CNN’s Hitler-Loving Freelancer Is a Symptom of a Dangerous Media Problem

Much was made this last week of the discovery that CNN had been using the services of Pakistani freelancer Adeel Raja. Raja, notoriously, was discovered to have been tweeting praise for —  you can’t make it up —  Hitler. 

The Daily Caller’s Greg Price unearthed 54 articles under Raja’s byline at CNN dating back to 2014. At one point, Raja spewed, “The only reason I am supporting Germany in the finals is – Hitler was a German and he did good with those jews [sic]!”

There’s also this: 

NewsBusters own Nicholas Fondacaro smartly noted an earlier CNN problem with anti-Semitism, writing this: 

“Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time a CNNer from the Middle East had spewed vile anti-Semitism. As NewsBusters reported in 2019, a photo editor named Mohammed Elshamy was fired after tweets from 2011 showed him celebrating the deaths of “4 jewish [sic] pigs” who were killed by Hamas. “HAMAS HAMAS HAMAS #Anti-Israel #Gaza #Palestine #Hamas,” another tweet cheered.”

And then there was The New York Times. Recall this headline from The Hill in 2019 (and there were similar headlines all over the place): “NY Times Opinion apologizes for cartoon depicting anti-Semitic tropes.” 

The story reported this: 

“The New York Times Opinion section on Saturday apologized for a political cartoon that included anti-Semitic tropes.

The image, published in the international print edition of Thursday’s paper, featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog wearing a Star of David collar leading President Trump, who is wearing a skullcap and dark glasses.”

Not to be forgotten was that there was a second cartoon incident with The Times, as reported here by the UK Sun. The headline: 

MORE TIMES FURY New York Times publishes ANOTHER ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon just days after sketch of Trump and Israel’s PM sparks outrage

The latest caricature of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has been widely condemned.

That story reported this: 

“The New York Times was last night AGAIN accused of antisemitism over an offensive cartoon – just days after the paper sparked global outrage for a similar drawing.

Readers reacted with fury after a caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holding a tablet with a Star of David was published on Saturday.”

Not to be forgotten is this week’s revelation that the Associated Press – for years – was sharing an office building with Hamas. Fox News headlined the news this way: 

A 2014 Atlantic report claimed Hamas fighters regularly ‘burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it.’

The story quoted the AP response as follows: 

“‘We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building,’ AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement. ‘This is something we actively check to the best of our ability. We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk.’”

That 2014 AP story in The Atlantic was remarkable for its admission of the ties between the AP and a seriously unprofessional disdain for Israel. The story, among other things, quotes “the radio and print journalist Mark Lavie” – a longtime on-the-ground observer of Israel and Palestine. 

Lavie says he 

“…believes that in the last years of his career, the AP’s Israel operation drifted from its traditional role of careful explanation toward a kind of political activism that both contributed to and fed off growing hostility to Israel worldwide. ‘The AP is extremely important, and when the AP turned, it turned a lot of the world with it,’ Lavie said. ‘That’s when it became harder for any professional journalist to work here, Jewish or not. I reject the idea that my dissatisfaction had to do with being Jewish or Israeli. It had to do with being a journalist.’ 

….When Hamas’s leaders surveyed their assets before this summer’s round of fighting, they knew that among those assets was the international press. The AP staff in Gaza City would witness a rocket launch right beside their office, endangering reporters and other civilians nearby—and the AP wouldn’t report it, not even in AP articles about Israeli claims that Hamas was launching rockets from residential areas. (This happened.) Hamas fighters would burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it.”

Taken altogether what is clearly evident is that the liberal media has an underlying problem with the self-same and decidedly vivid anti-Semitism that is coming from various left-wing members of the Democrat caucus in the House. Not to mention the same problem with anti-Semitism that Fox reports this way: 

US seeing wave of ‘textbook anti-Semitism’ amid Israel-Gaza tensions

Israel-Gaza conflict has generated disturbing backlash against American Jews

When CNN is forced – twice – to fire people because of blatant anti-Semitism, and The New York Times has to apologize for running blatantly self-evident anti-Semitic cartoons? When the AP is seen by Hamas as an “asset” and uses a location “right beside” the AP office to launch rockets – and the AP refuses to report this? As the old US astronaut lingo might put it: Houston, we have a problem.

Note well that Raja’s tweets dated all the way back to 2014 – a full seven years ago. And yet somehow these tweets escaped CNN’s notice? 

I don’t really doubt that they did escape CNN’s notice. The real question is….why?

No, I’m not suggesting that CNN is anti-Semitic. I am suggesting that anti-Semitism is simply ignored by liberals in the media – when it comes from the Left. 

Times columnist Bret Stephens touched on exactly this problem when the cartoon incident exploded at his paper in 2019. Stephens’ headline:

A Despicable Cartoon in The Times

The paper of record needs to reflect deeply on how it came to publish anti-Semitic propaganda.

Wrote Stephens (bold print for emphasis supplied): 

“As prejudices go, anti-Semitism can sometimes be hard to pin down, but on Thursday the opinion pages of The New York Times international edition provided a textbook illustration of it.

Except that the Times wasn’t explaining anti-Semitism. It was purveying it.

It did so in the form of a cartoon, provided to the newspaper by a wire service and published directly above an unrelated column by Tom Friedman, in which a guide dog with a prideful countenance and the face of Benjamin Netanyahu leads a blind, fat Donald Trump wearing dark glasses and a black yarmulke. Lest there be any doubt as to the identity of the dog-man, it wears a collar from which hangs a Star of David.

Here was an image that, in another age, might have been published in the pages of Der Stürmer. The Jew in the form of a dog. The small but wily Jew leading the dumb and trusting American. The hated Trump being Judaized with a skullcap. The nominal servant acting as the true master. The cartoon checked so many anti-Semitic boxes that the only thing missing was a dollar sign.

…The problem with the cartoon isn’t that its publication was a willful act of anti-Semitism. It wasn’t. The problem is that its publication was an astonishing act of ignorance of anti-Semitism — and that, at a publication that is otherwise hyper-alert to nearly every conceivable expression of prejudice, from mansplaining to racial microaggressions to transphobia.”

Bingo.

What is at play in the Leftist media today is that it is either guilty of “astonishing act(s) of ignorance of anti-Semitism” or, as is the case with those House Democrats who have tolerated the decidedly vivid anti-Semitism of The Squad and its various cheerleaders, they choose to deliberately overlook it. Now, as Fox News reports, America as a whole is suddenly being confronted with the problem.

Over twenty years ago – say again over 20 years ago – the leftist UK Guardian featured an Op-Ed with this headline: “Israel simply has no right to exist.” 

Six years ago in 2015 the Jewish publication aish.com headlined this story: “4 Reasons Why the Media is Biased against Israel.” 

Those four reasons were listed as follows:

1. Favoring the Underdog

2. Intimidation of Journalists 

3. Political messaging 

And last but certainly not least: 

4. Anti-Semitism

The article ended by saying this: 

“Today, Israel is under siege from all sides – from Iran, Hezbollah, BDS and Palestinian terror. It’s time to wake up and confront the media’s insidious contribution to this war.”

Exactly. This was true six years ago. It was true twenty years ago.

And as this latest episode with CNN illustrates, it is true right now. 

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