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Readers will recall that a few months back the Monitor had words of uncharacteristic praise for Mike Wallace, who had just conducted an interview with Yasir Arafat that was far more skeptical than the fawning media treatment usually accorded the Palestinian leader.
Hold the presses for an unusual burst of candor from Newsweek assistant managing Editor Evan Thomas. "The incredible alarm everybody has about how Bush should have known - all of that is baloney," Thomas acknowledged last weekend on the panel discussion program "Inside Washington."
The Monitor is still trying to catch up with some of the more striking examples of media bias in the coverage of Israel's recent anti-terrorist operations in the Palestinian areas. Topping this week's list is the insufferable Ted Koppel and his separate interviews with Ariel Sharon and Yasir Arafat, both of which aired on the May 1 edition of ABC's "Nightline."
Once again the Monitor is forced to change course and shelve some already delayed comments on media coverage of Israel's recent anti-terror military operation. We'll get back to Peter Jennings and Ted Koppel next week, but right now there can be no topic for discussion other than The New York Times and the travesty it has become.
As those of you who've been paying attention know, the Monitor has been trying to make up for a brief absence by catching up with some of the more objectionable American media coverage of recent events in and around Israel. We'll return to that task with next week's column, which should, hopefully, bring us up to date.
Where to begin? The Monitor certainly picked the wrong two weeks to take a long-delayed respite from the rigors of media watching. It's been an extended and extraordinary period of idiocy and advocacy masquerading as objective reporting, so rather than focus on one or two particularly egregious examples of media bias, the Monitor will hopscotch this week and next over a variety of observations in something close to stream-of-consciousness fashion.
It happens every time: Let Israel bomb empty office buildings of the Palestinian Authority and the mainstream American media will for the most part restrain from pouncing - and point to that restraint as "proof" of their even-handedness. But let Israel take military action on a fuller scale and the wolves not only pounce, they devour.
They say if you live long enough you'll see everything, but that doesn't mean you won't need the smelling salts this week. Sit, don't stand, because the Monitor is compelled to defend the Anti-Defamation League and its national director, Abraham Foxman, against some outrageous statements made by Toward Tradition and its president, Rabbi Daniel Lapin.
It was one of those stories that forever change the way an important public figure is perceived. But if you rely for your news on any or even all of the New York dailies, you might have overlooked - or entirely missed - the disturbing revelation that the Rev. Billy Graham, while at the height of his fame and influence 30 years ago, uttered anti-Semitic slurs and stereotypes in the company of an all-too-pleased Richard Nixon.
The Monitor likes Bernard Goldberg, it really does. And the Monitor despises the smugly insular media types who've been lambasting the former CBS News correspondent for his bestselling (#1 on this week's New York Times list) expose of the liberal bias that pervades the nation's news media.
For several weeks now the Monitor has put off writing a review of Bias, the blockbuster book by former CBS newsman Bernard Goldberg. As the number one non-fiction best-seller in the country, Bias has been praised and panned, in print and on the air, so many times over that there seemed to be nothing new the monitor could add.
Bill Maher isn't exactly the Monitor's cup of tea. The host of ABC's "Politically Incorrect" is smarmy more often than smart, his jokes run the gamut from the juvenile to the jejune, and, contrary to what one might think from the name of his show, he's actually quite politically correct on a number of social and political issues.
America's pundits and editorialists have for the most part been supportive of Israel's side of the story in the capture of the weapons-laden Katrine-A. Several examples of that support are offered below (the Monitor thanks Zionist Organization of America National President Morton Klein for the compilation), but first, a splash of frigid water from Reuters correspondent Jon Immanuel.
As was remarked upon here last week, The New York Times has for the past eight years been what can best be described as maddeningly ambivalent, when it hasn't been fighting mad, about Rudy Giuliani.
The New York Times has always had a difficult time understanding, let alone embracing, Rudolph Giuliani. From his first mayoral race - the losing effort against David Dinkins in 1989 - through his victory four years later and the wildly successful two terms in office that followed, Giuliani was treated by the Times with varying degrees of skepticism, condescension, moral outrage and, on occasion, admiration that might charitably have been described as grudging had it not been delivered with the obligatory qualifiers and negative asides the paper reserves these days for George W. Bush.