Glenn Beck, creator of The Blaze, at a Zionist Organization of America dinner in 2011.
(Photo: Associated Press)
Yahoo! News has partnered up with a right-wing, pro-Israel media operation to deliver Middle East news to the millions of people who visit the website.
For at least the past two and a half months, Yahoo! News has featured articles from The Blaze, the Glenn Beck-owned news outlet that is a conduit for right-wing misinformation. Launched in 2011, the website modeled after the Huffington Post reports on Beck’s pet causes, like the Israel/Palestine conflict, Christianity and the gold market.
Hop on over to Yahoo! News–part of the Yahoo! empire, the fourth most popular website in the U.S. and the world–and a variety of news outlets are featured on the page. Most of the Yahoo News! partners are familiar, mainstream outlets like the Associated Press, Business Insider and Reuters.
But click on the Middle East page of Yahoo! News, and you’re greeted with a bunch of stories from The Blaze. They constitute the majority of the Middle East news articles on Yahoo! News. Many of them are written by Sharona Schwartz, a former CNN employee who is now “Middle East correspondent” for The Blaze.
An August 11 article on Yahoo! features Schwartz on new “housing units” approved in “east Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria (also known as the West Bank).” An August 8 article by Schwartz on the Israeli ambassador criticizing the New York Times features quotes from a bevy of neoconservative websites on how the Grey Lady is biased against Israel.
A May 2013 article written by Mike Opelka, another journalist for The Blaze, opines on Secretary of State John Kerry’s comment that Israelis feel a “a sense of security and a sense of accomplishment and of prosperity”–feelings that could block the necessity for an end to the conflict. In an attempt to debunk Kerry’s argument, Opelka writes that “there is Iran’s nuclear program and President Ahmadinejad’s regular promises to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.” That Ahmadinejad quote, though, has long been debunked. Opelka adds that the “groundbreaking products developed in Israel make life better for many people all over the world.”
The Blaze engages in no original reporting, a stark contrast to the work outlets like the Associated Press do.
In an e-mail response to questions, Yahoo!’s senior communications manager, Carolyn C. Clark, provided no further details about the relationship. Clark wrote that “Yahoo! News shares content from hundreds of diverse content creators with our users, we do not espouse any one editorial position.”
This isn’t the first time a light has been shone on Yahoo! for misleading articles on Israel/Palestine. A Yahoo! Sports contributor, Adam Waksman, helped to smear Oday Aboushi, the Palestinian-American National Football League player. After the Islamophobic media outlet FrontPage Mag published a hit job on Aboushi, Waksman took to Yahoo! to write that the player had been “accused of playing an increasing role in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic activism,” a charge for which there was no evidence. After the smear campaign got negative attention, Yahoo! took Waksman’s post down.
The relationship with The Blaze, though, continues.