Rupert Murdoch: “Jewish Owned Press” Should Be More Pro-Israel
Rupert Murdoch isn’t pleased with the way the media is covering the military action in Gaza:
In yet another round of the media mogul who tweets, Rupert Murdoch is raising eyebrows again. On Saturday night, the News Corp chief executive took to the micro-blogging service to ask: Why Is Jewish owned press so consistently anti- Israel in every crisis?”
The fervently pro-Israel mogul had written other tweets Saturday criticizing press coverage of the Gaza conflict. “Middle East ready to boil over any day. Israel position precarious,” he tweeted. “Meanwhile watch CNN and AP bias to point of embarrassment.” He then wondered: “Can’t Obama stop his friends in Egypt shelling Israel?” Following these musings, the Huffington Post’s UK political directo Mehdi Hasanwondered, also on Twitter (of course), “Who is the bigger Twitter troll these days? Donald Trump or Rupert Murdoch?”
Peter Beinart responds:
Factually, the allegation is absurd. If you define “anti-Israel” as hostility not merely to one particular Israeli policy or leader, but to Israel itself, then there’s zero evidence that, say, The New York Times has been “anti-Israel” even in its coverage of the current Gaza War, let alone “every crisis” Israel has ever been involved in.
But Murdoch’s tweet is more than just dumb. It’s also offensive, both to journalists and Jews.
It’s offensive to journalists, because it implies that institutions of the “press” should reflect the ideological biases of their owners. Reading Murdoch’s tweet, it would be logical to conclude that he believes that any newspaper he owns should reflect his right-wing views, even in its news coverage. The Federal Communications Commission might want to consider that when evaluatingMurdoch’s reported bid to buy the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.
Murdoch’s tweet is offensive to Jews, because he’s suggesting that when it comes to Israel, media owners who are Jews should let their Jewishness guide their journalism. In the last couple of years, some on the left have gotten into trouble for using the phrase “Israel firster,” thus implying that some American Jews place loyalty to Israel above individual conscience or loyalty to the United States. Murdoch seems upset that Jewish media owners are not Israel firsters. He wants their tribal loyalty to a Jewish state to trump their professional obligation to oversee fair-minded, unbiased journalism.
Well, what do you expect? This is the guy who created an American cable network dedicated to spewing propaganda all day.