Archive for November, 2009

With Some of the Friends We Have, We Barely Need Enemies

November 30, 2009

I have previously written columns entitled What is a “Supporter of Israel”? and Time to Retire (Most of) the Old-Line American Jewish Organizations.  Sadly, they seem ever more relevant.  Two recent events highlight the confluence of my points — American Jewish organizations just not supporting Israel.  Of course, rank and file American Jews are hardly innocent of the charge of not supporting Israel — after all, to use an in-vogue word, they disproportionately voted for Obama, who has strong-armed Israel into making unprecedented concessions and compromising its sovereignty in return for nothing.

From San Francisco comes word that

The board of this city’s local Jewish federation overwhelmingly rejected a resolution to prohibit support of events and groups that defame Israel or partner with those who call for boycotts, divestment or sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

So we have a Jewish Federation all too happy to work with our worst enemies – and to use Jewish charitable contributions to do it.  The San Francisco Federation is not the only one so disposed; they are just the ones who have been called on it – but they have no shame and continue on their merry ways (and it wasn’t even a close decision for them).  See SF federation board rejects controversial proposal for all the gory details.

And from one of our greatest bastions of “higher learning,” Princeton University, we have what claims to be a pro-Israel group (not even a “J Street” type outfit), disinviting a pro-Israel speaker after they found out that she truly is pro-Israel.  From Egyptian activist’s invitation withdrawn – The Daily Princetonian,

A planned talk by Nonie Darwish was cancelled when both of the event’s sponsors, Tigers for Israel and the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, withdrew their sponsorship.

As I previously wrote in What is a “Supporter of Israel”? ,

Many organizations that promote themselves as “supporters of Israel” or “Israel advocates” in fact operate more as largely neutral forums for Israel-related programs. They apparently feel compelled to provide a balance of speakers with some providing an obligatory bashing of Israel, to offset pro-Israel aspects of their programs. Apparently, for these groups, it is too politically incorrect to include only pro-Israel voices. (Or, in this case, even some truly pro-Israel voices?)

Anybody have any answers for this sad state of affairs?


Establishment Media Wastes No Time Validating My Case

November 23, 2009


Last week I posted Bloggers Are a Better Source of News Than “Journalists” – And Better Writers.  I never thought I would be compelled to follow up so soon.

Perhaps my most extreme statement was “Even the most “esteemed” among them [the establishment media] are bad, or worse.”  Within days, the print media’s most “esteemed” New York Times and Washington Post both provided examples of how terrible they are, for anyone seeking a grasp on reason and reality.

First, on November 20, a NY Times blog commented on Global Warminggate, the case of purloined documentation revealing that key global warming alarmists sought, among other things, to prevent the publication of data inconsistent with their global warming-mongering, and to attack those who disrupted their “consensus” on “global warming”.

So what did the Times reporter have to say?

“The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.”

Wow!  So the Times has a new standard – or just a very odd one – for what they publish.  Heretofore, any national security secret they could get their claws on, or any rumor about a Republican candidate’s love life (e.g. John McCain) — that gets published, no problem.  That this information was “never intended for the public eye”?  Their presumed response:  “Hey, what do you think, we have integrity or anything?”

My column last week noted the “establishment media’s rank hypocrisy and partisanship”.  This is another example of them bringing it out further into the open for all who are willing to see it.

Then came the Washington Post with its malevolence and lunacy.  Quite possibly, this most esteemed newspaper’s  most eminent foreign policy columnist is Jim Hoagland.  In fact, he has occasionally been quite reasonable in recent years.  But on November 22 he topped off a column loaded with idiocy and the Abbas-loving and Netanyahu- and Israel-hating bias so typical of the establishment media and the Washington Post in particular.  He said,

“Only an Israeli decision to end that occupation in fast order can lead to the security Israelis need and deserve”…

It never ceases to amaze me that anyone can actually be that obtuse and continue to collect a paycheck for writing.  Disregarding all the stupidity in and behind that statement, the one fact that that formula was tried in Gaza with disastrous results that continue to this day should be enough to embarrass anyone from even broaching it in public.  But for the Jim Hoagland, the “finest” foreign policy columnist (aside from two excellent outlier conservative columnists) at the country’s runner-up top newspaper, it’s just par for the course.

Bloggers Are a Better Source of News Than “Journalists” – And Better Writers

November 12, 2009

I recently heard another establishment-media journalist bemoan the loss of influence of his club of establishment-media journalists.  He condescendingly scorned the rise and increasing influence of non-members of his club – primarily bloggers and conservative talk radio.  I decided that self-centered, narcissistic whining needed to be answered.

I, of course, scorn the remaining continued  influence of his club of “professional” journalists due to the great damage they inflict on the country.  But even putting that aside, those “professional” journalists are a disgrace to the ideals of their profession.   Their organizations range from bad to terrible.  Even the most “esteemed” among them are bad, or worse.  I and others have documented that.  Indeed, whole groups exist to address their shortcomings.

While naturally there is a range in quality among us non-establishmenters, we actually do a better job at the professionals’ job than they do.  To wit:

We don’t load up our copy with meaningless words like “aging”, “sprawling”, and “popular” to fill out supposedly scarce newsprint or airtime.  Additional common media establishment examples are “quietly…” [name action by a disfavored entity], and the universal use of “militant,” in worship at the altar of political correctness, as a substitute for “terrorist”.

We non-establishmenters have some judgment, and thus, as a group can and do actually report news on a broad spectrum of issues and developments, rather than just aping each others’ reporting on the inanities of the week.  (Perhaps that correlates with not finishing in the bottom quartile of our graduating classes.)  It never ceases to amaze me how flipping the dial virtually always results in getting different networks reporting the same take on the same stories, no matter how trivial or inane they are, and no matter how many other vital stories are begging to be reported.  (It is remarkable even knowing that Editor and Publisher reported that “Every Night the ‘NY Times’ and ‘Wash Post’ Exchange Front Pages for the Following Day”.)

Here are a few examples of the stories of no consequence that the establishment media lavishly devotes their “precious” airtime to, to the exclusion of what an informed citizenry needs to know about:

  • Category 1 hurricane may make landfall 3000 miles away (or is swirling in the ocean)
  • Someone who you never heard of is missing
  • Someone who you never heard of was shot
  • Someone who you have heard of, but was of no consequence, has been dead for a week

You might think that some part of the establishment media would seriously report on the constitutional issues involved in the continuing expansion of the reach of the federal government, or the long-term economic implications of current government policy – but you would be wrong.  Issues such as those, and others of true import are  regularly addressed by the non-club members that the establishment media so disdains.

Is it an ideology or ignorance throughout the establishment media that is responsible for its neglect of the real issues?  Probably both, but obviously there is also a herd mentality at work.  Their perception that their lowest-common-denominator product maximizes profit is also a factor (or maximizes  audience, in the case of government-sponsored, taxpayer-funded “public broadcasting”).

And we non-establishmenters don’t share the rank hypocrisy of our “esteemed” establishment media colleagues — a hypocrisy so blind that it routinely claimed with a straight face that Governor Sarah Palin did not have the executive experience to be qualified to be Vice-President, while never questioning that the Democrat candidate, who had no executive experience, was qualified to be President.

The establishment media’s rank hypocrisy and partisanship even extends to what books they will review (not to mention how they review them).  They won’t even review a bestseller Liberty and Tyranny by conservative Mark Levin (on this date  #77 on Amazon, more than seven months after its publication), but they lavish reviews on a book entitled The Death of Conservatism (now  #18,000 on Amazon, 2 months after its publication).

It might be nice if members of the establishment media would occasionally level with their customers about their ideologies and partisanship – and perhaps even to seriously study how that affects their reporting and their product.  But don’t hold your breath.

Even if you don’t agree with the alternative community of  bloggers and talk radio, you need us to tell you what the establishment media isn’t telling you.  If others had paid attention to what we were saying last year, they might have helped avert the political disaster that befell us one year ago, and will continue to haunt us for years to come.