'Are you brain dead'?
An American Jewish teenager takes on a brain dead CNN executive.
As a group of young Conservative Jews, our main motive for attending this meeting was to open up a discussion about CNN’s coverage of affairs in Israel. Amidst everything else that was discussed in that conference room, the conversation continuously circled back to the Har Nof Synagogue massacre and the abysmal media coverage of events on that day. Davis’ explanations for the aforementioned, horribly misleading and false headlines boiled down to human error. In an attempt to explain CNN’s headlines, which did not account for the terrorist actions or reasons these people were killed, Davis said that these headlines only surfaced for minutes before being taken down. However, he said, because of the world we live in, someone took a screenshot and circulated those headlines and spread them around the world. This, Davis said, was not CNN’s fault. To expound on how the words “mosque” and “synagogue” could have been swapped, Davis gave an even more infuriating response.
Apparently, in the room where the headlines were written, there was some conversation taking place regarding a mosque in Damascus. “Haven’t you ever written something you heard instead of what you meant to write?” he asked.
As more questions came in from my peers, each response deviated further from the questions at hand and grew more negative toward Israel. As our time with the CNN execs came to a close, Davis explained to those of us who were still listening that we simply have opinions about Israel. And, he went on, when one person has an opinion about anything, a news report may seem wrong to that person. However, to everyone else, it could be perfectly right. I know I was not alone in feeling that his justification of CNN’s misleading reporting was a farce.
Moreover, we were distraught about his implication that so many news sources have anti-Israel tendencies because Israel is in the wrong.
Read the whole thing.As everyone filed out for lunch, I decided to go get in one last word with Richard Davis. I questioned him on the HarNof headlines again. I first had to prove to him that I had in fact even seen the headlines I was questioning. When I managed to satisfy his questions, I wanted to know why CNN, when releasing the headlines at issue, couldn’t call it a terrorist attack. Davis explained that they would never jump to a conclusion that anything is a terrorist attack. “Okay”, I said, fully understanding the weight that the word “terrorist” carries. “But by the time it was known that it was four Israelis and two Palestinians, it was known that there were meat cleavers and stabbings involved. Why couldn’t you call it an ‘attack’?” I continued. His response? “You’ve got to be kidding me? One word? Are you brain dead?”