CNN Israel all but confirms firing Jewish journalistsYou will recall that last Friday, I blogged a report that CNN Israel had fired all its Jewish journalists. Several of my blogging friends were afraid to run with the story, largely because it came from a blog that most of us had never seen before. I ran with it (although as a "Report" and not as confirmed fact) because I found the fact that they had all the journalists' names and that one of them was confirmed to me independently by someone who knew him, convincing.
CNN has finally responded to the rumor. The response is not going to convince anyone that the report was wrong (Hat Tip: Jewish Press):
In response to inaccurate reports, CNN has strongly denied since Friday rumors that it no longer employs Israeli Jews in its Jerusalem bureau.How disingenuous is this response? Let me count the ways:
The company has said:
"CNN has recently reviewed its worldwide operations, an exercise we do regularly to ensure operational and technological efficiency in everything we do. As part of this exercise, we have reorganized the CNN bureau in Jerusalem."
To counter misinformation reported on various websites, the company has confirmed:
"CNN currently has seven employees working in CNN's Jerusalem bureau, four of whom are Jewish. There is no basis in fact for these reports."
"Some website reports also state that CNN's Jerusalem bureau chief is Arab, which is also untrue."
"CNN strongly rejects any suggestion that the reorganization in the Jerusalem bureau is in any way based on the small number of contract employees concerned being Israeli, particularly given CNN’s long history of working with locals in the region."
1. They deny 'rumors' that they no longer employ Israeli Jews in their Jerusalem bureau. That may be true. But they're not denying that they no longer employ Israeli Jewish journalists in their Jerusalem bureau, which was what the story was about in the first place.
2. They claim, "CNN currently has seven employees working in CNN's Jerusalem bureau, four of whom are Jewish." That may well be true. But again, it doesn't mean that any of those Jewish employees are journalists.
3. I never discussed the identity of the bureau chief. His name is Kevin Flower, and he doesn't look Arab. Remember that the original story was about journalists. Curiously, at this writing, Flower has not tweeted since Saturday, when he tweeted three times, two of which had nothing to do with Israel, and the third of which was a retweet of a Maan post. Could Flower be in the US? Sunday is a workday in Israel.
4. Were the Israeli journalists the only contract employees? I suppose that we'll never know.
I stand by the original story.