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Media Man Says TV Channels are Doomed

Famous singer, music producer and media personality Dudu Elharar: Channels 2 and 10 will not last long.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/20/2009, 9:03 AM / Last Update: 10/20/2009, 2:28 PM

Flash 90

The financial woes of television's Channel 10, which now requires a government bailout, do not surprise David ("Dudu") Elharar – a well-known singer, music producer and media personality. Elharar told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew news service that Channel 10's predicament is not the result of mismanagement but a phenomenon that will repeat itself, not just in Channel 10 but in the larger Channel 2 as well.

"First of all it is good that they are incurring losses – both Channel 10 and Channel 2 are losing and that is excellent,” he opined. “And why do they lose money? Because they ignore a large part of the nation that has truly stopped watching them a long time ago.”

Not just the television channels but all of the radio channels, too, including the local radio stations, are in constant violation of the Broadcasting Authority Law, according to Elharar. “The Broadcasting Authority Law says outright that they must, in their broadcasts, reflect the life of the nation, provide a podium for artists from all the nation's streams – they must, by law, reflect the cultural treasures of the entire nation and strengthen Jewish tradition,” he explained. “In Article 3 it says that the broadcasts will provide room for the different views that are common among the public. Unfortunately, [while] they all operate under the Broadcasting Authority Law, none of them does this.”

The State of Tel Aviv
“What we have here in Israel is 'The State of Tel Aviv' – completely secular stations that broadcast contempt for Judaism throughout the day,” he protested. “They are not allowed to do what they do according to the Broadcasting Authority Laws. Their problem is not whether or not they give air time to local creations or not, but whether or not they operate in accordance with the law. Because this is a Jewish state and not the West. This is Asia, we are surrounded by enemies and we have to fight for our status, and the media needs to broadcast patriotism and spread the knowledge of why we are fighting and what we are fighting for.”

The reason why people are leaving the media channels is that the media channels have left the people, determined Elharar, who is fighting a court battle for the right to continue to host a weekly program on IDF Army Radio. “The people in the television industry do not care about the nation. The funny thing is that if Channel 10 were to broadcast content that was opposite to what it broadcasts today, if it cultivated love of the homeland, all of the viewers would return to it. That is exactly what we saw in the elections – it is what the nation wants. The TV channels' ideology received just three Knesset members. The guys from Meretz are their representation.”

Elharar estimated that almost three million citizens do not watch the Israeli television channels. “A million Russian citizens watch TV in Russian, the hareidis have no TV sets and thousands more have taken the television out of the house. Others just watch sports, or people like my wife who only watch the Hidabroot (religious) channel. Nothing will save this media – and I mean the popular papers, too; until they understand that their job is to report and not to rule us they will continue to lose money.”