Maariv, one of Israel’s leading newspapers, is on the verge of closing, and Ha’aretz, a far left-wing newspaper, is also under threat of closure – and that’s life in the big leagues. Israel is a small country which has a relatively large number of media outlets, so it’s not a surprise that media will have a shake-out. One wonders why newspapers being closed in a small market like Israel is worthy of international media headlines, including in The New York Times, The Guardian and other major outlets.
The answer is clear – just as Al Gore invented the Internet, if you read media reports one may believe that one of the richest Jews in the world, conservative Sheldon Adelson, is responsible for the fact that amongst other reasons, digital media is hurting print newspapers worldwide. All over the world, newspapers are seeing layoffs and feeling the effects of the economic malaise – why should anyone be surprised that it affects Israeli media?
Sheldon Adelson believes in free-enterprise and founded a free newspaper five years ago, Israel Hayom, which today has the largest weekday distribution of any Hebrew paper. Fair and square, Israel Hayom has defeated other ideological papers — including Ha’aretz (which the Prime Minister of Israel deemed an enemy of Israel and is owned by ideological far-leftists). Just as Ha’aretz invested millions in pursuit of its ideology and business to express its freedom (and money), so too did Adelson.
This is free-market economics, like it or not, and Adelson has no monopoly. Mainstream media ignore the fact that George Soros, a far-leftist who recently said, “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States,” is the one who has financial affiliations with more than 30 mainstream news outlets – including The New York Times, Washington Post, and ABC. Prominent journalists like Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times and the vice president of the Washington Post, and others serve on boards of organizations that take millions from Soros.
In 2007, conservative billionaire Rupert Murdoch paid $5 billion for the Wall Street Journal—and now, the value is less, and some economists have said the Wall Street Journal was a bad financial investment. Should Murdoch blame liberals? A recent documentary by filmmaker Mark Birnbaum, “Stop the Presses: The American Newspaper in Peril,” showed the rash of closed American papers – and in Israel it’s no different.
Despite the whining of the liberal elite, “mainstream” media worldwide is indeed biased and left-wing – and Adelson has said, “We are too fair. We intended to make it fair and balanced because the other newspapers are so far to the left. The problem in education and in the press is that everybody is to the left.” And he has further added, “What political involvement? I am not involved politically in Israel. Period.” Everything Adelson has done is fair – he is simply a principled, driven man who believes it is his right to influence people.
Sheldon Adelson has said: “I suppose you could say that I live on Vince Lombardi’s belief: ‘Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.’ So, I do whatever it takes, as long as it’s moral, ethical, principled, legal.” That’s the way of the world and business, and it works that way even when the liberals don’t win.
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