5.4: HuffPost’s use of anti-Semitic bias and incitement to help “sell” the Iran deal
Part of the special report, The Rhodes To HuffPost
Preface: Our definition of anti-Semitic bias and incitement
- Demonization: Vilifying Israel or Jews as a whole; bigoted smears versus legitimate criticism over factual issues
- Double-standards: Applying standards of conduct to Israel (or Jews) that are applied to no other nation or group
- Delegitimization: Denying Israel’s right to exist, or the fact that Jews have existed in Israel (and the “occupied territories”) for thousands of years
As applied to the context of journalism, we contend that anti-Semitic bias and incitement consist of:
- Only presenting negative and/or libelous depictions of Jews and/or Israel, while at the same time…
- Publicizing only favorable perceptions of those who have attacked Israel and/or Jews repeatedly, and who have openly stated their intention to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth
- Falsely claiming that Jews manipulate public figures and/or institutions to get them to go to war, for Israel’s benefit
According to that definition, HuffPost has been engaging in anti-Semitic bias and incitement for a very long time, as chronicled in SaveTheWest’s recent documentary film (trailer):
Although HuffPost has been consistently turning reality on its head in order to incite hatred against Israel and Jews since at least 2008, in the context of the Iran deal, it pulled out all the stops in order to embark on a propaganda “jihad” against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
One former White House official recently testified before Congress that White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and his collaborators gestated a “a venomous whisper campaign” against Netanyahu, in order to discredit and incite hatred against him. The evidence on this page reveals the depths to which HuffPost sunk to act as one of the world’s most influential instruments of that campaign – while at the same time, effectively acting as a PR agency for Iran and its “leaders” (both elected, and “supreme”).
Special focus: The Obama administration’s smear campaign against Netanyahu: Testimony from former White House official Michael Dolan
On May 17, 2016, former a former White House official testified before Congress on what he claimed was a “venomous whisper campaign” against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, due to his opposition to the Iran deal. This campaign was based on a series of lies and gross distortions of what Netanyahu said, that HuffPost then spread throughout the world, as “news,” as is documented on this page. Here is a review of Doran’s testimony, followed by the transcript and a video of his appearance:
VIDEO: How the White House Smeared Benjamin Netanyahu to Sell the Iran Deal, Mosaic, May 18, 2016. Excerpt:
Testifying before Congress, Michael Doran explains how the Obama administration worked to conceal its true intentions in making a deal with Iran, namely to realign the U.S. with the Islamic Republic and disengage from America’s historic allies in the region. The White House further obscured discussion of the deal’s merits by attempting to manipulate an all-too-pliant media; these efforts included what Doran terms a “venomous whisper campaign” to cast the Israeli prime minister “as the villain of the Middle East peace process, an arch-nationalist with unseemly ties to the Republican party who refuses to make the necessary compromises to bring about an historic reconciliation with the Palestinians.”
Michael Doran bio.
Transcript of Doran’s May 18, 2016 testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform here.
(1) Perpetuating the lie that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Congress’s invitation to address it, before President Obama had been notified
The reason for this cross-posting is that while this was but one of the many lies that HuffPost decided to create or perpetuate, as shown in Section 5.1, given its endless “jihad” against Netanyahu – while effectively doing PR for Iran’s rulers, who have been threatening Israel’s existence – we contend that it also classifies as anti-Semitism and incitement.
At 7:50am on March 2, 2015, a few hours before Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, HuffPost published this splash headline story. Note that the headline copy put incendiary words into Netanyahu’s mouth, clearly implying that he had done something to insult President Obama:
The story page to which this incendiary headline led contained this passage (emphasis added):
HUFFPOLLSTER: Netanyahu Visit Polarizes Americans, by Mark Blumenthal, Ariel Edwards-Levy and Janie Velencia, The Huffington Post, March 2, 2015 7:50 am ET.
“Nearly half of American voters — 48 percent — say that congressional Republicans should not have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on Tuesday without first notifying President Barack Obama, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.”
This incendiary allegation originated in a story in the New York Times, that simply repeated an allegation by White House operatives that President Obama had not been notified in advance about Netanyahu’s acceptance of Speaker Boehner’s invitation to address Congress.
In reality, as HuffPost knew or should have known, the New York Times had corrected that false story more than a month earlier, on January 30, publishing this notation at the end of the article:
“An earlier version of this article misstated when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accepted Speaker John A. Boehner’s invitation to address Congress. He accepted after the administration had been informed of the invitation, not before.”
Omri Ceren of the Israel Project was the first to have caught the correction, and began publicizing this fact the same day, January 30, after which it went viral among those who supported Netanyahu speaking to Congress:
Ed Lasky at American Thinker publicized the NYT’s correction, and the fact that this was a lie that originated in the Obama administration, on January 31.
Further, according to a February 17 story by Bloomberg, a CNN-ORC survey revealed that nearly twice as many Americans said they wanted Netanyahu to speak to Congress, as those who didn’t (even though many assumed the White House false narrative was correct, about its not being informed in advance).
HuffPost has built one of the largest news rooms in America, with hundreds of journalists, researchers and editors. Is it possible that HuffPost was really unaware of the reality surrounding Netanyahu’s speech? Or, did it continue perpetuating this lie in order to discredit Netanyahu, and protect Rhodes’s “war room”?
One critical hint, as shown in this screencap from May 28, 2016, is that HuffPost never corrected its story, and as our records show, it never published a retraction on either its front page or World page.
The fact that others also perpetuated this lie (in this case, NBC News and the Wall St. Journal) is immaterial, because according to Arianna Huffington, what makes HuffPost different from, and better than other news organizations is that:
“There is an objective reality, and it is the media’s job to present it unequivocally.”
(2) Using a Yiddish slang term to tell the world that Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was nothing – while consistently quoting Iran’s rulers accurately
On March 3, the day after Netanyahu’s speech before Congress, HuffPost published this editorial screed as a splash “news” headline:
For those unfamiliar with the term “bupkis,” according to the Oxford Dictionary, it is Yiddish slang, defined as:
bupkis; n (bo͝opkis); Origin: Yiddish
Definition: Nothing at all: “You know bupkis about fundraising.”
You can read the transcript of Netanyahu’s speech here, and watch the entire video below, to enable you to judge whether:
- What he had to say was devoid of meaning
- He deserved to be attacked so viciously by HuffPost, which insists it is a “nonpartisan” newspaper – using Yiddish slang, no less
Contrast how HuffPost treated Netanyahu to its accurate, respectful depiction of statements by Iran’s rulers
It is only in this context that one can grasp the significance of how HuffPost consistently produced headlines that quoted Iran’s rulers accurately (and below, has even published articles that may as well have come from their PR agency).
For example, on March 12, 2015, only 9 days after it smeared Netanyahu, HuffPost devoted the following splash headline story to Iran’s “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Khomenei. Note how it summarized his statement accurately, without any editorializing:
- He oversees Iran’s internal and global terrorism operations, including its chronic murder of homosexuals, for the “crime” of being homosexuals.
- He has openly claimed his mission is to destroy America and Israel.
- He was personally identified in a U.S. federal court has having helped Al Qaeda to perpetrate the 9/11 attacks, and having provided support to the group in its terror operations for more than twenty years.
- Under his “leadership,” Iran has broken nearly every agreement it signed with the international community concerning its weapons programs, and other key issues.
HuffPost, however, has published no information about, or quotes by Khamenei or other Iranian “leaders,” regarding any of those things during the “negotiations” over the Iran deal. Instead, as documented below, HuffPost bent over backwards to present only positive depictions of what even the U.S. government identifies, year after year, as the world’s #1 terror state (a fact that it also ignores).
(3) Ignoring Elie Wiesel’s opposition to the Iran deal, and his urging of Obama to meet with Netanyahu
As has been documented throughout this report, HuffPost gave top-line coverage to pretty much anyone who opposed the Iran deal, including (a) a proven front group for Iran’s mullahs; (b) a discredited, convicted pedophile, (c) high school students.
The one person to whom HuffPost would give no coverage, top-line or otherwise, to voice his vehement opposition to the Iran deal, was Elie Wiesel, a man who was “the living prince of the Jewish people,” according to America’s most famous rabbi,” Shmuley Botach, who said:
“There’s no personality more respected in the global Jewish community and few in the wider world than Elie Wiesel…. [H]e is the face of the murdered 6 million (Jews killed in the Holocaust).”
In early February 2015, Wiesel reportedly wrote to President Obama to urge him to meet with Netanyahu when he came to speak to Congress. According to Rabbi Boteach:
“I think that his [Wiesel’s] view on the prime minister’s speech sounding the alarm as to the Iranian nuclear program carries a unique authority that transcends some of the political circus that has affected the speech.”
Obama refused Wiesel’s request. Wiesel then took out full-page ads in the New York Times and the Washington Post, which ran on February 14 & 15, explaining his opposition to the deal, and urging U.S. Senators and Congressional representatives to attend Netanyahu’s March 3 speech:
HuffPost, however, completely ignored both Wiesel’s voice, and his ad.
(4) Ignoring and whitewashing Iranian leaders’ threats to destroy Israel – while consistently lying about and distorting statements by Israeli leaders
Throughout his (Khamenei-approved) campaign for the presidency in 2013, Hassan Rouhani and other Iranian “leaders” routinely threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, and gave moral and divine justification for doing so. Their statements are on the record, unchallenged, and unambiguous. Iran is also well-known for arming, funding and providing training to many of the major Islamist terror groups that routinely attack Israel, including Hamas. HuffPost has published none of these threats.
However, on August 2, 2013, HuffPost published the following “news” story on its front page, which was sourced from Iran’s official, notorious propaganda machine, Press TV. Specifically, the “story” claims that Rouhani’s genocidal threats against Israel were somehow merely “controversial,” and mis-translated.
Instead, as this report documents, it is HuffPost itself that routinely distorts their positions and statements, and pathologically incites hatred against them, which can only benefit the worst, most violent terrorist regimes that threaten Israel’s very existence.
(5) Consistently depicting Israelis and/or Jews as hating peace, and wanting America to go to war against Iran
“At HuffPost there are guidelines that have to be followed — and they include a prohibition on conspiracy theories or inflammatory claims. These are actually very good ground rules for Fox News to adopt… [T]he great historian Richard Hofstadter called [such acts] ‘the paranoid style in American politics,’ which he defined as angry minds that traffic in ‘heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy,’ and that see ‘the fate of conspiracy in apocalyptic terms… always manning the barricades of civilization’.”
– Arianna Huffington, in open letter to Fox News
This section contains a sampling of the implicit and explicit anti-Semitic bias and incitement that HuffPost employed against critics of the Iran deal – all of which employed the very type of conspiracy theories and inflammatory claims that Ms. Huffington claimed she had prohibited at the “newspaper” that bears her name.
(5.1) Benjamin Netanyahu: “The Peacebreaker”
On March 19, 2015, after Mr. Netanyahu won re-election as Israel’s Prime Minister, HuffPost published the following as a “news” headline splash:
(5.2) “Saboteur Sen. Launching War Push”
In Section 2.1 of this report, we documented this incident through the prism of HuffPost’s use of deception to attack critics of the Iran deal. In summary, on December 19, 2013, HuffPost published this shock headline as a splash “news” story on its front page. The incendiary accusation it made against Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) was based on a “report” from the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), a group that it knew, or should have known, consists of proven pro-Iran propagandists, but which it depicted only as nonpartisan “experts”:
Note that the podium at which Sen. Menendez was speaking bore the logo of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a chronic target by HuffPost and its select group of bloggers (more below).
Given the lies atop which this headline was based, combined with the implication that this Jewish audience was only interested in getting the U.S. to go to war against Iran, the leaders of two major U.S. Jewish organizations publicly accused HuffPost of overt anti-Semitism. As reported by The Algemeiner (emphasis added):
Jewish Group ‘Appalled’ by Huffington Post Article, SWC Says it Paints Jews as Warmongers,The Algemeiner, December 20, 2013. Excerpt:
Both the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) criticized the article, headlined “Saboteur Sen. Launching War Push,” which featured a picture of New Jersey’s Senator Robert Menendez addressing pro-Israel lobby the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
In the article, the publication attacked Senate leaders who backed a bill which calls for new sanctions against Iran in response to the country’s nuclear program. The bill threatens “to push the United States toward war with Iran,” the paper claimed.
Confident that the choice was a deliberate “editorial decision,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean at the Simon Wiesenthal Center sharply criticized the presentation as reminiscent of anti-Jewish tropes. “It goes back to the age old canard,” he told The Algemeiner, “that certain people have never seen a war that they can’t find a way to blame on the Jews.” “Conscious or subconscious it just screams out ‘there they go again,’ meaning Jews, ‘they are bringing the country to war,’” he added.
The AJC said it was “dismayed” and “appalled” by the article, and spoke out in defense of Senator Menendez.
“The Huffington Post has launched a shameful, unjust assault on Senator Menendez,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Why this incendiary attack on a respected and experienced legislator, who has every right to express his viewpoints, without being depicted in such toxic terms?” Harris continued. “Senator Menendez believes, as do many of his Senate colleagues and a majority of the American people, that the best way to reach a diplomatic solution with Iran is through a hard-nosed, clear-eyed approach to a dangerous and wily adversary. So do we.”
(5.3) “Schumer Veers Towards War,” April 6, 2015 (see HuffPost’s entire front page on this day, with the link to which this headline led, here):
In reality, HuffPost knew the headline it created was an inflammatory lie, against Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), one of the Senate’s highest-ranking Jews – because it was linked to an original story by The Politico, which carried a dramatically different headline:
“Schumer bucks White House on Iran: The top Democrat throws his weight behind legislation to give Congress power to reject a deal,” by Burgess Everett, Politico, April 6, 2015. Excerpt:
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, one of Capitol Hill’s most influential voices in the Iran nuclear debate, is strongly endorsing passage of a law opposed by President Barack Obama that would give Congress an avenue to reject the White House-brokered framework unveiled last week.
The comments Monday by the Democratic leader-in-waiting illustrate the enormity of the task ahead for Obama and his team: While there’s no guarantee that Congress would ultimately reject an agreement with Iran, there’s an increasingly bipartisan consensus that Congress should at least have the ability to do so.
“This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration, and I expect to have a classified briefing in the near future. I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur,” Schumer said in an emailed statement to POLITICO.
For daring to take an independent stand, HuffPost falsely smeared Sen. Schumer as “veering towards war.” This incendiary libel against Sen. Schumer was anti-Semitic on two levels:
(1) The second-top Democrat in Congress, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) publicly said on two occasions, in 2014 and 2015, that no member of Congress or the Senate wants the U.S. to go to war with Iran; that to the contrary, they are working on a bipartisan basis to prevent such a war.
(2) As noted earlier, a staple of anti-Semitism is the false accusation that Jews manipulate public figures and/or institutions, to get them to go to war for Israel’s benefit.
However, as shown below, and in other evidence we’ve obtained, HuffPost was on a veritable “jihad” against Schumer, for daring to have an independent stance on the Iran deal.
(5.4) “Chuck Schumer’s Disingenuous Iran Argument”
In Section 5.1 of this report, we documented the the fact this front-page “news” story, which HuffPost published on August 10, 2015, was based on a lie that had already been debunked nearly one month earlier:
Crossing a Line To Sell a Deal: The White House and its allies shouldn’t need to smear American Jews–and a sitting senator–as dual loyalists to make their case, by The Tablet Editorial Board, August 7, 2015. Excerpt (emphasis added):
As heated as the arguments between us can get, we can all agree that all of these positions, and their many variants, are entirely within the bounds of legitimate political debate—and that none of them are evidence of anyone’s intent either to rush America to war or to obliterate the State of Israel.
What we increasingly can’t stomach—and feel obliged to speak out about right now—is the use of Jew-baiting and other blatant and retrograde forms of racial and ethnic prejudice as tools to sell a political deal, or to smear those who oppose it. Accusing Sen. Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple. Accusing senators and congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.
This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives.
While HuffPost’s incendiary “jihad” against Sen. Schumer served to advance the false narratives conjured up by the Ploughshares Fund and Ben Rhodes’s “war room,” it also served to feed its constant assault on Israel, Jews and those who stood with the Jewish state.
(5.5) Other anti-Semitic items that HuffPost published during the debate over the Iran deal
Note: Each of these editorials appeared at or near the top of HuffPost’s front and/or World page, and in some cases, it kept them there for two, three or even six days straight.
In Section 5.2, we document HuffPost’s false depiction of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) in “news” stories as a nonpartisan group of grassroots “experts,” even though it knew or should have known that they are a proven front group for Iran’s mullahs. Throughout the Iran “debate,” HuffPost also gave top coverage to an array of venomous, anti-Semitic attacks on Israel and Netanyahu by senior NIAC operatives, including this, which it left on its front page for three days straight:
To Netanyahu, Peace Is an Existential Threat, by March 2, 2015. Excerpt:
To Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, peace between the US and Iran is an existential threat. By now, it should be clear to all: It’s not an Iranian nuclear bomb he fears, but a US-Iran deal. [….]
So we have gone from Netanyahu declaring an Iranian bomb an existential threat to Israel, to a deal between the world powers and Iran an existential threat.
And it’s not the specifics of the deal that is the problem, but the very notion of a deal involving the US and Iran.
(5.6) Israel “fantasizing” about getting the U.S. to go to war against Iran
One does not need to examine this screed beyond the first sentence, to realize how unhinged and anti-Semitic it is. HuffPost left this at or near the top of its World page for three straight days.
Iran and America at Heaven’s Gate?, by Michael Brenner, Huffington Post, March 16, 2015. Excerpt (emphasis added):
If Israel fails to get Washington to go to war with Iran, it will have lost a very big bet. More fantasizing will not get it out of that hole. […] There also is the possibility of Israeli attack aircraft being shot out of the sky by the United States as they overfly Iraq or even approach Iran from a circuitous route via Saudi Arabia. It strikes me that a compelling case can be made for the United States to do just that.
(5.7) Israel “voted against peace” that Abbas has been seeking; the world is no longer obligated to defend the Jewish state
This item was written by one of the few Palestinian “journalists” whom Palestinian Authority “president” Mahmoud Abbas has not terrorized or beaten into submission. And HuffPost left this piece of Abbas-whitewashing propaganda at the top its World page for six straight days:
World No Longer Bound to Defend Israel Internationally, by Daoud Kuttab, Palestinian journalist, March 18, 2015. Excerpt (emphasis added):
The Israeli electorate had a choice to make. By re-electing a leader who publicly reneged on his commitments to peace and a two-state solution, they voted against peace. […] Palestinians have for years lost hope in the peace process and have been telling everyone who is willing to listen that the Israeli leaders are merely giving lip service to it as their own bulldozers were gobbling up Palestinian lands. […] The vote by the Israeli public has sealed the fate of Mahmoud Abbas who had placed his bets on the peace process and the support of the international community.
(5.8) Israel “controls” five states, and only allows democracy for those in “the Jewish state”
“Middle East Eye” claims “Our agenda is led by events, not political leanings.” One can judge the accuracy of this claim on this article, which HuffPost published on its front page, on the day of the 2015 Israeli election for Prime Minister:
Bibi, Buji Both Want Israel to Keep It All, by David Hearst, Editor, Middle East Eye, March 17, 2015. Excerpt:
There are five states of Israel, only two of which are going to the polls today. There is the Jewish state, which is a democracy for its Jewish citizens only.
(5.9) Max Blumenthal: Warmongering Israelis murder Palestinians
HuffPost published this “piece” on its front page on July 16, 2015, several weeks before the final climax of the debate over the Iran deal:
The Fire Next Time, by Max Blumenthal, Huffington Post, July 16, 2015.
Even before [Israel’s] assault was launched, Gaza was a warehouse for surplus humanity — a 360-square-kilometer ghetto of Palestinian refugees expelled by and excluded from the self-proclaimed Jewish state. […]
IS [Ed.: ISIS] in Gaza has established an alliance of convenience with the Israeli military, with each relying on the other to tighten the vise on Hamas.
Unlike the rulers of Gaza, Israel’s upper classes thrive off war.
Is it even possible that HuffPost, which runs one of the largest news rooms in America, is unaware of the lies in this article? That for example, Hamas’s rulers have stolen billions of dollars in foreign aid and tax revenue from the people of Gaza, and enjoy lives of uber-luxury, while the Palestinians they “govern” live in poverty?
Of course not. Yet HuffPost chose to publish on its front page this cavalcade of lies by Max Blumenthal, whose hyperbolic anti-Semitic, anti-Israel propaganda is so deranged that even fellow Israel critic Erik Alterman of The Nation, has lambasted him. According to Alterman, Blumenthal’s recent book, Goliath, reads like:
“a propaganda tract” that “could have been published by the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club (if it existed) without a single word change once it’s translated into Arabic.”
Further, Blumenthal is so disturbed that hours after legendary Holocaust survivor and human rights activist Elie Wiesel died, Blumenthal was Tweeting vicious, lie-filled attacks against him. A continuation of his long, long history of lying.
Despite that history, for years HuffPost has:
- Enabled Blumenthal to blog on its front page
- Featured his views in front-page “news” stories
- Promotes the sale of his books with active links, something it does for few other authors (screencap at right is from his article, “The Fire Next Time,” described at top of this section)
(6) Acting as a volunteer PR agency for Iran’s rulers
At the same time HuffPost was doing everything in its power to smear and lie about Mr. Netanyahu, Israel and Jews, it published a regular stream of glowing articles about Iran and its rulers. Here are but a few examples of this effort.
(6.1) Khamenei is “sad” that “no one goes hiking anymore”
Israel, under Netanyahu and his predecessors, has produced innumerable breakthroughs in health science, water technology and every other realm of human life. HuffPost gives Israel no credit for any of these achievements, on its front page or World page.
Yet when Iran’s top terrorist, “Supreme Leader” Ayatollah Khamanei said he was “sad” that “no one goes hiking anymore,” HuffPost assigned a “journalist” to write an original PR “news” “story” about this revelation, and positioned it on its front page:
This is exactly the same kind of slavish propaganda that Iran’s own (Khamanei-controlled) “news” media produces, to burnish his image. Yet here, HuffPost used its global platform to spread this PR “news” to its 130 million readers around the world.
(6.2) “A gorgeous journey through ‘100 years of Iranian beauty'”
HuffPost has not published any stories on its front page or World page about the innumerable beautiful aspects of Israel and its people. Yet on February 19, 2015, as the climax of the Iran deal negotiations was approaching, HuffPost published this original PR “news” story about this photo-essay on its front page:
Curiously, HuffPost chose to position this PR “news” story next to an original “news” story about a frowning Netanhyahu hiring a lawyer, for a “possible” corruption case:
(6.3) Iran’s “laughter yoga” programs
If one only got their news from HuffPost, they might wonder why so many have a dim view of Iran and its “leaders,” after seeing this original July 2, 2014 original PR “news” story that it assigned a “journalist” to write, about how Iranians are embracing something called “laughter yoga.” This headline graphic takes one to a detailed, picture-rich PR piece photo-essay, from inside Iran, about this “hilarious” healing practice:
Addendum: HuffPost’s PR for Iran and its rulers is part of a broader pattern of its enabling PR for the world’s most brutal Islamist regimes
HuffPost’s practice of presenting only positive stories about Iran and its rulers – while doing the exact opposite regarding Israel, its leaders, and Jews – was part of its continuing pattern of its doing similar PR for some of the world’s most brutal Islamist regimes, to help present favorable depictions of their clients. For example, the sleuths at The Shame Project revealed:
- “HuffPo has been caught pushing positive PR for foreign dictators. The New York Times reported that in 2009 HuffPo published a short article accompanied by a “fashion slide show” titled “Asma al-Assad: Syria’s First Lady and All-Natural Beauty” not long after the Assad family began using Western PR firms to “shape her image.” [Ed. Curiously, while HuffPost has allowed the write who published this “piece,” Nour Akkad to remain active, it scrubbed her archive to remove the listing for this item.]
- “During pro-democracy protests in Bahrain in 2011 at the start of the Arab Spring, HuffPo published a series of blog posts that whitewashed well-documented Bahraini police brutality, and instead blamed demonstrators for violence erupting in the country. HuffPo did not disclose that the author, Tom Squitieri, was “an employee of Qorvis Communications, a Washington firm that is registered to lobby for the government of Bahrain,” as Ken Silverstein discovered. Squitieri had been a reporter for USA Today until 2005, when he “resigned” over charges of plagiarism.”
(7) Ignoring the proof, in August 2015, that Iran was funding Hamas’s preparations to instigate a new war against Israel – then whitewashing the Third Intifada
On August 11, 2015, one month before the climax of the Congressional debate over the Iran deal, Commentary magazine published this story:
Iran Funding Hamas Preparations for War, by Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, August 11, 2015. Excerpt, citing a report the day earlier from Ha’aretz (a left-leaning Israeli newspaper that HuffPost routinely cites, when its stories can be used to attack Israel):
During his interrogation, [Hamas operative Ibrahim] Sha’er also told of the links between Iran and Hamas, under which Iran has transferred military support into the Gaza Strip to strengthen the organization. The Iranians provide funds, advanced weaponry and electronic equipment such as equipment for disrupting radio communications to bring down Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles over Gaza, Sha’er told the Shin Bet. Iran has also trained Gaza fighters in the use of hang gliders for the purpose of penetrating into Israel, he said.
HuffPost, however, completely ignored this discovery. More, as shown in SaveTheWest’s recent documentary, “HuffPost’s Anti-Semitic Bias and Incitement During the Third Intifada,” when Palestinians began daily attacks on Jews one month later – many of which were organized and funded by Hamas – HuffPost ignored the victims, and chronically evoked sympathy only for Palestinians.
At the peak of the Third Intifada, HuffPost gave top coverage to the following editorial that explicitly justified Palestinian terrorist attacks on Jews, claiming that Israel was “reaping what it had sown.” And Huffpost left it posted on its World page for six straight days.