Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

The more freedom to leave a comment, the more I read those outlets

The news has worsened from evenhanded twaddle to polarized propaganda

I’m an activist—call me old-fashioned. When I read a bad news report, it was a waste of my time. Unless … I could leave a comment pointing out the truth. Yet, many outlets don’t let me criticize their ‘perfect’ reporting more than twice. That just means I’ll read them less. Far less.

The Internet paper that I like best has the most tolerance for my remarks. It also has, hands-down, the most nonsense articles and headlines. But, that is largely neutralized when I get to point out the (medical) mistakes. And for them: There is no such thing as a bad press. It makes them money.

I also like it when I can comment on comments of others. Not to make them change their minds. To teach how to do hasbara when something Antisemitic, Anti-Zionistic, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ultra-nationalistic, or otherwise bigoted or supremacist is written.

When I read news that is incorrect, some publishers let you give them feedback. Some take it seriously and amend their reporting. Some do neither. Guess which ones I’ll continue to give feedback and take seriously.

I don’t read reports that write the obvious. ‘The opposition leader sharply panned the PM.’ It’s his job, no? ‘calling him evil.’ I don’t need the slander.

When a right-wing outlet admits a left-wing talking point (or vice versa), I’m interested. But when they just spew their one-sided view on the situation, I find reading the propaganda a waste of my time.

And then, much of the free press prostitutes itself to a number of rich or influential organizations that pay to get their opinions published as facts. No protest will help because we talk as the one who feeds us.

I know of a famous news desk that enforces certain ways of reporting on honest journalists, terrified to lose their jobs. When they sneak in truths that don’t fit their bosses’ narratives, their writing is always ‘edited.’

When I was young, serious news came from newspapers only, written by intellectuals mostly. They also controlled the Letters section. The way they feigned objectivity was by always writing about the two sides of the coin. What they really did was blurring any issue into a fuzzy picture, unsuitable as a basis for activism. My father, of proud working-class extraction, could not stand the wishy-washy: “On one side …” immediately interrupting it with: “On the other side, rain enters through the open window.” I know someone who interrupts “On the one hand” with: “Five fingers.”

Much national and international news often depends on a national or international press agency. It only takes one dedicated Antisemite to guarantee that the whole bureau spreads Jew-hatred. This may be done together with neutral or loving pieces on Jews to ‘prove’ impartiality.

Now we have a lot of outlets who cater to and pamper their own public. Not only won’t they break their mantras. They also will keep everything politically correct or woke, or on the other side, capitalist and ‘common sense.’ A variety of them is essential for democracy, but individually, they are a threat to it because they create and maintain information bubbles.

And then there are the journals that write to keep the readers entertained and busy. Yet another trick to prevent activism.

Who was it who said: “When you notice something broken, it is your job to (help) repair it”? And, we need all-hands-on-deck.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. * His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble.
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