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.
“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.