Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
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:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Debate Night: Undecided is Everything, Advantage Trump
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail