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June 03, 2012

Shareholders Demand Accountability on '60 Minutes' Christians Report

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Algemeiner reports:

Four board members of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) attended the CBS May 24 shareholder meeting in New York, arguing that the television network had used distortions, omissions and factual errors on “60 Minutes” to present the Jewish state as an oppressor of Christians in the region.

In the controversial April 22 “60 Minutes” segment, reporter Bob Simon ignored a documented history of Muslim violence toward the Palestinian population in the West Bank, instead making it seem that Israel was entirely the culprit, critics of the program have said. Simon referred to Israel’s security fence as completely surrounding Bethlehem, “turning the ‘little town’ where Christ was born into what its residents call ‘an open air prison.’” In reality, the fence only arcs along the north, where it borders Israeli neighborhoods and does not surround Bethlehem; residents can move freely in and out along the entire south of the city.

Simon also claimed that the Christian population in the region has declined to less than two percent. As a percentage of the regional population compared to Muslims, Christians have, indeed, declined, but CBS failed to make clear that the Christian population inside Israel has grown substantially. According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, 34,000 mostly Arab Christians lived in Israel in 1949, and by 2009 that number rose to 122,000.

Far from oppressing Christians, Israel provides a safe haven for them, according to Carol Greenwald, a CAMERA board member who spoke at the CBS meeting. The “60 Minutes” segment “apparently sought to undermine Christian support of Israel in the U.S,” she told JointMedia News Service. The statement describing the “little town where Christ was born” as an “open air prison” was truly incendiary, Greenwald said.

CAMERA owns shares of CBS stock. At the meeting, Greenwald and other CAMERA representatives sought to confirm that CBS News has an official policy of correcting errors on air. Since part of the meeting’s agenda was the election of directors, Greenwald got up and said that as a shareholder, she needed to know the position of each director on that policy issue. Les Moonves, the network’s president, interjected that he knew the CAMERA board members had a problem with “60 Minutes,” but pointed out that it is an award-winning program. Greenwald added that she was not addressing “60 Minutes,” but raising a question about the network’s adherence to a key ethical standard. Greenwald was then told she would receive an answer in writing. . . .

Posted by TS at June 3, 2012 05:58 AM

Comments

The problem here is that the lies broadcast will roam the airways long after any "Correction" is made. The lies will remain in peoples minds and memories. The truth may never get the chance to erase the falshoods.

Posted by: Charles at June 3, 2012 11:55 AM

The idea of publicizing corporate malfeasance at stockholders' meetings is a very good one. An even better idea is to propose a stockholder proposal, which will be printed in a public company's annual report and which will require a vote at the shareholders' meeting. I own thousands of shares of the New York Times and would like to make a shareholder proposal to fire the foreign editor of the NYT and to require the board to monitor and report to shareholders quarterly (if not monthly!) the paper's coverage of Israel and to certify that the news stories and editorials published are accurate and unbiased and that readers' complaints of NYT bias against Israel that have been investigated and found correct are noted in the newspaper, posted as prominently as the original biased reports (e.g. on the front page or on the editorial page) and in like typeface. Would CAMERA be kind enough to let your readers know how one goes about submitting a shareholder proposal to the NYT in particular and public companies in general?

Posted by: consultingdoc at June 7, 2012 03:43 PM

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