Israeli Television Starts Broadcasting Fox News in Hebrew

[singlepic id=214 w=320 h=240 float=right]On yesterday’s Friday at Five program on Israel Channel 1, the chyron read “The age of Hussein Obama“. Broadcast one day after the Cairo speech, the usage of the American President’s middle name is an obvious attempt to say ‘He sides with them now’. Taken straight out of a Fox News’ textbook, referring to the leader of the free world by the name ‘Hussein’ has gained popularity in recent weeks within the office of the Israeli prime-minister, as Ben Caspit reports in Maariv. Since the Israel Broadcast Authority is controlled by the PM office, the phrase has naturally trickled down to the mainstream media, if you can still call Channel 1 that.

Knesset Member Daniel Ben Simon was a guest on that show and pointed out on the air that the graphics should be fixed, to which hosts Kineret Barashi and Uri Levi played dumb saying that Obama himself uses his middle name. MK Ben Simon tried to explain that no one calls the previous president Walker Bush, but the hosts just smiled derisively. Here is the short exchange:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3YRDZzFXws

I find this derogatory use of the word ‘Hussein’ despicable, Islamophobic and somewhat childish: when the US president says things we like, we call him Baruch Obama – and when he says things we don’t like, he’s Hussein Obama?

Tonight on Your Evening News: Cast Lead and Must Leather

Wars don’t happen in winter anymore
Even for us it is a bit too cold to hate
Wars don’t happen in winter anymore
Even for us it’s a bit too cold to conquer
 
   – – “Big Hero” by Si Himan (translated from Hebrew)

Channel 10 anchorwoman Miki Haimovich (right) and senior defense correspondent Alon Ben-David (left) modeling wartime leatherwear - December 28, 2008

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:

Leather by Gaza - Mixed Channels

We already knew soldiers have their standard operating procedures – but now we know TV newsmen have them too.
Continue reading Tonight on Your Evening News: Cast Lead and Must Leather

You Cannot Put a Price Tag on That!

While I realize the entire world is slowly going into a recession, and I do acknowledge that publicly funded broadcast television has always been on the brink of bankruptcy – still, it seems Israel’s IBA News has really gone too far this time:
This past Thursday I was watching Channel 1’s evening news, when the anchorman turned to culture correspondent Dana Herman and I noticed there was something under the back of her shirt, an object that looked eerily similar to a price tag:

[singlepic id=108 w=335 h=251 float=center] [singlepic id=107 w=150 h=240 float=center]
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Is this a major faux pas on Herman’s part, or does Channel 1 force their reporters to perform the ol’ wear-once-then-return-for-a-refund trick? …and if that is the case, can someone tell the director not to shoot the reporters in the back from the back?

While we’re at it, could someone at Channel 10 talk to the cleaning people? Tell them that you may turn a blind eye when they occasionally do not clean the dust from the studios, but they cannot ignore a big rope lying around on the floor. This is from this past Thursday’s London & Kirschenbaum:

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Do Israeli Newsmen Wear Boxers or Briefs?

Since TV news reporters are usually shot from the waist up, viewers toy with the idea that except for the expensive jacket, their favorite anchorman could be wearing his underwear and a pair of slippers. I felt this subject cannot be ignored any longer and investigated the subject. Here is what I have found:

Test case #1

Israel Channel 1 - Amir Bar-Shalom - July 15, 2008 - On The Air
Amir Bar-Shalom, chief military correspondent for Israel’s Channel 1 news, delivered his report live from the field this evening. Channel 1’s devoted viewers saw a respectable attire: a long sleeve shirt, sleeves tszujed a bit due to the hot weather – all in all, a respectable journalist.

Israel Channel 10 - Amir Bar-Shalom - July 15, 2008 - Off The Air
As Bar-Shalom went off the air, Channel 10’s camera caught him (above, right) on his way to the air-conditioned broadcasting van. Channel 10’s devoted viewers saw a slacker: three quarter pants with a shirt untucked, and a pair of flip-flops – all in all, a guy on vacation.

Test case #2

Israel Channel 10 - Baruch Kra - June 23, 2008 - On The Air
Baruch Kra, legal affairs correspondent for Israel’s Channel 10 news on the other hand, likes to play dress up. Back in June 23, this is what he looked like on the air at 8:02pm: a jacket and tie – this guy knows what he is talking about.

Israel Channel 10 - Baruch Kra - June 23, 2008 - Off The Air
…and courtesy of Channel 10’s ‘newsroom behind the anchor desk’ design, we can see what Kra was wearing (above, center) just 21 minutes later, off the air at 8:23pm: jeans and a T-shirt – this guy must be an intern.

Analog News Editors In A Digital World – A Case Study

There are four major methods used on TV to obscure a person’s face so that he would not be recognized:

  • Pixelization: during editing, a video graphics filter is used to lower the resolution of the footage
  • Black bars: during editing, a graphical element is superimposed over the footage
  • Extreme close-up: focusing during filming on a single facial feature, such as lips or eyes
  • Silhouette: adjusting the camera exposure during filming so that the person appears totally black

The latter method was used during yesterday’s evening news, in a pre-taped press conference. Since this was not a live broadcast, there was no reason for any slip-up, and for the most part I could only see the silhouette of the woman talking. But when some still photojournalists used their camera flash, it lit the entire room and for a split second revealed the face of the woman.
Now perhaps during the 1990’s this kind of incident would not amount to much, since you could not rewind live TV or use your computer to download the news – but those analog days are long gone, and it is about time people in the Israeli media would recognize that fact.

Since this is not the first time I have noticed the Israeli media dropping the ball on this issue, I thought I would present a case study of the three Israeli broadcast channels, examining yesterday’s cover of that news conference:

Continue reading Analog News Editors In A Digital World – A Case Study