Edward R. Murrow wouldn’t be pleased

Edward R. Murrow at Sde Boker, Israel in 1956 (l-r: Murrow, Itzhak Navon, Moshe Pearlman, David Ben Gurion).

Edward R. Murrow at Sde Boker, Israel in 1956 (l-r: Murrow, Itzhak Navon, Moshe Pearlman, David Ben Gurion).

Like Hassan Nasrallah in 2006, Bob Simon and CBS were shocked at the response to the vicious little slander against Israel they perpetrated on “60 Minutes” this past Sunday.

“All we did was grab a couple of yahud and they’re bombing the crap out of us!” said Nasrallah (or something similar). “Don’t they understand the rules of the game?”

Well, Bob, we don’t have to play by your rules. We don’t have to accept your incessant attacks on Israel and consistently dishonest reporting any more than we do Hassan’s kidnapping and murder on the Lebanese border.

We are not going to let this slide anymore — not the pro-Israel community of Jews and Christians in the US, and not the Israeli government:

“The interview not only confirmed my concerns about the segment but deepened them,” [Amb. Michael Oren] wrote, calling Simon’s approach “a feebly disguised attempt to exploit Christians—and inflame religious tensions” without any “historical or diplomatic context.”

Oren blasted “Mr. Simon’s lack of understanding of – or genuine interest in – the basic facts regarding Christians in the Holy Land,” and anticipated the segment “would be irresponsible, unfair, and beneath the standards of your program.”

Rather than blaming Israel, he wrote, CBS should have blamed the local Palestinian administration, which has control of major West Bank cities, and the militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza. Israel’s critics respond that the Palestinian authorities are under ultimate Israeli control, and Palestinian Christian voices in the “60 Minutes” segment blamed Israel for their hardship.

Maybe CBS, like NPR, sees itself as a soldier in the information army of the Obama Administration. Or maybe Simon and his pretend “investigative journalists” are just too fat and lazy to actually go out and investigate anything, and find it easier to recycle the usual tired Palestinian line. After all, the rules of the game say that you never go wrong by bashing Israel.

One pro-Israel Christian group sent 29,000 emails of protest to CBS in a single day. And mainstream Jewish groups like Hadassah, the Jewish Federations, the ADL, etc. are also expressing their displeasure.

Not this will appear to have any effect on CBS, which claims to have gotten only “a few hundred” comments on the program, pro and con. They stand by their words. Courageous journalists, not afraid of The Lobby.

But things are changing. Just as the Second Lebanon War — despite Israel’s admitted failures of strategy and execution — taught Hizballah that they could not continue to act against Israel with impunity, CBS will see that they their information attacks won’t continue to go down quietly either.

Their lies and deceptions are being exposed and dissected in numerous places (for example, here). The monolithic media mouthpieces for the Obama Administration– CBS, NPR, the NY Times, AP, etc. — are now so predictably, and laughably, wrong on anything touching on Israel or, indeed, anything in the Middle East, that nobody who isn’t entirely ignorant pays attention to them. And the implication of this is that they cannot be trusted about other issues as well.

My father liked to say (usually right before an election) that “the American people are not as dumb as they look.” And he was right, although sometimes it took them longer than he’d hoped to understand how they had been fooled.

More and more people are beginning to understand that the mainstream media’s posturing about professionalism, freedom from bias and fact checking, are often precisely that.

Edward R. Murrow, who as a matter of fact was quite pro-Israel, was obsessed with professionalism, with getting the details and the story right, as well as presenting it compellingly. He had nothing but contempt for those who would slant a news story for political purposes.

Murrow wouldn’t be pleased by his network today.

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4 Responses to “Edward R. Murrow wouldn’t be pleased”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    One wonders how Simon who is a veteran journalist could have been so careless and irresponsible, so one- sided and unfair in this story.
    One also wonders why there is so much of this stuff? Who is interested in hearing Israel incessantly slandered?

  2. Vic Rosenthal says:

    The question put more precisely, Shalom, is “what do the slanderers get out of it and whom do they get it from?”

    One of the answers is that ‘journalists’ that support the administration’s efforts to force Israel back to 1948 lines are rewarded with access, leaks and scoops.

    There may be more direct incentives from other sources, too.

  3. Robman says:

    There are just too many dots to connect, and they all lead pretty much to the same place.

    Recently, a prominent Saudi leader (might have been the king, not sure at the moment) declared that a full global campaign must be launched to get the Palestinians their state within a year.

    They spend hundreds of millions in the U.S. alone – some say as much as two billion dollars – year in and year out to promote their agenda here. That has to grease an awful lot of palms.

    Obama is nothing but their programmed stooge; I submit that the timing of the ’08 crash was deliberately engineered by Gulf Arabs to ensure Obama’s election, when it appeared that nothing else was working (McCain, in the face of numerous obstacles, was leading solidly in the polls for three weeks prior to the crash).

    Netanyahu has proven to be tougher and more resilient than Obama and his backers expected. Obama has failed to bring Israel to heel as expected, he needs another term, and the anti-Israel propaganda machine to prepare the public for Obama’s next round of pressure against Israel is in full swing.

    There is no way- NO WAY – that someone as experienced and educated and informed as Bob Simon does not know what he’s doing. This is not ignorance or inadvertant sloppiness or laziness. Funny, how so many like him – in the media, in universities, the list goes on and on and on – are uncannily sloppy and lazy in the same manner, in the same direction, on this issue to such a greater degree of both inaccuracy, and uniformity, than ANY other issue.

    We have sunk to a new low in the shallowness, baseness, corruption of our political culture. Our foreign policy is now more or less dictated by the purse strings of medieval savages who happen to have money from a commodity that we developed for them.

    I don’t know yet if we have it in us to pull out of this dive before it is too late. If Obama gets re-elected, we are going to wind up like the UK. And that is very, very bad.

  4. Robman says:

    One more point, speaking directly to your question.

    Some jaded types who pose as worldly like to point out that the media is about sensationalism, that whatever gets them ratings or market share, that is what they’ll do, and this is supposed to explain Israel bashing.

    Yes indeed, who wants to hear Israel slandered???

    There is not ONE example of a major media organization that is helped, in a business sense (except perhaps under the table; see above), by beating up on Israel.

    FOX is the least hostile to Israel of any major broadcast news entity. Which is not to say that they aren’t bad sometimes; they’re just not as bad as the others (e.g., CNN, ABC, etc., etc.). And they lead in the ratings over any other network.

    The Wall Street Journal is the least hostile towards Israel of any major print daily. They regularly feature columns by writers such as Bret Stephens that stick up for Israel. They are also the largest single circulation print daily in the U.S., and among the most widely read in the world.

    Glenn Beck had the third highest-rated – by viewership – cable TV opinion/commentary program on top-rated FOX; sometimes he was in second place, behind only Bll O’Reilly. He was basically kicked off the air last year for his open and staunch support of Israel. Whose interest did that serve?

    What is going on here could not be more clear. The question is, when will our leaders stand up to this? Right now, our current president is absolutely and totally in league with the Bad Guys.

    There are glimmers of hope; Newt Gingrich’s comment about the Palestinians being a “made up people” – TRUE – was the first comment of that nature I’d ever heard from a major presidential candidate, ever. The current chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R, FL) is staunchly pro-Israel, and makes no bones about this.

    A lot more needs to be done. At least now, we’re starting to fight back in an organized way.

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