US press pay scant attention to election

Media more focused on the mini-scandal of Phelps captured smoking a bong than on Tuesday's elections.

February 10, 2009 21:48
2 minute read.
US press pay scant attention to election

world newspapers 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Avigdor Lieberman may have made the front page of Sunday's New York Times, but if Tzipi Livni, Binyamin Netanyahu or Ehud Barak wanted similar attention in the US media, they should have considered manufacturing scandalous cell-phone camera pictures to get it. Mainstream American media outlets paid more attention to the mini-scandal that erupted after gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps was captured smoking a bong than to Tuesday's elections, despite the impact the results will have not just on the future of Israel but on the success of American policy in the region. The near-total absence on evening newscasts and newspaper front pages is particularly striking given the high level of coverage given to Operation Cast Lead, which was the third most-covered story in the American media last month - just after the economic crisis and the inauguration of Barack Obama. Since the cessation of fighting, stories about the economy and the government's efforts to stem the growing recession have eclipsed everything else, sending stories about Israel's election campaign to the back pages of the paper, if they appear at all, analysts said. "Assuming there's a clear result in the election and we know who the winner is, my guess is that it will be a page one story - but frankly it will have to compete with Tim Geithner and [the bank bailout]," said Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, referring to Obama's new Treasury secretary. "But on some level it's surprising how little coverage there's been - though there will probably be more coverage of the results and what it means for Obama's foreign policy goals," Jurkowitz told The Jerusalem Post. "He's said he wants to resolve the Israel-Palestinian issue, he's appointed [George] Mitchell - so these elections are not divorced from American foreign policy goals," he added. Yet, on election day, stories setting the stage for those results ran buried in the print media, while cable newscasts focused almost exclusively on events in Washington related to the economy. The same effect was evident even in some of the American Jewish press. The New York Jewish Week ran a story predicting a Likud victory "by default," but topped its Web site Tuesday with a story about the response of American Jewish groups to the recession, while the Los Angeles-based Jewish Journal didn't even mention the vote. The Forward newspaper ran wire copy on the election high on its Web site, paired with an analysis of how the election will affect Israel's relationship with Obama.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A Sri Lankan navy soldier searches a truck at a check point in Colombo
April 26, 2019
Sri Lankans urged to avoid mosques, churches amid fears of more attacks