Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Haaretz doing PR for the PM

Arik Sharon the warrior magically
appeared this week in Haaretz. Posted by Hello

Enough about shit weasels, Jewish porn stars and halacha rulings on unibrow - it's time for a serious post about the news.

I don't mean to pick on Haaretz, but yes, this post concerns the New York Times of Israel. (After this post I'll do my best to leave Haaretz alone for a few days.)

It's amazing how the news media are all too happy to be used by political interests - as long as the story is good enough.

Such seems to be the case in the Haaretz report by veteran defense correspondent Ze'ev Schiff.

Schiff reported that Prime Minister Sharon "called for a large-scale Israel Defense Forces reaction to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip earlier this month, including artillery, but toned down his position following objections by IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon in a discussion that has recently come to light."

So Sharon wanted to blast away but the generals held him back. At least that's what Haaretz - and the prime minister - wants us to believe.

But how and why did this discussion "recently come to light?"

Because the people in the prime minister's office are not stupid. Sharon is being criticized for not doing more to prevent rocket fire and terror attacks (6 Israelis were killed at the Karni crossing Jan. 13). So it's time for Arik the warrior to make an appearance - even if it's a manufacured one - while Sharon the diplomat gives Abbas more time to rein in Palestinian militants and terror groups.

The question here is did Haaretz get the story with solid, aggressive reporting or did someone in the Prime Minister's Office simply pick up the phone and call Mr. Schiff, and say, "Ze'ev, I've got a story for you"?

Predictably, Mr. Schiff does not reveal how this story reached him. So we're left to to accept that the discussion in which Arik the warrior called for sweeping military action just "came to light" - as if by magic.

But the story came from Haaretz, so we shouldn't be asking any questions.