume and company over at Fox News look as though they've just been informed of the death of a loved one. Could the exit polls have been even worse than had been rumored all afternoon on the Internet? No one's saying anything, of course, but the atmosphere is positively funereal.

Uncle Walter’s Good Fortune

Several readers responded to last week’s Monitor on the departure of Dan Rather from CBS News by making reference to Rather’s predecessor, the legendary Walter Cronkite, as some sort of paragon of journalistic objectivity. The Monitor begs to differ.

Heeb — A Slur Of A Magazine

Dave Love of Sunburst Kosher Tours had a look of unmistakable disgust on his face as he handed the Monitor a copy of Heeb magazine. "Can you believe this garbage?" he asked, referring both to the publication's content and some of the sponsors listed on its masthead.

The Buchanan Files (I)

As he did back in 1990 and 1991, Patrick Buchanan is once again fanning the flames of anti-Semitism with his allegations that an American administration is calling the nation to arms at the urging of Jews on behalf of the Jewish state.

By His Words You Shall Know Him

With its Oct. 5 front-page story on Rudy Giuliani’s experience hosting an often boisterous weekly call-in show on WABC radio for the better part of his mayoralty, The New York Times found yet one more way to portray the Republican presidential frontrunner as a reckless hothead, reflexively rude and not at all willing to suffer fools (or even just annoying callers) gladly.

Times Lowlights

Regular readers of this column know the esteem in which the Monitor holds the website TimesWatch.org. The site provides consistently trenchant analysis of the distortion and bias that have come to define the news coverage provided by The New York Times. TimesWatch's year-end look back at the alleged paper of record's 'lowlights' for 2003 merits as wide a readership as possible, and the Monitor is pleased to feature it this week.

Undressing The Times

The New York Times, still reeling from the Jayson Blair, Rick Bragg and Judith Miller fiascos, was caught - yet again - with its pants down last month, but you may have missed it if you don't read The New York Sun or are oblivious to blogs and the media-transforming reality of the blogosphere.

The Media’s 40-Year War Against Israel

Hostility to Israel is generally not thought of as a job requirement for American journalists who cover the Middle East, but it might as well be. That this was not always the case simply confirms how drastically the media climate has changed over the past four decades.

Anti-McCarthy McCarthyism

Joe McCarthy was in the news last week, and once again the Monitor took due note of the fact that the late senator from Wisconsin - certainly when compared with his more hystericalcritics - was a mere piker in the fine art of innuendo and allegation.

Writing About Presidents

Writing about U.S. presidents and their relationships with Israel and the American Jewish community, whether in this column or a longer feature piece (i.e., this week’s front-page essay) is never easy. Readers are quick to react to any perceived slight of presidents they admire or, on the other hand, to chastise the writer for going too easy on an irredeemable reprobate.

Ten Years Ago This Week: An Icon Exposed

Billy Graham had for decades been one of America’s most admired figures, a national icon, a man respected across the board for his seeming sincerity, rock-solid faith and openness to working with those whose beliefs differ from his own. He was also a staunch friend of Israel. But a different side of Graham emerged during the 90-minute White House meeting with Nixon. Graham was particularly exercised by what he saw as the “stranglehold” Jews maintained on the American media.

Bush, Jews And Democrats (Part XII)

Al Gore's surprise choice in August 2000 of Joseph Lieberman as his running mate electrified American Jews, and seemed to foreclose any possibility that George W. Bush would even approach the poor numbers put up among Jewish voters by his father in 1992 (15 percent) and Bob Dole in 1996 (16 percent).

Following The Campaign Online

As we enter the final two weeks of the most interesting and unpredictable presidential campaign in memory, the best way to keep up with developments, polls, and issues is by making regular visits to some of the seemingly countless political blogs and websites.

Deriding Israel’s Christian Supporters

The Monitor's oft-stated rule of thumb is that when a reporter quotes unnamed sources, those sources invariably buttress the reporter's own viewpoint and agenda. Case in point: James D. Besser, the Washington correspondent for a handful of Jewish newspapers (the New York Jewish Week among them) who for the past several years has lamented the growing ties between members of the Christian Right and pro-Israel activists in the Jewish community.

Mike Wallace Loves Arab Dictators

Like a pig returning to his vomit, Mike Wallace came out of retirement last month to genuflect in the presence of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadine-jad and then to spread the word that the man who’s denied the Holocaust and called for wiping Israel off the map is not really such a bad guy after all.

9/11 And The Left

This week marks the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on America by Islamic fundamentalists. What really stands out in looking back at that day and its aftermath are the initial reactions voiced by many highly visible liberals and leftists, both in the U.S. and abroad.

A Couple Of Fan Letters

It's been some time since the Monitor shared a few of the more, shall we say, interesting letters and e-mails that come this way. Maybe it's the onset of a presidential campaign, or maybe we've been added to a Michael Moore mailing list - whatever the reason, there's been a definite uptick in the number of angry, off-the-wall screeds hurtling through cyberspace or trudging through the postal system, all seem ingly designed with the singular goal of disturbing the peace and interrupting the contemplation of this humble scribe.

Summer Reading

Last year the Monitor proffered readers a list of books for summer reading that was, it must be said, several intellectual notches above the usual beach-and-bungalow fare. The theme of that list was U.S. presidents. This year’s theme, naturally, is especially close to the Monitor’s heart – the news media.

A Void Not Filled

The late Michael Kelly was a brilliant writer and editor (The New York Times, Washington Post, The New Republic, The Atlantic) who coincidentally happened to be an American patriot and a strong supporter of Israel – a combination not commonly found in the circles in which he traveled.

Democrat Echo Chamber

One of the websites listed here last week as a Monitor favorite did a sterling job Sunday exposing The New York Times as a journalistic copy machine of Democratic Party talking points.

Dancing With Clark Clifford

It wasn’t quite a Clark Clifford moment, but Hillary Clinton’s bizarre “deauthorization” proposal – namely, that Congress repeal its October 2002 resolution giving President Bush the authority to invade Iraq – is so breathtaking in its cynicism and opportunism that it calls to mind the transparent about-face executed by Clifford nearly four decades ago, more about which later.

Berg Of Arabia

When Nick Berg, an American entrepreneur who traveled to Iraq in search of business, was savagely murdered two years ago by Islamic militants, his father seemed angrier at George Bush than at the hellish creatures who slowly and painstakingly sawed off his poor son’s head.

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