Former US citizen, former Israeli ambassador, Oren gets job at CNN

Israel/Palestine
on 32 Comments
Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren

Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren

Michael Oren had to renounce his US citizenship in 2009 to take his last job as Israeli ambassador to the U.S., but no matter– now he’s been named a commentator on CNN, the Jerusalem Post reported yesterday. I’m gobsmacked in Gotham:

Oren… has now joined CNN as an analyst and contributor.

He appeared on air as an analyst three times in the last week and also penned an obituary on Ariel Sharon for the CNN website.

This is not the first time Israeli ambassadors have made the jump from diplomat to network analyst, though it is believed to be the first time a former Israeli ambassador has signed a contract with CNN.

Oren, who now lives in Tel Aviv, told The Jerusalem Post that he saw the position as an opportunity to give “balanced but insightful commentary on pressing Israeli and Middle East issues.”

Wikipedia says that Oren will join a team that includes Ari Fleischer and Lanny Davis, both flacks for the Jewish state. No Arab-Americans that I can see in the roster. And at the risk of being nativist, are there any other non-Americans on that list? I think not. Oh and watch CNN’s Paul Begala, flanked by Fleischer and Wolf Blitzer (formerly of AIPAC), bragging of the Democrats, “We are a party that is strongly pro-Israel.” (I don’t know where Hilary Rosen stands, but she’s a party operative who worked for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who just attended the Sharon funeral, so odds are…).

I have to believe there’s a financial angle to the move. CNN’s competition Comcast is now the largest media company in the world. It’s headed by two pro-Israel executives, one of whose former political associates, the pro-Israel Ed Rendell, is on air all the time; and Chris Matthews can’t talk about the most important overseas political story, the Israel lobby angle to the efforts to kill the Iran deal. It just pays to be pro-Israel.

P.S. Maybe you saw, but last week, a clown Chinese billionaire who was trying to buy the Wall Street Journal and New York Times said, as if to prove his bona fides, “I am very good at working with Jews.” It’s a joke and it’s not a joke. What signal is CNN sending?

H/t William McGowan

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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32 Responses

  1. seafoid
    January 15, 2014, 11:28 am

    “I’m gobsmacked in Gotham:”

    Why? The only way to control the memes is to run a tight ship in the media. You never know with apparently loyal goys like Amanpour- they could always lose focus.
    Oren’s hire is a sign that the game is getting serious- that they can’t trust third parties to do what it says on the tin any longer.
    It probably also says they are very afraid of what’s happening to hasbara.

    Ultimately I think it’ll come back to their Ur-problem- they just don’t have enough people to leverage the US to serve Israel indefinitely.

    They got the spons but we got the numbers

    And it’s more like twenty to one

  2. Krauss
    January 15, 2014, 11:30 am

    Caroline Glick, the senior editor of JPost wrote a column about the left and Israel in the waning days of 2013.

    I found her analysis idiotic, as usual, but it’s still useful to read your opposition for a sample of their mentality if for no other reason.

    What intrigued me the most was her proposed remedies. She essentially said that the entire response has to be about the money. Namely, if the democratic party is going to stay pro-Apartheid pro-Israel, it’s all up to the donors. Then she started to count them. I read that with an amused smile. That’s the kind of thing that gets Mondoweiss accused of anti-Semitism on a regular basis but here she is, a fanatically pro-settler woman, essentially demanding that Jewish money has to be spent on controlling the Democratic party’s position on Israel.

    All of this is quite telling, because it rhymes with what Beinart has said on numerious occassions; that the Jewish establishment has succeeded all too well in Washington these last few decades. It’s the only game they know by now and as such they have lost touch with the grassroots of America. Everything should be dealt with through congress resolutions or media blackouts.

    This is why the only real substantative reply to the ASA vote was through intimidation of slashing funding through Congress. Do these people think that is a viable strategy? It will only server as a reminder that those who talk about the power of the Israel lobby were right all-along.

    Then, the mega media conglomorates like Comcast or major news networks like CNN will adopt a line on Israel which white ruled-South Africa could only dream of. Until the better end.

    This is what Beinart meant by the importance of Jewish ethics; that we cannot just be ruled by victimhood alone when 3 Fed chairs in a row are Jewish and major media corporations are headed by pro-Israel Jews. The 1930s are long over, but mentally there has been an ice age which hasn’t abated.

    • Krauss
      January 15, 2014, 11:42 am

      P.S. When I wrote that these media companies headed by the CEO of Comcast, Brian Roberts or his VP of programming, David Cohen or Sumner of Viacom etc will fight until “the bitter end”, I base this on Sharon. Or rather, I base it on his death and the coverage afterwards.

      When you can’t have a frank discussion of the man without constant whitewashing of his crimes, when even Sharon is made a saint and his critics dismissed or silenced, that tells you that in 2014, the committment to Apartheid is as deep as ever. I don’t think it will make any difference over the long term, but I simply no longer believe these institutions will reform themselves. It will be up to the academics and the grassroots to affect change.

      It’s ironic. Nobody would have cared about how many Jews were in the media or how Jewish lobby groups operate in Washington, except that we’re simply forced to pay attention at this point. Because the U.S. is the primary enabler of Israeli Apartheid and the Jewish establishment is the force behind this unconditional support. Nobody buys the all-mighty Pastor John Hagee myth except the ignorant.

      This is in some ways dangerous, as both Beinart and recently Chemi Shalev of Haaretz has pointed out. The Jewish community has thus far failed to stand up to its own ethnic establishment, even if we’re starting to slowly see somekind of resistance, especially among the young. And we need this.

      • pabelmont
        January 15, 2014, 12:32 pm

        It will be up to grassroots and academics to reverse pro-Israel-ism in the USA? Perhaps. But things seem to move more quickly in Europe, and if NEWS of European slap-downs of Israel (of its settlements) become too numerous to continue to be essentially ignored in the USA, then European news will begin to affect the USA. Perhaps beginning with “grassroots” and academics, but maybe eventually reaching higher.

        And recall that it is not only news of anti-Israeli actions that will spread out across USA, but explanations fo the REASONS for the actions.

        The Americans that know (and believe) that there is apartheid in Israel is not 100%. Maybe 0.01%. Education is needed.

        CNN could help but elects to harm.

      • seafoid
        January 15, 2014, 12:53 pm

        CNN sold Reaganomics for years. Serious iterating over more than 2 decades. Eventually the memes collapsed.

        I think this was one of the key moments

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en-GB&gl=IN&v=cYPtCmdFCrc

        “Open the Darn Fed window. Bernanake has to open the Fed window. He has no idea what it is like out there. I have not seen this since I went 5 mill for half a million in Citicorp. ”

        I don’t know which bot is going to be on CNN doing the Cramer. But it’s coming.

      • Krauss
        January 15, 2014, 3:31 pm

        Pabelmont, I’m skeptical of European pressure. The euros just blindly follow what America does. They’ve essentially outsourced their foreign policy to America thanks to NATO.

        Also, the American media and pop culture often sets the tone for Europe, at least in Western Europe where the political and economic power is. Sure, the academics in Europe has gotten farther but it wasn’t until the BDS votes reached American shores that the lobby woke up. Because they know that if they lose Europe, well, there may be some short-term economic pain(50% of all Israeli exports go to Europe as of now) but it’s diplomatically not an issue and over the medium-to-long term China and the rest of Asia can pick that slack up.

        If they lose, America, however, the UN veto is over and as such the biggest single strategic asset is gone. The same is true of military support. Will the Europeans vote for Israel’s anti-Palestinian positions on a consistent basis without the American directions? Unlikely, the only country which could be bullied into this is Germany but they don’t have a permanent seat. Will Russia or China? No.

        America is the battleground where this will be decided. And the ASA/Asian Studies Association votes have shown that there is a strong understanding of the issue inside American academia today.

        If Congress seriously starts to move to slash funding for the ASA then I think we will see a major academic uprising. The ASA may not have a lot of money but the organization has a lot of gifted writers and if their funding is seriously threatned, it would be an all-out attack on academic freedom. It would be an own goal of epic proportions from the lobby.

      • eljay
        January 15, 2014, 12:52 pm

        >> It’s ironic. Nobody would have cared about how many Jews were in the media or how Jewish lobby groups operate in Washington, except that we’re simply forced to pay attention at this point. … This is in some ways dangerous, as both Beinart and recently Chemi Shalev of Haaretz has pointed out. The Jewish community has thus far failed to stand up to its own ethnic establishment …

        The hophmeees and yrneees and other Zio-supremacists of the world are happy to keep lobbing their supremacist shit at the fan. But when that shit finally does hit the fan, they’ll be the cowards seeking refuge behind their non-Zio-supremacist co-civilizationists, nudging them forward and urging to them to stand fast against the blowback.

        It disturbs me that innocent Jews may suffer for the crimes of Zio-supremacist assholes who will never face accountability for their immoral and unjust actions.

    • Citizen
      January 15, 2014, 5:58 pm

      actually it’s been 5 Fed chairs in a row, except for one brief interlude.

  3. just
    January 15, 2014, 11:31 am

    ugh. I have, for all intents and purposes, stopped watching CNN and MSNBC. Fox has never been an option for me. This pretty much closes the teevee options for me. I listen to NPR in the car, but have to turn that off too, much of the time. The BBC gave me the news about ruthless and really stupid Ya’alon last nite– nothing on NPR.

    Thank goodness for MW and other outlets on the internet.

    • Krauss
      January 15, 2014, 11:43 am

      Actually, the people who are in charge of NPR’s Middle Eastern coverage are hardcore Zionists. Siegel is notorious for this. He even hosted Lierbman a year ago or so and threw a bunch of pandering soft-ball questions. But there are others too, he isn’t the only one. One of their producers did a pure hasbara piece on the same lines of the NYT hagipgraphic “philosopher-general” article which has now become notorious.

      NPR has worse coverage of I/P than even some centrist publications like National Journal, despite being sold as ‘progressive’. It is the epitome of the PEP-syndrome.

    • Denis
      January 15, 2014, 12:47 pm

      just: Thank goodness for MW and other outlets on the internet.

      Your “ugh” is going to get a whole lot more emphatic given Redstones’ increasingly successful litigation to neuter net neutrality. When people wanting reliable information on the latest Israeli apartheid outrage have to wait 30-45 secs for MW to load while all the pro-zionist sites load in less time than it takes to say “Gut shabbes,” we’ll understand too late what this net neutrality fight is all about — zionist domination of all media.

      As Oren and every regular reader of MW knows, the Internet is the zionist propaganda machine’s worst nightmare. Somehow the zionists have to get control of it the way they have control of the MSM. It they can’t, and soon, they’re doomed.

      UGH . . .

      • Donald
        January 15, 2014, 3:32 pm

        “Your “ugh” is going to get a whole lot more emphatic given Redstones’ increasingly successful litigation to neuter net neutrality.”

        I’m worried about the net neutrality issue on this and a whole range of other things. The internet was the alternate source of info during times when, for instance, the MSM lines up with the Bush Administration to push the WMD myth. The NYT and other parts of the MSM are terrible on the I/P conflict, but they aren’t necessarily much better on other issues .

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2014, 6:04 pm

        Net Neutrality is now screwed, haven
        t you read the latest?

    • John Douglas
      January 15, 2014, 1:34 pm

      I hate to think how stupid I would be, and was, about the ME without MW, its reporters and great commenters. So I second “Thank goodness for MW”. In fact it’s important enough, in this era of acronyms, to have one of its own. TGMW.

    • bintbiba
      January 15, 2014, 5:04 pm

      Ugh indeed…

  4. OlegR
    January 15, 2014, 11:38 am

    And poor Phillip gets sidelined again.

  5. flyod
    January 15, 2014, 11:52 am

    there are no arab americans on the staff of mondoweiss either

    • just
      January 15, 2014, 11:59 am

      What a really dumb comment.

      Congrats, flyod.

    • seafoid
      January 15, 2014, 12:11 pm

      It’s not an arab crisis. It’s a Jewish crisis. Big difference.

      • flyod
        January 15, 2014, 12:31 pm

        it’s not???wtf

  6. Citizen
    January 15, 2014, 12:13 pm

    Maybe they don’t have enough people to leverage the US to serve Israel forever, but it looks like they have enough to keep truth from the US masses in time to fight WW3 to benefit Israel.

  7. American
    January 15, 2014, 12:16 pm

    ”An enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic
    Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government;… whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.” –Thomas Jefferson

    The people who run the media are controlling the US.
    The citizenry will correct it when things finally do go so far wrong that they hit that ‘nothing left to lose’..and its going to be a wild time.
    I’m looking forward to it…wish we could speed it up.

  8. W.Jones
    January 15, 2014, 12:28 pm

    When you say there is a financial angle, how is CNN helped financially by it? Are more local cable networks going to sign up with it? Are people going to donate to it? How does that work?

  9. Tuyzentfloot
    January 15, 2014, 2:43 pm

    I always considered Oren a clown but to be fair he’s been miseducated. Just imagine the moment it sinks in “Hey I can say whatever I want and they’ll buy it! Absolutely anything! This is so cool!”

  10. DICKERSON3870
    January 15, 2014, 4:22 pm

    RE: “CNN’s competition Comcast is now the largest media company in the world. It’s headed by two pro-Israel executives” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Not long ago, Mike Malloy referred to Comcast as one of the most right-wing outfits in the country. Be afraid. Be very afraid!
    They would love to shut down Netfix’s streaming service.

    SEE: “How Netflix Is Blowing Away Traditional Cable Companies”, By Adrian Campos, The Motley Fool, 10/18/13

    [EXCERPTS] Just like how online news sites are making newspapers disappear, and online travel sites are replacing traditional travel agencies, television could end up replaced by online video streaming. This market is dominated by Netflix . . .
    . . . To differentiate their services from most streaming players, cable companies are adding more exposure to the content creation business. For example, Comcast recently purchased media giant NBCUniversal. This strategic acquisition allows the company to protect its cable business, which provides two thirds of its revenue and more than 80% of its earnings. It allows Comcast to take control of the exclusive content distribution rights for some of the best studios in the world like Universal Pictures and Focus Features. These studios have become famous for making blockbusters from Jurassic Park to The Fast and the Furious.
    The new Comcast will own 10 TV and movie production studios, 20 cable channels, nine regional sports cable networks, and 15 Telemundo stations. Comcast could easily raise the cost of exclusive content or deny rival distributors access to its programming. And by acquiring NBCU, Comcast also acquired a 30% stake in Netflix’s direct competitor Hulu. This move allowed Comcast to add exposure to the streaming business and to diversify its portfolio of investments. . .

    SOURCE – http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/10/18/why-netflix-is-blowing-away-traditional-cable-comp.aspx

  11. seafoid
    January 15, 2014, 5:36 pm

    That picture of Oren says he’s serious, he knows what he’s doing, trust him

    None of the above apply

    • just
      January 15, 2014, 5:40 pm

      He’s also awash in a veritable sea of Israeli blue……….

      (I often wonder about that particular shade of blue all over the networks– is it subliminal advertising or just a happy coincidence?) Blue is my favorite color…

  12. Citizen
    January 15, 2014, 6:12 pm

    MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, he of the spitting, drooling righteous demeanor, the former altar boy, the white guy pc, dissed the congress critters backing the bill to end diplomacy with Iran and weld US military to Israel’s, but he said he would not go into the motive for that bill. Why not? Because he wants to keep his job. He’s just another shabbas goy.

  13. traintosiberia
    January 15, 2014, 9:39 pm

    I wonder how the verdict on “Net Neutrality” and the future directions of FCC on internet will impact the access to information . CNN and FOX or NYT /WSJ will manage to continue to pour out slanted views,skewed judgment,and massage the truths on thier online versions. What will happen to the sites like Mondoweiss ?

    • Citizen
      January 16, 2014, 2:38 am

      As I understand it, your ISP could make web sites it does not like slow to load. Don’t know if it would block them. Apparently at this juncture it can do that to its competition. And small app creators won’t be able to afford to compete in such a pay to play game.

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