MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK
How Did So Much of the Media Get the Steele Dossier So Wrong?: Bill Grueskin, NYTimes, Nov. 15, 2021“Now it has been largely discredited by two federal investigations and the indictment of a key source, leaving journalists to reckon how, in the heat of competition, so many were taken in so easily because the dossier seemed to confirm what they already suspected. Many of the dossier’s allegations have turned out to be fictitious or, at best, unprovable. That wasn’t for want of trying by reporters from mainstream and progressive media outlets. Many journalists did show restraint. The New York Times‘s Adam Goldman was asked by the Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple about two years ago how reporters should have approached an unverified rumor from the dossier. He responded, “By not publishing.”. . . The Washington Post’s executive editor, Sally Buzbee…took a step that is almost unheard-of: removing large chunks of erroneous articles from 2017 and 2019, as well as an offending video.
The day after the dossier came out, Mr. Trump told reporters: “It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen.” ([But] Washington Post fact-checkers would eventually catalog more than 30,000 Trump falsehoods during his term in the White House.) When a well-known liar tells you that something is false, the instinct is to believe that it might well be true.
The situation also became complicated because some reporters simply didn’t like or trust Mr. Trump or didn’t want to appear to be on his side. He had been berating journalists as charlatans while seeking their acclaim; calling on legislators to “open up our libel laws” to make it easier to sue news organizations; and launching personal attacks, especially on female reporters of color. In a perfect world, journalists would treat people they don’t like the same way they treat those they do like, but this is not a perfect world. …”
The Corrupt Media Did Not Fall For The Russia Collusion Hoax. They Were Part of It: Margot Cleveland, The Federalist, Nov. 22, 2021
[Columnist Margot Cleveland takes exception with Grueskin’s position blaming confirmation bias for the mainstream media’s failures vis a vis the Russia hoax – Ed.] “The corrupt media did not fall for the Russia collusion hoax. They were part of it. …”
“They [Iran] are much more vulnerable than people tend to think. The regime is at its most extreme point since 1979. … Over the past several days, I have been looking closely at the demonstrations in Isfahan. This is a regime that cannot provide its citizens with water. It is a regime with a weak economy, and the administration is corrupt and rules with violence and fear… even if there is a return to the JCPOA, Israel obviously is not a party to the agreement and is not obligated by it,… The mistake we made after the first agreement in 2015 will not be repeated. Then, despite all the noise beforehand, once the agreement was signed … The State of Israel simply went to sleep. We were occupied with other things. We will learn from this mistake. We will maintain our freedom of action.” – Israel PM Naftali Bennett at the Reichman University for the Institute for Policy and Strategy’s Security and Policy Conference. (JNS, Nov. 23, 2021)
“Iran’s nuclear activities are bringing us closer to the point at which returning to the JCPOA won’t recapture its benefits.” — US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to a security conference in Bahrain in advance of the resumption of talks to revive the deal scheduled for November 29 in Vienna. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2021)
“Make no mistake about it, President Joe Biden has turned his back on Israel.” Biden has “restored funding for the Palestinian Authority, announced his intention to rejoin the Iran Nuclear Deal, and now the Biden administration is planning to open a consulate in Jerusalem for the Palestinian people. This is an unlawful step and it’s time for Congress to act to deny President Biden from opening a consulate in Jerusalem.” – former US VP Mike Pence at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting, (Arutz Sheva, Nov. 6, 2021)
“Me being an observant Jew enabled me to understand the conflict even more deeply. In a way, it permitted me to speak the same ‘language’ as the Arabs. They are religious people by nature. Religion is important to them, family is important to them. The fact that I needed to find a place to pray, the fact that I needed to observe kashrut, the fact that I can’t travel on Shabbat – it all resonated with them. … I’m very fortunate in my career. I worked for Donald Trump for 20 years, and he was amazingly respectful of me being an observant Jew.” — Jason Greenblatt, former White House Envoy to the Middle East. (Israel National News, Nov. 18, 2021)
“Like so many liberals in Britain, America and elsewhere, he selects aspects of an issue that conform to his idealistic viewpoint while blanking out those that undermine it. This flaw bedevils his intention to deal with Labour antisemitism. Appalled by its most unambiguous characteristics, he blinds himself to its roots within the movement to which he is so deeply attached. As a result, he himself unwittingly perpetuates some of the toxic myths concerning the State of Israel that give Jew-hatred plausible cover. This tendency is a characteristic not just of British liberals but also of many Jews who support Labour in Britain and the Democratic Party in America. It is perhaps the most conspicuous downside of the “progressive” mindset — the refusal to tolerate ideas or even facts that threaten to puncture its idealistic fantasies.” — British columnist Melanie Phillips on the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer. He was the guest of honour at this week’s annual Labour Friends of Israel lunch in London. (JNS, Nov. 18, 2021)
“Our university decries this hateful act of bigotry and violence, and all the antisemitic events perpetrated recently in Austen, Antonio and San Marcos. The Texas State University community stands in solidarity with our Jewish students, fault, staff, alumni and community members who have been impacted.” – statement put forth by the Texas State University after18-year-old Franklin Barrett Sechriest torched Congregation Beth Israel in Austin, Texas. Mr. Sechriest studies at Texas State University. Fortunately, nobody was harmed but the building underwent extensive damage. (NY Times, Nov. 15, 2021)
“An enormous degree of antisemitism prevails here, especially in academia (but also in industry and banking. Mind you, it never takes the form of brutal speeches or actions, but simmers all the more intensely beneath the surface. It is, so to speak, an omnipresent enemy, impossible to see, and whose presence we only perceive.” – Physicist Albert Einstein in a 1936 handwritten letter to his friend the Austrian-Jewish pianist Bruno Eisner in which he warned against the antisemitism that he believed was rampant in the American academic world. The letter will go on sale at the Kedem auction house with a starting price of $12,913. (Algemeiner, Nov. 22, 2021)
“Ms. Harris isn’t proving to be a compelling answer, hence the panic. Her approval rating is on a journey to the center of the Earth, with one poll lately pegging it at 28%.” – WSJ Editorial Board regarding the panic among Democrats with Joe Biden turning 79 and unlikely to run again in 2024. (WSJ, Nov. 19, 2021)
” True literature can exist only where it is created, not by diligent and trustworthy officials, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels and sceptics.” — Yevgeny Zamyatin, author of Russian science-fiction novel — ‘WE’ (Ecco, paper) now out in an English translation. ‘WE’ is the 1921 dystopian novel, the first book banned in the Soviet Union, now reprinted. WE influenced George Orwell’s 1984; Zamyatin himself was exiled and died in Paris in 1934. (NY Times, Nov. 2, 2021)
“The real security crisis today, for the entire world, is the campaign in the West to vitiate the essential idea of nation-states with secure borders and sovereignty. This is both a domestic and an external security struggle for America. It’s part of the same crisis that is our current politics.” – political analyst JE Dyer. (The Optimistic Conservative, Nov. 11, 2021)
GANTZ SAYS HE SUPPORTS A ‘BROADER, STRONGER AND LONGER’ IRANIAN NUCLEAR DEAL (Jerusalem) — While the Israeli government opposes the U.S. return to the Iranian nuclear agreement, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said he would back a “broader, stronger and longer” agreement. Gantz addressed Haaretz-UCLA Israeli National Security Conference by video. (WIN, Nov. 23, 2021)
ONE DEAD, FOUR INJURED IN TERRORIST ATTACK IN JERUSALEM’S OLD CITY (Jerusalem) — One man was killed, and four others were injured in a shooting attack carried out by a Hamas member in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday morning. One man was taken in critical condition to Hadassah-University Medical Center at Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus with head wounds and was later pronounced dead. A second civilian sustained moderate-to-severe wounds, and the border police officers had light injuries. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21, 2021)
ISRAEL ANNOUNCES HAMAS ARRESTS, DAY AFTER DEADLY SHOOTING (Jerusalem) — Israel’s internal security agency arrested more than 50 members of a Hamas cell in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that were involved in planning attacks on Israelis.The Shin Bet said it had uncovered the Hamas cell in recent weeks in the West Bank and that it was planning several attacks in the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel. It said the militants established a terror infrastructure. (VIN, Nov. 22, 2021)
11-YEAR-OLD FINDS RARE ANCIENT COIN FROM JEWISH REVOLT AGAINST THE ROMANS (Jerusalem) — A girl who visited the “archeological experience” in the Emek Tzurim Sifting Project in Jerusalem with her family discovered a rare 2,000year-old silver shekel coin possibly minted in the Temple as part of the Jewish Revolt against the Romans around 70 CE. . (United With Israel, Nov. 23, 2021)
ISRAELI WOMAN TOPS LIST OF ‘TOP 100 INNOVATION CEOS’ (Jerusalem) — World Biz Magazine chose two Israeli chief executive officers — Hamutal Yitzhak of Else Nutrition and Shahar Fogel of Rookout – to receive “Top 100 Innovation CEO” awards for 2021. The award recognizes product, service, functional, strategic, and managerial innovation and “exceptional commercial insight and market integrity.” As No. 1 on the list, Yitzhak was the subject of a multi-page cover story for her role in “reshaping infant nutrition.” She spent years working with a team to develop Else Nutrition, the first plant-based, globally patented dairy-free, and soy-free baby formula, which hit US store shelves last March. (WIN, Nov. 20, 2021)
ISRAELI SPY THRILLER ‘TEHRAN’ WINS INTERNATIONAL EMMY FOR BEST DRAMA SERIES (Jerusalem) — Israeli spy thriller “Tehran” took home a 2021 International Emmy Award, winning the Best Drama Series category. “Tehran,” produced by the Kan public broadcaster and picked up globally by Apple TV+, follows a female Mossad agent who goes undercover on a mission in Iran—to help prepare the ground for an Israeli Defense Forces airstrike on an Iranian nuclear reactor—and unexpectedly falls in love with an Iranian. (JNS, Nov. 23, 2021)
UK SAYS IT WILL MAKE HAMAS A BANNED TERRORIST ORGANIZATION (London) — The British government said that it intends to ban the Palestinian militant group Hamas as a terrorist organization. The U.K. outlawed the military wing of Hamas in 2001, but the organization as a whole was not proscribed. (VIN, Nov. 19, 2021)
MOROCCO PURCHASES ISRAEL’S SKYLOCK DOME SYSTEM (Rabat) — Morocco’s Royal Armed Forces purchased Israel’s Skylock Dome System to strengthen FAR’s defensive and territory control capabilities and preserve the country’s national and strategic stability. Designed and developed by the Israeli company Skylock Systems, a subsidiary of the Avnon Group, Skylock Dome detects, verifies, and neutralizes unauthorized drones. (Morocco World News, Nov. 21, 2021)
ROMANIA PASSES BILL MANDATING HOLOCAUST AND JEWISH HISTORY EDUCATION IN ALL HIGH SCHOOLS (Bucharest) — Romania’s parliament passed a law that makes Holocaust and Jewish history education mandatory in all high schools throughout the country. They called the course “History of the Holocaust and the Jewish people.” It includes curricula, teaching materials, and methodology developed by the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania, in collaboration with Romania’s Ministry of Education. (Algemeiner, Nov. 19, 2021)
STATE, TREASURY DEPARTMENTS DESIGNATE IRANIAN COMPANY, EMPLOYEES FOR ATTEMPTING TO INFLUENCE 2020 ELECTION (Washington) — The United States has placed sanctions on six Iranian individuals and one company for attempting to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election. According to the U.S. State and Treasury departments on Nov. 18, the company and the individuals, who the Iranian government sponsored, sought to sow discord and undermine voters’ faith in the electoral process by disseminating disinformation on social media, sending threatening emails, and making a fake video. The video implied that individuals could cast fraudulent ballots. (JNS, Nov. 22, 2021)
PALESTINIAN HUMAN-RIGHTS ACTIVIST SUES BEN & JERRY’S FOR STIRRING ‘HATRED’ WITH BOYCOTT (NY) — Palestinian human-rights activist Bassem Eid filed a complaint in New York state against Ben & Jerry’s over the ice-cream maker’s decision to boycott Israeli territories. Eid alleged that Ben & Jerry’s announcement in July to stop selling its products in the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem is “counterproductive to peace and creates only more hatred, enmity, and polarization.” The activist was born in eastern Jerusalem and lives in Jericho in the West Bank. (JNS, Nov. 19, 2021)
ONTARIO TEACHERS’ UNION CHANGES RULES SO THAT NON-WHITE VOTES COUNT MORE THAN WHITE VOTES (Ottawa) — On Monday, @OSSTFD20TEACHER (Ont. Sec School Teachers’ Fed, District 20) announced that their rules would be changed so that each non-white union member would have his/her vote weighted more than white members. Here are the slides they used to justify the decision to rank & file pic.twitter.com/hwBNi0yVOR (Post Millennial, Nov. 23, 2021)
GEORGE FLOYD PORTRAYED AS JESUS IN PAINTINGS DISPLAYED AT CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY (Washington) — The Catholic University of America has on display a painting and multiple prints depicting George Floyd as Jesus. Despite the university deflecting claims that the painting depicts Floyd, artist Kelly Latimore indicated that her painting does depict Floyd and Jesus. (Post Millennial, Nov. 23, 2021)
DEBRIS FROM TEST OF RUSSIAN ANTISATELLITE WEAPON FORCES ASTRONAUTS TO SHELTER (Moscow) — Russia carried out an antisatellite missile test obliterating one of its satellites in orbit. The test created a vast cloud of debris that continues to orbit Earth. Some of the material loomed dangerously close to the International Space Station, forcing astronauts to take shelter for hours in a pair of spacecraft capable of returning them to Earth. (NY Times, Nov. 15, 2021)
Historian Jan Grabowski In Israel To ‘Ring The Alarm’ About Holocaust Distortion: Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 23, 2021 — Polish-Canadian historian Jan Grabowski has long been well-known in his field of Holocaust studies, but he was thrust into the spotlight in recent years, as Poland has become increasingly hostile to those who write about Polish collaborators with the Nazis.
Ex-Mossad Chief Pardo: Bennett Has No Iran Strategy: Yonah Jeremy Bob, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 23, 2021 — Prime Minister Naftali Bennett still has not decided on an Iran strategy, though he seems to be flirting with returning to the approach of the previous government, former Mossad director Tamir Pardo said on Tuesday.