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Alison Weir at Stanford

PBS and NPR appear to have collaborated on their responses to the David Brooks controversy

PBS NewsHour Executive Producer Sara Just and NPR Standards Editor Mark Memmott seem to have come up with almost identical statements about commentator David Brooks' conflict of interest. (Brooks, who works for the New York Times, NPR and PBS, had kept hidden the fact that his son was serving in the Israeli military while Brooks was commenting on Israel.)

Either Sara Just and Mark Memmott have been gifted with telepathy, or they – and/or their bosses – collaborated on their statements.

UPDATE, 11am Pacific time: Mark Memmott has just emailed me: "I’ve had no contact with PBS. I’ve actually never met Sara Just, as far as I remember, and have not had any email correspondence with her. I have to think that they agreed with what I wrote and decided to (mostly) reissue it."

I find it disconcerting that PBS's Sara Just didn't attribute her statement to NPR's Memmott; this seems dangerously close to plagiarism. I wonder how she learned of his statement? I'm also curious about why she removed a small but significant portion of what he had written. Please read on:

Here are the facts:

PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler reports that on Oct. 15th NewsHour Executive Producer Sara Just issued the following statement:

“David Brooks is primarily an opinion columnist for The New York Times. He appears on the PBS NewsHour to offer his opinions, not as a reporter. His son's service with the Israeli Defense Forces is not a secret. We agree with the New York Times' editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, that Mr. Brooks' long-standing views about Israel are informed by many factors. We also agree with the Times' public editor, Margaret Sullivan, that Mr. Brooks should not be barred from commenting about Israel. She has recommended that he address the issue of his son's service in the IDF in a future column. That seems reasonable to us as well. If a situation arises in which Mr. Brooks will be appearing on the NewsHour and discussing Israel and its military, we will consider how we might disclose his son’s service to the audience at that time.”

Five days before, in response to my questions about David Brooks, I had received an email from the NPR ombudsman's office containing a statement that they said was from NPR's standards and practices editor:

David Brooks is primarily an opinion columnist for The New York Times. He appears on All Things Considered to offer his opinions, not as a reporter. His son's service with the Israeli Defense Forces is no secret. We agree with the Times' editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, that Mr. Brooks' long-standing views about Israel have been "formed by all kinds of things ... [and] are not going to change whether or not his son is serving in the IDF, beyond his natural concerns as a father for his son’s safety and well-being." We also agree with the Times' public editor, Margaret Sullivan, that Mr. Brooks should not be barred from commenting about Israel. She has recommended that he address the issue of his son's service in the IDF in a future column. That strikes us as a reasonable suggestion. If a situation arises and we feel he should also mention it on our air, we still [sic] discuss that with Mr. Brooks at that time. [Ellipsis was in the original statement emailed to me.]

(You can see the statements side by side below.)

I published this email and a rebuttal to the statement on my blog that same day, Friday, Oct 10th. The following Wednesday, Oct. 15th, I was able to reach NPR's standards editor, Mark Memmott, who confirmed that he had written the statement. I then raised some of the flaws I saw with it (the same ones I discussed in my post).

Memmott was particularly interested when I pointed out that the statement acknowledging Mr. Brooks' "natural concerns as a father for his son’s safety and well-being" indicated why Mr. Brooks should recuse himself, since his commentaries have the power to influence the public in ways that would impact his son either positively or negatively.

During the phone call it came out that Memmott had not known before I called him that his statement had been sent to me. After we hung up it occurred to me that Memmott was also probably unaware that I had published it. I told him I was working on a blog post and would send it to him. I was then involved in other projects over the following days and was only able to finish my new post tonight. This contains additional info on NPR's ethics guidelines.

After I completed it, I then looked to see if PBS's ombudsman Michael Getler (whom I had spoken with by phone last week) had yet written anything about Brooks. I discovered his column, and was startled to see Sara Just's statement, parts of it word for word the same as Memmott's. The only significant difference was that the reference to Brooks' "natural concerns as a father" section was omitted.

I now plan to contact Memmott and Just, and ask about the source of their telepathy.

While PBS and NPR are both under the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the public perception is that they are largely independent entities with separate editorial control and decision-making. It appears that's not the case.

Below are the two statements:

* * *

Following is information about Just and NewsHour from a press release on the PBS website:

In addition to being executive producer, Just is also Senior Vice President of NewsHour Productions LLC. She reports to Rick Schneider, President of NewsHour Productions LLC and Chief Operating Officer of WETA.

The press release states:

"In July 2014, WETA assumed management and control for PBS NewsHour, with the formation of NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of WETA. This transition followed the retirements of the program’s original founders, managing editors and co-anchors, Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil, who established the commitment to excellence in journalism that guides PBS NewsHour to this day."

Posted on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 12:09AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

NPR's standards editor & ombudsman minimize and/or ignore NPR ethics requirements regarding David Brooks

In recent weeks I've phoned and emailed the NPR ombudsman's office several times about commentator David Brooks' conflict of interest – Brooks' son has been serving in the Israeli military while Brooks has been commenting on Israel without divulging that his son was in the Israeli army. Ombudsmen are charged with publicly addressing ethical breaches by a news organization's journalists.

Now I've also been in touch with NPR's Standards and Practices Editor, Mark Memmot, who is in charge of ensuring that NPR journalists adhere to ethics standards. Last week NPR's ombudsman's office sent me an email that contained a statement by Mr. Memmott. I discussed this statement in a previous post and now will expand on this a bit more, specifically including information about NPR's own ethics code.

Below is the email containing Mr. Memmott's statement: 

Dear Alison,
Thank you for contacting the NPR Ombudsman. We appreciate your comments and your thoughts will be taken into consideration as we continue to monitor the reporting.
The Ombudsman is currently working on a blog post about this issue. You may be interested in this statement from our standards and practices editor:

David Brooks is primarily an opinion columnist for The New York Times. He appears on All Things Considered to offer his opinions, not as a reporter. His son's service with the Israeli Defense Forces is no secretWe [sic] agree with the Times' editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, that Mr. Brooks' long-standing views about Israel have been "formed by all kinds of things ... [and] are not going to change whether or not his son is serving in the IDF, beyond his natural concerns as a father for his son’s safety and well-being." We also agree with the Times' public editor, Margaret Sullivan, that Mr. Brooks should not be barred from commenting about Israel. She has recommended that he address the issue of his son's service in the IDF in a future column [see my comments on the Rosenthal and Sullivan statements here]. That strikes us as a reasonable suggestion. If a situation arises and we feel he should also mention it on our air, we still [sic] discuss that with Mr. Brooks at that time.

There are a number of problems with this statement, one of which is that it largely fails to apply NPR's own ethics requirements to Mr. Brooks.

The fact is that NPR's ethics codes place a strong emphasis on impartiality and transparency. They include the activities of family members among the activities that may interfere with impartiality, and decree that NPR journalists inform NPR of any potential conflicts of interest. And they apply these ethical requirements to analyses and commentaries, not just to reportorial activities.

NPR's full ethics handbook states:

"All NPR journalists, including those of us who work for the arts and music desks, must tell our supervisors in advance about potential conflicts of interest."

NPR's ethics handbook states:

"Our methods are transparent and we will be accountable for all we do."

and:

"We are vigilant in disclosing to both our supervisors and the public any circumstances where our loyalties may be divided - extending to the interests of spouses and other family members - and when necessary, we recuse ourselves from related coverage."

The handbook has an entire section on the importance of impartiality. Below is a particularly relevant section:

Impartiality in our personal lives

Guideline

Be aware that a loved one’s political activity may create a perception of bias.

Some of our family members — including spouses, companions and children — may be involved in politics or advocacy. We are sensitive to the perception of bias. So we inform our supervisors and work with them to avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest [emphasis added].

NPR journalists recuse themselves from covering stories or events related to their family members’ political activities. We may go so far as to change job responsibilities (for instance, moving off the “politics desk” to an area of coverage well removed from that subject). “You have the right to marry anyone you want, but you don’t have the right to cover any beat you want” if the potential conflicts appear to be too great, as Tom Rosenstiel of Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism said to the Los Angeles Times.

The ethics handbook includes additional statements specifically about commentary, concluding:

Our commentaries must also hew to other Guiding Principles, reflecting honesty, accuracy and transparency.

In other words, NPR's own standards indicate that Mr. Brooks should have informed his editors of his son's employment in the Israeli military. They also suggest that he should recuse himself from commenting on Israel. If Mr. Brooks chooses not to recuse himself from this subject matter, and if NPR fails to require this, its ethics codes direct that he should at least divulge to the public the fact that his son is serving in the military of the foreign country he is discussing.

Yet, so far NPR

  • has not informed listeners that Brooks had a close personal interest in a subject in which he was supposedly offering disinterested analysis,
  • has not asked Mr. Brooks to recuse himself from future commentary on a subject in which he has a personal interest, and
  • has not stated clearly that this conflict of interest will be divulged in the future (only saying that they might discuss this with Mr. Brooks "if the situation arises").

There are a number of factual errors and logical inconsistencies in Mr. Memmott's statement (which I also discussed in my previous post):

1. While Mr. Memmott claims that Mr. Brooks' situation is "no secret," in reality, the large majority of NPR listeners quite likely have no idea of Mr. Brooks' conflict of interest.

The only place the information about Brooks has appeared in print to date is a Hebrew version of an Israeli newspaper, and possibly the Los Angeles Jewish Journal (whose online article was the first place to reveal it in English; it was also on the New York Magazine website). It has not appeared on any mainstream radio or TV broadcast that I'm aware of.

2. While Mr. Memmott is correct in stating that Mr. Brooks is not a reporter, this does not exempt Mr. Brooks from the necessity of abiding by ethics requirements. The National Society of Newspaper Columnists' decrees that opinion writers should disclose potential conflicts of interest.

3. It is entirely correct that Mr. Brooks has "natural concerns as a father for his son’s safety and well-being," which is precisely why Mr. Brooks should recuse himself from commenting on matters that concern Israel.

The reality is that Mr. Brooks is a powerful and influential journalist whose  commentary about Israel does indeed have the capacity to affect his son's "safety and well-being."

Commentary that defends Israel to the American public serves to help keep American tax money ($8-10 million per day) and American diplomatic support for Israel flowing, both of which are extremely important for his son's safety and well-being.

Commentary that pointed out the illegality and immorality of Israel's recent killing and injuring of thousands of Gazan men, women, and children by the Israeli military in which his son is serving would quite likely interfere with his son's well-being, as an increasing number of Americans would join those around the world calling for war crimes tribunals.

Since Mr. Brooks does the former and not the latter, his commentary, at minimum, gives a strong appearance of bias.

According to NPR's ethics handbook, NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos is also responsible for addressing ethical violations. In fact, the ombudsman is called NPR's Chief Ethics Officer. He is also responsible for informing the public about such matters. 

Yet, so far Mr. Schumacher-Matos has failed to weigh in on this matter, most recently choosing instead to write about what to call the Washington DC football team.

Important as that issue is, it is hard to feel that it is more important than the life-and-death issue of Israel-Palestine and the recent killing and injuring of thousands of Gazan men, women, and children by the Israeli military that David Brooks' son was serving in while Mr. Brooks was praising Israeli actions on NPR.

I hope that Mr. Schumacher-Matos will eventually step up to the plate and call on NPR, which proclaims its dedication to honesty, transparency, and the highest principles of journalism, to inform the public that commentator David Brooks has been issuing opinions on an issue in which he had a hidden interest. I hope he will also recommend that NPR look for another commentator to replace Mr. Brooks – one who doesn't believe he is above ethical obligations.

Posted on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 08:24AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

NPR covers for David Brooks

Following is an email to me from the Office of the Ombudsman, and below that is my response...

Click to read more ...

Posted on Friday, October 10, 2014 at 12:25PM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Will PBS now follow NYT lead on disclosing David Brooks' conflict of interest?

The New York Times ombudsman ("public editor") has now said that the Times should disclose to readers the fact that the son of columnist David Brooks, who often comments about Israel, is serving in the Israeli military. Ethics codes require such disclosure. 

So far, however, PBS has stated nothing about this, despite the fact that Brooks regularly appears on PBS and was commenting on Israel during its most recent massacre in Gaza, while not disclosing that his son was at the time serving in the Israeli army.

I phoned PBS ombudsman Michael Getler about this last week, and he said he had not known about Brooks' situation until a few of us had emailed him about it.

Getler said that he was friends with Clark Hoyt – the previous New York Times public editor who had written that a Jerusalem bureau chief whose son was serving in the IDF should be assigned to a different beat. He said, however, that he had disagreed with Hoyt's finding.

When I suggested that viewers should at least be informed of Brooks' son, he agreed that this should be done.

Yet, a week later – even after Times ombudsman Margaret Sullivan has publicly recommended public disclosure – there is still no word from Getler or PBS on the situation, even though the PBS ethics code calls for "intellectual honesty and transparency."

I have no idea why PBS is taking so long over this. I'm beginning to wonder whether Getler himself may have family connections to Israel and its military that could cause him discomfort in tackling this issue.

Either way, journalistic ethics require that the network divulge Brooks' conflict of interest. 

Posted on Friday, October 10, 2014 at 09:19AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

A question for Margaret Sullivan, New York Times public editor, regarding David Brooks

Regarding David Brooks' son serving in the Israeli military, New York Times ombudsman (known at the Times as the "public editor") Margaret Sullivan writes:

"Mr. Brooks’s son is serving as a member of a foreign military force that has been involved in a serious international conflict – one that the columnist sometimes writes about and which has been very much in the news……. I do think that a one-time acknowledgement of this situation in print... is completely reasonable. This information is germane; and readers deserve to learn about it in the same place that his columns appear.

It's excellent that Sullivan is willing to acknowledge that Brooks' situation is a serious confict, particularly since this meant publicly disagreeing with Opinion Editor Andrew Rosenthal.

However, I find Sullivan's view that it requires only a "one-time acknowledgment"deeply perplexing. Since, as she states, "readers deserve to learn about this in the same place that Brooks' columns appear" why would it not be posted every time Brooks' writes about matters concerning Israel?

Obviously, many readers will not have seen that one posting, and for them it is just as germane and necessary as the first time it was posted. Brooks' conflict of interest should be divulged on all of his commentaries regarding Israel and its interests.

I've written her asking about this.

(The reality is that journalistic ethics codes suggest that the Times should take further action: he should not be allowed to comment on subject matter in which he has such a blatant conflict of interest, and he should be disciplined, possibly fired, for not revealing this conflict of interest to the Times.)

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 09:15AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

US journalists' personal ties to the Israeli media – my articles

A great many journalists reporting on Israel-Palestine for US media have personal and family ties to the Israeli military. Many have served themselves; others have sons, husbands, etc. who are currently served in the IDF or have in the past.

This is a clear conflict of interest, but is virtually never voluntarily divulged – precisely because the journalists and the media know this is improper and would constitute a particularly blatant example of journalistic bias. For journalistic ethics' statements on this go here.

It is perhaps not surprising that David Brooks only revealed that his son was serving in the IDF to an Israeli newspaper – and that the newspaper only printed the information (somewhat buried) in its Hebrew-language edition, not in the English language edition that many people incorrectly assume contains all the articles in the paper.

I've written about this situation a number of times. Below are some of my articles:

Myra Noveck & the New York Times: Another journalist with children in the Israeli military

Jodi Rudoren, Another Member Of The Family: Meet The New York Times’ New Israel-Palestine News Chief 

US Media and Israeli Military: All in the Family 

 Ethan Bronner's Conflict With Impartiality 

 Is "pundit" actually Israeli military officer? 

AP’s Matti Friedman: Israeli citizen and former Israeli soldier

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 06:56AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

NYT columnist David Brooks should read National Society of Newspaper Columnists' code of ethics

The website for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, referred to by TimesWarp analyst Barbara Erickson, seems to have been taken down. However, another site has the text of its code of conduct for columnists: 

As a newspaper columnist, I will strive to inform, educate and entertain my readers. I will work hard to provoke them to think — whether they agree or disagree with my efforts to depict truth as I see it.

I will offer my opinions and the reasons I hold them as clearly and as fairly as I can. I will never take advantage of my position to achieve unwarranted personal gain not available to others or use my column to settle personal scores. I will disclose potential conflicts to readers whenever possible. [emphasis added]

I will never make up a quote, a source or a story when depicting true events. But I will reserve the right to engage in parody and satire.

I will work hard to earn and keep the trust my readers and editors place in me. I will never plagiarize. Whenever possible, when I make a mistake, I will correct it.

I will listen to my critics and, in person, treat them with dignity and respect because they pay me the high honor of reading me, even if they disagree. Similarly, I will treat with personal courtesy those whom I may criticize in writing before and after writing about them.

I will always remember that my job is a privilege and honor because being a columnist represents the basic American rights of free speech and open discussion.

*

Regarding Brooks' conflict see http://alisonweir.org/journal/2014/10/8/my-email-to-new-york-times-public-editor-about-david-brooks.html

Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 11:44AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

My email to New York Times Public Editor about David Brooks' conflict of interest

Today I sent the following email to the New York Times Public Editor's office:

In September 2014, New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan wrote: "The Times could do a lot more to alert readers about conflicts of interests of sources used by the paper."

Similarly, The Times could and should do much more to alert readers to the conflict of interest of its own writer, David Brooks.

In the Hebrew edition of the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz (but not, it seems, in the English language edition), it came out that the son of New York Times columnist David Brooks, who sometimes writes about Israel-Palestine, has been serving in the Israeli military.

This fact was then divulged in English by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal on Sept. 23. The next day New York magazine reported on it, and since that time a few other websites have also reported it.

Yet, to date the New York Times has neither revealed this conflict of interest to the public nor taken any disciplinary action regarding Mr. Brooks' violation of the Times' ethics requirements.

The Times' 1999 "Guidelines on Our Integrity"state: 

"At a time of growing and even justified public suspicion about the impartiality, accuracy and integrity of some journalists and some journalism, it is imperative that The Times and its staff maintain the highest possible standards to insure that we do nothing that might erode readers’ faith and confidence in our news columns. This means that staff members should be vigilant in avoiding any activity that might pose an actual or apparent conflict of interest and thus threaten the newspaper’s ethical standing."

The Times' statement of principles, "Ethical Journalism: A Handbook of Values and Practices for the News and Editorial Departments" includes the following statements:

"The goal of The New York Times is to cover the news as impartially as possible… and to be seen to be doing so. The reputation of The Times rests upon such perceptions…"

"In keeping with its solemn responsibilities under the First Amendment, The Times strives to maintain the highest standards of journalistic ethics."

"Conflicts of interest, real or apparent, may come up in many areas……. professional activities of… family… can create conflicts or the appearance of conflicts."

"The Times believes beyond question that its staff shares the values these guidelines are intended to protect;"

"The Times views any deliberate violation of these guidelines as a serious offense that may lead to disciplinary action, potentially including dismissal…"

"…a daughter in a high profile job on Wall Street might produce the appearance of conflict for a business reporter or editor."

"Any staff member who sees a potential for conflict… in the activities of… relatives must discuss the situation with his or her supervising editor and the standards editor or the deputy editorial page editor." 

The ethics handbook also states: "In all cases The Times depends on staff members to disclose potential problems in a timely fashion so that we can work together to prevent embarrassment for staff members and The Times."  

Did Mr. Brooks do so?

The Times' handbook also says:

"In some cases, disclosure is enough. But if The Times considers the problem serious, the staff member may have to withdraw from certain coverage. Sometimes an assignment may have to be modified or a beat changed. In a few instances, a staff member may have to move to a different department – from business and financial news, say, to the culture desk – to avoid the appearance of conflict."

Will The Times now take actions regarding David Brooks in line with its own ethics requirements?

Will it publicly and consistently disclose that Mr. Brooks' son is serving in the Israeli military and was doing so while he was commenting on Israel without disclosing this fact to readers? 

Will the Times discipline Mr. Brooks for his violation of the newspaper's ethical requirements? 

If he is to continue his employment at The Times, will the Times prohibit him from commenting on subjects in which Israel is involved? 

Incidentally, a number of other journalistic codes of ethics contain similar requirements.

For example, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, according to analyst Barbara Erickson, calls for "disclosure of potential conflicts of interest."

The "Statement of Principles" of the American Society of Newspaper Editors says: "Journalists must avoid... any conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict."

NPR's code of ethics states: "All NPR journalists... must tell our supervisors in advance about potential conflicts of interest....... This includes situations in which a... family member... is an active participant in a subject area that you cover."

The Los Angeles Times ethics code states:

"Activities of family members may create conflicts of interest......  the paper may restrict a staff member’s assignment based on the activities of a family member or loved one. Staff members are responsible for informing a supervisor whenever a companion’s or close relative’s activities, investments or affiliations could create a conflict."

Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 09:50AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

The New York Times, NPR, and PBS must divulge David Brooks' conflict of interest

It has now come out that David Brooks' son is serving in the Israeli military.

So while Brooks was providing pro-Israel commentary during Israel's massacre in Gaza, his son was serving in the IDF. This clear conflict of interest should have required Brooks to recuse himself from commenting on Israel.

Journalistic ethics now require the New York Times, NPR, and PBS to (1) reveal Brooks' conflict of interest, (2) apologize for not revealing this sooner, and (3) remove him as a commentator because of his dishonesty in neither recusing himself nor in revealing this essential fact to listeners – and, I assume, to these news organizations themselves.

Posted on Friday, October 3, 2014 at 09:17AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

David Brooks' son is in the Israeli Military... Inside & outside the Mondoweiss, Common Dreams loop...

The following explores a variety of cover-ups and sort of cover-ups...

David Brooks is a prominent and powerful journalist. He is a columnist for the New York Times and a commentator for PBS New Hour and NPR.

Now we learn, through an article in Jewish Journal, that Brooks' son is in the Israeli military. In other words, he has a profound conflict with impartiality, as the New York Times ethics code calls it, and Brooks, the Times, NPR, etc. have not revealed this to the public.

The Jewish Journal article reports:

One of the more interesting nuggets buried in a long, Hebrew-language interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks in the recent Ha'aretz magazine is the revelation, toward the very end, that Brooks's oldest son serves in the Israel Defense Forces.

I find it interesting, and disturbing, that Ha'aretz hid this information from its English readers.

(By the way, I have written extensively about numerous journalists having close personal and family ties to the Israeli military – see below.)

Philip Weis has a strong article that tells about Brooks' reporting, and notes:

"So when David Brooks was commenting favorably on Israel’s onslaught on Gaza this summer on National Public Radio, his son was serving in the Israeli army. Why didn’t NPR tell us?"

 It is ironic, then, that Weiss also decides not to tell readers insider information he feels they shouldn't know: 

"This is now the third Times reporter/writer whose son has gone into the Israeli Defense Forces. Famously Ethan Bronner, of course...  and a third person I will not identify (I know the individual personally, the beat didn’t involve the Middle East, the son left before long)."

Weiss's reluctance to share his insider information with others is a bit reminiscent of Ha'aretz. Perhaps it's ok, since this is a personal friend. But it shows again that some are inside a loop that the rest of us aren't.

This is also reminiscent of Common Dreams, which exposed an Israel-partisan who posed as an anti-Semite on numerous websites, but refused to disclose his name, thus keeping its insider information away from the rest of us – even though many of our websites may also have been victimized by this infiltrator.

Again, some are in the loop. The rest of us aren't.

*

Some of my articles on US journalists' personal ties to the Israeli military

Myra Noveck & the New York Times: Another journalist with children in the Israeli military

Jodi Rudoren, Another Member Of The Family: Meet The New York Times’ New Israel-Palestine News Chief 

US Media and Israeli Military: All in the Family 

 Ethan Bronner's Conflict With Impartiality 

 Is "pundit" actually Israeli military officer? 

AP’s Matti Friedman: Israeli citizen and former Israeli soldier


 

 

Posted on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:26AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Israeli analyst explains that the "special relationship" benefits Israel, NOT the US

"Apart from Israel's ability to defend itself, there never was – and probably will never be – a more important strategic asset to [Israel than its relationship with the United States." The strategic asset in the special relationship "is the US for Israel, not the other way around."

Click to read more ...

Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 05:25PM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

A few questions for the New York Times

Following are a few short questions for the New York Times in regard to a recent news report:

Click to read more ...

Posted on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 01:36PM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

CNN's Jake Tapper was taught to recognize the "essential importance" of IsraelTapp

Tapper's alma mater states that many of its students report that their experiences in Israel [from the school trips there] "are life-changing; they return... with greater maturity as well as a stronger personal connection to Israel and their Jewish roots." The school emphasizes: "...we are committed to the centrality of Israel and the State of Israel."

Click to read more ...

Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014 at 08:12AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Which came first? Palestinian rockets or Israeli violence?

Since US media are reporting the latest Israeli massacre in Gaza as though it is a defensive action, I thought I would set the record straight. Israeli forces shelled and invaded Gaza BEFORE the rockets began. Rockets were fired only after numerous Palestinians, including many children, had been killed... here are my photos of Gaza BEFORE any rockets had been fired into Israel.

Click to read more ...

Posted on Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 02:59PM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Israeli "trolls" on Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

People should be aware that Wikipedia, Facebook and other places sometime contain individuals who post items while misleading people about their identities.

Please keep in mind that facebook and other online forums are in many ways anonymous and, according to several articles in the israeli media and elsewhere, are infiltrated by IDF soldiers and students with false identities. See, for example http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/142374#.UHjVdRgYLuw and http://electronicintifada.net/content/ei-exclusive-pro-israel-groups-plan-rewrite-history-wikipedia/7472 and http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-students-get-2000-spread-state-propaganda-facebook

I expect that some of the posts critical of me originate with such "trolls," as they are apparently called.

Posted on Monday, June 9, 2014 at 10:10AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Aid and Comfort to the Enemy: American Legion Honchos Betray Liberty Veterans

My latest article is at http://honorlibertyvets.org/legion.html

Of course, now Israel partisans (and probably these reprehensible American Legion bigwigs) will claim I'm "anti-Semitic," a foolish and unfounded charge. Of course, the last refuge of scoundrels is name-calling.

Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 09:42AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Education and Sharing Day: Honoring a racist religious leader

I've recently written an article about the upcoming day of national observance, "Education and Sharing Day." The article reveals that the person being honored on this day taught that Jews and non-Jews are different species and that non-Jews were put on earth to serve Jews. My main source (there are also others) is Israel Shahak, an Israeli professor whose books were praised by Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Gore Vidal, Catholic News, Jewish Socialist, London Review of Books, and others. Imagine if we had a national day honoring someone who said that Jews were only put on earth to serve non-Jews... there would be an uproar (and should be). Yet, the reverse has been going on for 36 years...

Click to read more ...

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 05:20AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

Edward Said:

"...not everyone is afraid, and not every voice can be silenced..."

CounterPunch, March 16, 2001

Posted on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 03:18AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

To Israel Fanatics: I am NOT the British history writer, please leave her alone!

A British writer named Alison Weir is receiving threats and harrassment from Israel partisans who have her mixed up with me. I hope others will help me spread the word that she is NOT the one they wish to hurt.

She is the author of apparently excellent books about British history, and she should be allowed to continue her life and her work without being attacked by pro-Israel fanatics who can't even get their target straight.

Below is her email to me:

I write to appeal to you to make your disclaimer more prominent on your websites. You can see, on my website www.alisonweir.org.uk, that I have very prominent disclaimers on the Home and Contact pages, and today I have had to make them even more prominent. I still receive emails from people who think I am you, and today I received one that was so obscene and threatening that I have reported it to the police.

It is clear from emails from readers that some have stopped buying my books because they think they are written by you, and various worrying incidents during US book tours have made me feel that it is unsafe to visit the States, and - a nervous traveller to begin with - I have stopped touring. All this because of a name - but it should not be impacting on my career, and I shouldn't have to keep defending myself against complaints that have nothing to do with me.

Everyone should have the right to the free expression of their views, but please could you work with me to make it absolutely clear that we are not one and the same person. 

I have copied in my literary agent and my US publishers so that they are aware of this situation.

Thank you.

Posted on Friday, March 28, 2014 at 01:06PM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint

My talk at Natonal Summit to Reassess the US-Israel "Special Relationship"

The text of my talk at the day-long 2014 National Summit, which C-Span broadcast live from the National Press Club. You can see all the talks on our website...

Click to read more ...

Posted on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 08:27AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off | EmailEmail | PrintPrint
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