FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Did All Things Considered Self-Censor on Annapolis?

by FELICE PACE

All Things Considered coverage of the Annapolis meeting reinitiating Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks was a big disappointment. Ordinarily, such an event would prompt ATC to present a solid half hour of coverage, including providing listeners with the historical and factual background needed to understand and interpret the event.

We got the half hour. But in this case, little to no contextual information was provided. Instead ATC editors chose to give us a cute feature (apparently the parking situation today in Annapolis was essential news!) and a story about Syria’s attendance–a side aspect of the event that told us nothing new. Even the on-line “time-line” was disappointing. Not only does it commence abruptly in the year 2000, it also assumes “final status” would require “evacuation” of only “some Jewish settlements” located on Palestinian land. Nowhere is it stated that all West Bank Settlements are illegal.

What possible explanation is there for this uncharacteristic lapse in what is a hallmark of ATC’s reporting on world events?

Sad to say, the most likely explanation is fear–plain, simple fear.

If ATC had provided the appropriate factual background it would have become clear that the Palestinians have legal rights that are being denied in violation of international law; it would have become clear that Israel has already stolen most West Bank water; it would have become clear that Israel regularly imposes collective punishment on the Palestinian People. In short, it would have become clear that Israel has its boot on the neck of the Palestinians in repeated and longstanding violation of UN resolutions and that these peace negotiations are not taking place on a level playing field.

Had ATC done its usual world event report, Israel would have looked bad. Americans would have learned that Israel is not an embattled democracy fighting for survival but an aggressive colonial force intent on imposing its will on its neighbors. This in turn would have translated into a barrage of calls, letters and e-mails from the American Zionist Network berating ATC and NPR for “anti-Israel bias” and “anti-Semitism”. Some large donors might have threatened to pull bequests.

So, fear–translated into self-censorship – is the most logical explanation for today’s poor coverage.

To its credit, ATC did want to interview both Olmert and Abbas but neither Abbas, not his prime minister, would talk. So there was time to fill. That time could have been filled with an interview of Palestinian lawmaker and presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouti or with any of the seven leaders whose reactions were published by the BBC. Instead the editors chose to give us a story on parking in Annapolis. If appropriate background had been intended the lack of one interview would not have deterred presenting it.

There was likely an additional dilemma. Had ATC editors wanted a backgrounder they would have had to choose between Linda Gradstein–who reliably parrots the Israeli Government’s spin on events–and Eric Westerveld – one of the few NPR reporters brave enough to report accurately on Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Perhaps the editors thought it best to avoid that particular situation.

There is no doubt that the Zionist Network is a powerful force. Having been a recipient of a bit of that force I do not wish to see any journalist or news network become its target. But there is the problem of that middle word in the NPR name–the word PUBLIC. As the #1 PUBLIC radio network in the US, NPR has a duty to stand up to intimidation in order to inform the American People about issues critical to their interests and security. NPR has the mantle so it ought to accept the responsibility. ATC’s failure to stand up in the face of intimidation and what amounts to blackmail is a dark stain on its reputation and on American Journalism in general.

When will the good journalists at NPR say no to Zionist intimidation and the resulting self-censorship?

FELICE PACE lives in Klamath, California. He can be reached at unofelice@gmail.com

 

 

Felice Pace is a longtime environmental activist in northern California. You can find his writings online at Bearitude in Black.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
Charles R. Larson
Review: Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail