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You Don’t Have to See Hate to Believe It

Posted on March 9 2011 1:33 pm
Hannah Sternberg is a writer and video editor in Washington, DC. Her first novel, Queens of All the Earth, will be released this June by Bancroft Press. Learn more at
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The most stoic of under-rock dwellers will be shocked to be informed that NPR is anti-Zionist.

I’m not referring here to people who have missed James O’Keefe’s latest undercover stunt; rather, I write of people who have never paid attention to NPR. When Ron Schiller laughed along with the undercover bloggers about the aptness of the nickname “National Palestinian Radio,” what I found most chilling was not the discovery of Mr. Schiller’s personal views, but their predictability. The nickname isn’t new.

“…CNN[] lends its platform to the likes of Erick Erickson and Lou Dobbs but snap-fires anyone who doesn’t genuflect before AIPAC’s hall monitors…”

That quote isn’t from the James O’Keefe video released this week. It’s from a 2010 opinion piece by Leslie Savan written for The Nation and reposted on, in defense of Rick Sanchez after his infamous remark that the media is owned by Jews. Interestingly, in defending Sanchez, Savan falls under Sanchez’s delusion: that he was fired for his remark because it angered the Jewish/Israel lobby that runs the media.

The radio outlet that fired Juan Williams for expressing a personal opinion on another network that, only when selectively quoted, appears to suggest bigotry nonetheless republishes an apologetic for a Jewish-conspiracy theorist. And the author doesn’t defend Sanchez by shrugging and rolling her eyes, dismissing his remarks as those of the bumbling, befuddled fool most news watchers have come to know Sanchez is. Instead, Savan’s article—republished and thus legitimated by—suggests that if it weren’t for the intimidation of the all-powerful Israel lobby, poor hapless Sanchez would still have a job. Her headline proclaims that Sanchez was “bullied” into making anti-Semitic remarks. Such reasoning represents the “objective,” “balanced” discourse that NPR sets out to promote.

That’s why, when I watched the James O’Keefe undercover video, my first thought was, “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.”

Nor should it be a surprise that when Mr. Schiller made his claim that Jews own all the newspapers and control their content, it wasn’t an affirmation of a suggestion planted by one of the undercover bloggers—it was what Mr. Schiller believed to be a correction of one of their statements. Mr. Schiller was eager to reassure his potential donors that not all radio media is controlled and funded by the Jewish conspiracy: that’s why NPR needs your support.

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