Monday, April 26, 2010

Do You Want Your News Limited?

"Rebecca Weisser, opinion page editor for The Australian, told a Limmud-Oz audience that the opinion pages in commercial newspapers were part of the business of giving the readers what they want to read." (Australian editor seeks big ideas, big names & good writers, The Australian Jewish News, 12/6/09)

Except that what the readers want to read is decided by... Rebecca Weisser:

"In the case of a mainstream daily newspaper, such as The Australian, she said, the views need to fall within mainstream views, which should be apparent to the reader. An example, she said, was an opinion piece written by a Palestinian intellectual that argued for a one-state peace solution for Israel. Weisser rejected the submission on the grounds that it was too radical. 'If an opinion piece would seem more at home in the Green Left Weekly, then it would probably not [sit well in] the opinion section of a mainstream paper', she said."

And who is this Zionist Guardian of The Mainstream View at News Limited?

Briefly, one who calls the Israeli-occupied West Bank a "contested place" and for whom the only good Palestinian is a "moderate" one; one for whom Israel's illegal West Bank colonisers and pogromers are just regular volk unfortunately forced to live with "the threat of violence" but nonetheless bravely determined "to create a place that is safe to rear their children"*; and one for whom the likes of Alan Dershowitz, Michael Danby MP and AIJAC's Colin Rubinstein** are the interviewees of choice.

[*Visions of the old settlers, The Australian, 29/11/08; **Mideast Studies accused, The Australian, 21/11/06]

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