In a recent article for FrontPageMag.com, Kenneth Levin (whose most recent contribution to The Jewish Press was the April 20 page-one essay “The Empty Rage of Jewish ‘Progressives’”) took off on Steven Erlanger, the putrid Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times. In the course of his critique, Levin recalled a particularly egregious example of biased reporting by a former Times Jerusalem correspondent named William Orme.
Last week the Monitor considered the matter of radio host Don Imus’s firing and the hypocrisy that infused the affair throughout its eight-day life. Ironically, Bernard Goldberg – the veteran television newsman who with his 2001 surprise bestseller Bias blew the whistle on how liberal journalists routinely slant their reportage – has a new book out, Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right, that includes an amusing, counterintuitive, anecdote about Imus.
Don Imus should have been fired years ago. He was a radio host whose sheer inarticulateness may have been even more shocking than his purposeful crudity; an alleged humorist who had said nothing memorable or funny since the dawn of the Clinton era if not earlier.
The Monitor’s rumination last week on unjustified criticism directed against The Jewish Press brought a note from a longtime reader who raised the now infamous “Israel Wins” headline that appeared on the front page of The Jewish Press during the first week of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Last week a left-wing blogger reacted with some indignation to Steven Plaut’s inaugural post on the new Jewish Press blog (shameless plug #1 – you’ll find The Jewish Press Blog at www.thejewishpress.blogspot.com)
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.
It’s been a year since the Monitor’s last listing of worthwhile websites and blogs, so here’s an updated version. Some of the sites that appeared on previous lists have been removed (either they went defunct or simply failed to hold the Monitor’s interest) and several new ones have been added.
Shimon Peres was in America this week hawking his new biography. Written by veteran Labor-friendly journalist Michael Bar-Zohar, who served as Peres’s campaign chairman during the 1981 Knesset elections, the book (imaginatively titled Shimon Peres: The Biography) strives to present its subject as a sadly misunderstood and underappreciated Israeli hero.
Several readers, at least one or two of them presumably not in the employ of the Democratic National Committee, took the Monitor to task for suggesting that Sen. Hillary Clinton was a pioneer in the art of elevating a scamp like Al Sharpton to the status of esteemed statesman.
Rearranging the bookshelves the other day, the Monitor came across a volume published in 1999 titled A Passion for Truth. The book is a collection of columns by the late Eric Breindel, whose death in 1998 at the shockingly young age of 42 deprived the nation of one of its most articulate conservative polemicists.
There was just something so false in the universal acclaim for King Hussein on the occasion of his death eight years ago this week – false because most media accounts failed to offer a full reckoning of the Jordanian monarch’s life, with journalists whitewashing or ignoring its many inconvenient chapters and plentiful examples of ugly rhetoric.
The winner of the Monitor’s third annual Henry Schwarzschild Award for most offensive comments by a Jew in the public spotlight goes to Michael Lerner, publisher of the far-left Tikkun magazine.
The Dec. 29 front-page essay on Harry Truman by this modest scrivener continues to generate a heartening response – and not just from Jewish Press readers, as the piece was featured on FrontPageMag.com and reprinted by the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle in Truman’s home state of Missouri.
Funny thing about Joe Biden, Democrat of Delaware and newly minted presidential hopeful: The media herd has this habit of portraying him as sharp, cerebral, one of the U.S. Senate’s Deep Thinkers – and yet every time he opens his mouth you hold your breath, wondering whether he’ll say something he’ll instantly regret.
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.
Reaction some months back to the Monitor’s Summer Reading List (June 23) was gratifying enough to warrant a list of recommended books for intelligent readers during the coming cold-weather months. The previous list concentrated on books about the Middle East; this one focuses on politics, New York and national.
For obvious reasons, the disproportionate number of Jews who were either members of the old American Communist Party or otherwise active in left-wing politics during the Cold War has always been a sensitive issue for the Jewish community.
In April 2004, Ilan Pappe, the left-wing Israeli academic and self-described anti-Zionist, told Haaretz that post-Zionism, which appeared dead as a doornail after nearly four years of non-stop Palestinian violence, would rise again.
The Monitor never quite understood the good feelings Condoleezza Rice managed to inspire among so many conservatives for what seemed like the longest time. The woman never uttered a single word on foreign policy – her alleged area of expertise – that could even remotely be described as original, inspiring, or just plain memorable.
If most of the public opinion polls are to be believed, the Republican Party is careening toward a shellacking of historic proportions in next month’s midterm elections. Given the state of the Iraq war, a series of scandals involving Republicans, and the general mood of discontent that seems to have settled over the country, few will be surprised if the polls prove accurate.
New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Steven Erlanger is so openly pro-Palestinian in his reporting that he’s beginning to call to mind perhaps his most biased predecessor in that post – the truly execrable Deborah Sontag, whose transparently one-sided dispatches would invariably read as though she wrote them with a PLO flag draped over her word processor.
Graydon Carter tries so hard to get New York’s liberal establishment to take him seriously – no small task for someone who’s gone from skewering the rich and famous as editor of Spy magazine, the relatively short-lived 1980’s media phenomenon, to toadying to Hollywood celebrities and their imperious agents as editor of Vanity Fair, the glossy monthly that downplays its more serious journalism behind covers that feature scantily clad Hollywood ingénues and headlines seemingly lifted from the National Enquirer. (World Exclusive, shouted the October cover, A 22-Page Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes Family Album.)
In this week’s Jewish Press front-page essay, Gilead Ini methodically shreds even the slightest pretense of objectivity maintained by Henry Siegman, formerly of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Jewish Congress and a prolific writer on the Middle East.
Oriana Fallaci, the Italian journalist who late in life did a profound about-face – going from leftist supporter of revolutionary movements to resolute defender of the West and vocal opponent of Islamic fundamentalism – died last week in Florence.
Political hypocrisy was raised to a new standard in recent weeks by Democrats who successfully pushed ABC to purge a docudrama of certain scenes and dialogue that reflected poorly on the anti-terror efforts, such as they were, of the Clinton administration.