Jane Harman, media mogul

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This Financial Times profile of Jane Harman, the former congresswoman who is CEO of the Woodrow Wilson Int’l Center, doesn’t mention Israel, but there’s a lot about her wealth: her marriage to the late inventor Sidney Harman, her jaw-dropping house in Washington, her Barcelona chair, the picture of her late husband with Bill Clinton.
This glimpse into the Jewish establishment describes Harman as the “owner” of Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
I ask about a sculpture on the coffee table, of a man on a bench. “It was an award for Sidney in honour of [financier] Bernard Baruch,” says Harman, who took over as owner of Newsweek/Daily Beast after her husband’s death.

Well this is confusing. Newsweek/Daily Beast was co-owned by Barry Diller and Harman’s late husband. Sidney Harman died in April 2011 at 92. This obit in the Times said that his estate was assuming his ownership share, but no individual was named.

Soon after that, Adweek said that Jane Harman was taking her late husband’s place on the board. And Adweek raised questions about her editorial influence as a political actor over the magazine and website.

Interestingly, Sidney Harman once said he wasn’t leaving the magazine to his wife. The Washington Post from 2010, Jeff Stein reporting (emphasis mine):

Sidney Harman, the 92-year-old technology titan who recently bought Newsweek from The Washington Post Co., says the future leadership of the weekly could include his children, throwing cold water on speculation that his wife, Jane, the chairman of an important congressional intelligence committee, will leave Capitol Hill to run it…

Responding to an unstated question about his age, the nonagenarian said, “I am obliged to develop a succession plan early — and I will.”

It will not include Jane, he added emphatically Monday.

“She will have no role — none at all — at Newsweek,” he said…

Liberal bloggers have been stirred up by Harman’s purchase of Newsweek, particularly by the prospect that his wife, the veteran Californian Democrat who chairs the House homeland security subcommittee on intelligence, would play an influential role at the magazine.

This confusion is intriguing, of course, because Harman is such a foreign policy hawk and darling of the Israel lobby.
Just a few weeks ago she rushed to the side of Obama assassination czar John Brennan and stifled Medea Benjamin at the Wilson Center.
When she was in Congress, representing a California district, she was famously wiretapped talking to an unnamed Israeli, doing some lobby horse-trading for her own advancement, and evidently involving Haim Saban, the inventor of Power Rangers who is an ardent funder of pro-Israel causes.
The Times, 2009:
One of the leading House Democrats on intelligence matters was overheard on telephone calls intercepted by the National Security Agency agreeing to seek lenient treatment from the Bush administration for two pro-Israel [AIPAC] lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage, current and former government officials say…
In return, the caller promised her that a wealthy California donor — the media mogul Haim Saban — would threaten to withhold campaign contributions to Representative Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who was expected to become House speaker after the 2006 election, if she did not select Ms. Harman for the intelligence post.


Wow. I didn’t know that Haim Saban was a media mogul either!

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Great reporting – thanks Phil!

So perhaps we can all start speaking with Peter Beinart about the financial support that his blog gets from Newsweek. Certainly a conflict of interests there.

I’ve said it before and I still don’t understand why folks don’t suspect Israeli involvement in things such as facilitating Ms. Harman to buy Newsweek. Obviously this kind of thing is well within Israel’s ambit of permissibility, so you look at different people in different countries and identify those who are zealously loyal to Israel and you give them a boost up when you can so they give you your hopefully greater, more systemic boosts… Read more »

RE: “I didn’t know that Haim Saban was a media mogul either!” ~ Weiss FROM WIKIPEDIA [Haim Saban]: Haim Saban (Hebrew: חיים סבן‎) (born 15 October 1944) is an Egyptian born Israeli-American television and media proprietor.[2] With an estimated current net worth of $3.5 billion, he is ranked by Forbes as the 104th richest person in America.[1] . . . . . . Media career • Saban Entertainment In the United States, he became a… Read more »

Yet another fabulously wealthy and very influential citizen whose primary loyalty is to the state of Israel.

It’s a wonder we’ve achieved anything at all for the Palestinians when you get a glimpse of the forces aligned against them.

Saban: Buy media outlets to protect Israel. Jane Harman no doubt agrees. “He remains keenly interested in the world of business, but he is most proud of his role as political power broker. His greatest concern, he says, is to protect Israel, by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship. At a conference last fall in Israel, Saban described his formula.His “three ways to be influential in American politics,” he said, were: make donations to political parties,… Read more »