Ronn TorossianThe author is CEO of 5WPR, 1 of the 25 largest PR Agencies in the US.
The New York Times Sunday Review recently ran two articles about the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement – and naturally, both articles advocated for BDS. One of the articles was written by Omar Barghouti, a skilled anti-Israel propagandist, and the other was written by Hirsh Goodman, founder of the Jerusalem Report, but who is married to Isabel Kershner–a New York Times reporter based in Jerusalem
How is it that Goodman writes an op-ed, and The New York Times does not reveal that his wife writes news for that very same paper? Simply absurd – and a continuation of previous occurrences in similar situations concerning Goodman and Kershner. Should the paper not note the relationship? Particularly as Kershner writes on the same issues as Goodman?
As a PR agency CEO, I’d argue that this is clearly rather unorthodox and even odd.
Kershner’s husband, agreeing with his wife, wrote: The “apartheid wall,” “apartheid roads,” colonization, administrative arrests, travel restrictions, land confiscations and house demolitions are the clay apartheid comparisons are made of, and can be neither hidden nor denied, for as long as Israel continues with the status quo. Military occupation comes with checkpoints, antiterrorist barriers, military courts, armed soldiers and tanks. That’s the reality, no matter what your politics, and just the ammunition the Palestinians and their supporters need in their new war.”
This is offensive language which is tremendously outside of the political consensus in Israel. But since Hirsh Goodman claims to be a “liberal Zionist”, the NYT can say it ran an Israel viewpoint. Clearly absurd.
The New York Times is consistently anti-Israel – and ignores the so-called “ethics code” when it comes to Israel. The code states: “Staff members must be sensitive that perfectly proper political activity by their spouses, family or companions may nevertheless create conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflict…”
Imagine if a NYT staffer was married, say, to a right-wing writer. Think he’d ever have a chance of even visiting his spouse at work?
We live in scary times. As Kelly McBride of Poynter Institute said about media, “Even though credibility is all you have to sell, it’s not enough anymore. Credibility is not working as a business model. Credibility of journalism is at an all-time low, anyway.”
Unfortunately, Walter Lippman’s writing in his 1920 masterpiece "Liberty and the News" is still on the mark: “The quack, the charlatan, the jingo, and the terrorist can flourish only where the public is deprived of independent access to information. But where all news comes at second-hand, where all testimony is uncertain, men cease to respond to truths and respond simply to opinions. The environment in which they act is not realities themselves but the pseudo-environment of reports, rumors, and guesses. The whole reference of thought comes to be what somebody asserts and not what actually is.”
Let’s all join together in supporting the pro-Israel BDS Movement --- Blessings, Donations and Settlements. Bless the State of Israel and the Jewish people, Donate Generously to the State of Israel and Jewish Institutions, and Support the Settlement Movement.