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Believe the news coverage you read here and in the very few other news outlets that are not devoted to promoting Woke “progressive” ideology and anti-Orthodox views. For example, the 64-0 Knesset vote that finally terminates the Israeli Supreme Court’s outragously unreasonable “reasonableness” standard is a huge win for democracy. How can I prove it? Because Thomas Friedman of the New York Times, Ehud Barak, and Ehud Olmert say the opposite. There’s your proof. More proof? Look at the all the other Leftist anti-Orthodox media. They all lie or manipulate and massage the truth, especially when it comes to Israel. Did you happen to see all their coverage of the 300,000 Jews who demonstrated on Sunday in Tel Aviv in favor of the Government coalition and supporting Judicial Reform?

Neither did I. A reader needs very serious analytic skills to read a news report. This article offers a partial guide to cutting through the lies, deceit, and deceptions of what liars and truth-tellers alike call “Journalism.”


1. The Source: Any article on Judaism, Israel, or other Jewish issues that originates from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) should be assumed ab initio, unless proven otherwise, to be extreme-left-propaganda against normative Orthodox Judaism and against centrist or conservative political perspectives. The same is true for reports and op-eds originating in Forward and Times of Israel. Also Hebrew publications like Haretz, Maariv and Yediot Acharonot (Ynet). Of course, there are exceptions to everything, and even a broken clock is correct twice daily. These publications invariably employ techniques and tactics discussed below. JTA merits extra suspicion because they send “news” stories to others as a sort-of “Associated Press” news service. When a fine Jewish publication runs a “news” item or op-ed whose leftist or anti-Orthodox bias surprises you, look whether it originated at JTA.

2. Headlines: Compare “100,000 Demonstrate Against Government Efforts to Suppress Court Freedom” with “Thousands at Tel Aviv Demonstration.” Both headlines’ numbers are completely accurate. Yet which rally seems larger? In this case, the latter demonstration was larger — as many as 300,000 people — but it was in favor of the government. See? Try another: Compare “Six Jews and Arabs Killed in West Bank Shootout” with “Israeli Security Forces Kill 2 in Hamas After 4 Jews Murdered in Terror Attack.” See? And many never get past the headlines. That is how they distort the truth before you even read the article.

3. Placement: Leftist and anti-Orthodox stories get placed as “The Lede” at the top on page one in print or at the top of the web page. Other stories of comparable consequence but encouraging disfavored perspectives get buried lower on the page or in middle or back pages.

4. Organizations Quoted: Reporters contact organizations whose views they know will be left-wing or anti-Orthodox, seeking quotes for their stories. To create the veneer of “balance,” they sometimes select one or two statements from the opposite perspective. Even so, the agreeable views appear at the beginning paragraphs of the story for two reasons: First, the reader’s perspective toward the subject is strongly influenced by a first impression gleaned from the opening paragraphs. Secondly, many read only the first paragraph or two and then rapidly skim the rest. Similarly, preferred groups and quotes will appear at the end of the story, again for two reasons: First, the last paragraph or two leave the reader with a final impression from the story. Second, many read the first paragraph or two, race through the rest, and then read the last paragraph or two. Accordingly, organizations or quotes that the reporter disfavors are buried in the middle.

5. Experts Quoted: Similar to “Organizations Quoted,” above. Secondary players get inordinate coverage if media wish to promote their left-wing or anti-Orthodox views. In America, this is why Ocasio-Cortez is quoted so often, even though she holds no position of consequence and represents an insignificant Congressional district with above-average poverty and below-average achievements. Religious and conservative voices that get quoted invariably appear buried in the middle. A favorite tactic to seem “balanced” and “fair” — without being so — is to call a conservative or pro-religious spokesperson for a quote only minutes before “deadline.” That way, the person does not get interviewed because there is no time left to call back before the story appears. Then the report says “Calls made to [Mr. X] were not returned by press time.”

6. Distortion of Quotes: Many experienced political conservatives and spokespeople for Orthodox Judaism now insist on the right to record their interviews before the reporter culls quotes to use in a story. Alternatively, they insist the reporter submit all questions in writing, and they will supply their interview answers in writing. Otherwise, they are at the mercy of dishonest or incompetent reporters who misquote their oral answers or supply quotes accurately but out of context.

7. Surveys and Polls. Left-wing media degrade right-wing electoral victories by conducting endless polls and surveys, trying to demonstrate that right-wing election results were aberrations, no longer true. Beyond that, questions are worded in a way to draw desired responses. Compare “Do you support the Government’s Judicial Reform effort to rein-in an out-of-control Supreme Court?” with “Are you concerned that the Government’s refusal to slow down its effort to muzzle the Supreme Court will lead to civil war?” It is equally important to note how the left media selectively treat polls. Presently, they highlight polls suggesting some Israelis now would vote differently than they repeatedly have the past five elections in four years. Yet, the same media aggressively hide and cover up polls showing the majority of Jerusalem residents oppose Homosexual Parades in their streets. Similarly, they whitewash polls showing a majority of Israelis support building more Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

8. Adjectives, Adverbs. Haredi Jews get described as “Ultra” Orthodox. By contrast, Hamas never is called “Ultra” Violent. In America,“The Squad” that includes Ocasio, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib never are called “Ultra” liberal or “Ultra” progressive. Louis Farrakhan never is called “Ultra” Black. Arab political parties who will not even join left-wing Israeli governments never are called “Ultra” Arab. The present freely elected Israeli government regularly gets described in leftist media as “extreme right wing.” Yet their policies are consistent with traditional conservative Israeli political platforms. They have not restricted civil rights or liberties despite the Left’s dire warnings. They have not mass-arrested dissenters, despite the Left’s wholesale law-breaking, public calls from Ehud Barak bordering on sedition, and Ehud Olmert bordering on “treason lite.” The government has leaned over backward. No territory has been annexed. Every time they announce new construction, they next announce yet another temporary freeze on building. They want bread kept out of hospitals during Pesach but do not impose chametz laws on private lives. It is a centrist-conservative, pro-tradition government, nothing extreme. They still have yet to advance the bulk of the Judicial Reform package, and have not advanced amending the “Grandfather Clause” that has opened Israel to massive non-Jewish immigration.

9. Quotation Marks. Compare “Israel Claims It Killed 4 ‘Terrorists’ ” with “Israel Reports It Killed 4 Terrorists.” See what those quotation marks do?

10. Verbs. And see the difference between “Claims” and “Reports” in the above example?

11. Non-Reporting of Important News. Publications employ biases to elevate non-stories into significant events or to ignore significant stories whose urgency demands coverage. In America, important religion stories get ignored regularly except when a Catholic priest or prominent Protestant pastor gets implicated in scandal. It is legion how left media blacked out all news of the Hunter Biden laptop during the 2020 presidential election or allocated absurdly undue attention to lies that Donald Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin. And consider friendships: The Left media report regularly about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s friendship with Arnon Milchin. But how often do they report on Ehud Barak’s much closer relationship with sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein? Barak spent time with Epstein — at least thirty times — and flew on his infamous plane. Barak was “almost a fixture” at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion. Not news?

12. Photographs. A person may wave at an audience with an outstretched arm. Will the photo be captioned as friendly waving or a Nazi salute? Typically, the same speech includes moments of warm smiling while telling a joke, and also angry scowling while criticizing something deplorable. Editors decide which one picture to use. Do they show Arab children crying after Israel bombs Hamas to stop them from shooting rockets into Sderot? They fail to show the Jewish family murdered by terrorists from Jenin, but instead publish photos of bombed-out streets in Jenin — without captioning that is where terrorist bomb labs existed. Similarly, an editor’s biased viewpoint selects the photograph at a demonstration. At media-favored demonstrations against the government of Israel, they show photographs of Israeli flags and hide those of demonstrators waving “Palestine” flags. By contrast, if there is even one “Kach” poster at a demonstration of 200,000 people favoring the government, that photo is chosen.

13. Distortion of Comparative Data. Media will report on numbers of Gazan Arabs killed in a justified Israeli bombing without delineating: (i) how many were terrorists as opposed to civilians, (ii) that the targeted Hamas rocket launchers deliberately were based in apartment buildings, hospital campuses, and school yards, and (iii) how many of the Gazan Arabs were killed by Hamas rockets that fell short and incinerated their own people. Another example: The media banner that hundreds of reserve soldiers have promised not to report but fail to tell you (i) how many are over age 60, over 70, over 80; (ii) how many of them actually have not shown up when due; and that (iii) well over 100,000 Israeli active duty and reserve military personnel are on record rejecting the calls to refuse service.

14. Outright Advocacy Couched as “News”. The honest approach is to distinguish for readers and viewers very formally between “news” and “opinion.” The Left media in Israel and America are notorious for anchors “reporting” personal subjective opinions as documented objective facts. One listens to CNN and MSNBC “news reporters,” like those of Israel’s Kan 11, Keshet 12, and Reshet 13, and their “news” “reporting” is pure propaganda.

15. Semantics. Words color everything. “West Bank” or “Judea and Samaria”? “Settlements” or “Jewish communities”? Ariel, the capital of Samaria, has a population exceeding 20,000 with another 11,000 studying at Ariel University. Wikipedia calls it a “settlement.” Ariel is twice the population of Malibu, California (10,654); three times the population of Lexington, Virginia (7,320) and Aspen, Colorado (7,004); seven times Gatlinburg, Tennessee (3,577) and Carmel, California (3,220); and ten times Lake Placid, New York (2,269) and Cooperstown, New York (1,769). Opponents snark back: “Oh, stop quibbling over semantics!” Semantics, huh? So it is OK to call people “homosexual” instead of “Gay”? The Left even fires people who will not use the pronouns they demand to call a woman a man or vice-versa. So, apparently, semantics do matter. And over the century, in a sincere effort to be sensitive, people were educated first to show respect by using the term “Colored People” as in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Then the public was urged: Show some sensitivity and stop using that horrible term; use “Negro” instead. And then: “Negro is insensitive; it is a Spanish word, and we do not call Caucasians ‘Blanco.’” Fair point. So, from now on, use “Black.”  OK. But then it became insensitive to designate by skin color because Americans are described by ethnicity — Irish-American, Italian-American, German-American — so it became “African-American.” Finally  — wouldn’t you know? — it has gone full cycle from “Colored People” to “Negro” to “Black” to “African American” to . . . “People of Color.” In fact, our haters now engage in semantics distinguishing how they despise us: “I am not anti-Semitic. I am anti-Zionist.” So a reporter’s semantics expose bias.

Know these dirty “journalism” tricks. The truth is elusive, but this guide may help.


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Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., is rav of Young Israel of Orange County, California and is Vice President and Senior Rabbinic Fellow at Coalition for Jewish Values. He is a senior contributing editor at The American Spectator, was Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, and clerked in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. His writings have appeared in Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, and in several Israel-based publications.