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February 15, 1991 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-02-15

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DATE and TIME: 7:00 P.M., Tuesday, February 26, 1991

Special to The Jewish News

LOCATION: Novi Hilton, 21111 Haggerty Rd., Novi, MI

able News Network is
clearly the video vic-
tor in the Persian
Gulf War, and CBS and NBC
are surely the losers.
Sixty-one percent of
Americans say CNN is doing
the best job of covering the
war, according to a survey
by the Times Mirror Center
for the People and the Press.
Only 12 percent said the
same for ABC and a mere
seven percent gave "best"
ratings to CBS and NBC.
During the first week of
the war, reports A.C.
Nielson Co., which tabulates
TV ratings, the number of
CNN viewers increased by
480 percent from the
previous week. ABC News
viewership increased by 24
percent, while NBC News
declined by six percent and
CBS News by 13 percent.
Of the anchors at the three
major networks, only NBC's
Tom Brokaw is getting off
relatively unscathed. Peter
Jennings of ABC and Dan
Rather of CBS have both
been the targets of much
criticism, although for vast-
ly different reasons.
New York Times columnist
William Safire has called
Mr. Jennings an Israel-
baiter, and Bertram Korn,
Jr., executive director of the
Philadelphia office of
CAMERA (The Committee
for Accuracy in Middle East
Reporting in America), has
charged him with "blatant
hostility toward Israel."
During recent broadcasts,
said Mr. Korn, Mr. Jenn-
ings' stance toward Israel
first surfaced the night the


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CBS, NBC Become
War Casualties


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Arthur J. Magida is a senior
writer for the Baltimore Jew-
ish Times.

first Iraqi missile hit Tel
Aviv. The anchor, said Mr.
Korn, reportedly "grilled
ABC correspondent Cokie
Roberts — on the air —
about why Israel seemed to
be receiving more public
sympathy than Saudi
Arabia or Kuwait."
Mr. Jennings' stance
toward Israel is not new. In a
1989 interview in Rolling
Stone, he complained that
"the press corps had alto-
gether gone overboard in
cheering for Israel" during
the 1967 Six Day War. And
at the National Press Club
last December, he charged
that American support for
Israel has "complicated
American policy in the Arab
One of Mr. Jennings'
defenders has been Doug
Ireland, who writes the
Village Voice's "Press Clips"
column. Mr. Ireland called
the anchor "a model of intel-
ligent reserve, keeping his
distance from the feverish
nationalism of Dippy Dan
(CBS's Rather) and Tiddily
Tom (NBC's Brokaw)."
Other critics have also
pounced on Dan Rather —
and CBS's war coverage in
general. During the opening
hours of the war, said Tom
Shales, the Washington
Post's TV critic, the network
"had one of the worst nights
of breaking news coverage in
its history." And at a
meeting of CBS affiliates,
according to the Wall Street
Journal, new CBS News
president Eric Ober was
questioned about the limp
war coverage. Reportedly,
one common complaint was
that Mr. Rather's perfor-
mance was "too stiff."
Senior CBS executives are
discussing whether to
replace Mr. Rather, reports
the Journal.

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