Monday, March 23, 2015

The Media Pilgrimage Industrial Complex

Judy Woodruff on Fox News Sunday yesterday --

I think it [Obama-Netanyahu] clearly -- sorry, Bob [Woodward], but I think it clearly does change the overall relationship. You know, I was in Israel last year and they are stunned. They cannot comprehend why the president of the United States is obviously doing more to align American policy with Iran than with Israel.

Not to pick on Judy Woodruff in particular, but the line "I was in Israel" [insert time period] is a hardy perennial of the Sunday show/pundit circuit.  And of course that includes politician guests on the same shows.

Any or all of the following questions should therefore be considered as follow-ups to any guest seeking validation for their views on the basis of recent trips to Israel.

1. Who paid for the trip?
2. Who arranged the meetings?
3. Were there meetings with Israeli government officials, and if so, what were the ground rules?
4. Did the visit include the West Bank in general, Ramallah in particular (to get the views of the Palestinian Authority), and other locations experiencing significant disruptions from settlements?
5. What parts of Jerusalem were visited and under what logistics?
6. How about visits to the Gaza strip?
7. What kind of Israeli government facilitation was occurring at security crossings?
8. Was any attempt made to enter Israel by a land crossing from Jordan, or vice versa?
9. How many Arabs were met in the course of the trip?

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