In addition to this blog, I publish, together with Professor Eli Pollak, a weekly column of comment of media criticism of Israel’s mainly electronic media broadcasting.
As I am Vice-Chairman of Israel’s Media Watch (I was director between 1995-2000) and Eli Pollak is Chairman, we have more than a bit of experience.
IMW recently conducted an annual meeting for its Friends support group. Gideon Levy had been selected in an on-line poll as the most annoying journalist this year. Zelig Rabinowitz was recognized for his contribution to the public broadcasting field and Ziv Maor was awarded a thanks of appreciation for his work with IMW. Former Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon addressed us as did Yonni Ben-Menachem, DG of the IBA.
One Elisheva Goldberg wrote about the event. She published it as "The Dubious Successes of Israel''s Media Watch" at Peter Beinart''s Open Zion.
What bothers her is
- our “ostensible lack of vim and vigor”
- our “success comes from their willingness to consider the long haul.”
- our “scrutiny of the Israel Broadcasting Association (IBA) has always been meticulous, and while their criticism is not terribly sharp, it is certainly sharply felt”
- “despite crude logic in order to advance a far-right agenda, IMW manages to be operational and successful.”
- “these guys have a bone to pick.”
- “they’ve been on the inside of a battle to get the blatantly racist, Caroline Glick-run satire show Latma (“slap in the face” in Arabic) on Israeli public television”
- we “have argued for better internal hasbara,”
- Of the guests, almost all were in their 60s. One gentleman came in with a walker
- Pollak himself clearly has an agenda
As for the rest of the post, besides the sniping, the petulant commentary, her cynical ignorance, the nastiness towards older people (isn''t that post-modern racism?), all she does is disagree with IMW''s views.
She does not prove we are factually wrong.
Or that we misinterpret the laws regarding media bias.
Or the principles of media critiquing.
That Peter Beinart published this is testament to his journalism values, or lack thereof.
I wrote to her, so:
Accept my apologies that I could not greet you personally. You should have introduced yourself. I may be right-of-center but I do not physically harm ideological adversaries.
As for the content, I am still digesting it. However, sorry for being successful. Sorry for taking my civil liberties and democratic rights seriously enough to actually try to utilize my freedom of expression, and assembly and even my power-house activism. Sorry for being able to forge contacts and coordination with political figures. Sorry that the Jerusalem Post asked us to return and publish (no payment received by the way. do you get paid by Peter?) a weekly column of media comment. Sorry for setting up a website that forces news ombudsmen to be responsible for their decisions that for the first time are made public. Sorry for being effective in pointing out media bias.
Sorry for being us. Oh, we have only one paid staff (you really shouild learn the basics of journalism. Ask. Inquire. Don''t assume).
Okay, so I''m not really sorry. But it''s erev Yom Kippur and one of us, Elisheva, should be sorry. So, I''ll be the gentleman, and I''ll be sorry (and laughing all the way to the fulfillment of Zionism).
Oh, I forgot.
As International Relations Analyst and Editor at Molad: The Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy, you must be strictly neutral, non-political, center-of-the road and without any radical, left-wing, liberal, progressive prejudices at all and in the least.
Right? Oh, sorry. Correct?
Elisheva, is originally from Seattle and her background is modern orthodox synagogue membership. She has "saved" herself by aligning with one of the weirdest politicians in Israel - Avrum Burg.
Taking advantage of his wife''s birth location, he asked and received French citizenship. He has an odd Hitler-fixation of some sort which, I admit, I am still trying to dully comprehend although I doubt whether all is clear to Avrum either. He doesn''t like Israel''s Jewishness either.
In other words, her words are but poison-dipped arrows, and not very sharp either, launched in favor of the neo-neutral-Zionism that is all the rage of "liberals" and "progressives" who are tired of being accused by Arabs and by their academic and social peers of calumnies disguised as propaganda and seeking a way out, turn on those who are still faithful to the basics of the return of the Jewish people to its homeland and who refuse to ignore the immorality that drives "Palestinianism", its disinventivity apparatus and its true violent nature and character.
As for media criticism, she knows even less. So I''ll stop here.
If Ms. Goldberg is a prime example of the new Zionism propounded by Beinart and pushed by Burg, either you can laugh or cry but for it all, it''s a shame.