We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Do you have to be Jewish to report on Israel for the New York Times?

by Jonathan Cook from Redress. More about how Zionists have such a powerful influence in the way US media covers issues related to Israel. The article, like others, exposes the incestuous relationship that US media has with Israeli authorities, but I think that Cook also "pulls his punches" when he writes:
I do not want here to suggest there is anything unique about this relationship of almost utter dependence. To a degree, this is how most specialists in the mainstream media operate. Think of the local crime reporter. How effective would he be (and it is invariably a he) if he alienated the senior police officers who provide the inside information he needs for his regular supply of stories? Might he not prefer to turn a blind eye to a scoop revealing that one of his main informants is taking bribes, if publishing such a story would lose him his “access” and his posting? This is a simple cost-benefit analysis made both by the reporter and the editors who assign him that almost always favours the powerful over the weak, the interests of the journalist over the reader.
So, is he suggesting that this police agency-criminal metaphor applies to Israel's relationship to the Palestinian Territory or to the neighboring Arab states? Apparently he is. His comment also begs the question, "why don't media journalists need the same access to Palestinian or other Arab authorities?"