We think so. Israel’s Government Press Office has called out CBS in the recent past for what it has called inaccurate, willful or otherwise, reports on various stories related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our view is the GPO didn’t go far enough.
One short October ago, the author of this post was interviewed on CBS. Contessa Brewer did a commendably fine job of presenting all sides of what is actually a rather simple story. However, I found it odd that the segment did not air more than a single time on an otherwise slow news day. That raises suspicion of an institutional bias against content that is perceived somewhere by management to tilt pro-Israel.
However, calling out the Palestinian Authority for tolerating an atmosphere of incitement against Israel and in particular Israeli civilians is not “pro-Israel”..it’s called responsible reportage. If you find that hard to accept, then you need an education on Middle East history. Now, look at this:
That’s a screenshot of the Twitter profile page of CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers. For those of you who don’t get at first glance what that pair of photos is attempting to telegraph, allow us to deconstruct it for you:
The larger photo depicts your trusty “Parisian” (whatever that means–I wrote three books on Paris and helped launch the France24 television station but would never debase myself by calling myself a Parisian, because I agree with Mark Twain that the French have lots of style but no morals) laying his ostensibly objective paws, or one of them, on the shoulder of an IDF officer. That’s a no-no, and disrespectful in any country. But disrespect is part of the message Duthiers is trying to send.
Because the inset photo shows Duthiers standing in front of a group of people brandishing Palestinian flags, probably at a rally, more likely a riot given the Palestinian penchant for them. And while Duthiers is “standing up” for these people who are if not in whole then regrettably certainly in part terrorist sympathizers, he’s showing to all who would look that he’s ready to push around, to the extent that he can do it without getting in too much hot water, that representative of the Israeli military. Who is doing his job to protect Israelis against the potential for violent escalation. I guess some people have a problem with public safety?
Then there’s the body positioning: Duthiers profile stance telegraphs opposition to the Israeli soldier, while he perceives himself as front and center for the faux-oppressed.
This craven attempt to look cool is a colossal fail. Where is the Israeli flag, btw? Or was he wearing those sunglasses indoors when they wrote the word “OBJECTIVITY” on the chalkboard at Columbia? We reached out to Vlad’s Executive Producer Moshe Oinounou, who looks like a slimmer version of Jimmy Kimmel but he did not respond to our request for comment.
Our view: it’s clear that all networks have biases and CBS is certainly not alone in this respect. However, they have some work to do. And if one of their correspondents or anchors has a personal bias toward one or another party in a conflict, that is their prerogative. However, Vladmir Duthier’s Twitter page is clearly biased against Israel, and as such and as long he self-identifies as working for CBS on that page, that page needs to be modified to present a fair and balanced view.
Also CBS, where is that Contessa Brewer? Bring her back. Not only is she smart but folks, she foxy!