How the press bashed and coddled Netanyahu at the U.N.
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Irrelevance takes hold so quickly among the press. Only Fox News went live to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to the U.N. Thursday. CNN and MSNBC opted for a North Carolina district attorney's press conference. So much for the single biggest foreign policy mess the U.S. confronts, the Middle East.
Remember his speech to Congress, which everybody covered as if it was World War III? Perpetually tanned, cigarette-sneaking, golf-loving John Boehner was Speaker of the House. That was a very long 18 months ago.
Yes, some did acknowledge Bibi was in New York Thursday to speak to the entire world. "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress on Tuesday laid out, in the starkest terms yet, his differences with the Obama administration on how to deal with the threat of Iran's nuclear program." (Los Angeles Times) Very proper.
There was the U.N.'s own sanitized version. "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has never been about settlements, or about establishing a Palestinian state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly today, saying 'It’s always been about the existence of a Jewish State […] in any boundary.” (U.N.)
But it's the Israeli press that was most instructive and displayed its counterpart to the Fox vs. Huffington Post contrasts when it comes to coverage of President Obama in the U.S.
There was the marshmallow-soft right-of-center Jerusalem Post: "This time there were no props — like a cartoon of a bomb — and no gimmicks, such as a 45-second pause to ram home a point, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday." (Jerusalem Post)
But then came Haaretz, the left-of-center newspaper. Its headline was short on ambiguity: "Netanyahu does his usual schtick before U.N. audience with zero expectations."
Ah, yes: "It’s true, however, that Netanyahu had good reason to be smug this year, and the best evidence of that was, in fact, the scores of U.N. diplomats who abandoned their seats in favor of a lunch at some posh East Side restaurant or solid schmoozing over a sandwich outside in the hall. They didn’t leave because of anti-Semitism, God forbid, but to prevent themselves from falling asleep in their seats. Netanyahu, in a surprising collaborative effort with Abbas, has managed to exhaust just about everyone." (Haaretz)
Pardon for Snowden?
There was the kerfuffle at The Washington Post Sunday as its editorial board took the position that there should be no pardon for a man central to its winning a Pulitzer Prize for public service, to the chagrin of one of its own columnists and the central reporter in its Pulitzer effort. (U.S News & World Report)
Now comes Bloomberg News: "The movement to pardon NSA leaker Edward Snowden is picking up momentum, with human-rights groups, editorial boards, the Libertarian candidate for president and some former intelligence officers hopping on board. Even Eric Holder, the former attorney general, has said Snowden performed a “public service.” (Bloomberg)
"But to show leniency for the man now enjoying Vladimir Putin's hospitality in Moscow would be to ignore the great damage he has done to U.S. national security. It would also set a bad precedent." That's correct.
What Yahoo knew, when did it know it?
So Yahoo fessed up to being the target of a gigantic hack that "exposed the data of at least 500 million users." (Recode) Alas, Recode "previously reported that Yahoo was about to reveal the breach and Yahoo had declined to comment when contacted" the night before it fessed up. Now comes a situation way worse than imagined.
"The announcement has huge implications on Yahoo’s pending deal to be bought by Verizon for $4.8 billion. Sources at Verizon said they were largely unaware of the severity of the attack until recently and that CEO Marissa Mayer and others did not flag them as to the extent of the issue in the bidding process."
Can it get any worse for the image of Yahoo? No. But here may be ways to try to protect your data if you've got a Yahoo account. (Recode)
What would Tom Friedman ask Donald Trump?
Most of the upcoming presidential debates will be dominated by domestic issues: the economy, race, health, police shootings and the president's birthplace, among others. What about the world far away? I asked a bunch of real experts, including current and former foreign correspondents, what they'd ask.
Tom Friedman of The New York Times would try, "Mr. Trump, if you were against going into Iraq in 2003 why are you so eager to intervene to defeat ISIS today? Do you really think it can be done without boots on the ground? Same to you Hillary."
My favorite might be Evan Osnos of The New Yorker: "In the spirit of Gary Johnson's encounter with 'Aleppo,' ask Trump: 'What would you do about the Rohingya?' No additional info required."
There much more from from some very bright people right here. (Poynter)
The press and Brangelina
"When news broke Tuesday that Angelina Jolie had filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, America gasped in schadenfreudian shock. A divorce involving young children is no one’s definition of good news, of course. But when the other headlines are as grim as this year’s are, the sudden breakup of two gorgeous superstars counts as a refreshing palate cleanser. It’s an excuse to talk about sex and pot and parenting, instead of racism and xenophobia and fascism. We deserved this. We needed this." But things quickly devolved. (Slate)
The media melodrama over the first debate
"Given the tremendous emphasis the media place on this contest, an hour-and-a half-long question-and-answer session supplants months, if not years, of presenting oneself to the public," writes Elizabeth Drew. "This year, the buildup of the debates has exploded beyond all reason."
"For weeks we’ve had breathless report after breathless report about how the candidates are preparing. Each nugget — who’s at the preparation session, who’s playing the role of the opponent? — is treated as highly significant information. For whatever reason, the media have decided that the first of this year’s three planned debates will be the decisive one." Yup. (The Washington Post)
The morning chatter
"Fox & Friends" went live to Charlotte and discussed whether release of video of the fatal police encounter is justified. But Fox was far more passionate in focusing on the "outside agitators" who were in town, saying that 70 percent of those arrested the night before are "people who just go around the country protesting," said co-host Steve Doocy.
Who might really be to blame? How about liberal billionaire George Soros, who "gave $30 million to social justice programs," said Doocy. Underlying message: blame it on unruly lefties bankrolled by New York liberals. It fell, falling rather short of making any empirical link.
On MSNBC, rarely equivocal ad executive Donny Deutsch pooh-poohed the impact of presidential debates but his widely held conventional wisdom was quickly corrected by colleague Nicolle Wallace, who cited examples of real impact (and could have mentioned more), and was backed by co-host Mika Brzezinski.
CNN's Christine Romans was good on the Yahoo breach. Her segment followed an ad on CNN for competitor MSNBC. "The team that takes you to the heart of the action...dissecting the unpredictable twists and turns...the latest updates...the four live debates...right on to Election Night...MSNBC...the place for politics."
There are images of all their top hosts and reporters. And if you missed it the first time, at least on my system, it then ran again, back to back. But it was followed by one for Erin Burnett, who does work for CNN. Given the advertising riches coming in during the campaign, there's clearly enough for amicable cross-promotion.
LinkedIn's expanded news feed
"LinkedIn is finally bringing Lynda.com — the online education company it bought 18 months ago for $1.5 billion — into its news feed. Beginning Thursday, LinkedIn will start recommending online courses for its members based on things like their jobs and their listed skills, and recommended courses shared by friends of colleagues. Users can take the course on LinkedIn, then add completed courses and new skills to their profiles after completion." (Recode)
Public transit pissing match
The NewsGuild of New York, whose media members include those at Thomson Reuters, is frustrated by contract negotiations there and, now, by the Metropolitan Transit Authority rejecting as "political" ads it wanted to place on video screens in Grand Central Terminal and on some Metro-Trains. Those were to take jabs at Reuters, which is a heavy advertiser there this month.
In a formal statement, Dan Grebler, the unit chair at Reuters and a desk editor there, says, “We are shocked and outraged that a public agency would reject our ads, which are entirely within the realm of free speech and other First Amendment rights."
Here's a changing workplace saga
KKR & Co., the big Wall Street buyout firm, "is undertaking an experiment intended to make high finance more family-friendly. Last year, the New York-based investment firm began offering new parents an unusually generous package of benefits. As one of the perks, for instance, the firm pays to fly nannies and infants on business trips during the baby’s first year."
Does it solve all the inherent tensions for working moms? No. But that is quite the perk, even if you've got to then potentially deal with a yelling, drooling kid in a middle seat as the passengers in front ask if "there's anything I can do to help?" (The Wall Street Journal)
Whether or not you'll need to endure a toddler next to you in 15-D, have a good weekend. I'm chauffeuring to soccer, baseball and basketball games — and nobody else is paying!
CORRECTION: The NewsGuild of New York unit chair at Reuters is Dan Grebler, not Dan Gerber, as originally spelled.