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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘journalists’

A Time To Cancel

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

This year, one of America’s leading newsmagazines decided to send a memorable Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jews all over the world.

On the cover of its latest issue, Time magazine placed a large Star of David made of white Gerbera daisies, in the middle of which was superimposed large black text triumphantly declaring: “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.”

So even as Jews everywhere were gathering in synagogues for the start of the High Holidays to plead with the Almighty for a year of peace, the editors at Time were busy depicting the Jewish state as a rogue, war-mongering entity.

Ironically enough, the issue in question is dated September 13, 2010, which is precisely 17 years to the day since Israel signed the Oslo accords with the Palestinians on the White House Lawn.

Nonetheless, despite nearly two decades of Palestinian terror, violence and rejectionism, it is Israel – and Israel alone! – that is singled out for blame by Time.

But the irony doesn’t end there. Just days before the magazine came out, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had succeeded in getting Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table in Washington.

It was of course Netanyahu – not Abbas – who pushed for these talks to take place, and the Palestinian leader was practically hauled yelling and screaming by the Obama administration into this process.

So it is simply astonishing how the learned journalists at Time would choose to lambaste the Jewish state precisely when it is making a monumental effort to achieve peace with a Palestinian “partner” who could not possibly care less.

Indeed, the PLO propaganda department couldn’t have asked for more.

It would be easy, of course, to dismiss this as just another example of the mainstream media’s callous and methodical bias toward Israel. After all, hardly a week seems to go by without someone blasting Israel for having the nerve to continue to exist.

But this is different – both quantitatively and qualitatively.

Think about it. In every train station and airport, every newsstand and corner store where Time is sold, millions of passersby who glance at the cover will quickly take in the nefarious message that Israel is the obstacle to peace.

They don’t even need to open the magazine to come away with the idea that those pesky Jews are at it again, blocking any hope of reconciliation in the Middle East.

But that is just what’s on the cover. If you bother to read the article inside – and I strongly suggest that you don’t – it will leave your bottom jaw swaying in the wind like a cartoon character gripped in a state of shock. For Time has managed to publish perhaps the most insidious and anti-Semitic cover story to grace a major publication in recent memory.

I’ll spare you the details, since it will only serve to raise your blood pressure, but suffice it to say that the primary thrust of the article is quite simply that Israeli Jews care more about money than about peace.

The article, by Karl Vick, states: “the truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They’re otherwise engaged; they’re making money.”

Yes, that’s right: it is all about Jews and money in Time’s distorted take on the world. The only thing missing was a caricature of a hooked-nose Shylock demanding an ounce of Arab flesh.

Quite frankly, you don’t need to be a scholar of Medieval Jewish history to realize that accusing Jews of caring more about cash than calm is a throwback to some of the darkest and cruelest of anti-Semitic libels.

Yet the editors at Time either didn’t know or care whom they were offending.

If you are like me, you probably stopped reading magazines such as Time many moons ago.

In the age of the Internet and cable news, a weekly newsmagazine has come to resemble a stale croissant. It may look enticing, but it offers little in the way of meaningful taste or experience.

But we cannot and should not underestimate the damage that the Time story can cause to Israel and its image.

It sends a clear signal to journalists everywhere that they can feel free to cross the already nebulous line between being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic with little to fear.

It is therefore imperative that a strong and compelling reaction be sent to those behind this outrageous and offensive assault on Israel and the Jewish people.

If Time’s editors think that all we Jews care about is money, then I say let’s hit them where it will hurt them the most – in their pocketbook.

If you are a subscriber to Time, cancel your subscription. Don’t visit the magazine’s website, don’t follow links to Time’s articles, and shower Time’s editor with letters of outrage. And let your friends and neighbors know they should not purchase this magazine.

Let the publisher and editors of Time learn the most basic lesson of a consumer economy: if you insult us, not only won’t we buy your magazine, we will do our darndest to make sure no one else does either.

Michael Freund is founder of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that helps “lost Jews” return to Zion. His Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the third week of each month.

A Time To Cancel

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

   This year, one of America’s leading newsmagazines decided to send a memorable Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jews all over the world.
 
   On the cover of its latest issue, Time magazine placed a large Star of David made of white Gerbera daisies, in the middle of which was superimposed large black text triumphantly declaring: “Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace.”
 
   So even as Jews everywhere were gathering in synagogues for the start of the High Holidays to plead with the Almighty for a year of peace, the editors at Time were busy depicting the Jewish state as a rogue, war-mongering entity.
 
   Ironically enough, the issue in question is dated September 13, 2010, which is precisely 17 years to the day since Israel signed the Oslo accords with the Palestinians on the White House Lawn.
 
   Nonetheless, despite nearly two decades of Palestinian terror, violence and rejectionism, it is Israel – and Israel alone! – that is singled out for blame by Time.
 
   But the irony doesn’t end there. Just days before the magazine came out, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had succeeded in getting Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas back to the negotiating table in Washington.
 
   It was of course Netanyahu – not Abbas – who pushed for these talks to take place, and the Palestinian leader was practically hauled yelling and screaming by the Obama administration into this process.
 
   So it is simply astonishing how the learned journalists at Time would choose to lambaste the Jewish state precisely when it is making a monumental effort to achieve peace with a Palestinian “partner” who could not possibly care less.
 
   Indeed, the PLO propaganda department couldn’t have asked for more.
 
   It would be easy, of course, to dismiss this as just another example of the mainstream media’s callous and methodical bias toward Israel. After all, hardly a week seems to go by without someone blasting Israel for having the nerve to continue to exist.
 
   But this is different – both quantitatively and qualitatively.
 
   Think about it. In every train station and airport, every newsstand and corner store where Time is sold, millions of passersby who glance at the cover will quickly take in the nefarious message that Israel is the obstacle to peace.
 
   They don’t even need to open the magazine to come away with the idea that those pesky Jews are at it again, blocking any hope of reconciliation in the Middle East.
 
   But that is just what’s on the cover. If you bother to read the article inside – and I strongly suggest that you don’t – it will leave your bottom jaw swaying in the wind like a cartoon character gripped in a state of shock. For Time has managed to publish perhaps the most insidious and anti-Semitic cover story to grace a major publication in recent memory.
 
   I’ll spare you the details, since it will only serve to raise your blood pressure, but suffice it to say that the primary thrust of the article is quite simply that Israeli Jews care more about money than about peace.
 
   The article, by Karl Vick, states: “the truth is, Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter. They’re otherwise engaged; they’re making money.”
 
   Yes, that’s right: it is all about Jews and money in Time’s distorted take on the world. The only thing missing was a caricature of a hooked-nose Shylock demanding an ounce of Arab flesh.
 
   Quite frankly, you don’t need to be a scholar of Medieval Jewish history to realize that accusing Jews of caring more about cash than calm is a throwback to some of the darkest and cruelest of anti-Semitic libels.
 
   Yet the editors at Time either didn’t know or care whom they were offending.
 
   If you are like me, you probably stopped reading magazines such as Time many moons ago.
 

   In the age of the Internet and cable news, a weekly newsmagazine has come to resemble a stale croissant. It may look enticing, but it offers little in the way of meaningful taste or experience.

   But we cannot and should not underestimate the damage that the Time story can cause to Israel and its image.
 
   It sends a clear signal to journalists everywhere that they can feel free to cross the already nebulous line between being anti-Israel and anti-Semitic with little to fear.
 
   It is therefore imperative that a strong and compelling reaction be sent to those behind this outrageous and offensive assault on Israel and the Jewish people.
 
   If Time’s editors think that all we Jews care about is money, then I say let’s hit them where it will hurt them the most – in their pocketbook.
 
   If you are a subscriber to Time, cancel your subscription. Don’t visit the magazine’s website, don’t follow links to Time’s articles, and shower Time’s editor with letters of outrage. And let your friends and neighbors know they should not purchase this magazine.
 

   Let the publisher and editors of Time learn the most basic lesson of a consumer economy: if you insult us, not only won’t we buy your magazine, we will do our darndest to make sure no one else does either.

 

 

   Michael Freund is founder of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization that helps “lost Jews” return to Zion. His Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the third week of each month.

Let’s Make Another List

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Last week the Monitor invited readers to send in the names of journalists who exhibit an unmistakable anti-Israel bias in their writing or on-air reporting. The results will appear in an upcoming Media Enemies List along the lines of something the Monitor did several years ago.

This week the Monitor is reviving another old favorite, the Media Friends List. Readers can e-mail the names of their favorite pro-Israel media types along with or separate from their nominations for the Media Enemies List. Back in 2002 the Media Friends List was limited to full-time journalists, which precluded the inclusion of academics, retired military personnel and think-tank staffers who write extensively on the Middle East from a pro-Israel perspective (Fouad Ajami, Frank Gaffney, Victor Davis Hanson, Daniel Pipes, Ralph Peters, etc.). That rule won’t apply this time around.

On successive weeks in late August and early September 2002, the Monitor listed first the top 25 vote getters, in alphabetical order, and then the top 10 in terms of votes received.

Some of the more prominent media types who just missed the top 25 were columnist Don Feder; columnist Fred Barnes; radio host Michael Medved; Brent Bozell of the Media Research Institute; Rich Lowry and Jay Nordlinger of National Review; R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. of The American Spectator; Martin Peretz of The New Republic; and David Horowitz of FrontPageMag.com.

The top 25 vote getters, in alphabetical order, were:

Zev Chafets – columnist Mona Charen – columnist Linda Chavez – columnist Joseph Farah – editor and CEO, WorldNetDaily.com Eric Fettmann – columnist Jonah Goldberg – columnist, editor Bob Grant – radio host Sean Hannity – radio host, co-host “Hannity and Colmes” (Fox News) Jeff Jacoby – columnist, Boston Globe Michael Kelly [deceased] – columnist, editor Alan Keyes – commentator, perennial political candidate Charles Krauthammer – columnist G. Gordon Liddy – radio host Rush Limbaugh – radio host Bill Maher – comedian Steve Malzberg – radio host John Podhoretz – columnist, editor Dennis Prager – radio host A.M. Rosenthal [deceased] – columnist, editor William Safire – columnist Michael Savage – radio host Curtis Sliwa – radio host Cal Thomas – columnist Jonathan Tobin – columnist, editor George Will – columnist

The top 10 vote getters:

1. George Will
2. Rush Limbaugh
3. Cal Thomas
4. William Safire
5. Sean Hannity
6. Joseph Farah
7. John Podhoretz
8. A.M. Rosenthal
9. Michael Kelly
10. Charles Krauthammer
An observation: The near-total absence of liberals from the list serves as one more indication that vigorous defense of Israel resides, in the media at least, almost exclusively in the precincts of the right.

Revisiting The Monitor’s ‘Enemies List’

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Back in 1999 the Monitor, inspired by the political humorist P.J. O’Rourke, published an “Enemies List” of anti-Israel journalists. The column struck such a responsive chord, with readers nominating dozens of their own choices, that several follow-ups to the original list eventually appeared over the next couple of years.

The time is ripe for a new list of Media Enemies, but this one will consist entirely of readers’ selections. Names (and brief explanations for their inclusion) should be e-mailed to the address at the bottom of this column. Results will be published in an upcoming column.

Meanwhile, looking back on the “honorees” from 1999-2001 – most of whom are still active – there are few real surprises. The top vote-getter was the late ABC anchorman Peter Jennings, with former New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Deborah Sontag close behind. Among the others listed were the following worthies:

Anthony Lewis: A relic of Liberalism Past, this former Times columnist insisted on viewing the world from a Palestinian perspective.

William A. Orme: Deborah Sontag’s husband and partner in propaganda for the Times.

Mike Wallace: The former Myron Wallace rates a prime exhibit in the anti-Israel hall of shame.

Robert Novak: The Jewish-born columnist keeps going as one of the nation’s most relentlessly hostile pundits.

Leonard Fein: Despite half-hearted mea culpa for having trusted too much in Arafat, the Forward columnist remains a devotee of Israeli concessions and creation of a Palestinian state.

Thomas Friedman: Somewhat more restrained these past several years in his criticism of Israel – he seemed genuinely shocked and disillusioned by the Second Palestinian Intifada and 9/11 – but can’t say anything negative about the Palestinians without throwing in a nasty comment about Israel for balance.

Taki: Veteran political and lifestyles writer whose Israel bashing often crosses the line into outright Jew baiting, he now runs a paleoconservative website.

Joseph Sobran: Got himself fired from National Review years ago because of his anti-Israel, anti-Jewish invective; he’s still very much at it as an online columnist.

Michael Lerner: Not a media person in the usual sense, this so-called “New Age rabbi” publishes the radical magazine Tikkun and is quoted often by sympathetic journalists.

Bob Simon: Veteran CBS newsman who apparently never met an Israeli government official he trusted.

Reader comment generated by the 199-2001 listings included a number of nominations from R. Feinstein of Brooklyn: the longtime leftist pro-Palestinian columnist Alexander Cockburn; talk show host Charlie Rose (“when he interviews Edward Said or Hosni Mubarak he’s deferential…when he interviews Israelis he’s contentious”); and Prof. Noam Chomsky, who, though “not a journalist, is something of a media creation – and one who certainly belongs on any list of anti-Israel personalities.”

Sylvia Black’s e-mailed list of villains included Don Hewitt (“as the creator and driving force of ‘60 Minutes,’ he’s ultimately responsible for that program’s decades of Israel-bashing”); and syndicated columnist Georgie Anne Geyer (“who writes of Arabs as though they were dashing figures on horseback while reserving an icy tone for anything Israeli”).

Only a few readers took note of the British press, which was and still is considerably more hostile to Israel than what most of us in the U.S. are accustomed to. Dr. L.B. Sokolic wrote from London that “virtually every journalist operating in the UK is anti-Israel, if not worse.”

“Virtually everyone connected with BBC TV news is anti,” he noted, “with John Simpson (who also writes for the Sunday Telegraph) the worst.”

Among newspapers, wrote Sokolic, the Guardian has a history of employing journalists steeped in anti-Israel bias, including the notoriously vicious David Hirst, whose book The Gun and the Olive Branch is a classic example of distorted history. Sokolic described Suzanne Goldberg, the Guardian’s Israel correspondent at the time of his letter, as “bad but mostly stupid.”

As for the Mideast writers on The Independent, Phil Reeves and Robert Fisk, they “should be on anyone’s list of enemies,” said Sokolic, who noted hat one of the original moneymen behind the paper was the ardently Zionist Lord Sieff, of Marks and Spencer fame.

A Confederacy Of Hypocrites

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

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.

Anything on his show that was even remotely amusing invariably came from his guests or sidekicks; by the end of his run, Imus had become a pathetic echo chamber for those sitting next to him in the studio or checking in by phone. (Ironically, the very episode that caused his downfall began with a racial crack about the Rutgers women’s basketball team by one of his longtime stooges, with the unoriginal Imus merely repeating the offending phrase and adding a couple of words of his own to help seal his own demise.)

That said, his firing at this time and for this reason served only to further elevate the image and reputation of two men who in a saner, more judicious media environment would be shunned as a couple of pernicious race hustlers. Unlike Imus, neither Al Sharpton nor Jesse Jackson can be fired, their precise means of livelihood one of life’s more perplexing mysteries. But their influence would be a shell of what it is if the media hadn’t been so accommodating of them throughout their public careers.

The latest example of that accommodation occurred, rather fortuitously, at the same time the Imus saga was playing itself out. The North Carolina attorney general dropped all charges against the white Duke lacrosse players whose names had been dragged through the mud for a year after they’d been accused of rape by a young black woman. Sharpton, and even more so Jackson, had made statements that were strongly supportive of the accuser and that appeared to presume guilt on the part of the accused.

There’s not a journalist alive who believes Jackson or Sharpton would have evinced even a whit of interest in the case if the accuser and the accused had been of the same race, or that they would have lent moral support to the accuser had she been a white woman making a similar accusation against a group of black students. But mainstream journalists, with a couple of exceptions, once again gave the pair a free pass.

And how about a hand for the most craven performance by a network executive in recent memory? Leslie Moonves, come on down!

After waiting several days to ascertain which way the political and advertising winds were blowing, Moonves, president and CEO of CBS (Imus’s program was carried nationally by CBS Radio) announced a two-week suspension for Imus – but within 48 hours, as more advertisers cut their ties with Imus and MSNBC canceled its simulcast of his show, decided to fire him outright.

Imus, Moonves righteously intoned, “has flourished in a culture that permits a certain level of objectionable expression that hurts and demeans a wide range of people. In taking him off the air, I believe we take an important and necessary step not just in solving a unique problem, but in changing that culture, which extends far beyond the walls of our Company.”

Left unsaid was the five-year contract Imus had recently signed – Moonves’s concern about “changing that culture” was apparently non-existent before advertisers began fleeing Imus en masse – as well as the not insignificant role played by CBS and parent company Viacom in the spread of the very culture Moonves would now have us believe he laments.

Getting back to Jackson, it seems the only concession the media ever make to his long history of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks is a seemingly obligatory mention of his 1984 “Hymietown” statement. Highlighting “Hymietown” and ignoring Jackson’s other, considerably more incendiary words about Jews is yet one more way journalists treat Jackson with kid gloves.

Incendiary words such as “I am sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust”; “Zionism is a poisonous weed that is choking Judaism”; “One who does not think that Arafat is a true hero does not read the situation correctly”; “When it came to the division of power we did not get from the Jews the slice of cake we deserved … the Jews do not share with us control of wealth, broadcasting stations and other centers of power”; Democrats who support Israel do so because of “the Jewish element in the party…[it’s] a kind of glorified form of bribery.”

There’s more, of course, but one can understand why reporters fearful of appearing too harsh on Jackson content themselves with a quick reference to the relatively innocuous “Hymietown” statement before beating a hasty retreat.

Random Notes On An Interrupted War

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

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.

Olmert, Shavit wrote on Aug. 8, “is a prime minister whom journalists invented, journalists protected, and whose rule journalists preserved…. If Olmert runs away now from the war he initiated, he will not be able to remain prime minister for even one more day….You cannot lead an entire nation to war promising victory, produce humiliating defeat and remain in power. You cannot bury 120 Israelis in cemeteries, keep a million Israelis in shelters for a month, wear down deterrent power, bring the next war very close, and then say – oops, I made a mistake. That was not the intention. Pass me a cigar, please.”

In his column of Aug. 8, Shavit reeled off the number of ways Hizbullah had surprised Israel: “They surprised us with Katyushas and they surprised us with the Al-Fajr rockets and they surprised us with the anti-tank squads. They surprised us with the bunkers and the camouflage…. They surprised us with strategy, fighting ability and a fighting spirit….”

Even worse, Shavit continued, “they surprised us this summer with our own weakness…. They surprised us with the low level of national leadership. They surprised us with scandalous strategic bumbling. They surprised us with the lack of vision, lack of creativity and lack of determination on the part of the senior military command…. They surprised us with the fact that the Israeli war machine is not what it once was. While we were celebrating it became rusty.”

Here in the U.S., writing in The Weekly Standard on President Bush and the Jews, David Gelernter declared: “For years I have watched the Palestinians do absurdly self-destructive things, and have never understood them until now. But watching the Bush administration stoutly defend Israel…against the background of an American Jewish population that vocally (often sneeringly) dislikes him and his administration, and constantly votes by massive majorities for his Democratic opponents, I start to understand the Palestinians just a little.”

While conceding that American Jews “are not Palestinians and have not sunk to the level of supporting terrorist murderers,” Gelernter nevertheless suggested “their behavior is a lesson in self-destructive nihilism that could teach even the Palestinians a thing or two…. One thing is certain: Palestinians and left-wing American Jews would understand each other beautifully if they ever got together for a conference on refusing to face reality.”

In a New York Sun op-ed titled “Transforming the Jewish Psyche,” Warren Kozak related how at a Manhattan dinner party a woman exclaimed “Israel is a terrorist nation” and then added, “I can say that because I am Jewish.” The woman’s statement, Kozak wrote, comes back to him “when I read Richard Cohen in the Washington Post calling the creation of Israel a mistake. I am reminded when I see the letters to the editor in The New York Times where people with Jewish names say all of this is Israel’s fault….I see it over and over again in the pages of the New York Review of Books, The Nation, The Progressive, publications that are inordinately heavy with Jewish names and Jewish donors.”

“Find a protest against the state of Israel,” Kozak added, “and you will always see sign that says something like ‘Jews Against Occupation.’ Listen to the most rabid anti-Israel professors on campus and if they aren’t Arabs, they’re Jews.”

Donna Berman is the kind of Jew Kozak laments. Here is some of what Ms. Berman, a Connecticut Reform rabbi, told her fellow demonstrators at a rally protesting Israel’s military actions in Gaza:

“My neighbors, my Palestinian brothers and sisters, are bleeding and I feel it is my Jewish obligation to take action, to raise my voice, to say publicly that what Israel is doing in Gaza in retaliation for the abduction of [an Israeli soldier] is simply wrong – that collective punishment for the action of a few is unethical, is a violation of Jewish law, is ultimately destructive of life and liberty and everything that the dream of Israel entails.”

Ever notice how Reform rabbis seem to evince concern for the sanctity of Jewish law only on those occasions when they can use it as a rhetorical device to give a religious trapping to their left-wing politics?

Media Misreport Anti-War Rally

Wednesday, February 19th, 2003
Anyone who still doubts the mainstream media?s left-wing bias should study the coverage of last Saturday’s anti-war rally in Washington. Even as jaded a media watcher as the Monitor finds it difficult to recall an event as outlandishly whitewashed, as outrageously skewed, as this one was by print and electronic journalists clearly sympathetic to the demonstrators.The indispensable Media Research Center transcribed several blatant examples of dishonest reporting of a march that, as MRC’s Brent Baker put it, “was organized by a far-left group, had a bunch of zany leftist outfits as sponsors, featured some far-out rhetoric from the stage which belied the notion that the organizers simply want a peaceful solution, and ended with a march to the Washington Navy Yard to demand access to U.S. weapons of mass destruction.”

And yet, writes Baker, “major media outlets, both print and broadcast, ignored such realities which might have reduced empathy for the cause.”

Following are portions of Baker’s report (the full text of which can be viewed at www.mrc.org (Cyber Alert Vol. Eight, No. 11, Jan. 20, 2003):

Hardly a word from the stage got aired as the networks preferred to focus on the most normal looking people in the crowd. On stage, Ramsey Clark demanded Bush be impeached and one speaker even described convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal as “a political prisoner.”

“Braving frigid temperatures,” ABC’s Lisa Sylvester proclaimed on Saturday’s World News Tonight, “they traveled across the country – black and white, Democrat and Republican, young and old.” In a second January 18 story, ABC News reporter Geoff Morrell followed the trip to DC by a doctor and his “honor student” daughter: “So they rode a bus all night from Asheville, North Carolina. On board were businessmen, soccer moms and military veterans – all members of the same church.”

The night before, despite the fact polls show overwhelming public support for President Bush’s policy, Peter Jennings insisted that “the nation, as we all know, is somewhat divided and confused about attacking Iraq, you see it in almost every poll.” That led into a piece by Bill Blakemore previewing the next day?s protest: “Never mind the cold, they’re going to protest. Democrats and Republicans. Many middle-aged. From all walks of life.”The website for the rally organizer, ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War & End Racism), clearly proclaimed the group’s very radical agenda to eliminate U.S. defenses and claim that the U.S. under Bush poses the greatest danger to the world, but none of that anti-American vitriol was conveyed in any television network story I saw.

CNN, noon EST: [Correspondent] Kathleen Koch declared live from Washington’s Mall that “perhaps some of the people in the crowd, some of the Americans who have come from great distances who have the most poignant stories.”

Koch went to a pre-taped piece: “A Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home where peace protesters gather waiting to head to Washington. But only one truly understands war’s grim realities.”

Ava Cutler: “And I’m not afraid to speak out, because this is why I came to this country,
to speak my mind if I have to.”

Koch: “Seventy-six-year-old Ava Cutler was a Jewish teenager in Budapest, Hungary when her country was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1944.”

Cutler: “We’re being besieged day by day, night by night, constantly we were being bombarded. There are no winners in wars, there are only losers, and we have to find a different way of how to deal with differences….”

A 1,500-word article in Sunday’s Washington Post contained a single nine-word quote from an official speaker while a 1,000-word New York Times article failed to quote a syllable from the DC stage….[Washington Post] reporters Manny Fernandez and Justin Blum quoted a mere nine words uttered from the stage, an innocuous-sounding comment from Jesse Jackson: – “The world is cold, but our hearts are warm,” Jesse Jackson told the crowd to applause.”

That was…the totality of what Post readers learned about what the official speakers had to say as the reporters focused on what people in the crowd told them.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com 

Jennings Again

Wednesday, January 9th, 2002

If you thought the Monitor was finished with ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings last week, you don’t know the Monitor or Peter Jennings. Throughout his career, starting with his years as a Beirut-based correspondent in the late 1960′s and early 70′s, Jennings has evinced a sharp pro-Palestinian bias – one that goes well beyond the ritualistic bromides mouthed by garden variety journalists who strive with all their might to attain the proper level of political correctness.

Most of those would-be Murrows are merely going through the motions. Jennings means it.

It was during his time in the Middle East that Jennings marinated himself in Arab society and culture. “He had great contacts in the Arab world,” ex-ABC News president Elmer Lower once marveled. One of Jennings’s paramours in those days – he still speaks of her with great fondness - was the shrill Palestinian mouthpiece Hanan Ashrawi. (Don’t ask; she must have aged badly.)

After his first marriage broke up, Jennings married Anouchka Malouf, a Lebanese photographer with a Syrian mother and an Egyptian father. Through Anouchka, wrote Robert and Gerald Jay Goldberg in their 1990 book Anchors, “Jennings was immersed in the local [Beirut] community in a much deeper way than most journalists.”

A couple of decades – and wives – later, Jennings is widely viewed as the American network news figure most biased against Israel. And, as the following excerpts from a recent Media Research Center report make clear, he’s not about to let up:

Hamas is a “terrorist” group to everyone but Peter Jennings. In reporting on President Bush’s decision Tuesday to freeze the assets of a Texas group, charging that it funnels money to Hamas, CBS, CNN, FNC and NBC directly or indirectly described Hamas as a terrorist operation. But not ABC’s Peter Jennings.

Jennings announced on the December 4 World News Tonight: “Today the Bush administration froze the financial assets and closed the offices of a major Muslim charity. The Texas-based Holy Land Foundation is accused of financing the militant Islamic group Hamas which claimed responsibility for last week’s suicide attacks against Israelis. Federal agents raided several Holy Land offices around the country today.”

On the CBS Evening News Dan Rather at least added the word “murder” before “suicide attacks” as he cast doubt upon the Texas group’s legitimacy as a “charity.” From Kabul Rather intoned: “The group Hamas has claimed responsibility for the latest murder/suicide attack inside Israel and today President Bush cracked down on a U.S., quote, ‘charity’ that has helped finance Hamas.”

For the second straight night following the terrorist attacks which killed 26 Israelis, Jennings portrayed Israel as the violent aggressor. On Monday night he wanted to know if the Bush administration wished to “restrain the Israelis?”

On Tuesday evening Jennings saw “an explosion of violence in the Middle East” with “Palestinians dead and wounded after Israeli attacks.” He soon suggested Israel is a repeat offender as he lamented how “Israelis have been on the attack again.”

Jennings started the newscast: “Good evening everyone. We’re going to begin in the Middle East tonight where the U.S. has so much at stake. The Israelis have been on the attack again against the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat. The Israelis say they’re trying to force Mr. Arafat to stop Palestinian terrorists who are killing Israelis. The Palestinians say they’re making it impossible for him to do anything while his government is being attacked.”

Contrast the Jennings theme of Israel as the assailant with how Dan Rather approached the subject on the CBS Evening News. His tease at the top of the show: “Israel’s latest answer to a wave of Palestinian terror attacks: Air strikes hit just yards from Yasir Arafat’s office.”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/media-monitor-144/2002/01/09/

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