It is rare for me to find myself in complete disagreement with virtually everyone else about a movie, and even rarer to have an instinctual reaction so undeniable that I have trouble explaining everyone else’s reactions.
Benjamin Kerstein | All Articles
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Benjamin Kerstein is a writer and editor. He lives in Tel Aviv. His books can be purchased here.
Christiane Amanpour’s biased reporting causes a backlash to her selection as host of ABC’s This Week
This Sunday, former CNN war correspondent and television host Christiane Amanpour will take over as host of ABC’s venerable public affairs show “This Week.” Her selection for the post, however, has caused a surprisingly potent backlash. Putting aside issues such as the suitability of a foreign affairs reporter for a show on domestic politics and reports of behind-the scenes opposition to her appointment, most of the criticism has concentrated on Amanpour’s political views and her allegedly biased reporting. In one form or another, this kind of criticism has dogged Amanpour for a very long time.
Nothing about this story is shocking in the least. The Journolist scandal simply reveals that the media establishment acts like any other establishment. It has its prejudices, biases, and agendas and it acts accordingly. In this case, the primary goal was the defense and the election of Barack Obama. No thinking person who paid any attention to the media during the 2008 campaign could have been surprised by this. Indeed, this kind of behavior was obvious long before 2008. The Dan Rather scandal strikes me as, in many ways, a far more shocking incident, since it involved actual forgery of evidence rather than spinning events in favor of a particular candidate.
The recent fracas over Israel’s refusal to grant entry to Noam Chomsky, an MIT professor, leftist cult figure, and fervent opponent of the Jewish state, has revealed something far beyond the debate over free speech in Israel and who should and should not be a persona non grata. It reveals that an enormous amount of people, inside and outside Israel, have no real idea of who Chomsky is and what he stands for.
What happened in Israel this week is still coming into focus—but what is already clear is that it turned a relatively low-key visit by Vice President Joe Biden into a bona fide diplomatic incident.