Pornification Series: Trinny and Susannah

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.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wuFMQnU6z4

Fashion Faux Pas by Israel’s Channel 10 News Reporter

Channel 10 News’ reporter Shelly Tapiero (left) interviews Rinat 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:
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I heard about crime reporters getting too familiar with the criminals they cover – but this is getting ridiculous.

Channel 10 News Presents: Reheating Leftovers From Yesterday’s TV Dinner

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:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSzzTPSAwGM

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.

Israel’s Internet Society Asks Members to Send Suggestions by Fax

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:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL0hV3_fFo0

Channel 10 Presents: A Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside an Enigma

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:
Israel's Channel 10 Weather Map

Israel's Channel 10 Weather Map

If a Tree Falls in the 21st Century – and Other Things Learnt Last Night

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth,
and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth;
 
    – – Proverbs 24:17

During the recent conflict in Gaza I have watched live on Israeli television’s Channel 10 the phone call that Dr. Izz el-Deen Aboul Aish had made to reporter Shlomi Eldar. If you are not familiar with the incident, please read this post first.

While watching it live I could not really understand it but I instinctively knew our daily routine, as Israelis, has been disturbed. You see, up to that point hundreds of people were killed in Gaza but as an Israeli you want to believe that they were all terrorists, every last one of them. The Israeli army does not target civillians, and so you really want to believe that no one is killed by accident. The thing is when a man, a doctor, who speaks Hebrew fluently, and works in Israel, when he tells you his innocent daughters were just killed by a tank shell – well that was impossible to dismiss.

As an advocate of freedom of information and an avid believer in sunlight as the best disinfectant, I felt all I can do at the time was upload the TV recording to YouTube. I also posted it on my blog, but made no commentary except for some Israeli song lyrics that seemed an appropriate preface. Later I uploaded English subtitles for the video.

Now, a long time ago I came to the realization that the Internet brings all the crazies out of the woodwork, and so I almost never engage in any form of war of words. I usually let the Keyboard Fascists wear themselves out and that is exactly what I did in this case:
I just sat down,
read the comments,
noticed the video going viral,
and made notes.

Now, 43 days later, here are my notes as written in the first couple of days following the event:

Things I learned last night:

  • In the 21st century, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to document it, most people just do not care whether it makes a sound or not.
  • Thousands of years later, antisemitism is alive and well – it just bears different names now.
  • Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies is always in effect.
  • People* see what they want to see and only allow in new information if it reaffirms their own preconceptions.
  • People* have a dichotomy view of the world.
  • People* think that validating the other side’s pain surely must invalidate theirs.

 

* Instead of “People”, I originally wrote “Most people”, then changed it to “Many people”, then changed it to “Some people” – but now settled for “People” as I cannot ascertain the amount.

Israeli TV Airs Gaza Doctor’s Desperate Pleas

Shooting and crying,
Burning and laughing,
When did we learn how to bury living people?
 
   – – “Shooting And Crying” – Si Himan (translated from Hebrew)

 
[singlepic id=130 w=320 h=280 float=right]JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli television broadcast desperate cries for help from a Palestinian doctor on Friday after his children were killed in an Israeli attack in the Gaza Strip and troops later helped surviving members of the family.
The telephone calls created extraordinary scenes during evening news broadcasts as the doctor, a Hebrew-speaking physician who spoke regularly on Israeli television, said three of his children were killed in a tank strike and others were wounded.
“My girls were sitting at home planning their futures, talking, then suddenly they are being shelled,” he said in a voice shaking with emotion. “I want to know why they were killed, who gave the order?”
Izz el-Deen Aboul Aish is a gynecologist who worked in one of Israel’s main hospitals before Gazans were effectively sealed off behind an Israeli-led blockade on the Hamas-controlled enclave. He often gave interviews to Channel 10 television.

Reuters story continues here, The Associated Press has a follow-up here.

Video is in Hebrew, but can be understood by anyone now includes English subtitles:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLUJ4fF2HN4

Israel’s Channel 10 News Brave Enough To Make Fun of Itself

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:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ_3yt5csQI

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]
[singlepic id=109 w=150 h=240 float=center]

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:

[singlepic id=105 w=332 h=251 float=center] [singlepic id=106 w=150 h=240 float=center]