Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How Crazy Leftist Israeli Newsmedia Are, Rabbi Dov Fischer Rav, Young Israel of Orange County

Just a quick note here — one picture worth a thousand words.  Do you remember what American “news” was like before the emergence of Talk Radio, the Internet, and Fox News?  Other than the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, the entire American mainstream news establishment was (and remains) tilted way, way left.   Hence the reason that so many Americans basically set their TV to Fox News and leave it there most of the day.  There is no other reasonable choice.

Well, Israel is far, far crazier-left.  The newsmedia infrastructure goes back to the days when Israel was governed exclusively by Left-Socialist parties throughout its first 30 years, from 1948-1977.  The three Israel TV channels of “news” range from liberal to extreme-crazy left, and the newspapers that remain mostly are way-leftist, too.  The one exception in Hebrew is Yisrael Hayom (Israel Today), which is distributed free of charge daily and is financed heavily by Sheldon Adelson.  Partly because of its more consrvative nationalist stance, and partly because it is free, Yisrael Hayom has leaped way ahead of its competitors:  Haaretz (crazy left, while intellectual, like the New York Times), Yediot Acharonot (also crazy left, but weaker grammar and more the tabloid), and whatever is left of what was Maariv (same).  (The English-language Jerusalem Post tends towards the center, but is far less important within Israel because Israelis’ first language is Hebrew.) To deal with Yisrael Hayom’s huge popularity, the Labor Party has a bill in the Knesset to ban that newspaper completely on grounds that it is free.  (As Dave Barry says, I am not making this up.)  That is the other side of what democratic Israel is - and what democratic America would be if Nancy Pelosi had not lost the Congress as soon as America figured out the mistake it had made by letting her have the gavel. 

They say that one picture is worth a thousand words.  Even if you cannot understand a word of Hebrew, give this six-minute TV news interview a two-minute shot of your time.  The interviewer is Ms. Yonit Levy, equivalent stature in Israel to a George Stephanopoulos or Tim Russert/David Gregory/Chuck Todd/Andrea Mitchell.  That is, she is a major “mainstream” news interviewer among Israel’s crazy-leftist “news” media.  In this typical interview, she interviews Naftali Bennett, leader of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, the religious-nationalist party that seems certain to be a significant part of the new Likud coalition government.  Bennett is positioned soon to be named a major cabinet minister, possibly the Foreign Minister.

The thing about Yonit Levy — and just look and decide for yourself whether this is an exaggeration (and, in this respect, the less you know Hebrew, the better to make the impartial observation) — is that any time she interviews anyone even modestly conservative, even barely on the right side of the spectrum, she does two things inadvertently by reflex:

1.  After she asks her contentious and accusatory questions, she barely lets the newsmaker get out two sentences before she starts talking loudly over him or her, making the full answer impossible to hear; and

2.  She reflexively moves her body — actually, she contorts her body — as far away as she possibly can from the speaker whom she reviles.

See for yourself how crazy this is: (a good representative chunk is the two minutes between 2:00 and 4:00; that is, once she gets her momentum going.)