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Media Analyses





C-SPAN Watch


Send your feedback to CAMERA: c-span-watch@camera.org
 
 
C-SPAN’s Washington Journal: A Platform for Defaming Israel and the Jewish People
 
Thoughtful, informed callers are urged to phone Washington Journal for airing on the broadcast in order to help balance off numerous Journal callers dedicated to defaming Israel and the Jewish people. C-SPAN often later repeats on the same day one or more of the Journal 7-10 AM live segments including the phone calls.
 
Phone numbers for on-air calls to Washington Journal (January 2014):
 
Democrats 202-585-3880, Republicans 202-585-3881, Independents 202-585-3882. In addition, another line, 202-585-3883, is occasionally offered for other categories such as "outside United States." Note: A number of callers to Washington Journal, using the Republican line, voice un-Republican sounding political positions. This usage of the Republican line is probably prompted by callers experiencing the much busier Democrat and Independent lines. Otherwise, contact C-SPAN at journal@c-span.org, facebook.com/cspan or twitter.com/cspanwj.
 
According to the C-SPAN Web site, an estimated 28,500,000 viewers tune in to the network each week – making it an information source of considerable influence. Among its programs is Washington Journal, broadcast daily from 7-10 AM.

In recent years, the program has become a platform for anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic callers who are rarely, if ever, interrupted or challenged by the channel’s hosts. The themes of many such callers are the stereotypical charges of Jewish manipulation of U.S. foreign policy and the U.S. economy, and Israeli oppression of Arabs. The callers frequently promote anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic Web sites by name, encouraging listeners to visit. Among these are American sites as well as the Iran's PressTV site.

Occasionally, guest speakers – journalists, authors, academics, government officials – offer information that counters these distortions and falsehoods. But C-SPAN hosts themselves almost invariably sit mute or even, at times, reinforce the bigoted rants. It's left to the occasional pro-Israel caller, sometimes self-identified Christians, to provide moments of rationality. No other ethnic or religious group has been subjected to such continuous and virulent defamation on the network.

Moreover, to date, C-SPAN has stonewalled all efforts to discuss this problem, while the hate-filled calls continue.

C-SPAN was created as a public service to provide Americans with unfiltered access to the political process, including airing Congressional sessions, hearings, press conferences, interviews and the like. It describes its mission and funding this way:

C-SPAN is a private, non-profit company, created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service. Our mission is to provide public access to the political process. C-SPAN receives no government funding; operations are funded by fees paid by cable and satellite affiliates who carry C-SPAN programming.

Below is a chronology of anti-Semitic and/or extreme anti-Zionist utterances by C-SPAN callers beginning in November 2008. Although C-SPAN supposedly enforces a 30-day rule to prevent individuals from calling more than once a month, this policy is often flouted with regard to anti-Israel/anti-Semitic callers. Two individuals, in particular, have been heard frequently – giving different names and hometowns – with C-SPAN hosts allowing them on the air. In the listing, the term "frequent caller" designates someone who is heard more often than once a month. Again, the hosts make no effort to deny these callers access to C-SPAN listeners.
 
Videos of C-SPAN Washington Journal segments may be viewed here

CAMERA's Chronicle of Anti-Israel and Anti-Semitic Comment on C-SPAN's Washington Journal

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
September-October 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 

July-August 2009

 
 

C-SPAN and its patrons

Washington Journal, C-SPAN's daily public affairs and call-in show, with millions of potential viewers (C-SPAN claims 28 million weekly viewers), has been given a free pass for too many years on the failure of its hosts to challenge the prejudiced allegations of antisemitic, anti-Zionist callers (or the occasional guest). C-SPAN stands for “Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network.”

According to the network, “C-SPAN receives no funding from any government. C-SPAN's operating revenues come from license fees paid by cable systems and satellite companies that offer the network to their customers.” These companies pay a fixed fee per subscriber per month so that the largest payments to C-SPAN are from those companies with the largest numbers of customers. The top three companies are (in order): Comcast Cable, DirectTV, Time Warner Cable. Neil Smit (Neil_Smit@cable.comcast.com) is President of Comcast Cable and most prominent member of C-SPAN's five-member board of directors executive committee. Michael White (mdwhite@directv.com) is CEO of DirecTV. A complete list of C-SPAN's board of directors (along with photos) is at the network's Web site.

Courteous, concise e-mails should urge C-SPAN's patrons to make clear to C-SPAN executives that Washington Journal must not continue providing a platform to haters of Jews and the Jewish state. C-SPAN's chief executives are Susan Swain (sswain@c-span.org) and Rob Kennedy(rkennedy@c-span.org).


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