Friday, December 02, 2005


Don't Trust the Media

It's election time in Israel and we can't trust the media to give balanced reports about the various candidates.

When my husband worked for "Z'chut L'Tzibbur LaDa'at," "Israel's Media Watch" they recorded the newscasts and then timed the amount of time each candidate was shown. Of course the left-wing media's favorites were given much, much more exposure than the religious and right-wing candidates.

The official campaign has barely begun and the biased reporting and editing are in full swing.

Just the other night's news show was a perfect example. The big story was that one of the media's stars, a left-wing editorilizer was leaving her job to officially join the labor party and run for a seat in the Knesset. And the second story was of a prominent Labor MK who was leaving her party to join Arik Sharon's new Kadima Party.

The truly historic event taking place that same day had been totally ignored. The news editor didn't mention that one of the most veteran Israeli political parties, whose members had signed the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the National Religious Party, was negotiating with the National Union to run together. This has much more significance than the media-darlings' playing "musical chairs."

Later in the broadcast, there was a report about the candidates for head of the Likud. Of course Uzi Landau and Moshe Feiglin were barely mentioned if at all. Mofaz got the most time.

It's clear that the Israeli media will be promoting a choice between Labor and Kadima, and they'll be ignoring the growing and popular National Union. For even-handedness, they may mention the Chareidi parties, confident in the knowledge that most Chareidi voters don't watch TV.

That means that it's up to us to supplement the election campaign news.

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