July 18, 2019

Netanyahu's Not-So-Secret Weapon

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has launched a Facebook television channel in a bid to fortify his constituency ahead of the critical decision by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit regarding his possible indictment. Not that Netanyahu lacks media outlets under his control. He has a freebie newspaper with a circulation in the hundreds of thousands (Israel Hayom), a TV station wholly dedicated to right-wing propaganda and Netanyahu support (Channel 20), and he has a loyal cadre of so-called “journalists” — some wholly lacking in skills or experience — in major media outlets. All ensure that his messages resonate clearly on all available platforms.

Netanyahu, however, wants more. Like his patron, Donald Trump, he can never get enough favorable coverage and flattery. Even if all the real journalists in Israel are silenced, Netanyahu will continue to feel persecuted.

On Feb. 2, Netanyahu’s Likud party launched its own online television channel from its historic Metzudat Ze’ev headquarters in Tel Aviv. BB-TV, as it has come to be known (the acronym is based on Netanyahu’s nickname, Bibi), includes a nightly “news” webcast anchored by a popular reality television survivor with no journalism experience, Eliraz Sade. The point of the webcast, says Netanyahu, is to wipe out the “fake news” industry directed by Israeli media against him. In fact, BB-TV is the ultimate in fake news. Netanyahu himself is the regular guest almost every evening. Obviously, he does not have to field hardball questions, only softball ones at which he is known to excel.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."

"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."

"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."

"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."

"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."

"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."

"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."

"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."

"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."

"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."

"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."

"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."