The war against the Daily Planet


The Berkeley Daily Planet, my last employer, is not a paper without its faults, though that’s true of every paper where I’ve ever worked. But one of the paper’s greatest strengths has been its willingness to provide a platform for the public to express a dizzying array of viewpoints, some frankly crazy, some devastatingly on point.

Through its op-eds and letters to the editors, all from readers, the Planet offers a unique forum in a very unique community.

Which is why a gang of Zionist thugs—and thugs they are—have terrorized its advertisers through a sophisticated campaign of direct mailings and in-business meetings, all laced with lies and intimidation.

The campaign, coupled with the current economic collapse, have hamstrung the paper, leading directly to the layoff of two of its three reporters [of whom I was one].

As my last major investigative project for the paper, I looked into the attackers and discovered a troubling phenomenon, the Zionist anti-Semite.

Wait, you say, how can a Zionist be an anti-Semite? Simple, I reply, by disparaging the Middle East’s predominate Semitic peoples, the Arabs. If you doubt this, just go to the dictionary and look up the word “Semitic.”Merriam-Webster defines it thusly: “a member of any of a number of peoples of ancient southwestern Asia including the Akkadians, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs b : a descendant of these peoples.”

In a nifty bit of semantic subversion, “anti-Semitism” has become the term for what would be better called, depending on its context, either anti-Jewish racism or anti-Zionism, two very different creatures which the Zionists insist are identical and have become so in everyday discourse.

One of the leaders of the campaign against the paper is Jim Sinkinson, a public relations guru who makes a handsome living teaching PR types the finer arts of spinning the media. In his other incarnation, Sinkinson is the voice of FLAME, a San Francisco-based outfit which pitches the Zionist message under the tutelage of Daniel Pipes, a professional Zionist who leads the campaign to purge campuses of faculty who criticize the policies of the Israeli government.

According to a Feb. 27, 2001,  Village Voice article by Cynthia Cotts, FLAME founder Gerardo Joffee once told a reporter, “All Arab Muslims may not be a bunch of fanatics, but I’ve never met one who isn’t.”

FLAME’s website also carried a Joffee piece endorsing a hoary quotation from Winston Churchill: “How dreadful are the curses Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!. . .Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. . .“[n]o stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

Anti-Semitism, anyone? And what about the role Islamic culture played in preserving the works of the ancient Greek philosophers? In advancing medicine? In mathematics, including algebra [an Arabic term] and Arabic numerals?

And lest we forget, Jews were the first folk slaughtered in the First Crusade, an in Europe. And when Jerusalem was captured by the Crusaders, Jews were slaughtered right along with Muslims. No wonder Jewish soldiers later volunteered to fight with Saladin.

Yet Sinkinson and his ilk endorse the likes of John Hagee, the Dispensationalist Texas pastor who has raised millions for their cause. Not because he loves Jews, but because he believes all Jews have to be forced to return to Israel so that all but the 144,000 who embrace the “true Messiah” will be slaughtered so the Second Coming can occur. And Hitler? Hagee says he was a hound sent by God to bring about the return of the Jews to that oh-so-bloody “holy” land.

But a sizeable minority of Jews are opposed to what is commonly defined as Zionism, the imperial drive to reclaim what they perceive as the one-time boundaries of ancient Israel, a process which the more extreme of its proponents, including those who now run the Israeli government, seem to equate with ethnic cleansing. But to the militant Zionists, of course, these are self-hating Jews. . .

I focus here on Sinkinson because he’s the best-financed of the lot. There are others, and I did a lot of research on them while I was with the Daily Planet, and you can find my work here.

I’m writing this now because of a peculiarly noxious article which appeared last Friday in the New York Times which conveniently omitted a few facts, including the performances of two of that paper’s editors at a recent PR forum sponsored by Sinkinson.

The Daily Planet is a small paper, and the only locally owned publication in the Berkeley area. While Executive Editor Becky O’Malley vows to keep up the fight, the Zionists have done it heavy damage. What has happened to the Planet is a stark warning to other media of what awaits them if they accept significant numbers of letters and op-eds critical of Israel policies. Sadly, the only mainstream media mention of the campaign is the Times’ sad story of Nov. 27. My articles of June 4 were ignored. Hopefully, the campaign’s latest incarnation will gather some more attention. Why are the American media so silent now, if not for fear that the same thing could happen to them?

I’ll devote some more space in later updates to the campaign and what it means for that dying beast we once called “the free press.”

And for the Daily Planet‘s response to the Times article, see here.

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6 responses to “The war against the Daily Planet

  1. Richard,

    If you had focused on the newspaper’s reform rather than in a knee jerk defense of the paper, using shoddy journalistic techniques, you would still have your job. By attacking messengers like me, you may have made me some unwanted enemies (I get lots of hate mail), but at the same time the DP was losing about 80% of its advertisers–good folks, who like so many in Berkeley, walked away from the DP holding their noses. I am happy to bury the hatchet and invite you to lunch to disucss further at anytime. I have even opened a dialogue with Howerton of the DP and promised him every help in regaining advertisers once the paper reforms itself.
    Best,
    John

  2. Richard,

    As a lifelong resident of Berkeley and a supporter of the effort against Becky and her vessel of proficient hate speech, you can rest assured that the campaign to criticize, recognize and isolate Becky and her hostile rhetoric will not end anytime soon.

    And you can also rest assured that we are not a bunch of “right-wing” thinkers, but have strong progressive views and socially responsible opinions and we are not afraid to speak out against injustices in our community. Pre-eminent among those injustices is the overwhelming tendency of The Planet to feature writers whose pathological hatred toward Israel fuels a dangerous, virulent form of modern Jew-hatred and Holocaust denial.

  3. The Daily Planet is a fundamental necessity for citizen expression in Berkeley. It is a noxious evidence of Zionist narrow-mindedness that these attacks have tried, and partially succeeded, in suppressing a major community service. Brenneman was their best reporter; all he says here is true. What will we do without him?

  4. Zionism was birthed through the means of terrorizing and displacing the indigenous population.
    Zionism is Ethnic Cleansing.
    Zionism is Apartheid.
    Zionism is Racism.

    To the “social responsibile and progressive zionists”:
    Would you accuse Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu of Jew-hatred and holocaust denial?

    Long live free speech in face of the Zionist machine to stifle debate about this conflict

  5. Dr. Kiss Injure

    It’s interesting to note that after a cursory glance at some of the criticism, none of the assailants of the Planet actually took the time to explore the evidence behind these claims. That this historical debate immediately posit one on the side of Neo Nazism is a logical fallacy. Appeal to emotion is a rather common ploy of the Zionist right; a rather pathetic PSYOP technique used by Fox News to discredit valid criticism.

    One might wish to explore the following material:

    Yishuv Zionism: Its Attitude to Nazism and the Third Reich Reconsidered; H Eshkoli-Wagman – Modern Judaism, 1999 – *Oxford Univ* Press
    The first page of this pdf is available.

    Read btwn the lines of Edwin Black’s The Transfer Agreement and one might find the origins of the hidden history of Zionist eugenic policies. Ha’aretz recently exposed this history.

    The “conspiracy theory” meme has been thoroughly debunked by numerous scholars, including Michael Parenti and Peter Dale Scott.

    As for “anti-Semitism” well…Khazars are not Semitic peoples…unless one believes in the myths contained in the Bible as historical truth.
    Check Schlomo Sand, Lenni Brenner for more information.

  6. Dr. Kiss Injure

    Two more points:

    I also fault the Planet for dumbing down this subject and not doing the necessary research.

    The ADL/FBI has an international network of Zionist thugs that will do anything in their power to psychologically harass perceived “enemies”.

    These screaming spoilt and privileged baby boomer know-it-all black hole thugs have already destroyed humanity and this “planet” (no pun intended) with their arrogant stupidity and greed. Imperialism also works on a personal level. Their generation devoured this “planet” whole.

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