web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

ADL’s Misleading Media Surveys


Media-Monitor-logo

Share Button
The Anti-Defamation League, fresh off its lamentable stint as unwitting public relations apparatus for Mel Gibson, has, yet again, demonstrated a jaw-dropping inability (or perhaps a cynical unwillingness) to differentiate between a newspaper’s news coverage and its editorial views.

Every so often the ADL releases a survey of Israel-related editorials from a few dozen U.S. newspapers, and each time the organization trumpets its finding that, what do you know, they love us, they really love us!

Typical of the mawkish – and misleading – spin the ADL puts on these surveys was this comment which adorned a press release dated June 25, 2001: ‘Contrary to the widespread negative assumptions about U.S. media coverage in the Middle East, the Anti-Defamation League…today released findings of an editorial survey of the nation’s largest daily newspapers, which showed overwhelming support for Israel and significant criticism of the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Yasir Arafat.’

An even bigger howler was this statement, which appeared in the introduction to a Dec. 14, 2000 survey: ‘ ‘Contrary to some prevailing assumptions about media coverage of the Mideast crisis, newspapers in the United States by and large support Israel’s position in the conflict,’ said Glen A. Tobias, ADL national chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director.’

(Don’the statement in perfect tandem, or did Tobias start the thought and Foxman pick it up mid-sentence? You think maybe Tobias made like Paul Winchell or Edgar Bergen, throwing his voice while Foxman merely moved his lips, a latter-day Knucklehead Smiff or Charlie McCarthy? Of course, the possibility exists that they sang the words, a few decades late for Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour and a couple of years too early for American Idol, but who wouldn’t pay for a bootleg recording of that?)

Notice that the ADL release speaks of ‘prevailing assumptions about media coverage’ – which to anybody reading it suggests exactly that – media coverage. But as we’ve indicated, the ADL’s sporadic surveys deal strictly with editorials, a whole different animal.

And don’t let anyone tell you the ADL is not a tradition-minded outfit. Foxman and company are positively Tevya-esque in their adherence to the familiar old ways – namely, their insistence on blurring distinctions, as evidenced by the following headline that sits atop their press release of November 30, 2004: ‘U.S. Newspapers Overwhelmingly Critical of Arafat.’

Well, the news coverage may or may not have been hard on Arafat, but there’s no way to tell from the ADL survey, which once again focused exclusively on editorial comment. ‘Thirty-nine of the papers (78 percent) expressed criticism of Arafat, his life and legacy,’ the ADL reassured itself, although the organization did acknowledge that ‘nine of the papers (18 percent) presented a mixed view of Arafat, his life and his legacy’ and ‘two newspapers – The New York Times and The Los Angeles times – presented no criticism of Arafat but rather focused on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.’

That’s all very informative, but the question remains: Why does the ADL insist on monitoring newspaper editorials, when it’s the reporting of stories relating to Israel and the Middle East that frames readers’ perspectives and shapes popular perceptions? Check out the best pro-Israel media watchdogs –  CAMERA.org,  HonestReporting.com,  MRC.org,  TimesWatch.org - and what you’ll immediately notice is that the problem with the media’s Israel coverage lies not with editorials but with day-in, day-out reporting – the choice of what to emphasize or play down; the selection of photographs; the way headlines are worded; the very placement of articles.

The Monitor suspects the ADL would rather not survey actual news reporting because the only honest conclusion would be that the most reliably pro-Israel reporting tends to be found in newspapers with a conser-vative political orientation, while papers with a liberal bent are decidedly more sympathetic to the Palestinians.

After all, the last thing Abe Foxman wants is to jeopardize his good relations with The New York Times.

Share Button

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “ADL’s Misleading Media Surveys”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Flyers ordered Jews to appear at a designated location in Ukraine, in Sept., 1941. The next day, the Jews lined up at the Babi Yar Ravine.
‘Jews Must Register’ Flyer in Ukraine an Echo of Babi Yar
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Bob Grant

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Camelot-112213

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Shakespeare had it right. The evil that men do indeed lives after them. Case in point: Nahum Goldmann, who served in a variety of Jewish and Zionist organizational leadership posts from the 1920s through the 1970s.

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, who scored the first basket in the history of the league that evolved into the National Basketball Association, died last week at age 94.

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.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/adls-misleading-media-surveys/2004/12/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: