Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Mel Pearlman

Time Magazine-purveyor of fake news


By Mel Pearlman

I became a subscriber to Time Magazine in my sophomore year in high school, when my English teacher compelled each student in his class to subscribe to either Time Magazine, Newsweek, or U.S. News and World Report. Each week we were to select an article for discussion and be prepared to discuss its language architecture in class. He used these publications as examples of excellent journalistic writing and as resources to build our English skills as to grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary. I have been a continuous subscriber to this day, and occasionally, still have to look up the definition of words found in many of the articles.

Many years ago, in the Oct. 3,1977, edition of Time Magazine, an article titled, “How to Lean on Israel,” raised the ire of many in the Jewish community, who sought a boycott of Time and encouraged Jewish subscribers to terminate their subscriptions as an act of protest.

I recall the incident because I was one who opposed the protesters, pointing out that even though it was an opinion article with which I disagreed, it was not wise to stop reading what your opponents were publishing; that it was better to know what the opposition was thinking than to ignore what they were writing. The community anger ultimately subsided, the protest failed and, as I indicated, I am still subscribing to and reading Time Magazine, which continues to publish articles about Israel, and for the most part, accurately presents the facts and makes an attempt to present all sides of the complexity that is the Arab-Israeli conflict.

That changed drastically in the May 28, 2018, issue of the magazine with the publication of the article “Beyond Hope; As Israel gets its way with Washington, Gazans mobilize despair.” The article was authored by Karl Vick and augmented with reporting by Nuha Musleh, an apparent Time Magazine stringer out of Ramallah.

The crux of the article was that the protesters who approached the border with Israel were peaceful, the demonstrations arose spontaneously out of despair, were not initially organized or led by Hamas, and that while Israeli and American dignitaries were celebrating the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem with aplomb, contrasting that, according to Mr. Vick, “A few miles away, cameras captured the chaos as Israeli soldiers methodically cut down some 2,700 Palestinians, 60 fatally, as they marched forward toward the fence that separates Israel from the Gaza strip.” (italics and bold added). Not satisfied with the credibility of his own distortion of what actually was occurring, Mr. Vick made it a point to gratuitously mention that, in Europe, newspapers referred to the event he was describing as the Gaza “massacre.”

As thousands of acres in Israel burned along the border as a result of fire bombs delivered across the border by the demonstrators’ kites, as Hamas terrorists cowardly detonated explosives to breach the border fence while being shielded by women and children, the Israel Defense Forces did everything possible to avoid the use of force, using mostly non-lethal methods of crowd control. The use of the phrase, “methodically cut down” is a perfect example of fake news.

Shame on Time Magazine for allowing the publication of this article. Not only was it fake news that will only encourage the poor Palestinians to continue their delusion of one day destroying the Jewish people and the State of Israel, but the breach of the journalistic standard of truth and accuracy in reporting has also damaged Time Magazine’s reputation. Most critically, the publication of this article was an affront to the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which thrives on the truth, but dies with lies.

If you wish to comment or respond to any of the contents herein you can reach me at melpearlman322@gmail.com. Please do so in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil manner. If you wish to respond by ranting and raving, please go into your bathroom, lock the door and shout your brains out.

Mel Pearlman has been practicing law in Central Florida for the past 45 years. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; on the District VII Mental Health Board, as Special Prosecutor for the City of Winter Park, Florida; and on the Board of Directors of the Central Florida Research and Development Authority. He was a charter member of the Board of Directors and served as the first Vice President of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as its first pro-bono legal counsel.


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