Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Obama Crackdown on the Jewish Media Begins

Call it Scenes from the Obama Revolution Part 2. It's happening quietly and under the radar but there is a pattern to it is a bit similar for it to be completely random. Editors and staff working for local Jewish papers that have run articles critical of Obama have been receiving hostile phone calls.

While critical phone calls are not unusual when you're working on a newspaper, these phone calls are not from random readers, they are coming from lawyers and sometimes doctors who wield influence in the community and may often be advertisers. Typical talking points for these phone calls typically warn against running any further critical articles of Obama "now that he is President", emphasize that most Jews voted for Obama and emphasize that "we must unite behind him" or there may be "consequences to our community."

The phone calls are conducted with a brashness and rudeness that smack of Rahm Emanuel. A not atypical closing section from a phone call received by the editor of a Jewish newspaper not too far away from Obama's home base ran like this.

Caller: Who the hell does he think is writing things like this about Obama?

Editor: He is a respected journalist who is a Holocaust survivor and has been appearing with us for many years.

Caller: As far as I'm concerned he's garbage! You can't run any articles by him again, not until he moderates his position.

Editor: This is a free country, you can have your opinion and he can have his opinion.

Caller: No he can't!

The objectionable article was a fairly mild piece that pointed out Obama's lack of experience. The caller was not some random reader, but a fairly influential local figure. One or two such incidents could be put down to random moonbattery trickling up, but I'm hearing of more and more similar phone calls. And I'm seeing more and more Jewish papers that had formerly criticized Obama "moderating" their position.

To what extent is this an orchestrated campaign to silence opposition in Jewish newspapers, those that at any point did oppose Obama, there is no way to know. But the outcome can nevertheless be seen on many editorial pages, and with Carter talking about Obama's plan to tackle the middle east early on, it can be seen as clearing the decks and intimidating the Jewish press at large into remaining silent.

All this makes the function of the Jewish blogsphere all the more vital in the months ahead, to maintain our function as a voice of opposition to Obama's Pro-Hamas and Pro-terrorist policies. Hamas has already admitted that Obama's advisors were meeting with them, and there will no doubt be much worse revelations to come.

This situation is not unique to the Jewish community. The Cuban community will likely find itself similarly intimidated in preparation for Obama's coming change of policy on Cuba. Israel may top the list of free countries that Obama intends to stab in the back on behalf of his pro-terrorist policies, but Columbia is on the list, and the list includes what's left of the free world.

But the Jewish community's influence in American politics is an obstacle for Obama. The Obama junta's approach to dealing with that, has been to maintain the illusion of a Jewish consensus backed by the widely circulated phony high 70's figure of Jewish votes for Obama. This is being followed by a quiet campaign of intimidation intended to silence anyone who isn't on board. Dissidents will be branded as "racists" with stories already running on this theme and numerous more set to go.

The way is being cleared for Obama to take power and begin the destruction of Israel. Silence only serves his agenda. Blogs have an independence that the print media does not have. We don't have advertisers that we answer to or community organizations whose cooperation we need. We are not owned by families with vested business interests. We can speak out and join our voices together against the growing night.


Keli Ata said...

Excellent article. You're right. What's happening with these phone calls to Jewish newspaper seems much to systematic and hardly random. Whether it's part of an organized plot (oh how I hate using the word plot) or mass hysteria or brainwashing I don't know.

What I do know, however, is that there is a tremendous amount of paranoia to any criticism of Obama, that has seeped into newsrooms large and small.

I've experienced hostility at the paper I work for. Most recently, we printed a letter to the editor from a lady complaining about Obama's birth certificate. This lady writes a lot--about everything from their not being enough park benches at the park near her apartment complex to complaints about too much car traffic on Black Friday.

Nobody ever gave her letters much attention--until her Obama-related letter.

You wouldn't believe the phone calls we got asking why we printed her letter.

Thank G-d for the blogosphere were people don't have to worry about editorial freedom.

(btw, TY for the Google Chrome link. I installed it and it's working great, including You Tube.)

Sultan Knish said...

yes, i suspect even letters to the editor will become more difficult now

keep in mind chrome is beta, but so long as it works for you

Maryanne Franchowski said...

Does saying that Obama's feet smell really really bad count as a negative thing to say?
Cuz they really do.
If you went to his rally and stood close to the stage, it wafted from his shoes even.
It was just..ewwww

Keli Ata said...

I'm not sure what beta is, but whatever it is it's working and I can watch videos without having to save them to my computer again.

Blogs are really the only place where voices of dissent have editorial freedom. I've experienced official government censorship as you know in dealing with the police years ago. I can't begin to describe the feelings of anger and powerlessness.

At least when I get complaints from criminals who don't like their names in the paper I can say, "The First Amendment" when they ask who gave me the right to put their name in the paper.

But this stuff with Obama reeks of Big Brother. The only thing I could really compare it to is the persecution and ultimate mob murder of pro abolitionist journalist/editor Elijah Parish Lovejoy in the late 1800s. Or the present attacks reporters and editors at small, particularly ethnic, newspaper are subjected to.

It could start with phone calls, but that's only the beginning. It would be a mistake to think it ends with phone calls and letters.

But as for government censorship and persecution I can say this--it leaves a scar. Once you've experienced it you never forget, which is why even though my relationship with cops has improved 100-percent in an interview with a journalism student I still felt the need to include that in my journalism history and pass it on to him.

And a friend who is a freelancer who has tackled public corruption and been arrested (and acquitted) 13 times will often speak of the prosecutor this way, " B.Z. who prosecuted me 13 times but is now my friend..." Every comment he makes about his new friend, now retired prosecutor B.Z. is prefaced with what he did to him despite their current amicable relationship.

In any event, whether mob generated by Obama cultists who feel they're defending themselves in defending him or government censorship it is a dark time for this country.

yitz.. said...

hi, i wonder what strategy they will choose with blogs, if there is a conspiracy, hacking and crashing your blog.

or will it be a mass of pro-obama anti-criticism commenters?.. or both?

Sultan Knish said...

I think for starters they'll try to shout you down, for larger blogs they may try to pass laws similar to israel that will make owners legally accountable for comments posted, creating a climate of fear and making blog owners paranoid about the opinions being expressed

we're also going to see a variety of laws, at least attempted, regulating "extremist speech" which will naturally also apply online

the supreme court may successfully shoot some of them down, but even so the threat of them alone will be enough to make many bloggers be wary of what they say

which is the goal

Sultan Knish said...

but a lot of it will be soft intimidation, important conservative bloggers called in for a talk with the FBI and told it's their responsibility to be moderate, monitor extreme behavior and to shun blogs that fail to follow along

Keli Ata said...

I think it will start with individual complaints, progress to mob action, and attempts to pass laws to quell any speech/writing perceived as incitement. Haven't Muslim groups already tried to pass a law on religious tolerance which would have made the publication of anything critical of Islam illegal?

For some reason that specific word--incitement-- keeps coming up in the Israeli media.

And at any point along the way the feds could call influential bloggers in for friendly chats to urge them to be more moderate and responsible.

What makes it troubling for bloggers is that unlike members of the working press bloggers for the most part do not often get the protection of media groups such as the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press or Committee to Protect Journalists.

It might be helpful for bloggers who write a lot on political matters to describe their blogs as online news magazines or something with the word "news" inserted into its description. Media protection groups might be more willing to help. And of course being published offline automatically gives a blogger some protection as a published freelancer.

As to why Obama's election has tapped into the dormant anti-semitism among his voters? I'm not really sure; I only know that he has.

I find it interesting and disturbing that no sooner had a photographer discovered a tiny Israeli flag in Sarah Palin's window bloggers were scurrying to find out if she had Jewish ancestry, to use as an accusation against her.

It sounds crazy but anyone who rejects the new messiah, Obama, as almost the reincarnation of JC, is regarded as a Pharisee.

Go to any Sunday school class or catechism class to see how Christians feel about the Pharisees. This could be why Obama's supporters are clamping down on the Jewish press in particular.

I know that sounds crazy but from comments and hostility I've gotten it seems like Christian supporters of Obama feel that way about those who don't support him, particularly those critical of his feelings about Israel.

K T Cat said...

What do you get when you combine the press, a political party and the government?

Il Duce!

Anonymous said...

I have a hard time with this article. What is the source? What newpapers received these calls? EVERY newspaper has recorders for their phones - NO ONE bothered to record ONE such call, so they could play it for the world? A call like that would be news and if these calls were really happening, Jewish papers would be PRAYING to get one of them so they could break the story. Sorry but somebody fed you some BS here. Of course, I doubt you'll post this comment as it blows the validity of this out of the water...

Sultan Knish said...

Not every newspaper has a recorder and such a phone call by itself is not news unless it came directly from the Obama campaign. It is the pattern of such phone calls that is more ominous.

Anonymous said...

There are many blogs critical of Obama and if there are newspapers critical of him, they know whom to tell, pass along a tidbit of information. If such intimidation is going on, a list of who phoned whom about what would soon be able to find a connecting link so I too find this story a little suspect.

Keli Ata said...

To anonymous:

Sultan is right on all counts. The newspaper I write for is very small and we don't have recorders on our phones.

It's the pattern of calls that are important here. And I can vouch somewhat for the validity of what Sultan wrote because if you'll scroll up you'll see the response my paper got from a simple letter to the editor which was critical of Obama.

This phenomenon is real and alarming.

Sultan doesn't have to reveal his sources for this story. I believe him.

The mainstream media are less likely to get such phone calls. It's the smaller outlets that are getting bullied and barraged with compliments against any insult real or imagined against King Obama.

Sultan Knish said...

re anonymous, information is being passed along slowly and connections may come out of that

whether it will be reported on is another matter

Yobeeone said...

I'm sure Hussein will do his best to make it sound like he's not behind the thugs calling, when he's no doubt behind it all.

What I'm waiting to see is if blogger eventually begins shutting down accounts that are anti-hussein. It wouldn't surprise me.

Great post, Sultan of Knish!

Sultan Knish said...

thank you

Keli Ata said...

Oops. I meant to write complaints about Obama not compliments.

Yo: I don't see blogger removing anti-Obama blogs but rather a rash of pro-Obbie blogs popping up. Strange that people are still defending him even after he won the election.

Regarding the harassing phone calls it may take a while for the newspapers to connect the dots and make the unusual move of banding together under the harassment.

For the newspapers that don't have recorders on their phones the devices are easy enough to purchase either from Radio Shack or (locally anyway) The Spy Store.

The way I see it, unless the harassment involves government pressure the only thing that would present a real danger to a newspaper would be if the pro-Obbie people boycotted the paper's advertisers.

That would be a death blow to small newspapers.

Sultan Knish said...

advertisers are a key issue here, since the calls are often coming from lawyers who advertise with the paper

Yael said...

Only slightly off topic: When people tell me that most Jews (78%) voted for Obama, I've gotten so I say, "Yeah, and most Jews in Europe (75%) were killed in a Holocaust." And when they talk about getting behind the president, I assure them that I will... just like they got behind Bush.

Anybody who lets themselves be intimidated at this point, only makes it harder for the rest of us. The real difficulty will come when (or optimistically - IF) the Obamanists establish that "national civilian security service." I hope I'm wrong, but I have the uncomfortable feeling that when literal push comes to literal shove, courage will be in high demand but short supply.

Sultan Knish said...

yes pretty much, and those who do buckle under send the signal that these kinds of tactics will work

and yes the worst is yet to come

Yobeeone said...

keli, but bearing in mind that hussein is a socialist, etc. anything is possible as far as censoring goes.

He's not pro-america. Heck, he's not even an American. Since he's not and he's shown by his confused platform that he wants this to be a socialist/communist society, how long will freedom of the press, etc. continue?

It's something to think about, anyway.

NRA members are thinking about freedoms we can lose under him. I'm meeting members of the NRA that don't own guns, but after hussein was elected went out and bought them.

There was a pretty significant rise in the sell of arms in redneck areas and elsewhere the day after elections.

Local papers were saying it was because of the fear he's going to try and take this freedom away. Civil War II coming eventually? LOL It could be. :]

Keli Ata said...

Excellent points Yobee.

After some troubles I've had with government censorship of my press freedoms a journalism professor at a college told me that journalism is the only profession that has a constitution to protect it--The First Amendment. People forget why freedom of expression is so important, but one only look at what's happening to the press in third world countries or under dictatorships.

A crack down on press freedom is a warning that crack downs on other freedoms are down the pike. It starts with the press and then proceeds to what rabbis and ministers can preach, and to what people can or cannot say in the workplace...then come the consequences.

These harassing phone calls Sultan is writing about are extremely important.

Civil War II? Could be. I think Obama is trying to take away other freedoms. Let's hope he gets elected out of office before he can do too much damage to the constitution.

Maggie M. Thornton said...

There is a great need for these local and regional papers to stand by their convictions. I know that may be hard to do, but they will lose far more by not doing so.

As we have watched Obama the past two years, I think we knew it would be this way. we are. We must take a stand. Of course, that's easy for me to say because I'm not in the same position.

With the press ignoring everything about this man - we don't even know if he is a natural born citizen. The MSM was complicit. The press has a useful purpose in this country, and they have abused the enormous priveleges we have bestowed upon them.

Many HAVE given up their newspapers in favor the web. I passionately believe this is the way to go. While we may read a major online, free publication, we have many, many other avenues for comparisons.

We have only one way to return the favor and that's to boycott them. Problem is, it never seems to work.

I don't know what's coming next, but nothing will surprise me.

Excellent piece Sultan. I didn't think it would start this soon. The suggestion that Emanuel might be behind it is interesting.

Sultan Knish said...

american thinker has an important article on what may be coming in that regard

Maggie M. Thornton said...

Sultan, thanks for this link to American Thinker. I recently posted on Rivera and his fervent hopes that localism will be the mechanism to change Conservative talk radio and implement "media justice."

Rivera is said to see communications as a "civil right," and when you read his writings at MMTC you can see this is a very big issue.

It is reported that Obama is not interested in a Fairness Doctrine, but if you take a look at his press secretary, Michael Ortiz', statement, it is not reassuring:

"He [Obama] considers this debate [Fairness Doctrine] to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible."

I believe localism is the engine that will drive the train.

Sultan Knish said...

I think it will be a constellation of attacks, many that would fail in practice but are meant to bully companies into removing conservative talk show hosts

the fairness doctrine is the big punch you see coming, localism and others like it will flow more under the radar

the media will naturally trumpet this change

David Ben-Ariel said...

Newspapers today, blogs tomorrow? They must love to hate my "Jewish" blogs that don't swoon over Herr Obama - the new Nimrod!

Batya said...

I just love these liberals, and there's nothing more "liberal" than a Jewish one.

I blog rather than trying to get the Jewish papers to publish me. Only one American one does on a regular basis.

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