Gadi Adelman’s recent article, “Cable Nazi Network” examined reports that the CNN Jerusalem bureau had fired all its Jewish reporters. He must have touched a nerve because CNN asked him to change his story.
The President of Family Security Matters, Carol Taber, wrote back in July of 2010:
As we often say, "You don't take any flak if you are not directly over the target." Gadi is on-target each and every time.
Well I have been receiving flak over my article last week, “Cable Nazi Network”, but what is interesting is where the flak has been flying in from.
Allow me to give some brief background. The original story was broken by Dreuz info and titled, “CNN Israel fired four Jewish journalists”. The article reported:
What goes beyond good management is that CNN has fired four Israeli Jewish journalists (out of a crew of 8), and has retained only Arab journalists. Where, until now, CNN always sent a Jewish and an Arab journalist to cover information, now there will be only an Arab journalist.
CNN immediately stated all claims were false and released the following statement:
Rumors that CNN is only employing Arabs in its Jerusalem Bureau are completely false.
There are Israeli Jews working in CNN’s Jerusalem bureau.
The bureau chief, Kevin Flower, is not Arab as some have speculated.
We strongly reject any suggestion that the reorganization in the Jerusalem bureau is in any way based on the small number of contract employees concerned being Israeli, particularly given CNN’s long history of working with locals in the region.
My article did not question whether CNN was employing Jews in the Jerusalem bureau, but rather whether there were any Jewish journalists specifically. The careful wording of the CNN statement never confirmed the question of journalists, only that “there are Israeli Jews working in CNN’s Jerusalem bureau”.
My article ended with a request to CNN:
but I wonder, will CNN bother to release the names of those who are Jewish yet still employed in their Jerusalem office since that would be the easiest way to put the story of bias to rest?
I doubt it, I’ll be waiting, but I won’t be holding my breath, I look really bad in blue.
The same day my article was published I received the following email from the Public Relations Manager of CNN, Lauren Cone:
To answer the specific question you raise in your article, “Cable Nazi Network”, the answer is NO – we did not fire all Jewish employees. Please update your post to include our latest statement, which is pasted below and found here.
In response to inaccurate reports, CNN has strongly denied since Friday rumors that it no longer employs Israeli Jews in its Jerusalem bureau. The company has said:
"CNN has recently reviewed its worldwide operations, an exercise we do regularly to ensure operational and technological efficiency in everything we do. As part of this exercise, we have reorganized the CNN bureau in Jerusalem."
To counter misinformation reported on various websites, the company has confirmed:
"CNN currently has seven employees working in CNN's Jerusalem bureau, four of whom are Jewish. There is no basis in fact for these reports."
"Some website reports also state that CNN's Jerusalem bureau chief is Arab, which is also untrue."
"CNN strongly rejects any suggestion that the reorganization in the Jerusalem bureau is in any way based on the small number of contract employees concerned being Israeli, particularly given CNN’s long history of working with locals in the region."
Take note of the first sentence in her email:
the answer is NO – we did not fire all Jewish employees.
I never said that CNN fired all of its Jewish employees, as a matter of fact my article stated:
Yes, there may very well be Israeli Jews working in the CNN Jerusalem bureau, but are any of them “journalists” or do they have an Israeli working the door as security?
In the new statement that she sent me it states:
CNN currently has seven employees working in CNN's Jerusalem bureau, four of whom are Jewish. There is no basis in fact for these reports.
I found this particularly interesting since the original story had stated that the bureau had eight employees and fired four, yet CNN states they fired four and now have a total of seven. I was never a very good student of math, but I think the numbers are off somewhere.
I wrote back to Lauren Cone giving CNN the benefit of the doubt and the chance to put the “rumors” to rest once and for all:
I appreciate the response, but are you willing to supply me with names and positions of those employed who are Jewish so I can confirm?
Also, the names and positions of those were let go and the reason that all of them were terminated at the same time? After all, it's not like they were all fired for 'company policy' breach if they were all terminated the same day.
If you supply me with the above information requested I will be more than happy to confirm and then re-write my article.
Thank you in advance,
Pretty simple request; confirm for me who is Jewish and what they do at CNN. I received a very simple response from Lauren Cone, PR:
We don’t comment on specific individuals involved in personnel decisions.
Really? That’s it? I can understand that CNN would not want to comment on people who were fired, but since when did it become a media outlet’s policy not to release the names of their journalists?
I wrote to Lauren Cone again, giving CNN one last chance to put this to rest:
You are asking me to "update" my article, yet you are offering no proof other than your word about the Jewish employees. We both know that, without confirmation, anyone's 'word' is about as reliable as the paper it is written on.
CNN has a history of slanting the news from and about Israel. Other points that I wrote in my article such as "When reporting on Jewish settlements they refer to them as “illegal” Jewish settlements. Often they refer to parts of Israel as “Palestine”, are fact and I can back up with hours of video.
Those points you never mentioned or asked me to correct in your email request, now you want me to 'update' the article and you won't even give one name of one Jewish individual who is employed in the Jerusalem bureau?
This is exactly the type of so-called journalism that I often write about. I triple and quadruple check my facts before I put them in any article and I always link to those sources. I have found dozens of publications about CNN firing all Jews, yet the only place I have read that the story is false is on CNN and now in your email. Your claim without backing it up does not make it suddenly fact.
Send something that I can confirm or this whole conversation and request is a moot point.
Thank you again,
Short, sweet and to the point. But as I expected, I never received anything after that from CNN. But the flak doesn’t end there, no, far from it.
I received comments from David Bedein. Mr. Bedein is the Bureau Chief of the Israel Resource News Agency. He wrote to a friend of mine:
I called CNN and asked to speak with the deputy bureau chief, Mike Schwartz, a colleague whom our agency respects and has worked with for more than 20 years. He said: "Speaking". My comment: "Well Mike, how is your Islamic prayer rug?" to which he laughed and said that his mother had also called him after hearing the rumor that CNN had fired its Jewish reporters.
Once again it appears people have very poor reading comprehension, his friend Mike Schwartz is the “deputy bureau chief” not a journalist, according to his own comments.
Due to the oversight of not seeing the word “journalist” in my article, I wrote Mr. Bedein:
I had written in my article "Yes, there may very well be Israeli Jews working in the CNN Jerusalem bureau, but are any of them “journalists” or do they have an Israeli working the door as security?"
I was referring to "reporters" or "journalists" specifically, if your friend, Mike Schwartz is the 'deputy bureau chief' then he is not a reporter. I have been going back and forth via email with the head of Turner's (CNN) PR, she has refused to give me one name of even one Jewish reporter. She continues only to say that they have Jewish employees. Since when did it become a media outlet’s policy not to 'release' the names of their reporters? All of her emails have done nothing but confirm my statements; CNN is biased and has no Jewish reporters now that they have "reorganized the CNN bureau in Jerusalem".
My point is this, CNN is anti-Israel in their reporting and the words they choose for that so-called reporting proves it. Now they have only non-Jews as their reporters, how much more slanted can you possibly get?
If you know of any Jewish reporters who are currently employed in the CNN Jerusalem bureau please let me know their name so I can confirm it, if all you know is a producer or photographer, etc., that only proves my point.
Thank you in advance,
Of course at this point I felt I might get somewhere, Mr. Bedein is after all the Bureau Chief of the Israel Resource News Agency. Surely he would agree with my assessment and state once and for all that CNN had no Jewish journalists.
Well, so much for my feeling as if I might get somewhere. Mr. Bedein wrote me back:
Thanks for the note. Mike Schwartz is a Jewish journalist who works for CNN in Jerusalem
CNN coverage of Israel is horrific, not anti-Semitic.
This was strange, first he stated that Mike Schwartz was the 'deputy bureau chief', now he is saying that he is a journalist.
I have no doubt that Mike Schwartz was at one time a journalist. I doubt that CNN would place someone in the position of deputy bureau chief if he did not have a journalist background. But now my question remains the same. Does he still do reporting and if he does, why would CNN’s PR manager Lauren Cone not mention this?
A quick search on CNN and the last article I find by Mike Schwartz is from July 5, 2011.
But what’s more is the last sentence of Mr. Bedein’s response to my email:
CNN coverage of Israel is horrific, not anti-Semitic.
Nowhere in my email did I ever even use the word “anti-Semitic”, had I written:
CNN is anti-Israel in their reporting and the words they choose for that so-called reporting proves it.
There is a huge difference between being anti-Israel and being anti-Semitic. I know Israelis who are anti-Israel, just as there are Americans who are anti-America.
Does anyone know how to read and comprehend anymore? You would think that journalists would, but, then again….
More than one fired journalist from the Jerusalem bureau, all of whom wish to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, have indicated in their private conversations with people that CNN’s actions were not as CNN would have us believe.
CNN is anti-Israel and their so called reporting proves it. Now, CNN’s own silence speaks volumes when they could put this whole incident behind them.
But then again, knowing CNN, like other media outlets they’ll just wait it out, and as other news makes it to the forefront, people will forget about this too.
I seem to remember another story many have forgotten, but then again that was from long ago, 9/11/01.