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Friday, February 24, 2012

Confirmed: CNN fired 4 Jewish Israeli journalists... but 'only' because they can't travel to certain countries in the region

An investigation by the Algemeiner Journal more or less confirms what I posted when this story first broke: CNN has fired four Jewish Israeli journalists (it retained two others but each of them only works one 8-hour shift per week). But CNN claims this isn't discrimination. They claim that the journalists were fired because they cannot travel to certain countries in the region.
CNN’s decision to fire four Jewish Israeli journalists from the cable network’s Jerusalem bureau earlier this month was due in part to their religion and nationality, and to their perceived inability to operate freely throughout the Middle East, the Algemeiner has learned.

“The fact is, just Jewish Israelis were fired from CNN,” said a source who was directly involved in the layoffs and who requested anonymity. While reports said CNN had fired all its Jewish workers from the bureau, the source told the Algemeiner that “they left 2 Jewish Israeli journalists but here’s the catch, they’re each working one shift a week for 8 hours.”

According to the person involved in this matter, CNN’s belief, including that of bureau chief Kevin Flower, was that Jewish Israelis would not be allowed or welcomed into Gaza, the West Bank and other countries in the region, so it made the most sense to cut those who might become a problem.

The source charged that CNN is considering replacing the fired staff members with hires in other countries in the region. The person said “I understand they are planning on changing their coverage, it might be that the staff won’t be based in Israel even, and if a story happens in Israel, they will take the first flight and cover it, and so an Israeli is a pain in the neck for them.”

On February 15th, Turner Broadcasting, the parent company of CNN, posted a job listing, with the following description:

The Jerusalem photojournalist is responsible for recording images and sound to illustrate CNN news events and stories as well as editing and feeding video.

The location for the position is posted as “United Arab Emirates – Abu Dhabi.”
Read the whole thing.

CNN's excuse reminds me of law firms in my New York days who wouldn't give Orthodox Jews certain work assignments - which just happened to be the same assignments that were most likely to help you advance on the partnership track - because you couldn't be available to go to the financial printer on Friday night. But Orthodox Jews aren't a suspect class under US Supreme Court tests and therefore we could never challenge it even if we had wanted to.

Jews as a whole are a suspect class and what CNN has done is definitely discrimination.

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