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Netanyahu's Likud set to limit Israel's freedom of the press (Ha'aretz editorial)

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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 08:24 PM
Original message
Netanyahu's Likud set to limit Israel's freedom of the press (Ha'aretz editorial)
Over the last few years, Channel 10 has published several investigative reports on Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, so it's only natural that the prime minister would take a jaundiced view of the station.

Haaretz Editorial


At the request of several lawmakers, the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee is due tomorrow to hold a revote on Channel 10 television's request to defer payment of its debt to the state by one year. The debt in question comprises royalty payments and licensing fees, and the channel's management has made it clear that failure to postpone the payment will lead to the closure of the station.

Over the last few years, Channel 10 has published several investigative reports on Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, so it's only natural that the prime minister would take a jaundiced view of the station. And last week, when the Knesset panel rejected the station's request, Likud members voted against the request unanimously.

Did Netanyahu order his party's MKs to vote against the channel's request and thereby bring about its closure? One of his close associates was quoted by Haaretz as saying that if the station's senior analyst, Raviv Drucker, were to vacate his post, the Likud would likely change its position.

Channel 10 was founded with the aspiration of being an alternative to Channel 2. But in this regard, the station has been a resounding failure: Aside from its relatively lively news company, nothing distinguishes it from its rival commercial channel, with all its idols and quiz shows.

Nevertheless, the station's closure, and especially that of its news corporation, would deal a mortal blow to freedom of the press. A situation in which the country has only one television news network, with no real competition from the public broadcasting station, would be dangerous.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/netanyahu-s-likud-set-to-limit-israel-s-freedom-of-the-press-1.395613
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aranthus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Some questions to think about.
Is there any evidence that the government would extend the debt were it not for the station's attacks on Netanyahu? For example, has the government extended the debt of any other station? Did it extend the debt of this station at some time before the perceived attacks on Bibi?

Is there any evidence that the station could pay the debt within the year?

Does the government subsidize any other station or media outlet?

If the answer to all of these questions is "no," then I don't think Ha'aretz has a legitimate beef. A free press is supposed to pay for itself, not rely on the government giving it a pass on its debts.

On the other hand, if some of the answers are "yes," then Likud has some explaining to do.

I don't have the answers to those questions, and Ha'aretz doesn't even consider the questions. It seems to assume that government should subsidize the press, and that if it doesn't then that's censorship. Ha'aretz is wrong about all of that.
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 04:51 PM
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2. Why can't they just pay the fees?
I'm not sure I am understanding how the headline relates to the article.
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aranthus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 05:27 PM
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3. Presumably because they aren't making enough money.
Not every radio or television station makes it. So why should the government carry them?
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. especially ones facing this-Netanyahu Sues Channel 10, Maariv for 1M Shekels Each
Edited on Wed Nov-16-11 05:39 PM by azurnoir
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has filed libel lawsuits against television Channel 10 and the newspaper Maariv, for 1 million shekels each. The lawsuit against Channel 10 concerns a report aired by the channel, about a 2005 document that allegedly lists the donors to one of Netanyahu's political campaigns.

The lawsuit against Maariv concerns an allegation that the Netanyahu and his wife Sarah spent 60,000 shekels on a single meal, for which they were reimbursed by guests from abroad.

The lawsuit against Channel 10 calls the report there "a lie."

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/143210#.TsQ6pVYZ6y8


eta this story is dated Mar 29, 2011
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aranthus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. He's not allowed to sue?
I'm not understanding the big hue and cry over all of this. It's not an attack on free speech to sue for libel, nor is it anti-press to require that they pay their licensing fees.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Did I say it was an "attack on free speech" or that Netanyahu was not allowed to sue? Nope
The comment was about one of the reason(s) why channel 10 could be in dire financial straights
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oberliner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-17-11 04:28 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. So then how is that an attack on freedom of the press?
It just seems like an attack on not paying back money owed.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-16-11 05:58 PM
Response to Original message
5. The New Israel Fund, and some other organizations like Yachad, are suggesting that people write to
Prime Minister Netanyahu, with concerns about press freedom limitations (this goes beyond this specific example)

http://action.nif.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8286
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