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

 

 

More articles by:

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

Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Mass Shootings, Male Toxicity and their Roots in Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
The Fordist Academic
Frank Scott
Weapons of Mass Distraction Get More Destructive
Missy Comley Beattie
Big Dick Diplomacy
Michael Doliner
Democracy, Real Life Acting and the Movies
Dan Bacher
Jerry Brown tells indigenous protesters in Bonn, ‘Let’s put you in the ground’
Winslow Myers
The Madness of Deterrence
Cesar Chelala
A Kiss is Not a Kiss: Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children
Jimmy Centeno
Garcia Meets Guayasamin: A De-Colonial Experience
Stephen Martin
When Boot Becomes Bot: Surplus Population and The Human Face.
Martin Billheimer
Homer’s Iliad, la primera nota roja
Louis Proyect
Once There Were Strong Men
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones
David Yearsley
Academics Take Flight
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail