Do Jews Really Control the Media?
Responding to the rant that got Rick Sanchez fired, Slate's Brian Palmer investigates the question, "Do Jews Really Control the Media?" His short answer, "Maybe the movies, but not the news."
Responding to the rant that got Rick Sanchez fired, Slate‘s Brian Palmer investigates the question, “Do Jews Really Control the Media?” His short answer, “Maybe the movies, but not the news.” The long answer is more complicated.
Not one of the major television news operations—Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, or NBC News—is currently headed by a Jewish executive. (That includes Ken Jautz, the man who fired Sanchez.) Or at least none of these executives has talked about being Jewish in a public forum. The Internet is littered with rumors about various media moguls being Jewish, but few of those claims are backed by any evidence.
There are more Jews at the head of the country’s major newspapers, but it’s still a stretch to say these publications are controlled by them. Even in New York City, where around 12 percent of the population is Jewish, there isn’t any indication of Jewish dominance. The Ochs Sulzberger family, which has controlled the New York Times for more than a century, is of Jewish origin. But current Executive Editor Bill Keller is not.
I think we can safely give Sanchez the NYT, then: The guy who owns the place tends to be rather influential. WSJ isn’t Jewish, despite some odd rumors about Rupert Murdoch’s mom. WaPo used to be owned by a Jew but his gentile son-in-law took it over after WWII. LAT is owned by a Jew but didn’t used to be.
Hollywood is a slightly different story. The conventional wisdom that Tinseltown is Jewish-dominated has some basis in reality, as Jews seem to be disproportionately represented in the upper echelon of film directors and executives. According to the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, 1.2 percent of the nation’s adults are Jewish. (That includes only self-identified Jews and may exclude a significant number of Americans with Jewish ethnicity who are not observant.) Yet, of the top 20 directors, producers, and other non-acting movie bigwigs listed in the Guardian‘s Film Power 100, nine are Jewish (45 percent). There are plenty of prominent Jewish execs slightly further down the list, too, including the brothers Coen and Weinstein.
The top executives at major media conglomerates are also Jewish in greater numbers than the general population. Robert Iger of Disney and Sumner Redstone and Leslie Moonves of CBS are all Jews, while Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric and Jeffrey Bewkes of Time Warner are not. Jeff Zucker, the departing head of NBC, is Jewish.
And, of course, the TV networks have rather prominent news departments. Which complicates even the short answer.
The much simpler question — Is Rick Sanchez an idiot? — would require fewer words and yield a more satisfying answer.