Friday, June 29, 2007

Kalman Liebskind on Israel's Media

With thanks to Steve Plaut:-

Kalman Libskind is the main "scandal investigation" reporter for Maariv. He is not particularly identified either with the Right or the Left. He is very good at digging out muck. He has long attacked Peres, but less because of Peres' idiotic "ideas" and more because of his corruption.

Here are some excerpts from his column in Maariv today, not online, in print only in Hebrew, my translation:

'Are the Media at Fault? Damned Right!

'....There are two main reasons for the stigma of shame attached to the Israeli media. The first is not related only to the Katsav affair. It has to do with the conversion of journalism into the indentured servant of its sources. A great deal of the sources are leaks from people whom journalists themselves should regard with suspicion, but prefer not to check out deeply, that is, "source" people who are promoting specific personal interests. It is because journalists know that if they check sources the leaks will end. ... The truth? It can wait for better days!

'The second reason for the disrespect that Katsav got from the media is directly related to the points Katsav raised in his press conference. The truth needs to be proclaimed: The Attorney General spilled Kastav's blood, the police coerced witnesses so that testimony would fit its agenda, the media endlessly mocked Katsav and his people. Katsav and his people asked the media again and again to check facts, to ask questions, raise doubts. And time after time the media looked down at them in condescension, like lords looking down upon a few punks in Kiryat Malachi (Katsav's home town)...

'Let's say it clearly even if it is unpleasant to hear. The Israeli media are so unidimensional and monolithic that they are a major threat to democracy itself. There are no real flows of ideas in them and no new faces there of "others". All of the members of the media are almost the exact same, and almost none of them look like Moshe Katsav. The media are composed of white, Ashkenazi, secularist, leftist elitists, who look down upon anyone who is not just like them as an outsider. Anyone who checks how many journalists live in Haim Ramon's neighborhood and how many live in Katsav's neighborhood in Kiryat Malachi will understand the point instantly. In this entire dismal affair, the media serve not as reporters but as self-interested, biased, and self-promoting. Anyone who thinks the media will now conduct a self-evaluation should go get a cold drink and think again. The media only investigate other people, never themselves.'

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