by Akiva at Mystical Paths
A study released about a month ago statistically confirmed what many of us knew, 40% of news reports in Israel aren't news, they're opinion (the reporter is making them up to present his/her position). This is blatently clear from reading websites such as YNetnews or Haaretz.
It gets worse when they specifically go after someone, and if they can't find the merest excuse or example of lawbreaking (such as having spit on the sidewalk once 10 years ago), they'll try to make one up. This was recently the case with Bibi Netanyahu, who they went after for making a trip to London where the accommodations were paid for by the trip sponsor. Besides this not actually being illegal, the trip was requested by the Israeli government and for Israeli PR purposes. And, as anyone who watches Israeli PR knows, Netanyahu is about the only Israeli politician who has the slightest clue how to speak to the Western press. In the end the issue faded because, well, there wasn't actually anything there (beyond the press blowing foul spelling gas).
Today we see the same thing happen in the US. The NY Times has decided to go after Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The accusation, the candidate followed the law, to the letter, in using a corporate jet in his campaign from his wife's company. The Times worked extensively to prove that he followed the law, and didn't pay more than he had to. That, of course, is his failing, he should have gone beyond the letter of the law (per the NY Times). Not that the other candidates are, and we don't actually know because they didn't look at that.
Now, I'd love for the US presidential candidate to be a chossid who goes beyond the letter of the law, and I'd certainly appreciate an Israeli Prime Minister candidate who actually follows the law! (Being many people treat many laws in Israel as mere suggestions or informal guidelines, including the government.) But if I just get politicians that are "only" following the law, frankly I'd be thrilled.
BTW, I am not endorsing John McCain nor Bibi Netanyahu. What I am doing is calling the news media to task for massive and inappropriate opinion manipulation. I look forward to seeing such examinations of candidate Obama or Olmert. (I know, don't hold my breath.)
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