TV style gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine are launching tomorrow an Israeli version of What Not To Wear. Admittedly, I am anxiously waiting to see how the two will brilliantly make over the natives in an inevitable collision course between The Holy Land and Britannia. I was less than happy, nevertheless, to find out the name of the television series will be ‘Trinny and Susannah do Israel‘ (‘Trinny ve Susannah osot et Israel‘).
That’s right, Channel 10’s executives went with the Debbie Does Dallas reference, ‘coz even independent women who have jobs are nothing more than whores, a couple of dressed-up porn stars on the tube.
Channel 10 News’ reporter Shelly Tapiero (left) interviewsRinat Abergil (right) on the morning of her husband’s extradition in order to face criminal charges in the US. Notice how similarly dressed are the interviewer and the interviewee:
[singlepic id=279 w=448 h=336 float=center]
I heard about crime reporters getting too familiar with the criminals they cover – but this is getting ridiculous.
Two weeks ago Channel 10 News’ Miki Haimovich conducted an interview with Nobel laureate Ada Yonath. The following day, Channel 10’s morning show re-edited the interview to make it look as though the morning hosts Haim Etgar and Sivan Cohen are conducting the interview themselves. This was recently mentioned in Yediot Ahronot but I thought I would create a video to demonstrate this journalistic atrocity:
Now people may ask “What’s the big deal? Instead of this person doing the interview, you get that person”. Well, I contend that this is a big deal since unlike other professions like advertising, sales or law where honesty is no longer expected – in journalism, credibility is currency. We don’t expect our newsmen to lie to us – not intentionally, not wittingly – and finding out otherwise is disheartening.
Update: You can read in Hebrew about this incident here, here and here.
Every now and then I stumble upon an idea that is just too Israeli to write about in English. In these rare instances I guest blog on Room 404 in Hebrew. That is what happened yesterday, when I got a snail mail from the Israeli Internet Society in preparation for the annual conference, asking me and other members to send ideas by fax. Send by fax? I thought that was strange and worth mentioning. And so I did.
Apparently someone at Israel’s Channel 10 also thought it was worth mentioning, as they contacted me today to confirm the accuracy of my post. A couple of hours later it was broadcast on Hayom Shehaya, their nightly news program with Guy Zohar:
After solving the Riddle of the Sphinx, there really aren’t that many riddles left to solve. The only one I can think of has to do with Israel Channel 10’s weather map and its representation of famous Israeli landmarks: Mount Hermon has a snowman, Haifa has the Baha’i Shrine, Tel-Aviv has the Azrieli skyscrapers and Jerusalem the Knesset.
Which leads us to the Beersheba conundrum: behind the inevitable camel, there is a complex of buildings which resembles nothing I have ever seen in the city, and certainly nothing that is as easily recognizable as the others mentioned.
Now, this may not be as important to solve as the Iranian nuclear race – but unlike Ahmadinejad, this one is within our reach:
War is horrible, there’s no two ways about it. Still, I find it futile to address any direct political issues, because I assume that whatever I want to say, someone said it before and probably more eloquently. That is why I refrain from elaborating on a two year old niece who cannot sleep in her room because it is not rocket-proof, nor a distant relative who asked if her fourteen year old daughter can stay with us, as living within rocket range made her exhibit signs of post-trauma. I will also avoid telling how four hours ago a twenty year old Palestinian ran with an axe on main street, just as I was on my way to get a haircut.
No, instead I will take Monty Python’s advice and try to look on the light side of life, because if life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten, and that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing:
Citizens show humor under fire
Check out this photo of a note posted by fleeing Be’er-Sheva residents on their own door. It reads:
[singlepic id=128 w=180 h=210 float=right]In case this apartment is hit by a rocket: Search and Rescue teams: Relax, we are staying at our parents’. Government damage assessors: The apartment had plasma TV sets, a bottle of 1709 vintage Bordeaux and a rare antique porcelain statuette. Cable company: The plasma TV sets were used as flower pots. Ruthie: If we got hit, we are not paying our homeowners association dues.
Reporters show more bloopers under fire
As the rolling news reports continue for the second week, Channel 10 aired a second compilation of their own correspondents’ bloopers. The video is in Hebrew but mostly self-explanatory:
Hamas shows porn under fire
Late at night, a technician on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV was flipping through the satellite channels, not knowing he was changing the actual live broadcast of his own channel. When he stumbled upon an erotic channel from Poland, he watched it for six minutes, then apparently got a call to the station informing him that everyone in the Arab world can see the erotica, and so he immediately changed the broadcast back to the Ramattan TV live feed from Gaza. All this time, the caption read ‘Now in Gaza’ and the audio of the broadcast was the original loop of Shahid (martyr) songs. The contrast between the quote-unquote songs of faith and the utter abomination of the visual is just brilliant (Contains nudity, NSFW):
While the Polish girl is dancing naked, the singing in Arabic goes: Allah, strengthen my faith and fill my heart with the spirit of the Qur’an!
Channel 10’s Friday news magazine Shishi raises the standard of reporting each week, literally writing the book on how a news magazine should be done. Anchormen Raviv Drucker and Ofer Shelah‘s segment ‘On The Road’, which turned the traditional in-studio interview into a-day-out-with-the-interviewee report, has already been copied by Channel 1’s Ayala Hason and Ben Caspit – including the famous Statler-and-Waldorf-like embedded commentary. In addition to the outstanding ensemble of reporters that the show sports, it is famous for its self-awareness, self-criticism, and a fair amount of ‘process stories’. Shelah and Drucker often criticize the Israeli media, always starting with their own place of work.
The recent security situation in the region triggered the Pavlovian media response of rolling news reports, and when you mix a barrage of rockets, satellite latency, and loads of air time – inevitably you get a fair share of on-camera bloopers. Leave it to Shelah and Drucker to end their show on a lighter note with a compilation of the channel’s reporters supplying a week’s dosage of self-deprecating humor.
The video is in Hebrew but most of it is self-explanatory:
I have already written on Israeli journalists playing dress-up, but that was during peacetime. Now that a new war might be imminent, it seems our journalists collectively decided to wear uniform in the form of leather jackets. I have been glued to the TV screen during the past few days, zapping between Channel One, Channel Two and Channel Ten – and it looks like one hideous leatherwear catalog from the 1990’s that magically came to life: