We don't need the current investigation into the phone conversations between PM Netanyahu and editor of Israel's most sold daily newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, to know that Yediot is not printing real news. And the most popular free newspaper in Israel, Israel Today, is not printing real news, either.
Every newspaper has an agenda – and that is fine. Just like every computer has operating software, we need a hole through which to view reality. When we choose a newspaper, we choose the hole. It is absolutely fine for the Makor Rishon newspaper to show the rightist aspects of the issues and for Ha'aretz to highlight the leftist aspects of the same picture. We choose the ideological angle that suits us.
Israel Today, however, is not giving us an ideological angle. It is giving us a personal angle. Israel Today is a paper established and funded in order to serve a particular politician. This does not mean that its reports are not true. But its agenda is a personal one. Whatever is good for Netanyahu is in; whatever is bad for him is out. That may be fine for pop magazines or teen sports weeklies, but certainly not for a daily newspaper. Instead, Israel Today is the mouthpiece of a one-man party.
When Israel Today owner Sheldon Adelson bought the Makor Rishon newspaper, I stopped reading it, as well. It is simply impossible that the journalists being supported by Adelson will write what they really think about the current allegations against Netanyahu. And why isn't Yediot Aharonot a real newspaper?
"Courage" shouted the front-page headline in the paper's Tuesday edition, following the truck ramming terror attack in Jerusalem in which four soldiers were murdered. Was the photograph next to the headline the picture of the hero who stormed the truck after he was injured? Eitan (who did not hesitate for one moment) was thrown into the mud by the speeding truck, but did not lose consciousness. He took cursory inventory of his body, discovered that his pistol was still on him, bounced back, stood up, understood the situation, ran to the truck, approached it from the other side, came up under the driver's cabin, drew his pistol, tried to shoot, unjammed his gun and emptied his cartridge into the driver's cabin.
I thought that under the "Courage" headline, I would find Eitan's photograph; the picture of the civilian who, despite the fact that it was not his job and despite the fact that he was injured, exemplified unparalleled responsibility, took his life in his hands and saved the IDF cadets from a continuing terror rampage.
But the photograph in the "newspaper" was of a pretty officer who was inside the bus when the attack began – and remained there. She shot at the truck from the inside of the bus (at an angle, which, from a superficial view of the security film, could not have been effective).
"OK," I said to myself. "A paper has to sell copies. The photo of the pretty officer who also shot at the terrorist sells more copies. Legitimate. Surely I will find Eitan on the inside. I turned page after page. Eitan had disappeared. The hero of the attack was deleted…did not exist…
If Yediot had provided the information for me, in addition to all its commentary and its own angle – I would accept it. But that is not the DNA of this business propaganda organ. Yediot chose to rewrite reality. With all due respect, that is not a newspaper.