web analytics
October 26, 2014 / 2 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Don’t Blame Adelson For Collapse Of Israel’s Monolithic Liberal Media

Sheldon Adelson

Sheldon Adelson

Liberal pundits have coined a new saw: Sheldon Adelson and the newspaper he owns, Israel Hayom, are primarily responsible for the collapse of many Israeli media outlets, and this endangers Israeli democracy.

The assertion is wrong on both the business and ideological levels.

The imminent failures of Maariv and Channel 10 television, and the deep troubles of Haaretz and other smaller publications, are first and foremost the function of long-term market forces, such as the advent of Internet news sites, that predate Israel Hayom.

Maariv’s downward slope began long before Israel Hayom debuted in 2007, which explains why Maariv was bought and sold four times – always at a loss – over the past 20 years. Its consistently terrible management and lack of brand positioning spelled its doom.

The same for Channel 10. The same for the Davar, Hadashot and Hatzofe newspapers – all of which have folded over the past 20 years. Sheldon Adelson had nothing to do with these bankruptcies.

Undoubtedly, some readers have moved from Maariv, Yediot Aharonot and Haaretz to Israel Hayom because the latter is distributed free. These readers also may have discovered that Israel Hayom is a good paper, with solid editing, experienced reporters, comprehensive coverage and a fine lineup of sharp columnists (full disclosure: including me).

But Israel Hayom also has tens of thousands of subscribers who pay for home delivery. And now Maariv and Yediot are distributing tens of thousands of free copies every day, too, on trains and in shopping malls across Israel.

What really irks the veteran Israeli media outlets is that readers have abandoned them for ideological reasons. Readers fled Yediot and Maariv because they became crass, trashy publications dominated by glossy features about models, actors, singers, rich playboys and the “true heroes” of Israel – journalists themselves.

By contrast, Israel Hayom features academics, scientists, pioneers, and Zionist and social activists. It also promotes hiking and travel within Israel, not the casinos in Greece, the restaurants in Rome or the fleshpots of Thailand.

Readers also edged away from Maariv, Yediot and Haaretz because of the deep gap that opened between the left-wing ideological viewpoint peddled by these publications and the healthy, increasingly conservative instincts of the Israeli public.

Those papers idolized Shimon Peres and his “new Middle East,” puffed up Yasir Arafat and promoted the Oslo process long after its failure was clear, and they lionized Ariel Sharon and pumped for Gaza disengagement while ignoring Sharon family corruption.

Yediot and Haaretz also regularly dump on Jerusalem, Israel’s largest city, as medieval and backwards while exalting Tel Aviv as cool and cultured. They sneer at Orthodox Judaism and mock religious Jews. They disparage Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with savage vehemence and fanatical constancy. Not a month goes by without Yediot conjuring up some nasty, cockamamie story about Netanyahu’s wife, Sarah.

For Haaretz, Israel can do no right and the Palestinians can do no wrong.

There’s more. In the 1970s and ‘80s, Yediot under editor Dov Yudkovsky, and to a lesser extent Maariv under editors Rosenfeld, Shnitzer and Dissenchik, became razor-sharp media watchdogs, launching one investigative report after another into government and financial sector corruption. They were papers with values and an edge.

But under Yediot publisher and acting editor Noni Mozes, and under Maariv’s disgraced and jailed publisher Ofer Nimrodi and current owner Nochi Dankner, the last decade has been dismal. The papers became enmeshed in promoting the financial and political careers of Israel’s liberal elites and the vested business interests of the publishers themselves. They often defended corrupt politicians and attacked attorney generals and the system of law enforcement. They came to represent the interests of their owners’ business and political connections, not the public interest. This is a real threat to democracy.

It’s no surprise that Israel’s top crime-busting investigative journalist, Mordechai Gilat, left Yediot in disgust after a 30-year career there. Gilat now writes for Israel Hayom.

Israel’s Ted Koppel, a journalist named Dan Margalit – former editor of Maariv, anchor of Israel’s top TV political debate program and the man who exposed Yitzhak Rabin’s financial misdemeanors – is Israel Hayom’s senior political and diplomatic columnist.

It’s also no surprise that Yediot and Maariv are now running an unabashed, aggressive campaign promoting the return to politics and national prominence of Ehud Olmert and Aryeh Deri, both of whom earned reputations as corrupt politicians and both with criminal convictions. And lo and behold, both happen to share left-of-center political orientations.

So Israeli readers have been looking for alternatives. In Israel Hayom, they have found a paper where Israel and Netanyahu get the benefit of the doubt while Israel’s enemies are treated with a bit more suspicion, and where shady characters in the business and political worlds are not coddled. Apparently that suits many Israelis just fine.

Israel Hayom is simply doing a better job than Maariv, Yediot or Haaretz of competing for readership in the free marketplace of ideas. Let’s hear it for freedom and pluralism of the press.

Israel Hayom certainly has its faults, chiefly that at times it is slavishly and uncritically pro-Netanyahu. But that’s the real reason for liberal attacks on the paper and its owner, not any ersatz concern over Israel’s democratic soul.

What truly endangered Israeli democracy was the ideological orthodoxy and conformity that once characterized the Israeli media market. Yediot Aharonot, for example, held 70 percent of the readership on weekends, a near monopoly unheard of in any other democratic country.

Israel Hayom has brought a modicum of much-needed heterogeneity to the Israeli media, helping to ensure and heal Israeli democracy.

David M. Weinberg is director of public affairs at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a columnist for Israel Hayom. He blogs at www.davidmweinberg.com.

About the Author:


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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Don’t Blame Adelson For Collapse Of Israel’s Monolithic Liberal Media”

  1. 'The chickens have come to roost'. In the US war against decent Iraqis, Arabs, Moslems, M.E Christians and Easterners, Jews Bushes (Prescott Jew clan converts from Judaism), Raytheon, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bolton, Paulison, Murdock, Adelstein, Bronfman and 12 tribes each made a fortune from non-stop wars since WWII. The lowly US Gentiles paid the price. Jews Bush, Cheney and cabal got deferment(s) from military duty or held drug parties! In Iraq and Afghanistan: 35K actual dead, 700K PTSD and crippled, $5 trillion cost, loss of respect for US and a wrecked economy forever. Congress is far worse at 85% Jews but hides behind euphemisms: Conservatives (Jew Barry Goldwasser who changed his name to Goldwater), Unitarians, Neo-Cons, Born-Again-Christians, Pentecostals, Evangelists etc. Jews who support Israeli atrocities are even more evil than Zionists!
    All this so Genocide-Committing, CHOSEN Israel can maintain its hegemony in the region. No Presidential Candidate dared to ‘refudiate’ (quoting a ‘scholarly’ Sarah Palinbaum) Israeli atrocities! The 99% US Gentile SLAVES of CHOSEN Jews must assert their rights! Jews attacked Iraq and overstayed in Afghanistan to rob these countries of their oil and mineral wealth for Israel, instead of protecting and preserving our own natural resources from the greed of the ethnic racists of Wall Street! The Jew-controlled US Press gave scant coverage when CHOSEN Jew PM Netanyahu repeatedly insulted Mr Obama (crushing his hand in a FIRM handshake too), VP Jew Biden and all decent US gentiles repeatedly! Enough! Now we know who the real Adelson PIMP is that supports the atrocities of Genocide-Committing Ben Netanyahu!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Terrorists attack Israeli soldiers with a Molotov cocktail in Arab village near Ramallah.
Palestinian Authority-American Shot Dead while Trying to Kill Jews
Latest Indepth Stories
British Flag

{Originally posted on author’s site, Liberty Unyielding} Never let a crisis go to waste. That’s the mantra – and a new development in Britain demonstrates how the Western left lives by it, and contributes thereby to the destruction of Western culture. Alert readers will remember the so-called “Trojan Horse plot” in Birmingham, first reported in […]

quiet

Introverts are more likely to pause, view the world from a distance, and think how to make it better

Lewis-102414-Nachal-Hareidi

I couldn’t see why I was different from Israeli boys my age. I too wanted to defend our country.

Eller-102414-Cart

I had to hire a babysitter so that I could go shopping or have someone come with me to push Caroline in her wheelchair.

Widespread agreement in Israel opposing Palestinian diplomatic warfare, commonly called “lawfare.”

Arab terrorism against Jews and the State of Israel is not something we should be “calm” about.

The Israeli left, led by tenured academics, endorses pretty much anything harmful to its own country

We were devastated: The exploitation of our father’s murder as a vehicle for political commentary.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Torah scroll which my family donated will ride aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

More Articles from David M. Weinberg
Sheldon Adelson

Liberal pundits have coined a new saw: Sheldon Adelson and the newspaper he owns, Israel Hayom, are primarily responsible for the collapse of many Israeli media outlets, and this endangers Israeli democracy.

With Hamas now fully in control of Gaza, freely running guns and missiles through the Egyptian border (negating the need for tunnels), the missile barrages on southern Israel can be expected to increase.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/dont-blame-adelson-for-collapse-of-israels-monolithic-liberal-media/2012/10/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: