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NPR can’t stop talking about Jews

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Last Sunday, March 17, was St. Patrick’s Day, and I turned on my local public-radio outlet just in time to hear how National Public Radio news was celebrating the occasion: with a 4-minute, 28-second segment on something called the Loyal League of Yiddish Sons of Erin, a now-defunct New York organization of Jews born in Ireland.

Immediately after that came an even longer segment – six minutes, six seconds – entitled “How Does A Jewish Artist Tell The Ultimate Christian Story?” about an Argentine Jewish composer, Osvaldo Golijov, whose choral work “The Passion According to St. Mark” was recently performed at Carnegie Hall.

That day’s show was an extreme case, but the pattern is familiar to anyone who listens to NPR regularly: they can’t stop talking about the Jews. Even though those of us who are Jewish amount to less than 2 percent of the U.S. population[1], NPR devotes a level of loving attention to Jewish traditions, culture, and history that it displays toward no other religious or ethnic group. In addition to those St. Patrick’s Day pieces, consider these other stories the network has aired just in the first three weeks of this month: an interview with a woman who runs a website dedicated to collecting customized Passover haggadot (the Hebrew plural, I learned from the story, of haggada, the Passover prayerbook); not one but two celebrations (here and here) of Philip Roth’s 80th birthday; an interview with the two authors (both Jewish) of a book entitled “FDR and the Jews;” a profile of a century-old store on New York’s Lower East Side that sells herring and other “Jewish soulfood;” and an interview with the director of a new documentary about “Hava Nagila.”

Then there’s the coverage from Israel. In addition to numerous reports on Netanyahu’s coalition and Obama’s visit, NPR has found time in the last month to do a piece about swarms of locusts invading southern Israel and another about the restoration of some wetlands in northern Israel. Aside from the lack of any reference to the Palestinians who previously inhabited these lands, the stories weren’t particularly objectionable, but what other small (or even large) foreign country gets that kind of attention? Reporter Larry Abramson himself noted that the locusts came from Africa and had passed through Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula; he didn’t bother to explain why NPR considered them newsworthy only when they reached the Jewish State.

The other side of the coin in all this is that other religions, even those that have many more adherents in the U.S., get far less attention from NPR than their numbers might suggest. To confirm this, I dug up the data on the religious affiliations of the U.S. population. Then I headed over to and did some simple searches to find out how often the names of major American religions were mentioned on the air on all NPR programs over the last year. This a pretty crude indicator, and I’ll mention some important caveats below, but the results are nevertheless quite striking:

Group                                       No. of adults         % of all adults            NPR mentions
                                                   (thousands)                                              (all programs)

Adult population, total              228,182

Christian, total                          173,402                     75.99                              581
   Catholic                                     57,199                      25.07                             460
   Baptist                                       36,148                     15.84                                92
   Christian-no denomination supplied
                                                       16,834                       7.38                              581
   Methodist/Wesleyan               11,366                       4.98                                52
   Lutheran                                      8,674                       3.80                                12
   Pentecostal/Charismatic          5,416                        2.37                                 15
   Protestant-no denomination supplied
                                                          5,187                       2.27                                48
   Presbyterian                                4,723                       2.07                                23
   Mormon/Latter-Day Saints      3,158                       1.38                              106
   Episcopalian/Anglican               2,405                       1.05                                  7
   Evangelical/Born Again             2,154                       0.94                                99
   Churches of Christ                       1,921                       0.84                                 6
   Jehovah’s Witness                       1,914                       0.84                                 3   

Other religions, total                     8,796                      3.85
   Jewish[2]                                  2,680                      1.17                            423
   Muslim                                          1,349                       0.59                            608
   Buddhist                                        1,189                       0.52                               47

No religion specified, total         34,169                     14.97
   Atheist                                             1,621                      0.71                                 54
   Agnostic                                           1,985                     0.87                                26 [3]
   No religion                                  30,427                     13.33


Granted, NPR mentions the terms Christian, Catholic, and even Muslim more often than Jew. But when you factor in the proportion of the population that identifies as Christian or Catholic, the frequency of references to Jews is indeed astonishing.

At first glance, the large number of uses of the word Muslim may be the biggest surprise in these data. When you think about it, though – or when you look at the stories where the word is used – the explanation quickly becomes apparent: most of the references are in stories about international politics, particularly past, present, and likely future U.S. wars against Muslims in various parts of the world. There are hardly any stories about American Muslims – except a few about suspected terrorists.

I did the same searches separately for five specific programs – Morning Edition, All Things Considered, the two Weekend Edition shows, and Fresh Air – and the pattern was broadly similar in all of them.

Interestingly, it’s the Protestants – still about half the U.S. population – who really get short shrift on NPR.

Now to the caveats I mentioned above:

a) Some of the references in question are pretty innocuous. One of the stories that mentions Jews, for example, is a Fresh Air interview with Stephen Colbert, in which he sings some lines from “Jesus Christ Superstar” where Herod taunts Christ by saying “Come on, King of the Jews.” Another instance is Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech,” in which he longs for the day “when all of God’s children – black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics – will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”

b) One reason NPR mentions Jews frequently is that it covers Israel fairly regularly, and on the whole that’s probably a good thing, despite the shortcomings of most of the coverage. If there were, for example, a “Methodist state” locked in conflict with its indigenous population, that denomination would probably garner more attention on the air.

c) In addition to the references to Jews in stories about Israel and to Muslims in coverage of what used to be known as the “global war on terror,” the results are also influenced in other ways by the vagaries of current events. The relatively large number of references to Mormons, for instance, is no doubt a function of the fact that one of the candidates in last year’s presidential election was a member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints; you can bet there won’t be nearly as many mentions of Mormons in the coming year. Likewise, the number of references to Catholics was obviously inflated by the recent transition in the Vatican. If it weren’t for that, and priestly pedophilia, I suspect references to Catholics would be about as scarce as mentions of Protestants or specific Protestant denominations on NPR’s airwaves.


Another whole dimension of this issue is the religious background of pundits and others interviewed on NPR. We all know that the network’s discussions of the Middle East are dominated by Jews who parlayed failure as peace-processors into careers in punditry at pro-Israel Beltway think tanks : in the last year NPR had Aaron David Miller (granted, a relative liberal as this bunch goes) on the air an astonishing 20 times (once as part of an almost-all-Jewish “National Conversation” about U.S.-Israel relations, which this site covered here), plus Martin Indyk seven times, Robert Malley (another liberal) five times, and Dennis Ross four times. By contrast, Diana Buttu, Rashid Khalidi, and Stephen Walt have been on the air only twice each in the last year, and Noura Erakat, Yousef Munayyer, and John Mearsheimer not even once. (Of course, it’s clear that being Jewish isn’t enough by itself to get you on the air on this topic: the network also excludes highly qualified Jewish experts who are critical of Israel. Among those not interviewed at all in the last year are Phyllis Bennis, Noam Chomsky, Richard Falk, and Sara Roy.)

But the disproportionate representation of Jews among NPR interviewees extends well beyond Middle East coverage, even to the shallow “human interest” stories the network seems to run ever more frequently (apparently part of its ongoing campaign to avoid the sin of sounding serious). Just this past Friday, Morning Edition aired a segment about two graduate students in physics, Matt Bierbaum and Jesse Silverberg, who recently presented a mathematical model of mosh-pit behavior at an academic conference. It was just a bit of levity – academic studies of popular culture are always good for a laugh – and I don’t for a minute think that someone at NPR consciously decided to air the piece because the protagonists had Jewish names. But there must be some kind of subconscious cultural affinity at work, because even the silly stories seem to revolve around Jewish characters far more often that the 1 or 2 percent of the time the population statistics would suggest.

The all-time classic in this genre was the Sept. 25, 2012, All Things Considered piece entitled “National Security Experts Go Rogue For ‘Drone Smackdown’,”  which followed two such eminences, Benjamin Wittes (husband of Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution) and “Homeland Security consultant” Paul Rosenzweig, as they brought their kids to a D.C. park and engaged in a contest to see which dad’s toy drone could knock the other’s down first. (This story would have merited a prize for inanity any day, but what made it especially exquisite was that it appeared the very day a team of investigators from Stanford and NYU published “Living Under Drones,” a major study of the effects of U.S. drone programs on civilians. The report garnered significant coverage around the world that day, even in some mainstream U.S.. media; the U.K. Independent wrote of it: “The product of nine months’ research and more than 130 interviews, it is one of the most exhaustive attempts by academics to understand – and evaluate – Washington’s drone wars. And their verdict is damning.” But NPR, having set aside four minutes, 21 seconds for the “smackdown” story, apparently couldn’t find the time for a single word about the study – and in fact has never mentioned it to this day.)


So why is it that NPR lavishes so much attention on Jews and their doings? Many possible explanations come to mind: NPR’s audience may well be more heavily Jewish than the population as a whole. Its main studio are in Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles – all areas where Jews are particularly prominent (a relatively recent development in D.C.). Perhaps the network, like the pols, is trying to curry favor with Jewish donors.

I suspect, though, that the main factor is simply that that there are so many Jews on NPR’s programming staff – not just reporters and hosts, but also editors. (Interestingly, as far as one can judge by the names, the network’s “corporate team” and board of directors don’t appear to be overwhelmingly Jewish.)

Ever since the civil rights movement, the racial and ethnic make-up on the nation’s newsroom has been the object of extensive study and sometimes heated debate; nowadays, most Americans seem to accept the proposition that diversity in staffing tends to promote full and fair coverage of the concerns and interests of all elements of the community. Last spring, for example, NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos assembled an exhaustive array of charts and tables to demonstrate the diversity – in terms of race and ethnicity – of NPR’s programming staff. The question of diversity of religious background, however, remains taboo; just raising the issue is likely to get me charged with anti-semitism. But if it’s important to have racial and ethnic diversity in our newsrooms, why isn’t it also important to have diversity in religious background?


[1] Data included in the 2012 edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States , published by the U.S. Census Bureau, indicates that 1.17 percent of U.S. adults identified themselves as Jewish in 2008. That figure is based on data collected for the American Religious Identification Survey by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture, Trinity College, Hartford, CT. A similar survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 1.7 percent of U.S. adults were Jewish. It’s not clear what accounts for the large difference between the two figures.

[2] In these searches I used the word “Jew,” without an “s,” because that seemed to find all stories including “Jew,” “Jews,” and/or “Jewish.”

[3] In a majority of the programs that included the word “agnostic,” however, it was used in its generic sense, not in reference to religion.

Henry Norr
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137 Responses

  1. dimadok
    dimadok on March 25, 2013, 4:00 pm

    Wow, just wow. The low levels this site sinks to are just astonishing-especially publishing this post on the PASSOVER EVE!
    How many Jews are too much for you? One, two, maybe a dozen? You obsession with us, Jews, is the one of the key features of the pathological social antisemitism that creeps through every hole on this site. How mighty have fallen.

    • justicewillprevail
      justicewillprevail on March 25, 2013, 6:41 pm

      Kind of missing the point, aren’t we? Never mind, it gives you an opportunity to get on your soapbox again with your favourite rant. Try reading the last paragraph before rushing to your predetermined conclusions and tell us why representation in the media of various groups is a forbidden topic in your blinkered universe.

    • Sin Nombre
      Sin Nombre on March 25, 2013, 7:21 pm

      dimadok said to Henry Norr:

      “You [sic] obsession with us Jews….”

      *Norr’s* obsession?!!

      Next it’ll be *Unz’s* obsession for showing what seems to be a 3000% preference for getting in a Harvard if you are jewish over a similarly credentialed gentile.

      Not Harvard’s apparent obsession. Not NPR’s. *Ours.*

      That double-standard stigmata, over and over again.

      • HRK
        HRK on March 26, 2013, 2:10 pm

        Just wanted to mention: I read more on this topic, and, after reading a professor (can’t remember her name now) who argued against Unz’s viewpoint, I came out convinced that Unz was in the wrong and she was in the right.

        I was skeptical of her claims at first, but she won me over. I’m not Jewish, by the way, but I knew that Unz was Jewish, so I assumed he wouldn’t be biased against his own ethnic group.

        But, basically, what the professor (who was also Jewish, by the way) argued was that Unz had overestimated the number of Jews at Harvard (if memory serves it’s more like 10 – 15 percent and not 25 percent) and underestimated the number of Jews who had placed in certain math/science competitions. She had been researching a related topic (the divide between men and women) and so had happened to have information on the ethnicity of all of the people involved in one of the math/science competitions in question. And she determined this info by contacting the competitors directly. (Unz admits that he determined it by taking five minutes to scan down a list!)

        As I said, I started as a skeptic, but I kept an open mind and I came out thinking that she had the much stronger argument.

        I’m definitely not very knowledgeable about statistics, so maybe I’ve misunderstood Unz’s argument (and the professor’s, as well)–so please double check me. But his method for coming up with the numbers he did did seem pretty sloppy.

      • marc b.
        marc b. on March 27, 2013, 1:46 pm

        hrk, i believe i read the same article a few weeks back, and if that was the professor’s argument (that unz overestimated), she’s wrong. the center for jewish life (hillel) has long used similar numbers which pre-date unz’s article.

        As a high school student 50 years ago, Stanley Katz thought Princeton University was paradise, a place inhabited by pipe-smoking scholars with patches on their elbows and mustaches. ”I said, ‘Katz, that’s you.’ ”

        But as he learned more about Princeton, it dawned on him ”that this was the last place in the Ivy League — except maybe Dartmouth — that was for me,” he said. ”It became clear to me that if not anti-Semitic, it wasn’t congenial to Jews.” He went to Harvard.

        Today Mr. Katz is a Princeton professor and president-elect of its Center for Jewish Life, and the university is a far more welcoming place. The president, the provost and the dean of the college are Jewish. So are many of the faculty members. Professor Katz’s center is a lively place, with a large kosher kitchen and a stream of events, from casino nights and swing dances to Talmud classes and Friday night services.

        So how can it be, Mr. Katz and other Jews on campus are asking, that Princeton’s Jewish enrollment has fallen by nearly half since the early 1980’s — to about 10 percent, or about 450 undergraduates, from a high of 18 percent? Why do other Ivy League campuses — Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Penn — manage to keep Jewish populations of at least a quarter and in some cases more than a third? (The figures, drawn from surveys by the University of California at Los Angeles that ask first-year college students their religious preferences, are considered rough estimates.)

        that’s from a 1999 NYT article. the reporting of jewish enrollment has been tracked for a number of years, and apparently is widely regarded as accurate and relied upon by ivy league institutions when reviewing admissions statistics. the ‘princeton problem’ reared its ugly head again, in 2007 i believe, when hillel later ‘wondered’ again why jewish students at princeton only numbered in the teens rather than the 25% or so at yale and harvard. (it would never occur of course, to reverse the question.)

      • HRK
        HRK on March 28, 2013, 2:09 pm


        You may be right. I’ll have to go back and read the article by the professor. I feel slightly guilty that perhaps I came across as more knowledgeable about her argument (and Unz’s) than I am.

        I know that in the back-and-forth there was talk about the percentage of Jews at Harvard. And then there was talk about the percentage of Jews at different universities (both coasts). And the number that was sticking in my memory for Harvard was 10-15 percent, but maybe that was for one of the other universities that they were talking about.

        I remember at one point the prof made the argument that about 15 percent of the winners in this math/sci type contest were Jewish and so maybe I worked backwards and assumed the 15 percent number that was stuck in my head was for the Harvard student body as well.

        Basically, my memory isn’t that trustworthy on this one!! :)

        But I definitely did get the sense that Unz was mixing stats–taking part of a figure from one place using one method and another part of the equation from another place using another method. It didn’t seem really reliable.

        But, to be fair, perhaps I’ve misrepresented him.

        Perhaps what I should say is that we do need to be careful before we jump to conclusions. Unz just came out with this data. We should wait to see if it can be verified by others first before we offer any correctives.

      • Keith
        Keith on March 28, 2013, 7:16 pm

        MARC B- “So how can it be, Mr. Katz and other Jews on campus are asking, that Princeton’s Jewish enrollment has fallen by nearly half since the early 1980′s — to about 10 percent, or about 450 undergraduates, from a high of 18 percent? Why do other Ivy League campuses — Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Penn — manage to keep Jewish populations of at least a quarter and in some cases more than a third?”

        Interesting, isn‘t it? Speaking to us, Dimadok asks, “How many Jews are too much for you?” Speaking to sympathetic fellow Jews, Stanley Katz asks what level of Jewish overrepresentation in the Ivy Leagues is minimally acceptable? 5X? 10X? Is there a maximum amount which would make them feel uncomfortable, perhaps drawing attention and eliciting envy from the lesser endowed? Would there be complaints about being confined to an Ivy League ghetto?

    • on March 25, 2013, 7:56 pm

      Apparently, the Zionists don’t have an issue with it.

      Palestinians prepare to observe Passover: Israel puts West Bank under general closure for Jewish holiday

      Or maybe, you meant to comment on the above and did it here by mistake instead.

    • Taxi
      Taxi on March 26, 2013, 12:17 am

      While you’re being wowed and enjoying your Passover, do please pass over the land back to its Palestinian rightful owners.

    • MRW
      MRW on March 26, 2013, 1:38 am


      You don’t live here. You don’t hear it.

      Further, the airwaves, by law since 1934, belong to the public. While commercial outfits who buy licenses can broadcast what they want or within FCC rules, the National Public Radio has to reflect the public.

      As I write this, NPR here is broadcasting one hour (out of three) of Canada’s As it Happens. The top story of the hour is Ezra Levant’s apology to the Roma six months after insulting them on his September Sun TV show called “The Source.” Levant is a Calgary AB personality. Levant’s rant was called ‘The Jew vs. The Gypsy’. Levant is now being charged with hate crimes, and Sun’s application to the CRTC for its TV license hangs in the balance this week for violating Canadian broadcasting codes. Levant apologized the day of application. Carol Off, the host who has Barbara Frum’s former job, is grilling the VP of Sun network, reading portions of what Levant said (truly racist), and demanding to know why Levant wasn’t fired. She says, correctly, that she would have been fired for saying what he did. This is the kind of public radio that you don’t have down here anymore since the big Jewish donors—if anyone can remember—threatened NPR in the early aughts for discussing Palestinian rights and discussing Israel’s role in the Iraq War. It chilled public radio.
      The CBC clip is worth listening to.

    • talknic
      talknic on March 26, 2013, 3:08 am

      @ dimadok “…publishing this post on the PASSOVER EVE!”

      Uh? Does Israel end its occupation of non-Israeli territory on passover?

      ‘How many Jews are too much for you?”

      The topic is how much broadcast time is dedicated, not how many Jews.

      “…the pathological social antisemitism that creeps through every hole on this site. How mighty have fallen.”

      Straw accusation build on a straw premise Pajero

    • Qualtrough
      Qualtrough on March 26, 2013, 3:24 am

      The vastly disproportionate representation of any group is certainly worthy of comment and examination. Doubly so when substantial numbers of that same group seek to influence US foreign policy towards another nation.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on March 26, 2013, 10:26 am

        @ Qualthrough
        It’s been standard practice in America to politically discuss in the public eye any disproportionate white male numbers in every influential agency for at least a half century now, often with the phrase “old white guys.” A matrix of US legislation and implementing regulations, as well as many states’, regularly count numbers by race/ethnicity and sex. And who even slightly aware of American political discourse does not know there are no WASPS on SCOTUS these days? Why is none of this numbers counting ever labeled as sinister, and evil math unless the numbers counted are Jews? Especially when so many numbers counters are Jewish? If anything, American politicians always counts numbers, both in terms of donor dollars and voters.

    • pmb1414
      pmb1414 on March 26, 2013, 3:32 pm

      dimadok, Pretty quick with a hair trigger to shoot the anti-Semite bullet, aren’t you? You missed the part where the author mentions that Jewish Americans are approximately two percent of the population. Mr. Norr is merely asking why such a comparatively small group seems to dominate stories on NPR, to the detriment of other groups. The Palestinian people, which include Christians, do not have an extremely wealthy lobby like AIPAC to speak for them. That’s why we Americans, and by default our representatives, have such a one sided unconditionally supportive pro-Israel viewpoint. If you look at the big picture, that’s an ugly thing for a democracy.

    • Cliff
      Cliff on March 26, 2013, 4:52 pm

      dim duck

      you dont live in the US

      you dont listen to NPR

      you are a liar who implied IDF don’t dress up as Arabs and harass Palestinians

      you are accusing someone of being obssessed about Jews on an Israel Palestine blog written from within the US and with a perspective from Jewish Americans and intellectuals

      in short, you are a pathetic troll with nothing to say but

      blah blah antisemitism

    • kalithea
      kalithea on March 26, 2013, 5:02 pm

      Save the drama queen histrionics! Haven’t you heard? Passover is cancelled until the Palestinians are freed from Zionist oppression.

  2. RudyM
    RudyM on March 25, 2013, 4:00 pm

    If there were, for example, a “Methodist state” locked in conflict with its indigenous population. . .

    As the son of a Methodist minister who was the son of a Methodist minister, I demand beach front property in Ocean City, NJ now!

    (Hmmm. Maybe this explains why Jewish humor is more popular than Methodist humor.)

    • Rusty Pipes
      Rusty Pipes on March 27, 2013, 6:10 pm

      If Garrison Keillor could make a career off of Lutheran humor and comics like George Carlin could get a lot of mileage out of Catholic guilt, there may be a niche for Methodist humor. Your routine might need some work, though.

  3. marc b.
    marc b. on March 25, 2013, 4:24 pm

    well, this should be interesting.

  4. MRW
    MRW on March 25, 2013, 4:36 pm

    Henry, I heard that same clip on St. Paddy’s Day, and I was shocked. Actually, I was fed up. In my neck of the woods it’s all Holocaust all the time; if I hear one more maudlin story about Anne Frank I’m gonna scream. The only time I hear Ms. Fresh Air get animated is when she’s interviewing a Jewish subject. “Oooo, look how wonderful we are.” Jack Black is a comic genius? People I know who used to listen to NPR have abandoned it, including my cleaning ladies (Latino) who used to love NPR on the way to work. No longer. NPR can’t even get 10,000 subscribers here in a city of 1.5 million. National Public radio has abandoned the American people for some tribal bullshit no one is interested in. It’s so dumbed-down it’s astonishing, and Jews claim they are smart? The only good thing about my NPR is BBC in the middle of the night, which I rearranged two days ago to get via iTunes podcasts (Forum, Global News, Documentaries, etc). BBC’s Jewish-centric programming is light years above the bullshit we get here, and entertaining, informative, and thought-provoking. The maudlin crap we are force-fed in the USA is aggravating.

    But when you factor in the proportion of the population that identifies as Christian or Catholic, the frequency of references to Jews is indeed astonishing.

    No. It’s stupid. But they’ll learn. I got an email about how they are trying to get the 20-somethings. Fat chance.

    I am also fed up with every story about Blacks and Latinos being loser stories as if Blacks and Latinos never rise beyond the stereotypes the NPR producers place them in. Someone in that joint thinks it’s still the 1950s.

    • Erasmus
      Erasmus on March 26, 2013, 9:10 am

      Re MRW : …” The only good thing about my NPR is BBC in the middle of the night,….”

      The same i can not say about the BBC.

      They have since quite a while a similar hybrid radio programme under the titel “Boston calling”, in which the BBC gives NPR the air waves to her listeners for half an hour. Which is – to top it up – repeated umpteen times during the week.

      Most of the time, it is a very poor image the NPR gives of what drives the USA. The usual NPR crap…..Mostly, awful.
      Meanwhile, I am often lead to promptly change stations, and ever increasinglyi do.

    • jayn0t
      jayn0t on March 26, 2013, 9:55 pm

      MRW – your cleaning ladies are Latina, not Latino

  5. Marco
    Marco on March 25, 2013, 4:46 pm

    Great work. Put this piece right alongside Ron Unz’s article “The Myth of American Meritocracy.”

    I think what stands out is not merely the ethnic composition of NPR, and by extension the press and mass media in general, but the lack of basic humility evinced by the disproportionate coverage of Jewish issues.

    To put it bluntly, if you’re a member of a distinctly privileged group and have benefited from ethnic networking, i.e. discrimination, you might think that you’d at least be humble enough in your position of power to not constantly brag about your group’s accomplishments.

    I do think there’s a political purpose at work, and it’s not pretty: to steadily penetrate into the public’s mind the idea that Jewish elite privilege is right and natural.

    • lysias
      lysias on March 25, 2013, 6:45 pm

      Unz, remember, blames the university admissions process favoring Jewish applicants so much even now — when Jewish academic accomplishments have been dropping — on the numbers of Jews in university administrations, and in particular in admissions offices.

  6. seafoid
    seafoid on March 25, 2013, 4:47 pm

    There is something about Jewish visibility in the mass media as the mess in Israel builds to a climax. I wonder how many Financial Times mentions of cute Jewish traits by the likes of Simon Schama there will be when Israel blows up.

  7. lysias
    lysias on March 25, 2013, 4:48 pm

    If there were, for example, a “Methodist state” locked in conflict with its indigenous population, that denomination would probably garner more attention on the air.

    When, not so long ago, there was a Presbyterian/Anglican state (Northern Ireland) locked in conflict with its indigenous population, I don’t recall NPR giving disproportionate attention to Presbyterians and Episcopalians.

    • MRW
      MRW on March 26, 2013, 2:52 am

      Good point, lysias. And the people they did have on during the rare times they discussed it were ill-equipped intellectually to explain the centuries-old complaints on both sides. I mean, what does Martin Indyk have to do with it? I grew up listening to those complaints. So I know “our side” of it.

      The thing that CBC does is they call the principals wherever they are in the world and talk to them; moreover, they listen and let us listen (unlike that tedious NPR Science Friday guy who, one, can’t stop interrupting as if he’s exasperated, and two, wont let his knowledgable guests talk longer than 10 seconds at a clip, he won’t let them explain themselves or their complex science; it’s all tabloid).

  8. Krauss
    Krauss on March 25, 2013, 4:55 pm

    Very good investigative piece.
    Part of me say, however, that Christian culture is so dominant that I don’t mind if minority cultures/religions get covered disproportionally on NPR.

    However – and this is a big if – if that’s mainly Jews and nobody else then that’s racism. I mean, as you said, Muslims get covered mostly in news reports that are about wars, violence or terrorism. Hardly very balanced. Also, notice the complete lack of coverage of Buddhism.

    I don’t think this is conscious racism. It’s just a subconscious and latent racism by NPR’s numerous Jews. Don’t forget, NPR was just a year ago a completely all-white news organization without a single black employee when Juan Williams was fired.

    So racism is a problem there. And apparently not just skin-color related racism but cultural racism too.

    This also underscores the lack of awareness inside the Jewish community, I’m talking about intra-Jewish racism. In the Western world we’d like to think of ourselves as enlightened, and whatever racism exists is concentrated in Israel (for which we are quick to rationalize by the “tough neighbourhood”, “trauma” or some other bullshit explanation).

    But many are not even aware that 20-25% of the Jewish population inside the U.S. is non-white. And that share is probably higher among the secular population, especially among younger Jews.

    I have friends, black friends, who discussed dating with their girlfriends. When their girlfriends, also Jewish but white, blurted out various proposals (but what about him!?) it was invariably other black Jews. It’s as if a black Jew can only date another black Jew in these white Jews’ imagination.

    I’ve also been a prime witness to overt racism. I’ve seen young (and drunk) white Jews at parties openly question if the Jew of Color sitting across from them “is really Jewish”. What they’re basically saying, you can’t be non-white and Jewish.

    And look at the institutional Jewish world. How many hispanic, asian or black Jews do you see? They exist. Even Sephardic Jews are notoriously poorly represented, except in some corners of the Haredim.

    These things correlate. There is a white-based racism inside the Jewish community and a general myopia externally, as exemplified by the findings in your article.

    • RudyM
      RudyM on March 25, 2013, 7:30 pm

      Also, notice the complete lack of coverage of Buddhism.

      I’ve heard NPR cover Buddhists. What about Philip Glass? Allen Ginsberg? Leonard Cohen?

      • MRW
        MRW on March 26, 2013, 3:08 am

        What about Philip Glass? Allen Ginsberg? Leonard Cohen?

        Exactly. What about them? They’re old. One’s dead. And the other is a Canadian.

      • RudyM
        RudyM on March 26, 2013, 2:36 pm

        I think you missed the joke, actually.

      • Truthbug
        Truthbug on March 26, 2013, 11:58 am


    • MRW
      MRW on March 26, 2013, 3:06 am


      I don’t think the issue is the numbers. It’s the reluctance to discuss controversy, which used to be the point of public radio. I mean, why listen to it otherwise? Imagine a world where we would have to listen to Muffy and Buffy WASP radio, preening about their wonderfulness and entitlement. Well, now we have the Jewish version of it and it is no less unpleasant.

      Thank god for internet radio. That’s where I’m going. Bridget Kandall’s Forum on BBC is excellent. Ditto their Global News and In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, or Tim Harford’s Pop-Up Economics. BBC’s Hardtalk puts Chris Matthew’s Hardball to shame. I’m not giving the BBC a general pass because they, too, have fallen prey to hasbara on the I/P issue; however, the general quality of their radio is the sun to NPR’s puny earth.

      N.B. I don’t get east coast NPR programming, so maybe you have different stuff.

  9. on March 25, 2013, 5:11 pm

    does not npr also put the Catholics in a negative light..

    pretty much all of msm in the US puts the catholics negative…out side of when there is a pope..

  10. doug
    doug on March 25, 2013, 5:14 pm

    What! I’ve heard NPR called “National Palestinian Radio” by right wingers. They live in their own fantasy world.

    • on March 25, 2013, 6:50 pm

      LOL! Wouldn’t you expect adults who play with invisible friends to live in their own fantasy world?

  11. Cliff
    Cliff on March 25, 2013, 5:37 pm

    Random side-note, an important loss for the Anti-Semitism Industry:

    From Jews Sans Frontiers:

    UCU cleared of harassment in landmark tribunal
    25 March 2013

    An Employment Tribunal has found in favour of UCU on all ten complaints of harassment brought by a UCU member who opposed the union’s policy on Palestine.

    The claimant had been supported in his claim by leading lawyer Anthony Julius. In giving their reasoning the Tribunal stated that ‘the proceedings are dismissed in their totality’ and ‘we greatly regret that the case was ever brought. At heart it represents an impermissible attempt to achieve a political end by litigious means.’

    The Tribunal also described themselves as troubled by the implications of the claim, stating that ‘underlying it we sense a worrying disregard for pluralism, tolerance and freedom of expression, principles which the courts and tribunals are, and must be, vigilant to protect’.

    While witnesses for UCU were described in the tribunal’s decision as ‘careful and accurate’, some witnesses for the claimant were described as appearing to ‘misunderstand the nature of the proceedings and more disposed to score points or play to the gallery rather than providing straightforward answers to the clear questions put to them’.

    John Mann MP and former MP Denis MacShane were collectively described as giving ‘glib evidence, while testimony of another key witness for the claimant was described as ‘extraordinarily arrogant but also disturbing’. [Who was that then?]

    UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “I am delighted that the Tribunal has made such a clear and overwhelming judgement in UCU’s favour. There are many different views within UCU and wider society about Israel and Palestine and this decision upholds our and others’ right to freedom of expression and to continue to properly debate these and other difficult questions.

    “This has been an extremely difficult period for the UCU staff and members involved in defending the union’s position and I am especially pleased therefore that the Tribunal found our witnesses to be careful and accurate.

    “The claimant, while unsuccessful, of course had the right to challenge the union in the courts and will be treated with respect within the union as will his views on this question. Now that a decision has been made I hope in turn that he, and others who share his views, will play an active part in the union and its debates rather than seek recourse to the law.

    “For our part, UCU will look at our own processes to see if improvements can be made in line with the advice given to us within the decision. We remain opposed to discrimination of any kind including anti-Semitism and we will work with energy and determination with all who will work with us to oppose it in the workplace and society at large.”

    All bolded excerpts from Jews Sans Frontiers except the last one.

    And a commentator at the website, point out this past event of the on-going circus:

    Mr Newmark said that at the union’s congress in 2008 he had been “targeted” by UCU officials who saw he was wearing a kippah and stopped him entering the conference hall.

    Mr White said: “What, in fact, happened was you were trying to push your way in, despite having the wrong badge.”

    Mr Newmark responded: “It’s very easy to use the stereotype of a pushy Jew. That’s not what happened. Nobody else was stopped from going in. They knew me.”


    • MHughes976
      MHughes976 on March 27, 2013, 12:04 pm

      First I’d heard of this and I’m grateful as a retired UCU member for the news. I look forward to reading the full judgement and checking out what definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ applies in UK law at the moment. Mind you, if it is at all possible there will be an appeal.

  12. American
    American on March 25, 2013, 5:49 pm

    Well is not anti semitic to say the obvious and very observable…..Jews are completely over represented in all media and press…..and it anti due to their talent or we’ve have better programing and less dumb downing and fewer ‘of no consequence and shallow topics’ than we have on the public airwaves.

    • RoHa
      RoHa on March 25, 2013, 9:04 pm

      “Well is not anti semitic to say the obvious and very observable”

      Yes it is. Everything is, and especially everything you say.

  13. hophmi
    hophmi on March 25, 2013, 6:31 pm

    Yet again. You actually went and did this. Do you realize how you look, Henry? Do you realize what kind of people you’re channelling?

    • on March 25, 2013, 7:57 pm

      Talking to yourself again, eh?

      • hophmi
        hophmi on March 28, 2013, 4:46 pm

        “Talking to yourself again, eh?”

        Nope, just speaking the truth. You should try it sometime.

    • Krauss
      Krauss on March 26, 2013, 1:10 am

      Well he’s bringing out trolls like you. That’s a big negative.

      • marc b.
        marc b. on March 26, 2013, 9:51 am

        he’s bringing out trolls like you.

        i think henry enjoys it. he’s a bit of a provocateur. he just lobs it in matter-of-factly and waits for the sobbing, chest pounding, teeth gnashing hysteria to begin.

    • MRW
      MRW on March 26, 2013, 3:42 am

      Yet again. You actually went and did this. Do you realize how you look, Henry? Do you realize what kind of people you’re channelling?

      Thinking ones. The public airwaves belong to all of us. This assessment was done to correct the paucity of coverage of the 20% US Black population at one time. Even the NYT has undergone this scrutiny. It’s completely appropriate.

    • marc b.
      marc b. on March 26, 2013, 9:43 am

      what a drama queen. (were you pulling at your house coat and dabbing your eyes with kleenex, chain smoking, as you wrote that?) yes, we know hopee, counting ethnic units is ‘good’ math when analyzing historical prejudicial treatment of american jews, and it’s ‘good’ math when publicly preening over jewish-american accomplishments, but heaven forbid that same math is used to argue that people who previously experienced prejudicial treatment might later use their influence for the purposes of self promotion. that’s ‘bad’ math, anti-semitic math.

      if this mild criticism is just too much to bear, i hear that there’s a state, a paradise actually, where the benevolent influence and ethical superiority of judaism are unquestioned.

      • hophmi
        hophmi on March 28, 2013, 4:47 pm

        “what a drama queen. (were you pulling at your house coat and dabbing your eyes with kleenex, chain smoking, as you wrote that?) yes, we know hopee, counting ethnic units is ‘good’ math when analyzing historical prejudicial treatment of american jews, and it’s ‘good’ math when publicly preening over jewish-american accomplishments, but heaven forbid that same math is used to argue that people who previously experienced prejudicial treatment might later use their influence for the purposes of self promotion. that’s ‘bad’ math, anti-semitic math. ”

        Hey, listen, Marc B., you want to be Henry Ford and Father Coughlin, you go ahead. It’s self-discrediting. No one cares outside the cult.

    • American
      American on March 26, 2013, 12:18 pm

      @ hophni

      LOL…..gawd…… know all the stuff being said about Jews re: nepotism, ethnic favoritism or exclusion, control of this and that medium and etc.—-is the EXACT same stuff Jews and others said about WASP in their heyday….still being said as a matter of fact.

      So why do think Jews should be immune from the same social or political criticism other ethnic groups have always gotten…huuum?

  14. joer
    joer on March 25, 2013, 6:39 pm

    “Interestingly”, the author forgot to consider the fact that other religious denominations have entire tv networks and large blocks of times on many cable stations. This is the answer to your mystery: NPR is a ghetto network for shows on subjects that hardly anyone is interested in, so people have to make donations to support the shows they like. But I wouldn’t worry about it because hardly anyone listens.

    • Citizen
      Citizen on March 26, 2013, 11:08 am

      NPR’s Mission
      The mission of NPR is to work in partnership with member stations to create a more informed public – one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

      To accomplish our mission, we produce, acquire, and distribute programming that meets the highest standards of public service in journalism and cultural expression; we represent our members in matters of their mutual interest; and we provide satellite interconnection for the entire public radio system.

      NPR’s Vision
      This vision statement describes our aspirations for NPR’s future.

      NPR, with its network of independent member stations, is America’s pre-eminent news institution.

      We strive to inform our democracy and culture by bringing important stories, insight and delight to audiences everywhere.

      NPR innovates and leads; we discover and develop new talent and ideas.

      We seek out new audiences and search for ways to be more essential, using every available platform of communication – across the nation and around the world.

    • American
      American on March 26, 2013, 12:24 pm


      Good points. I use to listen to NPR all the time while in the car…but the slants on issues plus the idiotic topics 90% of the population doesn’t care about turned me off.
      I would be happy to see NPR slashed from any government funding.

      • Taxi
        Taxi on March 26, 2013, 4:36 pm

        Slashing funding to NPR is the ONLY thing Ted Nugent and I have in common.

      • Cliff
        Cliff on March 27, 2013, 8:30 pm


      • Citizen
        Citizen on March 29, 2013, 10:33 am

        @ Taxi, so are you a meat-eater? If so, do you eat what you kill on your land like Nugent does, or maybe with a hunting license on another’s property?

      • Taxi
        Taxi on March 31, 2013, 4:25 pm

        No I ain’t a meat eater, gun owner or killer of animals, Citizen.

        But I am a purveyor of Palestinian freedom and in some ways this makes me more dangerous than a nutty NRA member.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on April 1, 2013, 11:32 am

        @ Taxi

        Thanks for responding, Taxi. Just so you know, I almost always agree with your comments–you may already realize this? Although you did not ask, I will tell you I am a meat eater, I do own a few guns, but I don’t kill animals myself. I’ve been trying to cut back on my meat-eating, for health reasons, if nothing else. But it’s one of my comfort foods, so it’s hard. I was given a gun in the military. Now I have a couple. I trust myself more than I do my government in that regard. I would use my guns to defend myself in my home.
        You must know that cops usually come after the fact of home criminal home intrusions. I am not a member of the NRA. I am also a purveyor of Palestinian freedom. I resent my tax dollars going to Israel’s abuse of Palestinians, basically because they were born Palestinian on land Zionists and their aiders and abettors feel they have a right to own and control.

        I also wish to point out that Hitler’s early move once in power was to take away private ownership of guns. In my long life, I’ve seen little evidence my government is worthy of my trust.

      • Taxi
        Taxi on April 1, 2013, 12:41 pm

        Thanks for sharing citizen, I always enjoy your personal stories. I don’t have any prejudice against meat-eaters or responsible gun owners. If I lived out in the sticks or in a bad neighborhood I’d probably own a gun too. Like you, I have little trust in our government and even less faith that the next one will be any better. Personally, I take pride that non of the presidential candidates I ever voted for, ever won.

        Stay healthy, buddy!

  15. palijustice
    palijustice on March 25, 2013, 6:46 pm

    I’ve noticed this for a long time too. The treatment is lopsided for sure. But what really bothers me is how NPR ignors Israeli apartheid, house demollitions based on religious identity, segregated roads, and the fact that the settlements are illegal under international law. Because NPR is virtually silent about these awful moral crimes, many Americans live in ignorance about this issue.
    I think it’s about NPR wanting to protect Israel’s image or offending wealthy donars who support NPR.

    • MRW
      MRW on March 26, 2013, 3:46 am


      It happened in the early aughts (00s). There was a huge kerfuffle that started with the Boston public radio station and grew to include NPR in DC. Jewish donors and foundations threatened to take every penny away unless they complied. I don’t have links, and I’m too lazy to research it now, but it happened.

      • Rusty Pipes
        Rusty Pipes on March 27, 2013, 6:00 pm

        There was a big kerfuffle about Bush’s interference in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the early aughts, which was pretty widely covered in the MSM. The conservative leadership was giving both TV and radio a hard time. I don’t recall a specifically Zionist slant, although if they were pushing the whole agenda of the Republican party, it would have included the perspectives of neocons and Christian Zionists.

        Mearsheimer and Walt write about the pressure that MSM outlets were under in the run-up to the Iraq War, as well as the well-orchestrated media pressure campaigns by Zionist groups like CAMERA:

        One of the lobby’s most energetic media watchdog groups — though not the only one — is the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). It has been especially critical of National Public Radio, which it sometimes refers to as “National Palestine Radio.” In addition to maintaining a website to publicize alleged examples of media bias, CAMERA organized demonstrations outside National Public Radio stations in thirty-three cities in May 2003, and it tried to convince contributors to withhold support from NPR until its Middle East coverage became more sympathetic to Israel. One of Boston’s public radio stations, WBUR, reportedly lost more than $1 million in contributions as a result of these efforts. In 2006, CAMERA ran expensive full-page advertisements in the New York Times and New York Sun criticizing Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, ads that included the publisher’s phone number and encouraged readers to call and complain (p. 173).

        It is also worth noting that the headquarters of CAMERA is in Boston.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on March 26, 2013, 6:10 am

      I think there are 2 trends at work.

      The first is Jewish integration into the post religious power structures of the US and the UK. Someone a while back mentioned their nieces who were Ivy League and had the world at their feet. Incredible Jewish success, really, if you look at Jakob Riis photos of the Ashkenazim in NY in the 1890s. So many fields. And a lot of good stuff. Very good networking too of course.
      But the Parsis are good at that too and we never hear about them..

      The other trend is on the dark side in Israel, the machine that goes ever deeper into hatred and human rights abuses and nihilism and which is geared towards bad stuff . It is also “Jewish”. And it really sucks.

      And nobody really wants to go there. So let’s just talk about Lena Dunham or Nigella Lawson.

      I wonder if certain people in the community can’t believe the success of the first trend, the acceptance and don’t understand how the second trend hangs over the first and will probably ultimately contaminate everything.

      • Marco
        Marco on March 26, 2013, 10:05 pm

        You really cannot compare the Parsis to Jews in the U.S.

        Put simply, Indians don’t really have strong negative stereotypes about Parsis and never have. They’re a successful market minority. But they don’t dominate the media and entertainment. Nor does Parsi culture permeate Indian majority Hindu society. Far from it. The average Indian considers the Parsis to be, despite their success, a dying race.

        Most market minorities around the world are like the Parsis. They tend to dominate in trade and commerce, but not in arts, media, entertainment, academia, finance, and politics.

        You’re being cute here, but when you have such an economically privileged group as Jewish Americans and they perpetuate that privilege through “good networking”, i.e. ethnic discrimination, at some point what you’ve created is a civil rights issue.

  16. on March 25, 2013, 6:47 pm

    Never have so many been led by so by the ring on the nose by so few as with this Isreal business. The entire world walks on eggshells trying to avoid offending the sensibilities of those that have neither sense much less sensibilities and who do not hesitate spiting on the face of their benefactors for it. Nothing is too good for this lot. That is the true sign of psychopaths.

    Slightly off topic but to illustrate that the “P” in NPR really stands for “prostituted” – Today, I happened to listen to a few minutes of a show discussing the wave of violence in Maynmar/Burma being carried out by non other than Buddhist monks against Muslims. The guest on the show was a Salafi man. From what I head, the guy was very moderate and reasonable and expressed it well. He was advocating for the rights of all his people to equality, healthcare, education, food, shelter and all the things that every human being on the planet aspires to in their life time. The host, a pompous jackass with a British accent, kept interrupting and asking “but don’t you want to go back to the 7th Century?” The Salafi kept patiently explaining, “no, we want [insert above]” and the Brit ass continued to interject and harp “yeah, but that’s not what Sharia law is!” The Salafi would repeat the same. I got sick of it! It was quite obvious that the Brit jerk was not interested in what the guest had to say but, rather, he had an agenda to show that (borrowing terms from the loving ISrealites and Christian Fundies) “backward savages from the 7th Century.” The dude had no interest in the position or view of the guest. It was quite obvious the kind of pressure he was putting on the guy to get him to say what he wanted to hear. At the end, he ended up cutting the guy off mid sentence. It was a sickening display of intellectual dishonest to say the least. I’m also willing to be that, had he been interviewing an ISreali settler, his demeanor, line of questioning and overall positioning and attitude would have been the complete opposite. And that, in a nutshell, is NPR. Either they completely ignore a subject or, when faced with truth and facts, they twist it all around and make a pretzel out of it in order to get the desired results to fit their agenda of propaganda, misinformation and lies. And on and on it goes. The wingnuts can shut them down for all I care.

  17. maz
    maz on March 25, 2013, 7:45 pm

    NPR is slightly more balanced on the Israel-Palestine issue than say CNN, but it’s really not much better when it’s all said and done.

    But yeah, my alarm clock is set to NPR so I often catch something about Jews at least twice a week or so in the morning, but there are even more Jewish features when their afternoon/evening news programming resumes.

    They are usually light-hearted puff pieces. Seriously though, I don’t think the fact that they feature Jewish-friendly stories is because of Israel, they feature Jewish stories because it seems that Jews are directing the news over there.

    There is nothing anti-semitic about saying this. If NPR’s contributers included groups like The Family Research Council instead of Jewish run organizations such as the Annenberg or the Rockefeller Foundation, you’d probably expect a more WASP-ish focus news. Not that they would not feature Jewish stories, it just wouldn’t be so overt.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen on March 26, 2013, 10:00 am

      “They are usually light-hearted puff pieces. Seriously though, I don’t think the fact that they feature Jewish-friendly stories is because of Israel, they feature Jewish stories because it seems that Jews are directing the news over there.”

      Believe these “Jewish friendly stories” have increased the last five or so years. But Henry could figure that out by looking at the line up say 15 years ago.

  18. chinese box
    chinese box on March 25, 2013, 7:48 pm

    Well this is an edgy article for a thread. As a non-Jew I don’t know if I would personally feel comfortable bringing this subject up or delving into it, but if someone else wants to, I don’t see an issue with it. But the problem with this taboo, as with all taboos, is that when the dam finally breaks there will probably excessive discussion of it since it’s been suppressed for so long.

    Anyway I avoid NPR like the plague–the presentation is always a little too stylized and precious, especially the way each reporter is required to pronounce every syllable with unerring diction.

    I know far too many liberals who pat themselves on the back for listening to NPR when in fact most of them are intellectually lazy because they accept what they hear there uncritically. At the end of the day it’s still received opinion, and the revolving door of Very Serious People whom the station has on as guests should be a clue in and of itself that the hidden assumptions and ideologies are often at work, whether they stem from government funding or from the dictates of “high liberal culture”, if I can borrow a phrase from one of Phil’s articles.

  19. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned on March 25, 2013, 7:48 pm

    Thanks, Henry Norr!

    This reminds me of an article on, in which the writer, Lennie Brenner, explores “The Demographics of American Jews”. When asked, “what fraction of the US population is Jewish?” BOTH gentiles and Jews give answers that are too high, and sometimes ridiculously so.

    Here are the details from Brenner’s piece:
    The best way for us to start is with the reader estimating the percentage of Americans who are Jews. Got your number? Now the scholars’ calculations. Their figures sit between 2.2% and 2.5%. Now compare your estimate and these figures with the guesses put forth by Americans in a 3/90 Gallup poll.
    Twenty-four percent had no opinion. Beyond them, the average American thought that America was 18% Jewish.
    That broke down to eight percent of Americans thinking that Jews are less than 5% of the people, 10% saying that Jews are between 5% and 9%, 25% believing that Jews are between 10% and 19%, 18% estimating that Jews are between 20% and 29%, 12% coming up with between 30% and 49%, and 3% reckoning that Jews are 50% — or more! — of all Americans.
    Pretty wild? But why should gentile Americans know better? Their guesses are based on what they see. Turn on the TV, go to the movies, pick up a newspaper, follow an election, and in every case Jewish involvement is far above 2.5%.
    It is much more shocking that most Jewish estimates are also surreal. Here are the numbers given by American Jews in a 3/98 poll, done nationally by the LA Times.
    Twelve percent of our Jews think they are 2% of Americans, 13% think Jews are 3%, and 11% say they don’t know, which is also a ‘proper’ answer. But 7% of America’s Jews think they are 1% of Americans. Five percent of the Jews thought Jews are 4%. Ten percent of the Jews said they are 5%. Eighteen percent believed Jews are 6-10%. Six percent estimated our Jews to be 11-15%, and 18% of America’s Jews projected themselves as over 15% of the population, a whopping margin of error of over 600%.
    So, where did those delicious Jewish overestimations come from? Jews know the country is overwhelmingly Protestant, and that the Jewish percentage is much smaller than the Catholics. But they watch the same TV, go to the same movies, etc. Thus, while their numbers aren’t as stratospheric as most gentiles, they likewise tend to be on the high side.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen on March 26, 2013, 9:58 am

      “Turn on the TV, go to the movies, pick up a newspaper, follow an election, and in every case Jewish involvement is far above 2.5%.”

      Right here at Mondoweiss hiring practices should be in line for questioning. Clearly a small group but Phil, who says he has his reasons has chosen to hire mostly Jewish individuals to dominate the upper tiers of this small group of writers etc. Again I know he has expressed his reasons. But I think this hiring practice is typical in the media etc. Hiring from the tribe

      • annie
        annie on March 26, 2013, 10:40 am

        kathleen, adam and phil are partners. if anyone thinks phil calls all the shots around here they would be sorely mistaken.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen on March 26, 2013, 10:44 am

        then those are Adam and Phil’s decisions and should be questioned. Easy to point the finger without looking at one’s own organization and questioning the hiring practices, patterns etc

      • Taxi
        Taxi on March 26, 2013, 4:38 pm

        Good point, Kathleen.

  20. susan1
    susan1 on March 25, 2013, 7:53 pm

    Socialism of fools alert!

  21. Blownaway
    Blownaway on March 25, 2013, 8:03 pm

    NPR came within an inch of its life under Bush they had to toe the line or lose their funding..its always about the money

  22. thetumta
    thetumta on March 25, 2013, 10:24 pm

    I think you’re over thinking this to death? Syria is clearly the path Obama and El Dulce have decided upon, with Saudi support. They are trying once again to weed out the most serious fighters who are under the Al-Quida banner. Yes, once again.

    What do you expect from a bunch of College boys with no skin in the game? May you live in interesting times. They’re big on promises(Israel-America), let’s see what they deliver this time, other than yet more dead civilians?


  23. Reds
    Reds on March 25, 2013, 10:29 pm

    Onpoint is a great example of this

  24. HRK
    HRK on March 25, 2013, 11:30 pm

    Just an addendum: I was thinking about this more driving home. . . .

    When I indicated this phenomenon Norr brought up was fairly benign, I think I had in mind stuff like the overabundance of Irish-Yiddish society and mosh pit-type pieces.

    But, “all things considered,” if there’s ethnic favoritism in the hiring process, that’s definitely not benign.

  25. Kathleen
    Kathleen on March 25, 2013, 11:51 pm

    Great research piece Henry. Many folks have been noticing the feel good about Israel stories has increased. But has that been the case the last five or so years or has it always been this way on NPR and people are just taking notice. Would be interesting to see what you have discovered compared to stories on NPR 10 years ago?

  26. Taxi
    Taxi on March 26, 2013, 12:30 am

    Posh Fox radio.

  27. kma
    kma on March 26, 2013, 1:33 am

    a former AIPAC employee told me all about how they had a goal of placing a “positive” story about Israel EVERY DAY in major newspapers. (he even told me how.) I did some newspaper research myself, and I saw it: the international news section always had the bad news with the latest violence, but there was ALWAYS a dumb piece about some useless topic about Israel too. always.
    I’ll bet it’s basically the same thing with the NPR coverage of Jews. I always assumed it was.

    • kma
      kma on March 26, 2013, 10:48 am

      forgot to mention: Israeli deaths are published in the press MANY times more often than Palestinian deaths (many of which aren’t even covered at all).

    • seafoid
      seafoid on March 26, 2013, 11:30 am

      Kathleen- this is interesting!/2013/03/the-wests-growing-disenchantment-with.html

      “Max Hastings is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph. He recently gave a lecture describing the evolution in his attitude to Israel over the past forty years. Hastings reported from there on the 1973 Yom Kippur war and says “in those days I loved those people, and boundlessly admired their achievement”.
      Since then he has “progressively fallen out of love with Israel” as he “became persuaded that the arrogance of its faith in its own military power had induced its people to go far beyond a belief in defending their own society, to support a polity committed to perpetuating a great historic injustice against the Palestinians.”
      The problem for Israel is that Hastings’ disenchantment with Israel is characteristic of the West. The Holocaust of the 1940s cannot be used to justify grievous wrongs today.”

      I think Israel has more or less lost the European elite.
      The US will take more time but it is hard to see any different outcome.

      • philweiss
        philweiss on March 26, 2013, 12:17 pm

        Agreed. And that will transcend religious distinction

      • American
        American on March 26, 2013, 12:49 pm

        “The Holocaust of the 1940s cannot be used to justify grievous wrongs today.”

        They have ‘ruined’ the Holocaust and ‘Never Again’, ruined it, trashed every lesson to be taken from it. It’s all I can do not to gag when I hear the Holocaust excuse used for what Israel does. The hypocrisy sets me on fire.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on March 26, 2013, 12:55 pm

        I think it is a real tragedy for Judaism, Phil. It didn’t have to play out as now looks very likely. There were so many opportunities to change course but they were never taken.

        Apparently the song is originally from Greece, about 1922 and the loss of Smyrna etc . How wonderfully appropriate.

      • eljay
        eljay on March 26, 2013, 1:19 pm

        Hastings reported from there on the 1973 Yom Kippur war and says “in those days I loved those people, and boundlessly admired their achievement”.

        In “those days”, “those people” had already used terrorism and ethnic cleansing to create an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine. Which part(s) of that unjust and immoral achievement did he boundlessly admire?

        Since then he has “progressively fallen out of love with Israel” as he “became persuaded that the arrogance of its faith in its own military power had induced its people to go far beyond a belief in defending their own society, to support a polity committed to perpetuating a great historic injustice against the Palestinians.”

        It’s a shame he hadn’t been persuaded sooner. I guess he was too busy boundlessly admiring the way Zionists had immorally and unjustly carved a “Jewish State” out of Palestine.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on March 26, 2013, 2:01 pm

        Progress is relative, Eljay. The 1948 narrative will fall when TSHTF . Losing people like Hastings and the leader writers of the Financial Times is very significant.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on March 26, 2013, 4:22 pm

        Max Hastings offers opinions well worth reading or listening to.

      • annie
        annie on March 26, 2013, 11:24 pm

        beautiful/powerful song seafoid.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on March 26, 2013, 11:27 pm

        Philip Stephens in the FT is another white guy in a suit who has lost faith in Zionism

        He’s not very impressed by Obama either

        “Leaders divide between those who respect the established parameters of power and politics and those who break out of them. Mr Obama has so far fitted the first category. For all his eloquence, this week’s trip has shown the limits of US ambition. The Middle East is burning. The president has concluded there is nothing much to be done.”

      • seafoid
        seafoid on March 27, 2013, 2:06 am


        I always think of Israel and what is coming when I listen to it. And what it will mean for the women especially. The men have really messed up over there.

        BTW have you seen this story? I think it is going to be a big one.
        More fallout from the death of the 2SS it seems. Plus nobody on the Arab side buys the schtick about eternal undivided Jewish capital

        Arab League approves $1b plan to protect ‘Islamic and Arab character’ of East Jlem

        Israel FM in response: ‘Objecting to ‘Judaisation of Jerusalem,’ so to speak, is absurd and is equitable to an objection to the Catholic nature of the Vatican or the Islamisation of Mecca.’

      • Taxi
        Taxi on March 27, 2013, 2:36 am


        My observation from traveling through the mideast for the past 18 months is that there are two distinct narratives going on regarding the I/P conflict: while the West and it’s allies incessantly harp on about the 1 or 2 state solution (be it dead or alive), the wider mideast is busy talking about resistance, resistance, resistance. Whatever the West is saying or doing appears to mean absolutely sweet eff ay in the mideast. They don’t believe a political solution, ie 1 or 2 states, is viable anymore.

        It never used to be this way.

        Obama and Putin are meeting this June to divide up the mideast territory between them. We’ll see what happens to both narratives after that.

        “Obama and Putin discussed the “path toward a more substantial trade and investment relationship between the United States and Russia,” the White House said.

        To me the above reads: Let’s sit down this June and start figuring out who controls which resources in the mideast so we can both secure our industries.

        YessireeBob, America’s decline is now forcing us to ‘share’ the mideast with the Russians again. (Did I mention China as Russia’s silent partner?)

      • lysias
        lysias on March 27, 2013, 10:36 am

        Hastings is a very good military historian.

      • seafoid
        seafoid on March 27, 2013, 12:15 pm

        But what have they got against the drones and the bombs?
        I think resistance is fine in theory but most of the societies around have been neglected for so long that they are in no state to resist international capital.
        Look at poor Egypt for example. Syria was far more competent 40 years ago too.

      • James Canning
        James Canning on March 27, 2013, 1:51 pm

        Taxi – – I assume you are aware Russia has worked hard in an effort to resolve the nuclear dispute with Iran.
        The US encourages China to buy oil from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait rather than from Iran. Good idea, in your view? Who cares?

      • annie
        annie on March 27, 2013, 8:11 pm

        thanks for the link seafoid. no i had not seen that. that’s a beautiful room they meet in. what style.

      • Taxi
        Taxi on March 28, 2013, 1:19 am

        They may not be in a state of military revolution-preparedness, but they sure as hell don’t stop talking about it. Besides, as far as I’m concerned, the mideast IS already in a state of revolt. Sure there’s no single Bastille for the masses to charge, but there are many Bastilles in the Arab world hence the slug pace of the revolution. For sure, things aren’t what they used to be in the Arab world and they ain’t going back to the old days either. The Arab revolution will take time to arrive at a steady conclusion, and in the meantime, the masses continue to talk resistance, resistance, resistance – not surrender, surrender, surrender to the shaky status quo.

        @James Canning,
        Why wouldn’t Russia work hard to PROTECT ITS IRANIAN INTERESTS? I can’t see Russia stepping aside for America/israel to launch strikes on Iran just because America is asking.

        And China’s industries will take oil from wherever it can, INCLUDING IRAN, whether America likes it or not.

        American mideast hegemony is on the decline and both Russia and China are determined to continue filling in the vacuum with their influence, both industrial and military.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen on March 28, 2013, 9:56 am

        At that time (73) I don’t remember necessarily being in love with Israel but do remember feeling immeasurable compassion towards European Jews and the horrific crimes that had been committed against them and millions of others. Of course noticed that those millions of “others” murdered by the Hitler killing machine were never mentioned in our mainstream media. Still are not.

        In our MSM then (70’s) there was never a mention of the crimes being committed by the Israeli’s against the Palestinians. Vanessa Redgrave and Edward Said turned by light bulbs on about the facts on the ground in the conflict.

        Norman Finkelstein’s book “The Holocaust Industry” is a must read.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on March 29, 2013, 11:17 am

        @ seafoid
        Yeah. Harvey Pekar’s last comic book says the same thing. He died before it was published. Too bad. Because in creating his last book, I forget the exact title, something like Not The Israel My Parents Told Me About, but in final rendition, the guy he worked with to illustrate it pulled a lot of Harvey’s punches and Harvey would not have allowed that if he were alive at publication. Harvey was much more honest and I’m sure the illustrator left out a lot of Harvey’s responses to the illustrator’s comments when they debated the problem when Harvey was alive.

    • James Canning
      James Canning on March 26, 2013, 4:25 pm

      Pertinent observation, Kathleen.

      • Citizen
        Citizen on March 29, 2013, 11:23 am

        Yeah, I’d like to see an actress of Vanessa Redgrave’s stature play a contemporary Gaza woman in a Hollywood movie. Angela Jolie might be enough–of course her father would boycott her movie. I notice, with all her fame and wealth and do good stuff going on, she does not step into the waters of the I-P situation. And her husband, a big Hollywood star in his own right, starred in that jewish masturbation flick.

    • kalithea
      kalithea on March 26, 2013, 4:52 pm

      Absolutely, it’s subliminal propaganda for the masses.

  28. Taxi
    Taxi on March 26, 2013, 1:51 am

    ” “We are great. We are free. We are wonderful. We are the most wonderful people in all the jungle! We all say so, and so it must be true.”” Rudyard Kipling/Jungle Book.

    Chris Hedges in the above link gives us a small example of the ziocon media culture that aggressively occupies American TV.

  29. flyod
    flyod on March 26, 2013, 8:12 am

    heard it on npr
    read it in the ny times

  30. Kathleen
    Kathleen on March 26, 2013, 10:03 am

    so more “puff pieces” on NPR and less in depth programs on the conflict say on the Diane Rehm show, or Talk of the Nation.

  31. irmep
    irmep on March 26, 2013, 10:36 am

    It is useful to review the American Zionist Council public relations plan for 1962-1963, seized during Foreign Agents Registration Act investigator raids and subpoenas.

    “TV, Radio, Fims

    The Department arranges for talks and interviews on Radio and TV, and servicing of film requests.
    It also cultivates leading personalities in these media.
    It encourages networks and stations to create programs revolving around Israel.”

    • American
      American on March 26, 2013, 12:40 pm


      Yep been going on for long time…just like this has:

      “”In 1935, a report prepared by the House of Representatives
      warned of propaganda that aimed to “influence the internal and external policies of our country.”
      The report led to the passage in 1938 of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, which was designed to monitor the activities of groups lobbying on behalf of foreign causes. The law covers anyone who engages in political activities or acts in a public relations capacity for a foreign principal.”

      And nothing is ever done about it. AIPAC is plainly a Lobby for a FOREIGN country——whether it’s members are US citizens or not.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on March 26, 2013, 1:24 pm

      They thought that would work forever. They thought they could control the narrative through fear. They can no longer do so.

  32. Kathleen
    Kathleen on March 26, 2013, 10:38 am

    Thousands of innocent Muslims have been killed during Obama’s watch.

  33. on March 26, 2013, 11:03 am

    Absolutely right, Avi. I know I’ve mentioned this book before ( but there’s a great line about this, where the protagonist says: “Just caught some movie where some woman puts an American flag on a bar mitzvah cake! (Greer Garson would never have stooped so low.) Then caught ten seconds of an interview Diane Sawyer did with Ahmadinejad and you’d swear the translator attended the Mel Blanc School of Arab translation. Can only assume snake wrestler on the Nature Channel was wearing a Brandeis t-shirt.”

    • RoHa
      RoHa on March 26, 2013, 10:04 pm

      “Then caught ten seconds of an interview Diane Sawyer did with Ahmadinejad and you’d swear the translator attended the Mel Blanc School of Arab translation.”

      If Ahmedinejad was speaking his native Farsi or the Azeri he learned as a politician in the Azeri part of Iran, it wouldn’t matter which school of Arabic translation the translator attended. I’m not sure that Ahmedinejad can speak much Arabic.

      • on March 27, 2013, 9:09 am

        My friend:

        Mel Blanc was the voice of many famous cartoon characters. (The book expects you to know a lot.) (Or maybe I didn’t get the joke.)

  34. Les
    Les on March 26, 2013, 11:39 am

    Whether you think of our big media as being the core of the Israel Lobby or as seeing its purpose to be as Israel’s fifth column, the real problem is that 100% of these particular Jews support Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians with dissenting Jews given 100% of the non-recognition they deserve.

  35. Chu
    Chu on March 26, 2013, 12:35 pm

    I stopped listening to NPR right around the Iraq invasion. They had so many opportunities to explain details about the causes of the war effort (neocons, Israel, A Clean Break), but it seemed that they wanted to go for yellow liberal journalism at such a crucial time in the nation’s history.
    No thanks NPR and PBS as well. Public funing in the their titles should be taken with a grain of salt. If PBS can have David Brooks (as the spokesman for the right!) with Ruth Marcus, while Jeffery Brown is the moderator you have to wonder who sets the agenda.

  36. CigarGod
    CigarGod on March 26, 2013, 1:15 pm

    Right on, Henry and Mondo!
    It’s about time someone besides a cigar smoking hermit in Wyoming started talking about this.

  37. James Canning
    James Canning on March 26, 2013, 4:19 pm

    Only seven mentions of Anglican or Episcopalian! Does this say a very great deal indeed!

  38. lysias
    lysias on March 26, 2013, 4:20 pm

    i just finished reading Dieter Hoffmann’s Der Sprung ins Dunkle: oder Wie der 1. Weltkrieg entfesselt wurde, about the outbreak of World War One. Hoffmann writes at some length about how much the French press was in favor of France lending Russia money so that it could arm itself and build strategic railroads (railroads that so upset German military planners that they decided they needed to launch a preventive war before Russia became too strong). One of the major reasons the French press was so militantly pro-Russian was that the Russian government made hefty payments to all the major French newspapers, including such prestigious outlets as the still-published Le Figaro, and Le Temps, the predecessor of today’s Le Monde. And where did Russia get the money to make those payoffs? From the French loans.

  39. Taxi
    Taxi on March 26, 2013, 4:40 pm

    How’s the tumbleweed rolling, buddy?! Wonderful that you’re back – even if it’s just a passing peekaboo.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod on March 27, 2013, 12:36 pm

      Hey Taxi,
      I wanted to help re-elect Obama and I just couldn’t do everything…so Mondo had to fall away for awhile…but I knew you guys would keep up the effort. I did a 6 month tour of Hostels on the west coast with my video camera to capture opinions of folks from other countries. That was the easy part. Editing down…is a nightmare. I’m not sure I have anything worthwhile to share…but it was a great experience.
      Since fall, I’ve been modifying guitars. I replace the plastic nuts, saddles, pins with winter kill bones of Bison, Elk, Moose, etc. Really gives the instruments a lot better tone…and in my small way…helps raise awareness for our wildlife..I hope. I also have been inlaying in the heads of the pins…various Wyoming gemstones…and also Swarovski crystals. Lately, I’ve been reading MIT Tech. Review…trying to get an idea for a Mind Adjusting Laser that we can point at people who don’t know how to reason…that is why I checked back in to Mondo…to see if we still had a few of our regular lab rats around;-)

      • Taxi
        Taxi on March 28, 2013, 1:37 am

        Your projects sound so meditatively wonderful and life-enforcing. Can I be your little helper? I could live in a shack at the bottom of your Wyoming garden and be perfectly happy :-)

        You gotta be careful with your “Mind Adjusting Laser”. It could easily fall into the wrong hands and be used in reverse to dumb people down :-)

  40. kalithea
    kalithea on March 26, 2013, 5:56 pm

    First, there are two religions: Zionism and Judaism. The former is destroying the latter. The righteous thing to do and best way to stop this shameless propaganda intended to conflate Zionism and Judaism and turn Zionism into an innocuous household word is for Jews who recognize the threat that Zionism represents for Judaism to draw the distinction between the two by pointing out how Zionism is in fact the antithesis of Judaism. This is righteous responsibility.

    So why is this barely happening when clearly Zionism is so viciously inhumane and corrupt, breaks with God’s commandments and the moral teachings of Judaic faith? Perhaps it’s because Zionists have succeeded in homogenizing Zionism with Judaism when in fact deep down Jews know that Zionism is contrary to faith.

    Zionism should be separated from Jewish experience and Judaism, but alas, because of a lack of righteous responsibility, it’s not. And because of this “homogenization” of these two antithetical religions, Zionism can be held responsible for modern-day anti-Semitism. One should ask whether even this negative consequence is inherent with Zionism, as Zionism requires fear to survive. When one looks at all the inherent injustices that Zionism triggers, it’s easy to confirm that Zionism is in fact driven by faithlessness and evil.

    • seafoid
      seafoid on March 26, 2013, 11:09 pm

      Zionism is driven by capitalism. Same as all colonialism. And I mean 1948 as well.

      “We must place our settlers wherever there is good and fertile land without asking to whom the the estates belong”.

      General Bugeaud, Supreme Commander in Algeria, 1840.

    • yrn
      yrn on March 29, 2013, 1:56 pm

      I am amused, Dear kalithea troughs out a declaration, that the Editors here just loves to hear “Zionism should be separated from Jewish experience and Judaism” wow….. but once I ask Dear kalithea to enlighten us with how he/she thinks it can be done, my question is been Canceled.
      Can the editor tell me why?
      Is it not a legitimate question, or are you afraid of the answer.

  41. Mayhem
    Mayhem on March 26, 2013, 6:38 pm

    The pot is calling the kettle black yet again.

  42. philweiss
    philweiss on March 26, 2013, 9:42 pm

    Folks, I stripped a thread from this post that delved into the causes of the Holocaust, and Jewish presence in the German elites between the wars. We’ve said over and over again, we find this subject distasteful/grotesque and if you want to discuss it, go somewhere else, we’re going to censor it. We feel that we are trying to break new ground in the American discourse on the Palestinian issue, and that’s a giant goal. The Jewish presence in the American establishment is part of that discussion, which is why we published Henry’s piece, which is based on demonstrable fact; but this is also a sensitive question and tone is everything. This site is about community building, creating a new political space, and I’d urge commenters to be thoughtful about the ways that words can offend. Thanks, Phil

    • ritzl
      ritzl on March 26, 2013, 10:53 pm


    • jon s
      jon s on March 28, 2013, 4:51 pm

      Compliments to Phil for paying attention to the point where Anti-Zionism slides into Anti-Semitism.

      • yrn
        yrn on March 29, 2013, 1:58 pm

        Where exactly is this point Jon ??

  43. kalithea
    kalithea on March 27, 2013, 5:41 pm

    Zionism draws its power and justification from Jewish historical and religious experience and in doing so it misuses anti-Semitic labelling to silence and censor criticism of the injustice it generates. So in order to defeat the injustice that Zionism justifies as a necessary evil because of Jewish experience; it’s necessary to demonstrate just how Zionism deviates from Judaism and how it keeps Jews imprisoned in the past through fear and a need to control the narrative and influence government on behalf of Zionism.

  44. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr on March 28, 2013, 12:02 pm

    Major news from today’s Morning Edition: “Reviving The Spirit And Schmaltz Of The Jewish Deli,” about a restaurant in Dupont Circle.

  45. Henry Norr
    Henry Norr on April 1, 2013, 11:12 am

    Today’s Morning Edition (4/1/13) has a feature, reported by Ina Jaffe, about a 31-year-old blogger and photographer named Ari Seth Cohen, whose “idea of heaven is to wait in the freezing cold on a street corner in the middle of Manhattan hoping a fabulous-looking older woman passes by,” then shoots her picture. Assuming, of course, that he has succeeded in convincing the subject that “he’s not a weirdo”…

    I wonder whether this is an April Fool’s joke, or just another illustration of NPR’s idea of “human interest”?

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