Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Contrast of Hagel Stories

As I mentioned two days ago, the Huffington Post has been paying attention to the Chuck Hagel story, even if (as far as I have seen) most major media outlets have not. But as usual, the way that they cover it is tinged with bias. Let me demonstrate for that you now. First we have Huffington Post editor Josh Hersh giving major puffing to some pro-Hagel statements made by a "Nebraska rabbi:"

Now if you are wondering why we should listen to a rabbi from Nebraska, according to Hersh's article he has been friends with Hagel a long time and knows that Hagel is not anti-Israel. Of course, one wonders that if they really are friends why he would be an objective source about Hagel's credentials for this job. I would think that they would want an unbiased opinion. Ah, but of course! Because he's a Jew and a rabbi therefore his opinion matters more than the hundreds of Jews and/or rabbis that might not say what the Huffington Post wants to hear. And what this rabbi (named Aryeh Azriel) is saying is music to their ears:
"I though we were done already with the [childishness] of being Jewish where everyone who says something critical about Israel needs to be labeled an anti-Semite. I find this extremely stupid, and definitely not helpful."
And later:
"The fact that Hagel has at times spoken out against a monolithic view of what it means to be pro-Israel, Azriel said, was something that had endeared him to the Midwestern community of Jews."
 Ah, a student of the MJ Rosenberg style of "pro-Israel," I see. And in what I'm sure is a completely unrelated coincidence, Rabbi Azriel is part of the "Rabbis for Obama" campaign.

Anyway, Hersh's article is full of the usual spotlighting of Hagel's supporters while marginalizing of Hagel's detractors, as we have come to expect. On the other hand, shoved over into the "Gay Voices" section of the Huffington Post is an article going after Hagel about his prejudices regarding gay people, something the Huffington Post has not been as vocal about. It's even written by Gay Voices editor Michelangelo Signorile:
 "And all Hagel can come up with now, as his name is being floated to lead a military that is open to gays and lesbians but which will need a strong defender of LGBT rights to further implement DADT repeal, foster equality for lesbian and gay couples and push for allowing transgender people to serve, is that he was "insensitive?" Do we really think that 15 years after a senator called someone "aggressively black" and opined that being African-American is an "inhibiting factor" to a government job that he or she should get away with saying the remarks were merely "insensitive?" It's hard to imagine that a person like that would even be nominated to lead a military as racially diverse as ours."
So I suppose that is a start.

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