Sixty Minutes Becomes Israeli-Occupied Television

As Philip Giraldi points out in his article “America’s Israeli-Occupied Media,” the Israeli government is continuing its campaign to get the U.S. military to attack Iran or at least give a “green light” for a massive Israeli bombing strike. In pursuit of this reckless and ill-conceived plan Tel Aviv has a willing co-conspirator in the mainstream American media, who will present the Israeli world-view without criticism or qualification.

The recent CBS broadcast of the Sixty Minutes segment “The Israeli Air Force” provides a rather startling example of how the American news media will permit the Israelis to present their point of view to the exclusion of any competing narrative. The report, which is presented by correspondent Bob Simon, first aired on April 27 and was rebroadcast on August 10.

The message of “The Israeli Air Force” is clearly and succinctly communicated by the CBS report as: Iran is a threat to Israel’s existence and to the rest of the world; Iran will obtain a nuclear weapon soon; when it does, it will use it to destroy Israel. Thus it is apparent that if Iran does not quickly agree with the demands of Western powers to cease its uranium enrichment program, the Israeli Air Force can and will attack and incapacitate the Iranian nuclear facilities.

In order to produce this segment, CBS, by its own admission, accepted the “rigorous censorship” requirements of the Israeli Air Force (IAF). For a news organization to agree to censorship when covering a story is rather unusual. The explanation Mr. Simon gives for this arrangement is to quote the IAF’s dubious justification that “[i]f the Israelis blow their secrets, they insist, they’ll lose the next war.” Maybe Simon should have just confessed that because CBS believes that these Israeli pilots are such amazing men, Sixty Minutes let them tell their own story, in their own way, without network interference.

In “The Israeli Air Force,” Simon interviews Israeli pilots who are the “best and brightest.” We are told they are destined to become heroes and some even legends. The report recounts the great IAF victory in the 1967 War and the difficult but “necessary” military air strikes in Gaza. No mention is made of the two disastrous air campaigns in two Lebanese wars. We also hear interviews with the pilots who bombed and destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981.

Yiftach Spector, who participated in the Iraq bombing, humbly rejects Simon’s compliment that he returned from the mission as a hero. Spector claimed “[w]e postponed a threat, a real threat. … I mean, the heroes were not us. The “decision makers were the heroes on this because they showed the world what’s right and what’s wrong,” Simon then comments, “[t]oday, Israel’s decision makers are faced with a similar choice, will they take out Iran’s nuclear facilities?” You really wonder if this little play was written by someone at CBS or rather was actually composed by an Israeli government press assistant or an official of the IAF censorship board.

In Bill Moyer’s documentary about the news coverage leading up to the invasion of Iraq, Buying the War, Bob Simon correctly criticizes the media for only reporting the Bush-Cheney administration’s propaganda while ignoring all contradictory evidence. Well ironically, when it comes to Iran, it appears that Simon’s reporting ignores all contradictory evidence while solely presenting the Israeli government line.

The 2007 U.S National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which states that there is a high probability that Iran has discontinued its nuclear weapons program in 2003 was never mentioned. Neither were the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which have contradicted Israeli claims.

Additionally, the segment never addressed the fact that Israel views Iran as its main competitor in the region and as a financier and supporter of its enemies Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. This may have as much to do with the Israeli bellicosity toward Iran as any fear of nuclear weapons.

Finally, numerous high ranking officials in the American government including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Michael Mullen, are currently on the record as saying that any attack on Iran at the present time, whether it be American or Israeli, would be extremely harmful to U.S interests. Some of the likely consequences of an attack would be: a further endangering of U.S. soldiers in Iraq, a skyrocketing price of oil, and a wider U.S. war in the region. Bob Simon did not mention the opinions opposing an attack on Iran or any of these very relevant possibly disastrous consequences.

Any news program which deserves special citation for being produced from an Israeli perspective should follow these rules: never mention the word “occupation”, nor the conditions that Palestinians are forced to endure when speaking about the West Bank and Gaza; if you address the issue of casualties suffered by innocent Palestinians as a result of Israeli military offenses, always give the Israelis time to appear “aware and troubled” and to claim they do everything possible to minimize collateral damage; never mention anything negative or embarrassing about the Israeli armed forces which cannot be dismissed as an unfortunate mistake. Finally, and this is key, always express that the targeted enemy is “Hitler” and that the military action under consideration will prevent another Holocaust. I can attest that Bob Simon’s report more than adequately meets all these requirements.

The Sixty Minutes segment is not a news report, but a paean to “The Israeli Air Force” which also explains, justifies and advocates the use of military force against Tehran. It sells the idea of bombing Iran to the American people, just as the mainstream media sold the Iraq War, without reporting the complete story. It is frightening that CBS could produce a program which ignores any evidence which does not promote Tel Aviv’s world-view. What is even more terrifying is that even if the United States decides against the military option and advises Israel to do likewise, the same power and influence which enables “Israeli occupied news coverage,” can make it possible for Israel to ignore American wishes and proceed with their plan to bomb Iran.

Ira Glunts is a Jewish-American, recovered liberal Zionist, retired university librarian and avid fan of the Tottenham Hotspur.  He and his wife live in Madison, NY with their five cats. Read other articles by Ira.

14 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozhidar balkas said on August 15th, 2008 at 6:36am #

    has anyone thought of the probability/possibility that there may be many timothy mcveighs among media owners/controlers and journalists.
    thus, they not only approbate all israeli crimes but actually egg them on to hurt pals even more.
    in other words, most of the media people may be a tad right of hitler.
    others may be a bit left of hitler.
    even most amers, due to massive disinformation/miseducation, may be situated just left of mussolini/franco.
    this means that one can expect more of the same.
    and as i have already stated, every war waged by uncle sam had heralded another war.
    afghanistan invasion bode iraqi incursion; iraqi incursion was an omen for ossetia invasion.
    ossetia invasion heralds invasion of lebanon, syria, pakistan.
    the funni uncle needs wars now more than ever.
    thank u

  2. Angry American said on August 15th, 2008 at 8:17am #

    bozhidar balkas, that is a strange connection you make there between Timothy McVeigh and the American MSM. It almost seems as a clever ploy on your part to direct attention away from the true culprit “Israeli First Jews” and place the blame on a shadowy hard to pinpoint group that is anything but united or in control of media coverage, “The Far Right.” Right and Left is a smokescreen in the Media debate as far as coverage of Israel is concerned. The vast majority of the American MSM presents itself as just right of Karl Marx in their coverage of America, while just a shade left of National Socialist Germany in their coverage of Israeli affairs. The American media has had no problem castigating Americans on the so called ills of their Western Society over the years, even culminating in this election cycle by suggesting that White Americans who do not support massive illegal immigration or who will not support a black presidential candidate in Barrack Obama are evil white racists. The MSM has likewise had no qualms about being outright critical of the American military or America’s role in conflicts when they think that America can easily be scapegoated as in the case with the Iraq war. However, the double standard truely shows in their coverage of Israeli conflicts, like the glowing praise that Israel receives despite its aggressor status against its Palestinian population or pro Israel slant in the recent Lebanon conflict, and the recent Georgian conflict where Israeli and American Advisors coupled with the Zionist government of Georgia led an aggressive assault on the people of South Ossetia and Russian Peacekeepers. The coverage of Israel’s posturing towards Iran is given almost the same positive spin by the American MSM.

  3. Hatuxka said on August 15th, 2008 at 11:06am #

    Bob Simon was the CBS correspondent stationed in or most frequently reporting from Israel when I used to watch CBS News. This is all proof positive that those predisposed toward holding Israel in high esteem, despite the unlawfulness, injustice and attrocities they must have seen or know about being done by Israel are placed to report on Israel or who, being stationed in Israel proper, developed or had further developed an unseemly, dishonorable bias toward that apartheid entity. Sickening.

  4. Larry Saltzman said on August 15th, 2008 at 11:07am #

    The article is an excellent assessment of the sorry state of journalism in this country in relationship to Israel. Thanks to the efforts of the Christian and Jewish Zionist lobby, both politicians and journalists are afraid to say or write anything that is remotely critical of Israel.

  5. A said on August 15th, 2008 at 2:08pm #

    Here is proof that our media is zionist controlled!

  6. kenny said on August 15th, 2008 at 2:21pm #

    “For a news organization to agree to censorship when covering a story is rather unusual.”

    c’mon now, thats not a very informed statement. News organizations agree to censorship all the time. Anytime they blur someones face or otherwise hide their identity, its censorship. Anytime they film inside a police station or military base and blur out the computer screens or show closed, no-access doors, its censorship. Technically, every story about someone who doesn’t provide full and complete answers to every question is a censored one. CBS along with every other news outlet would gladly accept some censorship and run the story and make ad dollars, rather than say ‘no thanks, if you censor we won’t air it”

    How about dispensing with the naivete, thanks.

  7. cg said on August 15th, 2008 at 4:50pm #

    You mean like this?

  8. bozhidar balkas said on August 16th, 2008 at 7:10am #

    angry amer,
    over two decades, i have stated over and over again that zionism is one of the worst ideogies or movements that ever befell human race.
    what US ruling class-probably about 5mn people- fear/abhor more than any other ism is socialism.
    the rulers also fear/hate any democratization anywhere but especially in US.
    israel, according to chomsky, is no longer socialist; it is a classful society; possibly exact copy of US.
    it may be that kissinger, larry king, greenspan, albright, et al euros with torahic faith, are a tad left of marx.
    however, evidence points out to a different conclusion. i conclude, in view how much US plutos hate socialism/democracy, that albright, lieberman, kissinger wld have never gotten that far unless they towed the line; i.e., uncle sam’s longstanding domestic and foreign pops: domestic pop with lies miseducation and foreign pop with missiles, bombs, invasions, threats.
    i do not know how many euro-asian with judaic faith support uncle sam.
    you’re welcome to supply the numbers. thank u

  9. bozhidar balkas said on August 16th, 2008 at 12:53pm #

    “Perhaps kissinger, albright, lieberman may be right of marx” in the above post i wrote “they may be a tad left of marx”
    being left of marx, what wld that entail?

  10. america_first said on August 17th, 2008 at 1:29pm #

    funny that this is not on google top message boards caved to jewish anti-def. league they changed their whole message board site..also if you post a word with jew or jewish in it the post it is can not post a response for la times or ny times news that is always on google..if it has anything negative about israel, jews or jewish in it. it will not be posted..all ap news now goes through israel first and israel then puts it on the news wires. you can not watch a movie or a sitcom without the word jew,jewish,bar mitzvah,jewish wedding,rabbi,jewish word,etc in it.(brainwashing) the more you see and hear the more common it becomes. always positive,never negative and always the victim or hero. news and shows commentators..howie mandel, maury povich,jerry springer,ricki lake,sally jesse rafeal,larry king,howard stern

  11. america_first said on August 17th, 2008 at 1:31pm #

    MORTIMER ZUCKERMAN, owner of NY Daily News, US News & World Report and chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, one of the largest pro-Israel lobbying groups.

    LESLIE MOONVES, president of CBS television, great-nephew of David Ben-Gurion, and co-chair with Norman Ornstein of the Advisory Committee on Public Interest Obligation of Digital TV Producers, appointed by Clinton.

    JONATHAN MILLER, chair and CEO of AOL division of AOL-Time-Warner

    NEIL SHAPIRO, president of NBC News

    JEFF GASPIN, Executive Vice-President, Programming, NBC

    DAVID WESTIN, president of ABC News

    SUMNER REDSTONE, CEO of Viacom, “world’s biggest media giant” (Economist, 11/23/2) owns Viacom cable, CBS and MTVs all over the world, Blockbuster video rentals and Black Entertainment TV.

    MICHAEL EISNER, major owner of Walt Disney, Capitol Cities, ABC.

    RUPERT MURDOCH, Owner Fox TV, New York Post, London Times, News of the World (Jewish mother)

    MEL KARMAZIN, president of CBS

    DON HEWITT, Exec. Director, 60 Minutes, CBS

    JEFF FAGER, Exec. Director, 60 Minutes II. CBS

    DAVID POLTRACK, Executive Vice-President, Research and Planning, CBS

    SANDY KRUSHOW, Chair, Fox Entertainment

    LLOYD BRAUN, Chair, ABC Entertainment

    BARRY MEYER, chair, Warner Bros.

    SHERRY LANSING. President of Paramount Communications and Chairman of Paramount Pictures’ Motion Picture Group.

    HARVEY WEINSTEIN, CEO. Miramax Films.

    BRAD SIEGEL., President, Turner Entertainment.

    PETER CHERNIN, second in-command at Rupert Murdoch’s News. Corp., owner of Fox TV

  12. AJ Nasreddin said on August 18th, 2008 at 2:59am #

    CBS has been the government mouthpiece for decades. Why is anyone so surprised at its doing its job?

  13. TBONE said on August 21st, 2008 at 9:47am #

    What a world, what a world.
    Expose the connections of one corrupt admin. to another and still the “sheep-ple” are too STUPID to be outraged!
    Israel, Pakistan, Georgia : the newest co-conspirators revealed.
    But whoever controls the Media, controls the TRUTH.
    And the TRUTH might upset some people.
    So the concerned citizen HAS to wade through an overwhelming deluge of crap and Misinformation to get to anything vaguely related to actual facts.

    We sell DEATH, plain and simple. Weapons, Chemicals, and FEAR.
    We take what we want. Oil, Real Estate etc. They don’t cooperate.
    We wack ’em.
    one way or another
    We Wack ’em.

    What will wake the sheep-ple ? ? ?
    What a world, what a world.

  14. american said on October 20th, 2008 at 3:12pm #

    What about those “hero” israeli pilots who blew up the USS Liberty, an AMERICAN ship. israel will stop at nothing in their aims to control the middle east and get rid of the arabs, even killing innocent US civilians and servicemen.