Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the launch of Likud TV – in the style of US President Donald Trump’s Real News Update – in a video mocking his corruption probes on Saturday night.
The online news program will air nightly beginning on Sunday, and will be hosted by television personality Eliraz Sadeh. It will be filmed in a new studio built in the Likud’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, known as Metzudat Ze’ev.
Netanyahu has mocked the premise of Case 4000 – the “Bezeq-Walla
Affair” – that positive coverage on the news site Walla
could be a bribe, returning to that theme in the new video.
“So you’re asking me for positive coverage?” Sadeh asked.
“Real coverage,” Netanyahu replied.
“But if I do real coverage, it could accidentally come out positive,” Sadeh said.
“Walla!” Netanyahu responded sarcastically, invoking the name of the news site, an Arabic word that is used in Hebrew slang to mean “really.” Then the prime minister looked right at the camera, and a snare drum was heard.
“You only cover reality, and I will make sure it’ll be positive,” Netanyahu said, and the two made a deal that Netanyahu will “like” Sadeh on Facebook.
Then, Channel 12 crime reporter Moshe Nussbaum is dubbed over with a voice reporting that yet another investigation has been opened against Netanyahu, over him “liking” Sadeh.
Sadeh said that the new online news program will “tell you the truth. We’ll talk about what’s good and the challenges. There will be positive, real coverage.”
Likud TV seems to follow the model of Real News Update, a weekly webcast meant to back Trump’s reelection campaign. Real News Update is produced and hosted by Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump and gives updates on the president’s achievements.
Likud TV’s Sunday evening launch comes ahead of the party’s primary, set to take place on Tuesday. Over 120,000 Likud members are eligible to vote in 113 polling places, and there are 150 candidates running.
Yesh Atid responded on its Twitter account, saying: “I’m waiting to see your news segments ‘Hamas is laughing at Israel,’ ‘hospitals are overcrowded,’ ‘it’s impossible to finish the month here’... in a positive and real way, of course.”
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich said: “It’s not funny, because this is an exact pilot of the media as Netanyahu would like it to be, and even actively tried to create: obedient, castrated, humiliated, kneeling and fawning over the leader; without tough questions, without investigative reports and without talking about integrity and the rule of law.”
It first showed Jeremy Meeks, whose mug shot went viral online earning him a modeling contract, with the text: “This is the hottest felon in the world.”
Then, with a photo of Netanyahu, the video says “this is the most senior felon in the world.”
It concluded with calling on Israel Resilience leader Benny Gantz and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid
not to sit in a government with Netanyahu, in order to defeat him.
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