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What will Bezos do with ‘AIPAC all-stars’ of the Washington Post?

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Here’s liberal blogger John Cole describing the Washington Post as an AIPAC sheet and wondering what new ownership will do to its hasbara function. “You won’t find a more pro-Israel editorial page in the country.” Cole is said to be a big Obama supporter. His question is a reminder of how mainstream criticism of AIPAC has become: 

Lots of debate about how the politics of Jeff Bezos will impact the Washington Post editorial stance, but I haven’t seen anyone ask the obvious question- “Where is Bezos on Israel?” For me, the hallmark of the Washington Post editorial page, along with the constant concern trolling of Democrats and gleeful endorsement of slashing entitlements in an embrace of an orgiastic centrist buffoonery has been the fact that outside the Weekly Standard, you won’t find a more pro-Israel editorial page in the country.

Just go through the list of op-ed writers and the post-partisan yahoos like Chuck Lane and then throw in Hiatt and Rosen, and it’s like an AIPAC all-stars list.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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44 Responses

  1. hophmi on August 6, 2013, 2:35 pm

    “you won’t find a more pro-Israel editorial page in the country.”

    Really? Not in the entire country? #antiIsraelhyperbole

    • just on August 7, 2013, 5:02 am

      Are you serious anti- justice hop?

    • Cliff on August 7, 2013, 6:59 am

      Yes, not in the entire country.

      Or are you going to cite some school paper at a Jewish day school you attended?

      • hophmi on August 7, 2013, 10:28 am

        “Yes, not in the entire country.

        Or are you going to cite some school paper at a Jewish day school you attended?”

        Let’s start with the Wall Street Journal.

      • Cliff on August 8, 2013, 8:27 am

        No, the WPost is way more fanatically pro-settler Zionism.

        It’s right up your alley.

    • Chu on August 7, 2013, 9:27 am

      He should have added ‘mainstream’. There are a lot more pro-Israel
      publications that fall under the radar that are way more Zionist.

    • Chu on August 7, 2013, 10:04 am

      Only last month, even half-cousin Bill Maher said that neocons are running the Washington Post editorials. When it becomes a punchline of a joke, that can’t be good.

      • James Canning on August 7, 2013, 2:21 pm

        Washington Post is neocon propaganda machine. Has been for years. Sadly.

  2. Citizen on August 6, 2013, 2:45 pm

    From the Libertarian window, a request to Bezos to purge WAPO of the neocons:
    “Please, pretty please, send pink slips to Ms. Rubin, Mr. Hiatt, Charles Krauthammer and others of such ilk.”

  3. lohdennis on August 6, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Bezos is a businessman. Very low on his list of priorities.

    • Krauss on August 7, 2013, 4:18 am

      He’s a libertarian multibillionare so his main concern is probably Amazon’s bottomline.

      But ultimately, libertarians tend to be closer to a progressive viewpoint on foreign policy. Ron Paul, for example. Still, Bezos doesn’t strike me as a very brave guy. I also think he has this WASPish naïvité about why people buy newspapers(in brief: to push an ideological agenda). I mean, even if he gets what he wants on issues that concern Amazon, what about foreign policy?

      He’ll probably just let the crazed neocons continue to sit where they are instead of booting the parasites and bringing in people who don’t wake up every day thinking ‘what’s good for Israel?’ and instead thinking ‘what’s good for America?’.

      • Chu on August 7, 2013, 9:34 am

        I think Bezos is going to let all the Neocons maintain their perch, otherwise the unseen forces will damage his rising brand. He may slowly purge them in the next decade as more readers realize that Zionism is a old addition for the 2 percent of society. And even if he cans one of them, it will be the canary in the coal mine for other Zionists. They’ll band together, and Beezos (like Obama) doesn’t have enough allies to support the onslaught.

  4. seanmcbride on August 6, 2013, 3:32 pm

    I can’t find any evidence that Jeff Bezos has expressed views on Mideast politics in the past — he’s a cipher on the topic. Even his ethnicity and religion appear to be a mystery — Google provides no answers.

    One might hope that he’ll fire Fred Hiatt and Hiatt’s neocon associates immediately — we’ll see.

    • tokyobk on August 6, 2013, 5:28 pm

      I think Northern/Western European (Protestant?) ancestry with a Cuban (Catholic?) step-father and definitely social liberal/libertarian.

  5. DICKERSON3870 on August 6, 2013, 5:36 pm

    RE: “Here’s liberal blogger John Cole describing the Washington Post as an AIPAC sheet and wondering what new ownership will do to its hasbara function.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: It can’t help but be an improvement over the management of the Washington Post by the Weymouth clan!

    SEE: “Amazing Story Of Why Washington Post Is So Weirdly Neocon”, By M.J. Rosenberg, TPM Cafe, 09/20/10

    [EXCERPTS] Yesterday the Washington Post published Lally Weymouth’s interview with British Vice Prime Minister Nick Clegg which wasn’t too bad until she became prosecutor, not interviewer, when the subject of Israel came up. (Weymouth is the daughter of former Post publisher Katherine Graham and mother of current publisher and CEO, Katherine Weymouth).
    I wondered how Lally Weymouth, the Post heir, became such a right-wing Zionist. . .
    . . . this is an amazing story –
    . . . Sad that it is about her 42 year old boyfriend’s funeral
    — he really was a tragic case. . .
    . . . the problems of Weymouth’s boyfriend started when, as a Senate Intelligence Committee staffer, he was busted for a heroin purchase. But that did not stop him from being hired by Rupert Murdoch as editor of the New York Post or, in any way, slow his rise within the fanciest of bipartisan social and political circles. Nor did it affect his right-wing politics.
    “After a period of rehabilitation, for his body, his psyche, and his reputation, Breindel signed on at the [N.Y.] Post’s editorial page in 1986. And immediately, he came out shooting bullets. Homeless people, poor people, gay people, the mentally ill, single mothers. All were subjected to Breindel’s uncharitable lashings. There were never even subtle shadings in his writing that indicated he was someone who knew what it was like to stumble, to give in to temptation, or simply to suffer from some common human failing…”
    Favorite part, about the funeral itself. Even at the saddest of moments, Marty goes off.
    “All of the speakers, even the pols, kept to the imposed three-to-four-minute time limit. Except Marty Peretz. Distraught over the loss of his friend and unhappy about sharing the moment, the Harvard professor and owner of The New Republic went on for nearly half an hour. . .


    • DICKERSON3870 on August 6, 2013, 5:38 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: “‘WaPo’ senior editor doesn’t bat an eye at Israeli defense minister’s claim that Iran ‘waited 4,000 years to have a nuclear bomb’”, by Alex Kane, Mondoweiss 6/21/12

      [EXCERPT] Six years ago, Washington Post senior editor Lally Weymouth was criticized by the Electronic Intifada for conducting a softball interview with Ehud Olmert. Not much has changed since then.
      Weymouth, whose family owns and publishes the Post, got the opportunity to interview Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak this week in Tel Aviv. Weymouth’s piece made some news, with Haaretz highlighting what Barak said on Syria, but it was a softball interview.
      The Israeli campaign to shift the world’s focus from Palestine to Iran has worked, at least on the Washington Post–the vast majority of Weymouth’s questions focus on the Iranian nuclear program.
      Here’s some of what Weymouth asked Barak . . .


      • James Canning on August 7, 2013, 6:32 pm

        And how interesting that Weymouth saw an aoverthrow of Assad gov’t as a good thing for Israel. Even if it is a very bad thing for the ancient Christian communties of Syria.

    • DICKERSON3870 on August 6, 2013, 5:50 pm

      P.P.S. AND SEE:“When prime ministers sound like Borat and the press lets it pass”, By Michael F. Brown, The Electronic Intifada 1 December 2006

      [EXCERPT] At least twice in the past three weeks American journalists have neglected to ask hard questions of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Softball questions failed to pin down the prime minister on credible allegations of war crimes and human rights violations carried out in recent months by Israeli military forces.
      The Washington Post of Sunday, Nov. 12 published a Lally Weymouth interview with Olmert. Weymouth is infamous for never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity when it comes to tough questioning of an Israeli leader. This time proved no different.

      The veteran journalist failed to note that respected human rights organizations have stated both the IDF and Hezbollah may have committed war crimes during the fighting this summer. Disturbingly, Weymouth failed to press or even ask Olmert about indiscriminate Israeli shelling and the grotesque bombardment of southern Lebanon in the war’s final three days with cluster munitions which weeks later were still maiming and killing Lebanese children and other civilians. . .


      • James Canning on August 7, 2013, 6:35 pm

        Fair to say Lally Weymouth was not disturbed by murderous Israeli rampage in Lebanon, in 2006? And why would that obtain?

    • Walker on August 7, 2013, 3:08 pm

      Great point. Lally Weymouth is a passionate supporter of Israel, to put it mildly.

      If the publisher’s mother was a notorious Ayn Rand acolyte, and the Post hired an editorial board supportive of extreme libertarianism, one would expect to see some reference to this in the media. Someone would connect the dots in public, especially when the daughter shows signs of possibly having similar views. Not so when it comes to Israel.

      • James Canning on August 9, 2013, 1:39 pm

        How many trillions of dollars has “protecting Israel” cost the US?

      • American on August 9, 2013, 2:26 pm

        The last estimate of the cost of Israel to US was $ 1.6 trillion in 2002….by now ,looking at same things figured in that tally it has exceeded well over 2 trillion.
        As a comparsion US national debt in 2012 was 16 trillion…so you can say
        Israel added 10% + of total US debt.
        Too bad we cant find anyone to do a 911 insure on Israel, so when it finally
        blows up, we can collect the insurance to pay ourselves back.

        Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US
        By David R. Francis, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / December 9, 2002

        Since 1973, Israel has cost the United States about $1.6 trillion. If divided by today’s population, that is more than $5,700 per person.
        This is an estimate by Thomas Stauffer, a consulting economist in Washington. For decades, his analyses of the Middle East scene have made him a frequent thorn in the side of the Israel lobby.
        For the first time in many years, Mr. Stauffer has tallied the total cost to the US of its backing of Israel in its drawn-out, violent dispute with the Palestinians. So far, he figures, the bill adds up to more than twice the cost of the Vietnam War.
        And now Israel wants more. In a meeting at the White House late last month, Israeli officials made a pitch for $4 billion in additional military aid to defray the rising costs of dealing with the intifada and suicide bombings. They also asked for more than $8 billion in loan guarantees to help the country’s recession-bound economy…”


    • James Canning on August 7, 2013, 6:34 pm

      Fair statement, indeed. Washington Post is “an Aipac sheet”.

  6. marc b. on August 6, 2013, 5:58 pm

    did I miss this link in the post? also from the atlantic via cannonfire.

    Bezos is Amazon, and Amazon is Bezos — which is part of the reason some are encouraged by his purchase of The Post. “[W]e wanted to do more than survive. I’m not saying this guarantees success but it gives us a much greater chance of success,” Washington Post CEO Donald Graham said on Monday, referring to the motivations that drove him to sell specifically to Bezos.

    But there are concerns that there will be a conflict of interest when the paper covers, say, new Amazon products or Amazon’s legal battles. Does Bezos’s ownership of a national newspaper mean a difference in how, for example, the battle between Amazon and Apple over e-book prices will be covered?

    And Amazon isn’t just sending you packages or e-books. It also makes deals that need to be reported with stern objectivity. Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan points out that one of those deals is with the CIA. Nolan writes:

    “Amazon recently landed a $600 million contract to build an entire cloud computing system for the CIA. The company is reportedly staffing up on engineers with top secret clearance. Does Jeff Bezos have top secret clearance? That would be something that the Washington Post might want to think about, considering how much reporting their journalists have done on the topic. A huge CIA contractor is now Dana Priest’s boss. Think about that.”

    All these are valid concerns as The Washington Post enters a new era, at once on more solid ground and on unknown terrain.

    not that his position on Israel isn’t a concern, but all these geek-tech, misanthropic, the ‘singularity is nigh’ visionaries seem to be a general threat to humankind, not only Palestinians.

    • marc b. on August 6, 2013, 7:49 pm

      what a coincidence. I go to the public library on the way home from work, and on the new fiction shelf, there it sits: ‘traps’ by Mackenzie Bezos. the author’s bio states she lives in Seattle with her four children and husband . . . who is? anyhow, i’m sure her future works will be subject to insightful criticism in the WaPo. like in this interview, for example, from a seattle rag.

      This might be a tougher question. You have one of the best literary agents (Amanda Urban), you have a blurb from Toni Morrison, you have that Amazon connection and you’re on a national book tour. What would you say to people, especially other writers, who are suspicious about a debut novel that has such heavy artillery behind it?

      Oh, gosh, I don’t know what to say. Nobody has asked me that. Most people have been asking about my experience of writing, which I think is about the same for me as everybody else. I do feel like a lucky person, but what influences my sense of good fortune is getting to do the work I love having great friends and family members. And I was so lucky to have Toni Morrison as a writing teacher — she is most generous of her time, especially given the demands on it. That was always a shock to me.

      Some have joked about the review of my book on Amazon. But I did not want any influence over buyers on Amazon. People there should treat my book as if they don’t know me.


  7. bilal a on August 6, 2013, 6:36 pm

    Bezos is a friend of Israel

    Bezos has a venture capitalist on its board, Tom A. Alberg, Madrona Venture Group, which is a participant in the Seattle WIBC Washington Israel Business Council.

    9/11 commisioner Jamie Gorlick is on the Amazon board , and a friend, partner at Wilmers Hale with Seth Waxman of the [Israeli] International Assoc of Jewish Lawyers:

    In March 2007, the IAJLJ co-sponsored a conference in Washington, “D.C. with the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (AAJLJ) under the title, “Protecting Human Rights and Democratic Values in an Age of Terrorism.” Participants enjoyed thought-provoking panels on such topics as balancing civil liberties and security; the ethics and law of war; development of an Israeli constitution; Jewish Law and American jurisprudence; and battling terrorism with lawsuits. The keynote address was delivered by former Solicitor General of the United States Seth Waxman, and the conference featured a reception hosted at the U.S. Supreme Court by Justice Antonin Scalia in honor of former Israeli Supreme Justice Aharon Barak.”

    IAJLJ President Alex Hertman (Israel) Deputy President and Coordinator
    with International Bodies: Irit Kohn (Israel)
    Vice President and Academic Adviser:
    Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats (Israel) Vice President and Secretary General:
    Haim Klugman (Israel) Vice President and Treasurer:
    Avraham (Avi) Doron (Israel)

  8. James Canning on August 6, 2013, 7:55 pm

    I am one hoping to see a change in the misguided editorial posture of the Post, regarding Israel and the Middle East.

  9. seanmcbride on August 6, 2013, 8:41 pm

    In recent decades, the Washington Post has morphed into a single-minded propaganda platform for the Israeli government, the Israel lobby, Zionism and often hardcore Likud Zionism. Some of the key pro-Israel propagandists that have been featured in the once liberal and once America-centric Washington Post:

    1. Aaron David Miller
    2. Charles Krauthammer
    3. Dan Senor
    4. Dana Milbank
    5. Daniel Pipes
    6. David Brooks
    7. David Frum
    8. Douglas Feith
    9. Elliott Abrams
    10. Fred Hiatt
    11. Fred Kagan
    12. Glenn Kessler
    13. Irving Kristol
    14. Jackson Diehl
    15. James Woolsey
    16. Jeffrey Goldberg
    17. Jennifer Rubin
    18. John Podhoretz
    19. Joshua Muravchik
    20. Ken Adelman
    21. Meyrav Wurmser
    22. Michael Gerson
    23. Michael Ledeen
    24. Norman Podhoretz
    25. Paul Wolfowitz
    26. Peter Beinart
    27. Richard Cohen
    28. Richard Perle
    29. Robert Kagan
    30. Tom Shales
    31. Victoria Nuland
    32. William Kristol
    33. Yigal Carmon

    It would be nice if Jeff Bezos could remedy this unfortunate situation and restore the once good reputation of this publication. But it is likely that old school newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times are kaput. I don’t know any smart people who bother reading them any more — they can find much more stimulating and useful news sources from all around the world on the Web that aren’t bogged down in narrow and obsessive ethnocentrism and ethnic nationalism.

    Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post will ever live down their passionate embrace of the neocon-instigated Iraq War — in fact, that policy decision was a key landmark in their general decline.

    • James Canning on August 7, 2013, 6:26 pm

      Washington Post has also promoted squandering fantastic sums on unnecessary “defence”.

  10. American on August 6, 2013, 9:07 pm

    Bezo did say this in an interview….

    “”The values of The Post do not need changing,” he wrote. “The paper’s duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners. We will continue to follow the truth wherever it leads, and we’ll work hard not to make mistakes. When we do, we will own up to them quickly and completely.”

    If he makes the Post follow the ‘path of truth’ then it wont be pro Israel very much longer.

    • Chu on August 7, 2013, 10:00 am

      ‘We will continue to follow the truth wherever it leads,
      and we’ll work hard not to make mistakes.’

      -that’s a slippery statement if I ever heard one.
      Good luck Bezos. I hope he’s crafty enough to eschew the
      neocon parasite, but it is going to take more than money to
      fix the systemic problem of east coast pro-zionism media.

      • James Canning on August 7, 2013, 2:20 pm

        Openers for pursuit of truth would be to press for an inquiry into the origins of illegal and idiotic US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  11. sky7i on August 6, 2013, 10:31 pm

    Recall Henry Norr’s petition when Amazon unfairly ran an unfair Jeffrey Goldberg review in its entirety alongside Carter’s “Peace Not Apartheid” book.

  12. Citizen on August 7, 2013, 3:54 am

    We’re about 4.5 years into Citizens United, which opened the private cash flood gates via super PACs re campaign financing. Also, who cares about the government limits on direct individual donations when PACs can now so heavily influence the marketing of political contenders? Bezos won’t be the last filthy rich person who buys a big slice of the new media like some worker bee might run out and buy a new flat screen tv with a IRS refund check. Further, journalist morphs into script reader, information morphs into entertainment via cable and satellite dishes–news sold by babes showing lots of fine legs, reading off a teleprompter (like Obama himself), sold just like Bernays sold the public the charms of cigarettes with his chorus line of “gams.” John Q Public gets more blinded by the (competing ideological) lights every day. Give them fish. No, teach them to fish. Something fishy goin’ on. “There’s a sucker born every day.”–PT Barnum

    • bilal a on August 7, 2013, 11:39 am

      Money votes in the primaries selecting 2 candidates, and then you get to choose between the two.

      Is the word ‘Democracy’ really applicable to this form of government?

  13. Chu on August 7, 2013, 9:42 am

    If Bezos wanted to start an charged editorial, he could hire Pat Buchanan to counter Charles Krauthammer. I’ve read Buchanan over the last 2 years and he has a solid opinion about the Middle East and world history in general. One may not often agree with all his domestic politics, but what a statement the Washington Post could make to say this is where the fireworks are going to be. Right in the heart of the the capitol city.

    • Chu on August 7, 2013, 9:49 am

      A move like this would put the New York Times to shame for their boring array of pro-Israel punditry. Maureen Dowd was the one of the group who had flare, but she is stuck in a dusty closet of soft-core Zionists. The editorial page is a dull read that fails to challenge middle east global topics. You know there are problems when Al-Jazeera is on the rise and NY Times is finding ways to sublease the floors of their newly built Times Square headquarters (owned by Africa Israel Investments)

      • Chu on August 7, 2013, 9:52 am

        Regarding Africa Israel investments –
        Following campaigning by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, in January 2010 Danish Bank added Africa Israel to the list of companies that fail its Socially Responsible Investment policy.

    • James Canning on August 7, 2013, 2:18 pm

      Krauthammer is one of the worst warmongers in American journalism.

  14. Kathleen on August 8, 2013, 11:40 am

    On NPR’s Diane Rehm show the other day (The Sale Of The Washington Post And The Future Of Print Journalism
    Diane and team discussed the shift at the Washington Post. All of the guest and Diane were tripping over each other fueling the myths that the WaPo has such remarkable “journalistic standards.” Not once did they allow a question or comment through about the obvious group think that the WaPo and other MSM outlets willingly participated in by reporting the deadly WMD’s in Iraq hooey. Not a whisper. Not a whisper about how decades of Graham family rule etc insured that the I/P issue would never be reported about fairly. It was a WaPo love fest. Diane led the ass kissing .

    Well worth listening to and reading the transcript

    • James Canning on August 9, 2013, 1:38 pm

      Bravo, Kathleen. Washington Post’s misguided editorial policy on Israel/Palestine and Middle East generally, has cause a great deal of damage to national security interests of the American people.

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