Backspin articles

Dershowitz at Berkeley

Transcript of a fine speech by Alan Dershowitz at UC Berkeley on May 29, 2004: a young student came to me from Harvard College and asked me for forgiveness. I said, “What do I have to forgive you for? I don’t even know you.” He said, “I never speak up on campus, in my classroom,

Jay Rosen on bias, balance, and fairness

Big discussion on Jay Rosen’s blog regarding issues of media bias, balance, and fairness. Rosen doesn’t think ‘bias’ is a helpful term at all, since any work of journalism is saturated with bias from the moment the reporter leaves the office–and probably before that–to the edited and finished product. There’s bias in the conversation our

Hizbullah TV’s ‘Road to Palestine’

Via MediaLine: Hizballah’s TV station Al-Manar is airing video-clips day and night depicting the fight against Israel and the aspiration to correct what it sees as the historic injustice done to the Palestinians. In other words: the complete destruction of the state of Israel. A recent video clip says: “We shall return,” together with the

Only Israel labled ‘Nazi’

Walter Reich in the LA Times (req. reg.) : Genocidal mass murder continues to foul the world. So do large-scale massacres of civilians and brutal executions. Yet the foulest epithet in any language — “Nazi” — is hurled not against any of the perpetrators of those crimes but, uniquely and systematically, against Israel. A piece

Reuterization of Washington Times?

AtlanticBlog points out this line from a Washington Times report on the UN Human Rights Commission: Washington has staked out an increasingly moral and, in many quarters, unpopular stand in the HRC by aggressively seeking the censure of China, Zimbabwe, Cuba and other dictatorial regimes, even as it defends Israel. Asks William Sjostram: “even as”?

Istanbul death threat

Turkey is one of the most popular vacation spots for Israelis. This scary incident happened to Jerusalem’s Nochi Brown in the Istanbul airport yesterday: Brown arrived at the Istanbul airport yesterday (Monday) after spending the weekend in the city. He was reading the Gemara (book offering interpretation of the Torah) when a group of Arab

The Same Old Song

Jonathon Tobin of Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent notes that the moment the US started running into trouble in Iraq, the Jewish members of Bush’s inner circle became scapegoats: It is a rule of thumb that has been tried and tested many times over the last 2,000 years. When things go bad, blame the Jews. So it

BBC’s Mideast policeman

While the Israeli foreign ministry is again furious with the BBC, Haaretz has an article on Malcolm Balen, the BBC’s ombudsmen for Mideast matters. Good background on the groundswell of complaints that brought the Beeb to appoint Balen, and a definition of Balen’s role: “I am not here as an extra layer of editorial supervision

Okrent: Institutional reporting failures

In a column reviewing the NY Times’ faulty coverage of WMDs in Iraq, Times’ Public Editor Daniel Okrent outlines a number of ‘institutional’ problems that plague news reporting: * The Hunger for Scoops * Front Page Syndrome * Hit-and-run Journalism * Coddling Sources * End-run Editing While all five of these problems exist also in