Monday, April 27, 2009

Treat Netanyahu fairly

Hanoch Daum hopes that media won’t treat Bibi with meanness that characterized his 1st term in office

Hanoch Daum
Israel Opinion

One day during the recent Passover vacation, I read in the newspaper about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family’s brief trip to the north of the country. The news item was friendly and supportive; it provided details about the meal enjoyed by the Netanyahu family at a northern restaurant, made note of the fact that the family did everything in order to prevent traffic jams in the area, and also shared a little information about the deep knowledge displayed by Avner, the prime minister’s son, who possesses a rare familiarity with history.

Yet on the other hand, the story’s headline was disgusting and outrageous. “After 12 days on the job,” it said there, “prime minister takes his first vacation.”

In my mind I could see the editor of the news page reading the description of the vacation at night and feeling not too comfortable with it. The story must have appeared too nice to him; too sympathetic. He must have subsequently asked himself: Why not come up with a mean headline that would ruin the lovely atmosphere?

Purely professional motives?

After all, this editor must have voted for Tzipi Livni, or perhaps for Meretz, so it is difficult for him to be happy for Netanyahu. This editor must have found it difficult to accept the change of government in Israel (after all, nobody would be able to convince me that such headline was drafted based on purely professional motives.)

During Netanyahu’s previous term as prime minister, this was the atmosphere all the time. The feeling one got was that the media cannot forgive him for daring to defeat Shimon Peres, and on top of that, for doing that right after late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination.

I think that the media, as well as Netanyahu, have reached this round softer, yet this apparently does not pertain to the above-mentioned editor, who views a trip that took half a day as a “vacation,” and a prime minister (who also happens to be a father to young children) who takes half a day to himself during the holiday as a free-rider.

No comments: