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Jewish World Review
Nov. 10, 2004
/ 26 Mar-Cheshvan 5765
The Health Crisis Caused by Arafat's Death: Whacko News Syndrome
By Jeff Dunetz
The outbreak is spreading worldwide
Since Yasser Arafat, the Father of Modern Terrorism, was moved to a French Hospital to be treated during the final stages of an undisclosed disease, there has been considerable talk about the implications of his impending death on the future of the Middle East. Strangely enough what hasn't been reported is the possible health crises that may be caused by the terrorist's death.
Since a great many news organizations are so emotionally tied into this architect of the homicide bomber they will be greatly affected by his death. Many in the psychotherapy community are worried that they will have to call in reinforcements to office of media such as CNN, CBS, and the NY Times, creating grief-counseling groups to help reporters deal with Arafat's Death. In fact, the World Heath Organization for the Care and Kindness to On-Air News and Other Famous People (also known as Whacko News) has reported that Arafat's death and its aftermath may lead to depression and even possible suicide by the many on-air personalities and world leaders who have deified the Terrorist leader. Therapists world-wide (except, of course, in France) now recognize the affliction named Whacko News Syndrome, after the organization that first identified the problem, the syndrome
Counselors explain that in its earliest stages, this depression affects memory and rational judgment and cite many on-air examples of how this syndrome is played out.
For example, CNN personality Wolf Blitzer is a victim of Whacko News Syndrome. This week he filed a report that claimed Arafat's affliction was caused by his virtual imprisonment in his Ramallah compound. During this report his depression was obvious. Tears welled up in poor Wolf's eyes as he talked about the living conditions endured by the architect of terror over two years ago. He was so upset with grief; he neglected to mention that Arafat's virtual imprisonment were a direct result of the horrific acts of terror he orchestrated, the hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian civilian deaths he caused. Wolf's battle with Whacko -ism even prevented him from getting a medical opinion for his report; or mentioning that some sources claim that Arafat is suffering from the final stages of AIDS. Whacko News caused Wolf to abandon all the basic tenets of journalism and use just one source for this medical oriented "news" item a member of the Palestinian Government
At least Blitzer is not alone; it seems that many therapists consider the problem widespread at CNN. Teams of psychologists, watching their Mid-East reporting attribute CNN's inability to show anything but the Palestinian side of the story as a product of forgetfulness caused by Whacko News Syndrome . In fact, one report says that CNN may be the most Whacko News organization in the world.
The group also cited CBS News as a possible network on the edge of this great depression. Interestingly they did not cite Anchor Dan Rather, (some say that he is that he is a different kind of Whacko ). They do mention 60 Minutes host Leslie Stahl as a possible Whacko . Just a few weeks ago, this investigative TV personality broke a story about Israel's spying on the US, the only problem is the reports were untrue. Unlike CBS's false reporting of president bush's service record, this unfounded story was never retracted. Leslie Stahl is a sufferer of Whacko News Syndrome .
A team of therapists is also heading to Disney-owned ABC news, where the concern is Anchorman Peter Jennings, one of the most viciously anti-Israel people in TV news. Apparently Mr. Jennings is so upset about his revered Arafat, that he has been seen roaming the halls, having imaginary conversations (in a Donald Duck voice) with Palestinian Spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi, who was Jennings's girlfriend when he was based in Lebanon. When asked for comment, outgoing Disney head Michael Eisner, commented how lucky that Jennings is in America and not in his native Canada waiting to get treatment in their tangled socialized medicine system.
Therapy groups have also been established for the political leaders who are count themselves among the terrorists best friends, people like French President Chirac; Britain's Lord Snow and former American president's Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. A special watch has been created for Clinton, who along with his wife, Hillary welcomed Yasser Arafat to the White House more than they hosted any other major world leader (and that includes Barbara Streisand).
The New York Daily News has claimed Whacko News Syndrome that caused it to run a false report that Arafat's illness was a result of poisoning by Israel's Mossad. Indeed this malady may have also affected the News' business side as the paper was recently cited for falsifying its circulation statements.
Some fans of NY Times columnist Tom Freedman are worried that he may be a Whacko . However, the Pulitzer-Prize winners support of Arafat and the terrorists position is really the result of a different disease, called ME (moral equivalency). Friedman's disease causes the great columnist to put terrorist acts on the same moral plane as acts of self-defense against terrorists. In fact, if you read them closely you will find that in most Friedman columns ME is the main topic.
With the death of Arafat, most news organizations will show increasing levels of the forgetfulness and bias caused by Whacko News Syndrome . You will continue to see the PLO leader deified by the press; obituaries will ignore the blood on his hands.
It is crucial that we remain vigilant, and when we see evidence of Whacko -type reporting we contact the suffering network, paper or magazine and let them that they need a little help with their grief. Make sure to copy your cable provider let them know that these networks are Whacko and maybe they should be placed on hiatus until they are cured. Or write the companies that advertise on these networks, the pharmaceutical companies, the financial firms, and the folks in Detroit. Ask them to encourage these suffering networks to find help, maybe even to withhold ad dollars until they find a way to cure them selves and to stop their deification of the father of modern terrorism. After all, it cannot show their products in a good light to be placed in such a Whacko news environment.
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Jeff Dunetz is a regular contributor to Jewish World Review. Click here to visit his site. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2004, Jeff Dunetz