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"Scripting" The News--Is It News Or Fiction?

By Batya Medad
1/12/2009, 12:00 AM
The longest running Torah Shiur, Class, in Shiloh is our weekly neighborhood women's class on Shabbat. It has been going on for twenty-seven years, begun a couple of months after our Ramat Shmuel, Upper "L'maala" Shiloh neighborhood was assembled (pre-fabricated cement "homes" were trucked in) and inhabited.
 
Some of us have been attending since the first, and others are newer to the neighborhood or just attend on occasion. Today we had a nice - sized crowd.
 
One woman showed up with a plate of cakes and explained that due to the Arab terrorists in Gaza shooting missiles at Ashkelon, she had not been able to attend the yartzeit, annual commemoration, of her father's death. He's buried in Ashkelon. Most of her family is there, and she's in constant touch.
 
One of her sisters had been called by one of Israel's main TV channels. They wanted to follow her for the day. "A Day In the Life..." At first she agreed, but then she heard the conditions.
 
They insisted on dressing her in a protective helmet and bullet-proof vest. They also gave her a script, the questions and answers they told her to learn for the interview.
 
She told them that she wouldn't dress any differently than normal, and she'd answer her answers not their script.
 
They found someone else. They found someone with a larger ego and less principles.
 
Having dealt with the media for the full twenty-seven and a half years we're in Shiloh, this doesn't surprise me. Too many journalists think they're working in the cinema.