In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 2005 / 16 Elul, 5765

(Journalistic) Disaster: When emotions and opinions dominate facts and reason

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | NBC anchorman Brian Williams thinks a lasting legacy of Hurricane Katrina for journalists will be an end to a period of deference to elected officials.

"By dint of the fact that our country was hit we've offered a preponderance of the benefit of the doubt over the past couple of years," Williams told David Bauder of the Associated Press. "Perhaps we've taken something off our fastball and perhaps this is a story that brings a healthy amount of cynicism back to a news media known for it."

Given what a zoo the White House press room has been on briefings on Iraq and during the Valerie Plame affair, those of us who live on Planet Earth haven't seen much evidence of this deference.

Williams was in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina, and his reporting often went beyond describing what he saw to expressing how he felt about what he saw.

"Brian took his anchor hat off and put his human being hat on in a lot of the broadcasts that I saw," said Jeff Alan, who has written a book about the changing face of network news.

"If I let my emotion or anger get the better of me, what some have called a failing of a journalist I think should be taken the other way around on this story," Williams told Bauder.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper was hailed for the same thing in a fawning profile in New York magazine.

"Anderson Cooper's on-air breakdown was an honest expression of his complicated personality — and a breakthrough for the future of television news," said the headline on Jonathan Van Meter's story.

Among others who often let their emotions and opinions dominate their reporting were Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera of Fox News, ABC's Ted Koppel, and NBC's Tim Russert.

This makes for great television — for Oprah or Dr. Phil. But it's lousy journalism.

Journalists are patting themselves on the back for their coverage of Katrina. But I doubt a more adversarial style will lead to the journalistic renaissance Williams imagines.

I was inundated with emails after my column praising the Katrina relief effort. The vast majority expressed sentiments like this: "Thank you for providing a factual analysis to counter the malicious, arrogant or simply stupid strident voices of the media," said a businessman in Pennsylvania.

"I'm so tired of reading articles that tear the federal government's relief efforts to shreds and is based totally on a lack of knowledge and ignorance on the reporter's part," said a lady in Austin.

These people want less moralizing and finger-pointing, and more reporting. Their ranks are likely to increase when shortcomings in the media's coverage to date become more apparent. The "toxic soup" that was supposed to have enveloped New Orleans doesn't exist. The death toll from Katrina figures to be nearer 1,000 than the more than 10,000 figure so widely bandied about.

"For all the media's efforts to turn the natural disaster in New Orleans into a racist nightmare, the death knell for one or the other of the political parties, or an indictment of American culture at large, it was none of that at all," said historian Victor Davis Hanson.

"What we did endure instead were slick but poorly educated journalists, worried not about truth but about preempting their rivals with an ever more hysterical story, all in the fuzzy context of political correctness about race, the environment, and war."

Many suspect the goal of the media's Katrina coverage is to bring down President Bush. If so, it doesn't appear to be working.

A recent Washington Post poll did show Bush's popularity at an all time low of 42 percent, which the Post trumpeted in its story.

But while 54 percent disapproved of Bush's handling of relief operations, 57 percent said state and local governments were more responsible for shortcomings, and 60 percent suspected Democrats of trying to use the disaster for political advantage.

Since the media already have blamed Bush for everything that has gone wrong, as more information comes out, his numbers can only rise. Indeed, in the daily Rasmussen robo-poll, he's already back to about where he was when he won re-election.

By adopting a more adversarial stance, journalists are unlikely to bring down the president. But they are likely to bring down their ratings, their circulation, and their credibility.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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