Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman, as she never tires telling audiences all over the country, is "a Jewish American, the granddaughter of an Orthodox rabbi and the great-granddaughter of a chassidic rabbi." She also happens to be a promoter of anti-Semites and anti-Zionists of nearly every stripe.
A couple of recent columns that were less than laudatory to the 39th president of the United States provoked some interesting reader responses. If laughter is indeed the best medicine, the Monitor ought to bottle this stuff.
Next week the Monitor will examine aspects of the media coverage of Israel’s war on Hizbullah. This week, we take a stroll down memory lane, revisiting an early Monitor column from October 1998 (yes, the Monitor’s been around for nearly eight years now). The piece was titled “The Times Reverts To Old Hab-its,” and its conclusions should be kept in mind as one reads the paper’s editorials on the current fighting:
When Gen. David Petraeus was portrayed last month as having made statements suggesting that America’s support of Israel was imperiling the lives of U.S. soldiers, the usual anti-Israel suspects had a field day on blogs and websites. Turns out, though, that the general didn’t quite say what was being attributed to him.
In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on America, Uri Avnery, the ancient icon of the Israeli Left, a bitter old fool who serves as living refutation of the belief that wisdom is an inevitable byproduct of old age, placed the blame squarely on the U.S. and its support of Israel.
C-SPAN often teeters on the brink of self-parody, particularly when the hosts of its morning discussion program, "Washington Journal," stare impassively at the camera while yet another crazed caller recites chapter and verse of the latest conspiracy theories involving the Trilateral Commission or the Bush family's Nazi/Saudi/Zionist/ KGB/CIA ties (choose one or more and don't think twice about any seeming contradictions).
Gleanings from the web on the matter of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD), more precisely whether there were any to begin with: TimesWatch.org examined The New York Times's Jan. 28 front-page story on the findings of former WMD inspector David Kay and, not surprisingly, found the paper of record doing spin instead of news:
There is a place for what Hunter Thompson called “Gonzo journalism,” but it isn’t a wire service news report, where the ancient Five Ws are still appropriate.
The Monitor tries to warm the winter cold with one baseball-related column a year, and what better time than now, with the Super Bowl over and pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training camps next week?
Jay Bennish, the Colorado teacher who told his class that the U.S. “is probably the single most violent nation on planet earth” and that President Bush’s State of the Union speech “sound[ed] a lot like the things that Adolf Hitler used to say,” was given a relatively free ride by the national news media.
As the Monitor reported last month, veteran "60 Minutes" hatchet man Mike Wallace has, after a brief respite, resumed his familiar role as one of the media's most consistent Jewish critics of Israel. During a number of interviews in recent months Wallace seemed to go out of his way to inject an anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian perspective into the conversation, most notably during a May 22 chat with Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution.
The July 4th holiday having thrown the Monitor off schedule, this week's column is placed in the capable hands of HonestReporting.com.
It would be fair to say that the recent demonstrations in cities around the world during which Israel was likened to Nazi Germany, and Israeli soldiers to Nazi storm troopers, created a fair amount of angst among an appreciable number of Jews. But as this is hardly a new phenomenon, the surprise really lies in why so many Jews continue to be surprised.
A reader responding to last week's column concerning Commentary magazine's symposium on President Obama, Israel, and American Jews, cautioned that such endeavors be taken with more than the proverbial grain of salt, since even the brightest of minds can fail to see what lies ahead, particularly when the subject is as volatile and unpredictable as U.S. Mideast policy or the Arab-Israeli conflict in general.
More looniness to report this week from our friends on the left, who since Sept. 11 have put to rest the notion that their habitual opposition to virtually any U.S. military action would dissipate the moment the country came under actual attack from a foreign enemy.
A disturbing media trend blames Israeli policy for the Islamist war on Western civilization. The recent coordinated bombings against British targets in Istanbul, occurring just days after the dual bombings of Istanbul synagogues, make the Islamic terrorist message brutally clear: their targets are the Jewish people and Western democratic civilization.
It was too good to last. The news media, which by and large performed admirably for about a month after the events of Sept. 11, are showing clear signs of reverting to old habits. The sour cynicism directed at American officials, the credulous reporting of enemy claims, the shallowness and sensationalism that once were the province of cheesy local stations but have long since become a staple of the network news departments - all of these are slowly coming out of hiding and reasserting themselves as the driving forces of American journalism.
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).
Not since John Podhoretz’s 1993 Hell of a Ride, a hilarious yet depressing account of working in the George H.W. Bush administration, has an insider political book satisfied as much as does Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor (Crown Publishers), Matt Latimer’s new, screamingly funny memoir of working as a congressional staffer and then as a speechwriter, first for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and later for President George W. Bush.
Barring any of the nightmare scenarios posited by those who worried about the results being literally too close to call, the presidential election will have been decided by the time this column appears in print. But the Monitor was still busy early this week sorting through the daunting number of letters and e-mails that began coming in almost immediately after The Jewish Press endorsed George W. Bush two weeks ago.
Due to the heavier than anticipated response to our Top 25 and Top 10 "Media Friends" lists as voted on by the public, the Monitor will wait another week before sharing a last batch of comments from readers and unveiling the Monitor's own list.
A presidential address to the nation that has come into the Monitor's hands:
Last week the Monitor, noting the publication of a new collection of essays from the tendentious post-Zionist historian Avi Shlaim, reflected on the damage inflicted by post-Zionism on Israel’s international reputation and, more important, Israel’s collective consciousness.
A Gallup poll released last week showed Barack Obama maintaining a strong level of Jewish support. The poll sparked yet another round of newspaper stories and web articles on whether the Republicans have any hope of even a respectable showing among Jews in the 2012 presidential election.
It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? And yet it seems like the conversation was never really interrupted, as I’ve enjoyed, in the three and a half months since this column last appeared, many an interesting exchange, via e-mail and phone, with some very intelligent readers.