Has the Press Gone Straight?

First it was the BBC telling the truth about Israel’s humane efforts against terrorism, and the desires of Gazans to continue to fight the “occupation” of Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv.

For those who have been following the case of George Zimmerman, who claimed to have shot an African-American teenager in self-defense, was believed, and then was charged following protests and a media willing to charge him with racism (despite Zimmerman, who is Hispanic (and, despite the name, not Jewish) serving as a mentor to two African-American children), something similar happened last week. ABC News first joined the media’s conviction of Zimmerman in abstentia, scanning grainy security camera footage and hastily pronouncing that there were no signs of injury on the back of George Zimmerman’s head, casting doubt on his story. Last week, however, ABC not only released an exclusive photograph claiming to show the bloodied back of Zimmerman’s head, but also pointed out that the image, taken with a cell phone, included encapsulated information showing that it was taken near Zimmerman’s location 3 minutes after the shooting was heard on 911 tapes. In other words, his claim of self-defense appears quite likely to have been true all along.

But the clincher comes from HaAretz, which reported Friday on the release of the Shin Bet transcripts of the interrogation of terrorist mastermind and Arafat aide Marwan Barghouti. To the surprise of no sane, informed, philo-Semitic individual (which is to say, to the surprise of all of the Jewish left and the entire population of Europe), Arafat was behind the wave of terrorism that followed the failed Camp David talks. “Barghouti’s confessions indicate that PA Chairman Arafat issued a general directive to carry out terror attacks, but made sure not to get personally involved in any way that might incriminate him.”

What has happened to the media? Has it suddenly gone honest? If the media keeps this up, and continues to tell us the simple, unspun truth even when it doesn’t go the way the media prefers… Obama will have little chance, coverage of Charedim will be much more positive… who knows, Moshiach may come…

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12 Responses

  1. Shanks says:

    Much as I’d like to defend at least several people on the continent of Europe who don’t think like Straw-Man Chomskies and defend rabbanim who might dare to have a political outlook than the only one promoted in Litvishe publications (from Yated to this blog), I think I’ll just focus on the dig at ABC:

    ABC never convicted Zimmerman in abstentia. They did the same thing with the video they did with the pictures: They released information and explained it to people. Releasing facts you don’t like for whatever reason doesn’t make a news outlet inherently engaging in liberal bias, unless you agree with Stephen Colbert that “facts have a well-known liberal bias.” Zimmerman’s protestations of innocence don’t seem “likely” to be true to me. We already knew there was a struggle, we weren’t aware that Martin apparently did manage to get blows to Zimmerman. To me, jury’s still out, but there are more supporting facts to my layperson’s mind on Trayvon’s side: The fact that Zimmerman pursued, that he was known for calling in false alarms to 911 all the time, audio experts saying the screams (contra Zimmerman’s family’s claims) weren’t Zimmerman’s. Just because I don’t feel a need to buy into MSNBC’s entire narrative doesn’t mean I have to buy into Daily Caller’s.

    But I think ABC has been fair the whole time.

    (btw, u ever noticed that almost all the popular opinion people on TV and radio are conservative? For liberals, there’s Paul Krugman, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Dohnell (kinda), Chris Hayes (kinda), and Jon Stewart. For conservatives, there’s…well, too many to count. People conveniently forget that “mainstream media” is much broader than ignorant anchors; it extends to the opinion lineup.)

  2. Reb Yid says:

    This website is now getting very close to “jumping the shark”.

    Again, the tired refrain of blaming the victim…except here, unfortunately, the victim is no longer alive to defend himself.

    Why did the Sanford police not bring any charges against Zimmerman? Why did Zimmerman pursue the unarmed Martin boy in his car, despite the 911 operator telling him not to do so? Why did Zimmerman shoot him–and what does this say about our sad state of affairs?

    Please–this is not about the media. And it strains all credibility to tie this case, the media, Arafat, Obama and Charedim all together.

  3. Reb Yid says:

    Oh, but if it’s the media you want, google Pew Center and Obama.

    A new, extensive study just came out showing that media coverage during the primary season has been much harsher on Obama (“consistently negative”–he did not enjoy a single week where coverage was more positive than negative–than it was on the GOP challengers (“a more mixed narrative”).

  4. cohen y says:

    Shanks Reb Yid ,

    You are confusing republican with conservative.I agree the media can be rather republican(certainly Romney-ites) if/when it suits them,yet vociferously liberal.

  5. A. Schreiber says:

    Come now, Reb Yid. Fox News is far and away the most popular cable news show, and it rose to prominence primarily because viewers found other media biased against their views. This is also why Drudge is so popular. Will you say all these tens of millions who see the clear bias are simply “wrong?” Keep in mind that studies on the subject have consistently shown that members of the media profession vote democrat. Note also the “journolist” scandal of the 2008 campaign, when a cache of emails from the journolist media listserve was revealed, showing how they planned to prop up Obama. (That this candal was under-reported is itself evidence of the bias.)

    You may be right in this instance that it strains credulity to connect charedim to Araft to Obama. Maybe, or maybe not. But no serious person can deny the left wing slant of news reporting in legacy media.

  6. Yaakov Menken says:

    The idea that anyone involved with federated Judaism would refer to anything Orthodox as jumping the shark simply leaves one looking at the title of RYA’s entry preceding this one: “laugh or cry?”

    The media narrative shows us a dated photo of a 13-year-old Martin, and calls him a victim. The teen he turned out to be called himself @no_limit_n***a on Twitter, was caught in school with burglary tools and twelve pieces of female jewelry of unidentified provenance, and had just been suspended from school after traces of marijuana were found in his book bag. A previous suspension had been for “hiding and being suspicious” in an unauthorized area and drawing graffiti. So according to school officials, TM had previously engaged in breaking and entering, as well as defacing property… exactly the sorts of things GZ suspected TM might be interested in doing.

    It is not illegal to follow a young man in your neighborhood whom you see looking at houses, whether or not a non-emergency operator (GZ didn’t call 911) says “we don’t need you to do that.” It’s not even illegal to get out of your car and see if a kid has run off to break into or deface a neighbor’s house. What is illegal is to pounce on a neighborhood watch volunteer as he returns to his car, and proceed to smash his head into the pavement.

    “Audio experts” aside, part of the reason Sanford prosecutors said there was no reason to hold GZ was because Martin’s own father said the voice crying for help wasn’t his son. Given the state of audio recognition technology today, this is something both prosecution and defense ought to know by now, and will probably be decisive.

    I have thought about writing about the parallels and lack thereof between GZ and the Baltimore Shomrim defense. With all due respect to my many friends on Shomrim, the Werdesheim brothers have a more difficult case.

    The Pew Center is, like many Jewish organizations, well-known for stating the obvious, because when they do so they can at least be assured of getting the right answer. The primary season involved eight different Republican candidates all trying to explain why they will be the best to oppose the Democratic incumbent, who himself had no primary fight. The Center explains this result themselves, because political coverage has now dominated the news. Why is Obama portrayed negatively? “That, in substantial part, is a function of the fact that for many months he has been the target of multiple Republican candidates attacking his record and his competence as they sought to take his job.”

    Now that Romney is the presumptive nominee, all that will change, and even despite pleas from within for some semblance of balance and “an aggressive look at the president’s record” (which, of course, would result in a defeat to rival Mondale’s), the Grey Lady and the rest will look forward to “basking in the warm glow” of a second term.

  7. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    As someone who voted for Reagen in 1984, I feel compelled to ask why would “an aggressive look at the president’s record . . . result in a defeat to rival Mondale’s”?

  8. Reb Yid says:

    The media pressure–thankfully–is the only reason Zimmerman was brought in at all, after a very serious delay, despite the fact no-one disputed that he was the one who shot Martin. A serious miscarriage of justice was being committed and, fortunately, terminated.

    I have no idea if Zimmerman will be found innocent or guilty in a court of law. That is a different matter. But surely the Martin boy deserves that much.

    Makes no difference whether he was a choir boy or a juvenile delinquent…he was unarmed. He was being pursued. He had the misfortune of being an African-American wearing a hoodie in a gated community. For some, it seems, that is reason enough to justify a killing even before a case has been heard.

  9. cohen y says:

    “Now that Romney is the presumptive nominee, all that will change, and even despite pleas from within for some semblance of balance and “an aggressive look at the president’s record” (which, of course, would result in a defeat to rival Mondale’s), the Grey Lady and the rest will look forward to “basking in the warm glow” of a second term.”

    This is a misunderstanding of the media’s goals .

  10. Mr. Cohen says:

    If the media is becoming more honest, then it is surely because
    somewhere a tzadik is praying for better media treatment of Jews.

  11. Shanks says:

    They just discovered Mr. Zimmerman’s Myspace page, confirmed by his lawyer.

    He writes:
    “I dont miss driving around scared to hit mexicans walkin on the side of the street…wanna be thugs messin with peoples cars when they aint around (what are you provin, that you can dent a car when no ones watchin) dont make you a man in my book. Workin 96 hours to get a decent pay check, gettin knifes pulled on you by every mexican you run into!”

    Why shouldn’t the media be willing to charge him with racism Yaakov?

  12. Yaakov Menken says:

    Oooh, so Zimmerman had bad things to say about Mexicans, which means that he’s racist against… Hispanics?

    [Zimmerman is Hispanic, just as Obama is African-American.]

    The media isn’t dense, it’s deliberate. EMTs rendered aid to Zimmerman on scene for his head injuries, which were independently observed and documented by police. Yet ABC failed to mention any of that when they looked (too casually) at the surveillance video and said it contradicted “Zimmerman’s” assertion (as if he somehow duped police into recording a non-existent wound) that he was bleeding from the back of his head — and showed a 4-year-old photo of Trayvon Martin.

    Yes, there’s plenty of racism at work here, because there would be none of the media frenzy, none of the accusations, none of the cries to “take him out”, none of the prosecutor kowtowing to a gathering mob… if the victim had been white.

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