Who says the Jews run the media?

I don't normally read the NY Post. But the other night I was grabbing a slice and it was on the counter so I leafed through it. I was intrigued by this headline: "HAITI'S HERO: ISRAEL." So check this out...

HAITI'S HERO: ISRAEL

Now I'm a Jew. Dad's from Israel even. So I was curious. Is this an advertisement from some pro-Israel group? Nope, it's "news." Well, I guess that's what you call it, right?

It's from a column by Andrea Peyser. To sum up: She praises the "heroism and selflessness" of Israel which went "above and beyond the call of duty" by sending 250 people to Haiti...they even sent a psychiatrist! Because that's what the Haitians really need right now. "So how did it feel being buried under all that rubble?"

Also, some ultra-Orthodox Jews suspended their silly rules about the Sabbath in order to dig out a bunch of dying people. Let's hope God is ok with this!!

Also, Israel is nothing like those many nations that are anti-Haiti right now. And Israelis never seek out praise either. (Except my grandmother: If she roasts an eggplant for eight hours in order to make that night's baba ghanoush, you damn well hear about it.)

Don't get me wrong. Clearly this is all good stuff these Israelis did. But jeez, isn't this Peyser praise a tad hyperbolic? I like to have at least a little plausible deniability when people claim the Elders of Zion are running the show.

So to my fellow Jews who serve as our media overlords, I have a piece of advice: Keep this shit on the down low.

See, when you run the media, the key is to do it SUBTLY. Just kill an anti-Israel story every once in a while. Choose photos that make Palestinians look bad. But don't just run a blatantly over-the-top piece of pro-Israel propaganda. That's like putting spinning rims on a stolen car.

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16 Comment(s)

Blogger myq said...

Here's another article:
http://www.forward.com/articles/123926/

At the end, a guy undergoing treatment in the Israeli hospital (which is categorized as leagues ahead of any other medical facility set up in Haiti) is asked if his view on Israel is changed, and he said "I never thought of Israel before."

Plenty of people regularly don't give a shit about Israelis or Jews in general, and plenty that DO give a shit give a negative one.

Add that to the fact that Israel's response has been objectively viewed as some of the highest from anywhere in the world (including some way closer countries), I think it makes sense to report it objectively.

They're doing a good job, they're being nice, they're helping. That's all good.


PS Some people might benefit from a psychologist if they are indeed alive and potentially suffering from mental difficulties, I imagine. I think that one in 250 helpers doesn't sound excessive.

PPS Just to play devil's (Jew's) advocate.

2/3/10, 6:24 PM  
Blogger Matt Ruby said...

"They're doing a good job, they're being nice, they're helping. That's all good."

Agreed.

But the way this piece is written is ridiculous. It isn't news, it's propaganda.

2/3/10, 6:29 PM  
Blogger myq said...

Matt, number one, is this not an editorial or an opinion column or something?

Just judging from the fact that the heading of the whole segment is called "Welcome to the Blunderdome" and has a picture of the author next to her name, like it's a column or otherwise non-objective news segment.

Plus obviously the last paragraph where the author starts "I am proud to..."

But even notwithstanding that, I actually think it's pretty impressive how informative it is, albeit certainly accentuating the positive work being done.

Facts illuminated:
Tiny country helping a lot.
Number of people helping very large.
Hospital created. (Fairly big deal.)
People breaking their religious morals to work on the Sabbath.

Regardless, it really doesn't seem like a straight news article. It's an opinion piece, a column, or otherwise subjective editorial-type thing.

I don't quite think propaganda is the term.

2/3/10, 8:34 PM  
Blogger Josh Guarino said...

I think the title of the op-ed is a bit much. While I'm sure Israel's contributions are greatly appreciated by the people of Haiti, I'm not sure that makes them Haiti's only hero. If the title of the pieces was "One of Haiti's Heroes: Israel," I don't think there would be a need to point anything out.

2/4/10, 11:26 AM  
Blogger myq said...

I'm not trying to be Israel's hero or anything, but the title isn't "the only hero and no one else is helping." There can certainly be (and are) multiple heroes, regardless of how long the headline is (and headlines are often clipped for space concerns to the point of not necessarily fulfilling all the grammatical rules they would in a more complete thought).

Additionally, it is my understanding that Israel did indeed provide the most assistance, either objectively in numbers or at least proportionally, so it just doesn't seem that out of line.

Again, not trying to say Israel is perfect. Certainly they do some lousy stuff, which I know from news sources reporting it. In this case, they are doing great stuff, so it seems unnecessary to me to criticize someone for saying they are doing great stuff here, especially in an opinion column, not front page news.

Also I like typing.

2/4/10, 11:57 AM  
Blogger Matt Ruby said...

Listen, I'm not a conspiracy theory guy. But I wonder if things are really objective here, Myq. This piece seems a lot more like an advertisement than a column.

Do you think if Iran sent 250 people to Haiti it would get the same attention from the Post?

Do you think it's a coincidence that the author's parents were Jewish refugees from Hitler?

Do you think it's a coincidence that the Post and Wall St Journal and Fox News and everything else owned by Rupert Murdoch (a longtime friend of Israel) has a strong pro-Israel bias?

2/4/10, 12:08 PM  
Blogger myq said...

On a plane right now about to take off. Will return to win argument soon.

If plane doesn't make it, you win.

2/4/10, 12:20 PM  
Blogger Matt Ruby said...

Are Jews flying the plane?

2/4/10, 12:43 PM  
Blogger myq said...

The plane was going to Montana, so probably not?
(Is that a good stereotype? Jews don't go to Montana that much?)

Now back to our discussion...
Do I think it's a coincidence that her parents were Hitler refugees?
I'll say that when I first read the column, my mind did not immediately jump to "I'll bet this woman's parents met in the Israeli army after escaping Hitler," though knowing that now, it fits just fine.

As for the other thing you mention, did you read that the article you link to states that Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal in particular is actually fairly ANTI-Israel in the news section, albeit pro-Israel generally in the editorials?

So I don't see what you're specifically complaining about. (Weren't you saying that people should downplay the positivity of Israel in the news? Well, that's exactly what that paper is doing.)

I mean, I DO understand what you're complaining about. I just don't think this is a great example of it NEEDING complaining about.

Because number one, the editorials is WHERE people are supposed to editorialize. Opinion pieces are for opinions.

And number two, I believe this is more an example of people noting a noteworthy thing, and not people blowing something out of proportion ridiculously. (e.g. Sending the most people proportionally is a big deal, even if one of them is a psychologist, which as previously stated, could actually be of help.)



And yes, if Iran had sent 250 helpers or whatever proportionate portion of their population, I bet the news would have reported it.


That's all.
Sorry the plane made it!

2/4/10, 3:38 PM  
Blogger Matt Ruby said...

Ah, you and your math, Myq!

If we're talking about proportionate portion of their population, everything Israel does is newsworthy -- and actually there should totally be stories about how Jews are only 3% of the US population yet control such a huge share of the media.

Jeesh, soon yer gonna have me linking to some KKK site. ; )

I'm just trying to be real about this. This whole thing stinks of being a biased pro-Israel piece from a non-objective source that ran in a newspaper owned by someone known to have a pro-Israel bias. Even if it's a column, I still don't think it's right for a newspaper to run something that's basically a complete advertisement for a foreign govt from someone who is hysterically enthusiastic for that country. Then again, I don't ever read the Post so maybe it's silly for me to think normal journalistic rules apply to them.

Also, let me know when you see the Post print something like this:

"I am proud to point out the heroism and selflessness displayed by the Palestinians...I must, because Palestine will never seek out praise."

2/4/10, 4:01 PM  
Blogger myq said...

Matt, I don't have all the exact numbers, but it may very well be that Israel sent the largest total number of helpers as well.

Just checking quick on Wikipedia, it says that China initially sent 50 people. Out of a billion.

Israel's population is less than one percent of that, and they sent five times as many people. Forget proportions.

This CNN video reports on the hospital that the Israelis built, that other medical locations have been sending their most severe cases to, among other reasons why the Israeli effort is particularly noteworthy:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/01/22/haiti.updates.friday/index.html

You say you don't read the Post. I don't either, which is why I took the article on its face, in the context it seemed to be presented, a positive article featuring a positive spin about a positive thing.

The Israelis sent one of the biggest delegations (if not the biggest), despite being one of the smallest countries. They sent it much more quickly, way ahead of most other countries. They've set up one of the most efficient help-sites, they've announced they're staying twice as long as initially was thought or planned.

I don't see anything that stinks of anything here.

Your example of the supposedly pro-Israel WSJ turns out to be anti-Israel in the news portion, according to your own link.

You are responding to one positive column about an objectively positive situation, as though it's part of a grander pattern, even though you don't read the paper that it's supposedly a pattern of.

(I'm not saying it's not. I'm just saying that neither of us read the Post, and that this is not from the news section of the paper.)

Even if the paper does have a pattern of presenting pro-Israel editorials, that doesn't mean this situation isn't one that DESERVES a pro-Israel editorial.

You think a paper shouldn't have opinion pieces?
Normal journalistic rules? Normal journalistic rules DON'T apply to the editorials, to the columns. This piece is not written as a simple fact-presenting straight-ahead news piece. That's why I think it's weird that you're judging it on such standards.

2/4/10, 4:33 PM  
Blogger myq said...

PS The CNN video link in full is here, don't know why it cut off, sorry!

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/01/19/hancocks.israeli.medics.cnn

2/4/10, 4:34 PM  
Blogger Matt Ruby said...

Myq, I didn't know you could get prescription rose colored glasses!

I think we should prob go by helpers/per-capita income ratio if we want to truly measure this effectively. China's got plenty of their own fucked up shit to deal with. That's a decent reason to not send helpers IMO.

Also, maybe this whole thing is, in part, a PR push by the Israelis to get some favorable press. Acc to article u linked:

"On the ground was a retinue of Israelis dedicated to making sure people heard about their country’s humanitarian mission and spreading the word. Press officers from the Israeli military were flown in, as were photographers and a video team to document the work of Israeli medical and rescue personnel. They distributed daily footage to the press. Representatives of Israeli and foreign media were embedded with the group, and other reporters were invited."

So the idea that Israel will "never seek out praise" seems to be a straight up lie.

I think there's a diff between an opinion piece and just blatant jingoistic cheerleading. The latter makes me uncomfortable (and it would even if it were pro-America or pro-France or whatever).

And that last paragraph of her piece makes me want to throw up for a variety of reasons. Who even says that?

But if you see it all as a dose of positivity that's well earned, then good on ya.

2/4/10, 4:50 PM  
Blogger myq said...

China does indeed have a bunch of their own fucked up shit going on.
But Israel doesn't?


Inviting reporters to report on good works doesn't seem like a horrible thing to do, does it?

Israel and Jews in general get plenty of shitty press that they DON'T ask for.

So, it seems to me that even if they are seeking praise, the fact that they're doing it by DOING PRAISEWORTHY THINGS is actually praiseworthy.

That's all I'm saying.

(I mean, I was saying other things too, but the topic seems to have shifted slightly so that's all I'm saying now, is all.)

2/4/10, 5:04 PM  
Blogger Matt Ruby said...

I yield. In conclusion, the Jews run Montana.

2/4/10, 6:19 PM  
Blogger myq said...

I don't get to argue anymore?

That is a loss for a Jew, I think.

It's a tie.

2/4/10, 6:23 PM