On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher discussed a letter signed by journalists on media coverage of the Israel-Hamas war and stated that media coverage of the Israel-Hamas war “couldn’t be more pro-Hamas than it is now.”
New York Times columnist Pamela Paul said that no one at the Times signed the letter, and they’re not allowed to.
Maher responded, “But I bet you there [are] lots of people who work there who would, who wanted to.”
Paul cautioned, “I want to say about that particular letter…is this is by 750 journalists in the same way that open letters — you probably can tell if there’s an open letter in the TV industry, and you look down the names, you’d be like, that guy hasn’t made a show in years. You can look at this letter, a lot of them are not journalists, first of all. It’s similar to other open letters where they’ll say, contributors from The New York Times and a thousand have signed it, and you look and someone maybe wrote a book review 15 years ago and was never hired to do a book review again. A lot of the names on that list are not actual journalists, I just want to make that clear. … Some of them were. A lot of them didn’t — don’t have any affiliation, so they don’t have to worry about having any repercussions, because this is not the role of journalists.”
She added, “And that letter is couched in something that I do think is important to journalism, which is the opening part, which is to say that, I think it’s now at 37 journalists or people who work in the media generally have been killed in this conflict so far, which is tragic. And, obviously…most people don’t want journalists to die. But then, in the substance of the letter, it then goes on to — and what bothers me is they use the Times’ slogan, ‘without fear of favor’, but they go on to list a bunch of things that they would like the media to do to reframe the conversation, which is essentially in a more pro-Hamas direction.”
Maher responded, “It couldn’t be more pro-Hamas than it is now. They’re saying they want the newsrooms to adopt words such as ‘apartheid,’ I hear it all the time anyway. It’s wrong, and I hear it. ‘Genocide,’ again, wrong, Israel [is] not trying to commit genocide, the other side [is] blatantly saying, we would love to commit genocide on you.”
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