When I first heard about a rumor that Sarah Netanyahu was involved with a great number of bottles, the first thought that popped into my head was: has the ghost of Yitzhak Rabin returned? After all, his imbibing was notorious (not to mention his smoking habit).
And then I heard it was actually about returning-bottles-for-deposit cash, although I think there was a report somewhere that she did indeed drink alchohol that caused, at times, a bit of a ruckus.
I think we can admit that there is no bottoming-out standard for the media. The outlets – print, broadcast and electronic – will go as low and as yellow as they can. Usually, it’s a matter of “if it bleeds, it leads” but here in Israel, it is more “let’s get the Right”.
Here is one commentary from another world on this media activity from a review of Matt Bai’s book “All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid.”
…his book zeroed in on a turning point in American political journalism, now largely forgotten: the way the press pursued Gary Hart, the leading Democratic candidate for President in the 1988 campaign, about his sex life. Reporters staked out his home to learn if he was sleeping with Donna Rice, a model; they asked whether he had ever committed adultery; and they investigated that very question. This process, Bai claimed, turned reporters into character cops, fundamentally changing the way the press covered campaigns. Instead of probing the substance of Hart’s positions, he said, reporters chased him from the race. Much of the political press turned into a supermarket tabloid.
I am not sure that is when the political became the personal but it is a good enough summary of the problem.
We elect a person to be able to form a coaliton to become Prime Minister. Any other news belongs to the gossip section, if at all, and especially if only it is true for in our case, right now it seems the story is not that true and that the deposit money went into an employees’ fund. A better story might be the Attorney-General’s judgment in this matter, not to mention Yitzhak Herzog’s old-NGOs affair (that might come back to haunt him with this new V15 outfit).
The only conclusion I can manage is that today the press will write about anything, perhaps deservedly so, but that their selection of stories is not news-oriented but politically motivated.