Thursday, September 17, 2009
Jews, the Media, and 9/11 Part 2: The Left Alternative Media
When you break a taboo -- for example, by saying something that is never said in polite company -- the explosiveness of the reaction is a guide to just how taboo (and therefore important) the subject is.
Judging by the reaction I've gotten, the question of whether there is a disproportionate Jewish influence in the media, and if so whether this might have some bearing on the way Middle East issues in general and 9/11 in particular are covered, must be very important.
In my talk "A Muslim View of 9/11 Truth," presented at the We Demand Transparency conference in New York, I argued that most Muslims think that the 9/11 inside job was part of an ongoing war on Islam, that occupied Palestine is the major battlefront of this war, and that 9/11 was probably at least partly motivated by Zionism and carried out by Zionists/Israelis. Additionally, most Muslims (at least the ones I have met) believe that pro-Zionist Jews control the U.S. media and inflict their pro-Zionist views on an unsuspecting populace by way of outrageously biased coverage of anything related to the Middle East or Islam. (Of course, what looks "outrageously biased" to Muslims, who see no valid reasons why there should be a Jewish state in Palestine, and lots of compelling ones why there shouldn't, may not look that way to American supporters of Israel.)
Steve Alten, the American Jewish author of the 9/11 truth thriller The Shell Game, did not like my presentation. He especially disliked the part about Jews in the media, which included a chart showing that in 2003, four of the five biggest media conglomerates had Jewish CEOs, while the fifth (Fox) was run by the possibly Jewish and definitely zio-extremist Rupert Murdoch. When I interviewed him Tuesday on Fair and Balanced, Steve accused me of brandishing a random list of five media people who happened to be Jewish. My response, "It's not a random list, Steve, these are the CEOs of the five biggest media conglomerates" didn't pacify him.
Steve also wasn't impressed by Philip Weiss's informal listing of the people he had worked with and for in the media which concluded that probably more than half of key U.S. media figures are Jewish. (Weiss's follow-up dialogue with Jeff Blankfort and Bruce Wolman here ).
Since he doesn't like lists, Steve won't like this angry Muslim's list of Jews in powerful places, including media positions . And since he doesn't accept personal experience (like Weiss's) as evidence, he probably won't like Joel Stein's wonderful piece about how DUH, of course Jews run Hollywood!
On my radio show, Steve argued that all of this doesn't matter: Americans support Israel because Israel is a democracy, it has nothing to do with Jewish power. My response: You've got to be kidding! First, Israel is not a democracy -- it ethnic-cleansed the majority of people who should be on its voter rolls, and its formal democracy masks a covert and extremely vicious military dictatorship. But leaving that aside, I think it is obvious that if there was no Jewish power in the US, Americans would care no more about Israel than about, say, Trinidad and Tobago. (Does anyone really care whether Trinidad and Tobago is a democracy or not?) To the extent they did care about it, they would be disgusted by its apartheid, its ethnic cleansing, its racism, its criminality, its ongoing atrocities...in short, they would recognize that Israel is a lot like apartheid South Africa was, only vastly worse. (Yes, I know there are Christian Zionists out there, and they're much nuttier than the Jewish ones, but I don't think Christian Zionism would be a major force if it weren't for the Jewish power that conditions American perceptions of the Israel-Palestine dispute.)
Getting back to Weiss's question, do Jews dominate the media, and if so, does this affect Middle East related coverage... Steve Alten vociferously disputes my hypothesis that Jewish media power is a factor in the 9/11 cover-up. In fact he goes further, portraying my hypothesis as an anti-Semitic suggestion that evil Jews are conspiring to cover up 9/11. That's a gross distortion. My hypothesis is that since most American Jews have an Israel-friendly worldview, and since 9/11 truth might turn out to be very bad for Israel, they have another reason to not want to "go there" on top of the other reasons they share with non-Jewish Americans. (For a moving essay by an American Jewish Studies professor torn between her desire for 9/11 truth and her fears concerning possible Israeli involvement, read Sandra Lubarsky's essay in the volume we co-edited, 9/11 and American Empire v.2: Christians, Jews and Muslims Speak Out).
The Left Alternative Media Top Ten List
Even though Steve Alten doesn't like informal research methodologies, I thought I'd make up a quick list of the top ten names in the left-alternative media, and see if there might be any correlation between Jewish identity and position on 9/11 truth. (Naturally this list reflects who and what I know -- others might come up with slightly different top tens).
Amy Goodman: hosts the immensely inflential (in left-alternative circles) Democracy Now.
Noam Chomsky: the biggest left-alternative name in world affairs
Al Franken: the best-known left-alternative radio host besides Goodman; recently elected Senator from Minnesota
Danny Schecter: "the news dissector," founder of Media Channel, leading left-alternative media critic
Norman Solomon: well-known author and media critic: founder and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy
Matt Rothschild: Editor of The Progressive magazine
Peter Phillips: founder of Project Censored
Robert McChesney: leading academic media critic and activist
Lewis Lapham: former editor of Harpers, major figure in American letters
Alexander Cockburn: syndicated columnist, editor of Counterpunch
Now please correct me if I'm wrong, but to the best of my knowledge the first six names on this list are ethnic Jews, while the last four names are not. (It is interesting that, if my top ten is a fair selection, more than half of the leading names in left-alternative media are Jewish, even though Jews are only 2% of the US population. And given the importance of the three "stars" Goodman, Chomsky, and Franken, one could argue that the actual influence of Jews in the left alternative media is even greater than numbers alone would suggest.)
Now let's give each of these folks a grade for 9/11 truth. An A+ means that person has covered the controversy about who was really behind 9/11 fairly, while giving it the prominence it deserves relative to other issues; while an F- would represent the strongest possible active opposition to 9/11 truth. I will arrange the class list from highest to lowest grade; Jews in boldface, goys in regular face.
Peter Phillips: B (Important stories about 9/11 have made Project Censored's annual compendiums several times, but have not had nearly the prominence they deserve given the importance of this issue relative to other issues.)
Lewis Lapham: C+ (While editing Harpers, Lapham let it be known that he was reading the works of David Ray Griffin; under his editorship, Harpers published a critique of the 9/11 Commission entitled "Public Service as Whitewash.)
Danny Schecter C- (His analyses of the post-9/11 media environment ignore the elephant in the living room, the overwhelming evidence for an inside job, but he did at least once offer some moderately supportive constructive criticism to the 9/11 truth movement .)
Robert McChesney D+ (Despite rumors that he made some early, tentative baby steps toward 9/11 truth, McChesney backed off, refusing an invitation to the Chicago conference of June 2006 and avoiding the subject thereafter.)
Alexander Cockburn D+ (While he deserves kudos for encouraging Justin Raimondo's early work on the Israeli connection to 9/11, and publishing a few good pro-truth essays and reviews, Cockburn's boozy anti-truth-movement ranting more than outweighs the positives.)
Al Franken D- (Franken just won't go there. Worse, he has implied that truthers are anti-Semites by sardonically saying that on 9/11 he got "the Jew call" warning him to stay away from the WTC.)
Amy Goodman: F (Though she personally witnessed the obvious controlled demolition of World Trade Center Building 7, Goodman quickly accepted more than $100,000 dollars from the CIA-affiliated Ford Foundation to "report about 9/11" [meaning cover it up]. After a firestorm of audience demands led her to invite David Ray Griffin and Ellen Mariani on her show in 2004, she cancelled Mariani at the last minute and brought in professional anti-truth propagandist Chip Berlet, whose operation runs on half a million dollars per year from the Ford Foundation, to spew deceptive attacks on Griffin. Ignoring the issue for three years, in September 2007 Goodman set up the young Loose Change filmmakers against professional anti-truth propagandists from Popular Mechanics. To date, she has continued to censor out all 9/11 truth news, refusing to give even one iota of coverage to the New York City 9/11 Ballot Initiative, the most important citizen's movement ever to take root in New York City. How can she refuse to cover NYCcan.org even after she told me on camera that she supports a new investigation?)
Matt Rothschild: F (Rothschild first ignored the 9/11 debates so assiduously he didn't even know what Building 7 was in early 2006, then vaunted his ignorance in "Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Already." For the past three years he has censored the subject and attacked those who attempt to bring it to his attention.)
Norman Soloman: F (Soloman actually resigned from the Project Censored board to protest the inclusion of a few 9/11 truth stories [like "Steven Jones finds thermate"] among the dozens of vastly less important ones.
Noam Chomsky: F (Chomsky's 9/11 "blowback" book, published just months after the attacks, was probably the biggest single factor persuading left-alternative Americans not to question the official story. Since then he has alternately ignored the 9/11 truth movement, and insulted it with mind-bogglingly specious, incoherent platitudes. As Barrie Zwicker demonstrates in Towers of Deception with his meticulous deconstruction of Chomsky's anti-truth rhetoric, Chomsky's work on the most important issues [the "deep politics" issues analyzed by Peter Dale Scott] is so hideous, so apparently stupid, so counterproductive to reform, that the hypothesis that Chomsky is a deep cover agent of the state cannot be ignored.
This little thought experiment adds more evidence that in 9/11 truth, unlike most other subjects, goys get better grades than Jews. It seems especially noteworthy that the three most influential people on the chart, Chomsky, Goodman, and Franken, all happen to be Jewish, and together earn three of the four lowest grades in the class.
If my top ten list is a fair sample, and my characterization of the listees' ethnicities and 9/11 work is accurate, it would seem to support the argument that Jews are wildly over-represented in the alternative media, and that this fact may have unfortunate consequences for the alternative media's reporting on 9/11. If so, this would lend additional support to the widespread view among Muslims that Jewish media power in the USA, and its consequences for the way the news is reported, is a fact, not an "anti-Semitic conspiracy theory."
I don't think I cherry-picked the list or distorted the listees' ethnicities or records on 9/11. So is there something wrong with my argument, other than the obvious fact that it's not conclusive in the way that physical science (like the discovery of nanothermite in the WTC dust) can sometimes be? Can lists, such as Kevin Ryan's list of NIST coverup criminals with nanothermite expertise, sometimes convey important information, and has my list done so, or not? Please email me your critiques: kbarrett(at)merr.com.