Sunday, May 10, 2020

By Daled Amos

In May 2014, readers of Haaretz saw a plea from publisher Amos Schocken, asking them to subscribe to the online edition.

He assured them that by doing so, they would have access to all of Haaretz's online content.

But more than that
By doing so, you will become a partner in the ongoing effort to shape Israel as a liberal and constitutional democracy that cherishes the values of pluralism and civil and human rights. You will become a partner in actively supporting the two-state solution and the right to Palestinian self-determination, which will enable Israel to rid itself of the burdens of territorial occupation and the control of another people.

...Influencing the way Israel evolves is a daily effort of news gathering, reporting developments and creating editorial positions and sometimes campaigns to prevent negative outcomes and encourage positive ones. [emphasis added]
Haaretz has never hidden their liberal position, nor do they hold back on what they think of Netanyahu and his actions.

But for Schocken to go out of his way and proclaim that the goal of Haaretz itself, and not just its editorial columns, is to influence Israel -- that seems to be a bit much.

Since Haaretz is sometimes known as “the New York Times of Israel” -- what about The New York Times? Does it see also see itself as influencing the US, outside of the realm of reporting the news?

Last year, The New York Times came out with its "1619 Project," an examination of slavery in the United States on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia, with the message that the real founding of America began with the arrival of 20 slaves in Virginia in 1619.

According to the lead article by Nikole Hannah-Jones "our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written," "Anti-black racism runs in the very DNA of this country" and:
Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. [A later correction notes it was "some" not all of the colonists]
This is more than a single article; it led to further articles, a multi-media presentation and a curriculum.

A curriculum!?
Why didn't Haaretz think of that?

It is one thing for a newspaper to come out with an almanac. An almanac if full of facts and figures, which you would expect a news organization to have at its fingertips. But a curriculum is an ambitious, and in this case self-serving, way for a news media company to directly shape American opinion and influence how it evolves.

In his column, The ‘1619 Project’ is filled with slovenliness and ideological ax-grinding, George Will runs down other historical errors in the "1619 Project," concluding:
“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” Has this, the slogan of the party governing Oceania in George Orwell’s “1984,” supplanted “All the news that’s fit to print” as the Times’s credo?
The New York Times may be no less ambitious as Haaretz.

Maybe part of the problem is that newspapers don't hire reporters anymore.
They hire journalists.

What's the difference?

In the good old days, when Jimmy Olsen was a cub reporter for the Daily Planet, he would run around with notepad in hand, get the facts, and report them.

Journalists can report the news too, but not necessarily.

According to Webster:

After all, news is a business.
And journalists, and the news media companies that hire them, are getting more and more ambitious, wanting not only to report the facts, but also let their readers know what they think and frame the story accordingly.

This growing subjective side to journalism was evident when the usual NewYork Times anti-Israel bias was on display again last week.


Maybe David Halbfinger has not heard of pioneering, cutting-edge technology like Iron Dome, David's Sling and Light Blade (designed to shoot down weaponized balloons aimed at fields and children).

In a lecture first published in 1995 as "The Other Middle East Problems," Bernard Lewis noted:
Thanks to this open society [in Israel], a large press corps is able to maintain a continuous supply of detailed and sometimes even accurate information about what is going on. It is possible to interview various parties and to hear complaints and grievances. After all, where else in the entire Middle East and North Africa is it possible to get an opponent of the government on television to denounce the government as conducting a police state? You may infer from this that Israel is the only police state in the region, or you may find another explanation. [included in his From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting The Middle East, p. 340-1; emphasis added]
The New York Times does not have to publish a curriculum in order to influence how its readers view Israel. The way it keeps slanting the news and framing the story is sufficient.




We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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