In my latest piece for Babylon Times, hosted by Souciant, I look at the firing of columnist Larry Derfner of the Jerusalem Post, what he did wrong and how it drowned out some very important and insightful points that he made.
There was a time when the Washington Post was understood to be one of the better mass media newspapers in the country, often regarded as on a level with the New York Times as a serious paper.
Media analysts (which is where I started this work, so I’d count myself among these) would assuredly contend that this was damning with faint praise. Still that regard the WaPo, as it’s often called on the internet, was once held in has been in sharp decline for some time now. Their coverage of Israel, for example, just gave us a startling example of that decline, when the Post decided to hire Jennifer Rubin as blogger.
Rubin had previously written for the neoconservative Commentary Magazine and other outlets after leaving her career as a lawyer. Columnist Ali Gharib, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review, says of her:
Rubin has a penchant for relentlessly sticking political opponents with negative labels… During the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy, Rubin claimed that Obama’s “sympathies for the Muslim World take precedence over those, such as they are, for his fellow citizens.” Last year, Rubin derided Obama as “the most anti-Israel U.S. president (ever),” a judgment unequivocally repudiated by even the hawkish Israel lobby group AIPAC. Undeterred, this summer Rubin lamented, in a typically overblown overstatement, that the Israel “must figure out how (quite literally) the Jewish state is to survive the Obama presidency,” insisting the following day that Israel will have to go it alone against Iran.
Rubin got called this week on that penchant for labeling, which some think is libeling. Continue reading