May 14, 2010

From Leeds to LA, who controls the media?

I'm only asking. Well, I'm not really asking. I'm asking if it's ok to ask. According to Jak Codd, the Communications and Internal Officer of Leeds University Students' Union, the students' newspaper, Leeds Student, should not be allowed to publish the question at all. I'm sure the context had something to do with it so let's have a look:

On Friday April 30, the freedom of this paper came under threat.

The freedom of speech, from ideology, from the establishment, and from mainstream media, has upheld Leeds Student throughout its 40-year history. It is a freedom that has allowed this paper to print interviews, articles and opinions that may not be liked, are sometimes disclaimed, and frequently bring fierce debate.

Jak Codd, Communications and Internal Officer, used his perceived power as a senior member of the student executive to remove all issues of Leeds Student from the stands in the Leeds University Union. Codd believed an interview with Palestinian journalist Sameh Habeeb to be anti-Semitic. This belief surrounds a comment Habeeb made about Israeli influence on the media.

In the article, interviewer Laura MacKenzie asked Habeeb: “Do you believe mainstream news organisations to have a hidden agenda?”

He replied: “They are certainly pro-Israeli. I think you have to ask yourself who controls the media.”

Mr Habeeb’s answer is open to several interpretations: “Media control” could mean ownership, editorial stance or whether or not journalists have - or are allowed - access to events they wish to report.

The intention was to report Habeeb’s views, not comment upon them. The interview was presented in question-and-answer format. No editorial line was taken or displayed. The comment was reported verbatim. Like the scores of verbatim quotes that Leeds Student prints each issue, it was presented as just that - without editorial colour or spin, for readers to interpret for themselves. We appreciate that the understanding was not universally consistent.

Since publication, it has become apparent that the phrase “controls the media” can be very sensitive. Some perceive it to be implicitly anti-Semitic, carrying wider, more potentially offensive connotations than may be apparent at first sight or to an uninformed reader. Others saw no such nuances.
Clicking around the issue on the website of Leeds Student online, it turns out that this Jak Codd chappie isn't very popular at all except, it seems, with the World Zionist Congress affiliated Union of Jewish Students. But isn't it an extreme irony when a Jewish student, supported by a zionist student organisation, can have a newspaper pulled from the shelves because someone asked, "who controls the media?"? What a schmock!

Anyway, according to one very wealthy chap in Los Angeles, the way to help Israel is to do just that, control the media. See this gushing piece about an Israeli-American squillionaire in The New Yorker:
He remains keenly interested in the world of business, but he is most proud of his role as political power broker. His greatest concern, he says, is to protect Israel, by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship. At a conference last fall in Israel, Saban described his formula. His “three ways to be influential in American politics,” he said, were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets. In 2002, he contributed seven million dollars toward the cost of a new building for the Democratic National Committee—one of the largest known donations ever made to an American political party. That year, he also founded the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, in Washington, D.C. He considered buying The New Republic, but decided it wasn’t for him. He also tried to buy Time and Newsweek, but neither was available. He and his private-equity partners acquired Univision in 2007, and he has made repeated bids for the Los Angeles Times.[my emphasis, as if it was needed]
Now given that zionists are as zionists do, it is fair to say that a media that supports Israel is zionist controlled since surely the shortest definition of zionism is support for the State of Israel, which is the zionist state. So to ask, rhetorically, "who controls the media?" is really rhetorically stating a fact. I think you have to be paranoid to assume that the guy in the interview reported by Leeds Student meant that it was Jews that control the media. But if Israeli-Americans like Haim Saban go round encouraging the belief that Jews try to control media outlets so as to protect Israel, what are people supposed to think. And will Jak Codd now try to have The New Yorker pulled from the shelves.

Incidentally, once upon a time a certain Princess Michael of Kent, (yes, in the UK we have princesses called Michael) claimed that Prince Harry was being unfairly picked on over wearing a nazi uniform to a fancy dress party because of the "ownership structure" of the media which wouldn't have minded if he had worn a symbol of Stalinism rather than nazism. That was in an article in the London evening newspaper, the Evening Standard.
I blogged that back in 2005 before the newspapers all had websites you'll just have to take my word. Now it seems to me that she was saying that the UK media is owned by Jews, which btw it isn't and that Jews are partial to Stalinism. No one spoke out against that at the time but then she is a princess.

So if you want to cast aspersions on the Jews, marry a royal. If you want to say something about media support for the racist war criminals of the State of Israel, don't! Just don't!

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