Different Strokes for Different Folks

Honest Reporting links to JJ Goldberg’s article in Columbia Journalism Review where he analyses and compares coverage of the “debunked allegations” of IDF abuses in Gaza. (I use the quotes because I’m quoting.)
He is interested in how the story is framed, and notes differences in the way the American and British press present the subject.

JJ Goldberg acknowledges that the US ‘Jewish lobby’ is a factor that both affects and influences the American Press’s gentler treatment of Israel, but explains that this is understandable, no more sinister than any other pressure from any other organised interest group, and no bad thing. He is asking: What’s wrong with a Jewish lobby? Why shouldn’t Jews have an interest group? The Jews are good guys and valuable to America.

“It’s almost a cliché these days to suggest that the presence of a well-organized Jewish community in America has a lot to do with the way Israel is treated by government and the media. It’s a mistake, though, to note the community’s ability to threaten and overlook its role as a leavening force in the larger culture. Jewish sensibilities help shape America’s sense of humor, U.S. attitudes toward civil rights, and much more. It would be astonishing if American Jews didn’t also influence America’s view of Israel—much as Irish Americans have helped mold attitudes toward Ireland.”

The article shows how the BBC’s Paul Wood seems to represent the British attitude. His reports, in sharp contrast, are blatantly critical of Israel, with emotive images accompanying inflammatory voiceovers, openly disapproving and condemnatory.

It is a fascinating exercise. What particularly interested me was the conclusion that:

“That’s a key difference between American and British coverage of the Middle East. The British Jewish community is well rooted, but it’s smaller—barely one-tenth the size of, say, the British Muslim community.”

It sort of hints that the ‘Muslim lobby’ has been busy influencing and affecting things here. If so, are we to assume that it’s understandable, natural, and quite okay, and we must accept that in Britain we have a culture that regards the phrase “Jewish Lobby” as shorthand for sinister cabal with dastardly intent, and the word Zionist as the embodiment of evil.

In saying this, I could be letting the Beeb off the hook, saying they’re only reflecting our culture.
But are they reflecting, or creating?

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16 Responses to Different Strokes for Different Folks

  1. Anonymous says:

    You are a creationist and a fascist Vance.


  2. nrg says:

    My, my, my, in your righteous liberal rage to insult those who have the temerity to disagree with yourself you do not even take the time to check who has written the post. But sure facts do not matter to beeboid propagandists.

    Biased BBC encourages people to debate and put forward contrary opinions and evidence. You want to throw abuse in a manner that seems designed to intimidate and prevent people expressing their opinions.

    Remind me, who is the fascist?

    Now, riddle me this, do you work for the BBC or have any close associations or vested interests in the maintenance of that parasitical organisation?


  3. JohnA says:

    The entire BBC output consists of the whine “why doesn’t Israel let Palestine have a separate state”.

    It ignores the multiple occasions since the 1930’s when the Palestinians and the Arab world in general turned down the opportunity to have a separate state.

    Worse – it ignores the prior question, which seems hugely relevant against the background of decades of terrorism and corruption – “how can we get the Palestinians READY to have their own separate state”.

    To ask whether the Palestinians are ready now – or will ever be ready given their entrenched hatred of Jews, their oft-expressed desire for war not peace – would have people like Jeremy Bowen or the Today presenters spluttering with rage. But it is right now the only valid question, the pre-requisite to creation of a separate stage.

    It is a sign of the total bias at the BBC that they never ever question the bona fides of the Palestinians.


  4. Grant says:

    Anon 2:09
    It was written by Sue, not “Vance” !


  5. sue says:

    You are a creationist and a fascist Vance.
    2:09 PM, May 21, 2009

    Assuming you are the same anon as 3:06 AM, May 20, 2009, on my thread “The Big Question,” (there is a similarity,) I repeat what I said to you then – Flesh out your “argument.”

    I’m mystified. Even if you meant me not Vance, why are you making these bizarre accusations? Surely they can have nothing to do with the above post which you don’t seem to have understood. Or even read.

    John A,
    Yes, but it’s our culture innit?


  6. Anonymous says:

    Here’s some recent polling in the US – most folks obviously don’t trust the Palestinians.

    Why doesn’t the BBC run the same questions by UK citizens – the BBC is utterly obsessed with the palestinians, might it not be an idea for them to ask what their audience thinks ?



  7. Grant says:

    JohnA 3:14
    The last thing the Arab states want is a Palestinian state or Palestinians living in their countries. That is why they keep them couped up in Gaza.
    Something the BBC are either too ignorant to know about or know and, in their twisted little anti-semitic minds, don’t want to report.
    Typical BBC bias !


  8. Anonymous says:

    Anon at 3.39 pm was me


  9. JohnA says:

    LOL Anon at 3.39 and 3.40 was me


  10. Grant says:

    Anon 3:39
    Well you have certainly changed your tone from the first post !


  11. Grant says:

    As I keep saying on other posts, all these anonymice are very confusing !!


  12. Anonymous says:

    Grant – the first post was not me !

    I first posted at 3.14, then accidentally posted as Anon at 3.39


  13. Grant says:

    Anon 4:04
    Yes, I realise that . My comment was part of my campaign to persuade people to stop posting as anonymous.
    Now that Joanna Lumley has some free time, maybe she can help me !


  14. Millie Tant says:

    I think it’s more a case of needing the help of Korky the Kat.

    When Mousey Wousey pokes its head out from the wainscoting Korky will be along in a flash looking for mouse supper. Problem solved.


  15. George R says:

    For information of BBC:

    ‘Jihadwatch’ (21 May) –

    “US Congress 1922 on Palestine: ‘Today it is a Jewish country'”

    [Opening extract]:

    “Eli E. Hertz of the superb ‘Myths and Facts’ site sends along this remarkable and forgotten Congressional resolution from 1922, prefaced by Hertz’s letter to Barack Obama:”…


  16. Anonymous says:

    “…… It would be astonishing if American Jews didn’t also influence America’s view of Israel—much as Irish Americans have helped mold attitudes toward Ireland.”

    firstly, why is it less seemly for uk based muslims to influence, directly or otherwise, britain’s view of the arab/jew conflict, surely both are inappropriate for the same reason, that is, damage to the host society’s polity?

    secondly, the influence of irish americans was almost wholly malicious and based on ignorance and religious bigotry, is that academic asking us to conclude that american based jews’ views of the arab/jew conflict are similarly based?