Powered by WebAds

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The New York Times tries to save Channel 10

Some of you may recall that about a month ago, LATMA had a skit whose theme was that Channel 10 is too big to fail. It is perhaps indicative of the level of interest the Times and other Leftist media take in the minutiae of this country that the Times has now devoted a two-column, front page story to the plight of Channel 10, Israel's commercial cable channel, which owes millions of dollars to the government which it apparently has no intention of paying. Why is the Times so interested? Leo Rennert explains.
The Times is pulling out all the stops to mount a rescue operation in support of Channel 10 with a two-column, front-page article by Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner, replete with dire warnings that democracy and a free press hang in the balance ("Israeli TV Station's Struggle Reflects a Wider Political War" front page, December 27).

Which is laughable once you take into account the fact that Israel's extensive, journalistic gamut leans heavily to the left and, if anything, it is conservative viewpoints which more often than not get shortchanged in the press.

Channel 10 has not spared Netanyahu. It has published exposes of some of his lavish travels to Paris, London and New York before he became prime minister -- with bills paid by wealthy friends. But now, Channel 10 is unable to pay off an $11 million debt owed on taxes and to a regulatory agency. A parliamentary committee, with a majority of government coalition parties, has refused to extend the payment deadline for another year.

The irony is that Netanyahu in previous years intervened twice in support of Channel 10, hoping to expand the marketplace of ideas and debate. But Channel 10's pugnacious exposes of Bibi seem to have turned the wheel -- the prime minister is suing for libel, and one of the station's owners, billionaire Ronald Lauder apparently won't dig deeper into his deep pockets, and the largest shareholder, Yossi Meiman, an Israeli political liberal, made an unfortunate investment in a gas pipeline from Egypt, which keeps getting blown up by terrorists in the Sinai.

To Bronner, all this leaves a very distressing picture of the right scoring points against the left in Israel's culture wars.

The only other independent Israeli TV station, Channel 2, he notes, also faces economic woes, leaving Netanyahu with supposedly strong influence over other media outlets -- state-owned Channel 1, State Radio and a widely distributed, free-of-charge newspaper, Israel Today, bankrolled by a Bibi friend, U.S. casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

But that's hardly a fair, objective way of tallying the political media and cultural score in Israel. Bronner conveniently omits a bevy of imposing counterweights that tip the scales the other way to the left -- the most widely read newspaper, Yedioth Ahronot, and far-left Haaretz, the favorite source for quotes in the western press, including the New York Times. To say nothing of Israel's left-leaning theater and literary world, and a big slice of academe.
The Socialist Internationale sure sticks together, doesn't it? I suspect we'll be hearing from President Obama about this soon.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home