Heads Roll at BBC; Scandal Looms Over NY Times

Today’s Top Stories

1. We’re up to 140 rockets fired at Israel in two days.  The Jerusalem Post reports 26 people being treated for shock when a Grad rocket struck a building in Netivot. According to the Times of Israel, the government’s laying the diplomatic groundwork for a possible escalation.

2. For the second consecutive day, an errant Syrian shell landed in Israeli territ0ry, prompting the IDF to fire back a warning shot.

3. Heads continued rolling at the BBC.  Helen Boaden, “stepped aside” as the news director.

Not only that, Lord Robert McAlpine, who Newsnight falsely accused of being pedophile, is considering taking legal action — not just against the Beeb, but against Twitter users who named him. The most notable of the twitterers, Sally Bercow and The Guardian’s George Monbiot have already apologized. Monbiot elaborated on his blog.

The Jimmy Savile scandal’s spilling over to NY Times, where former Beeb boss Mark Thompson is taking over as the paper’s CEO. Joe Hagan reports:

He does not arrive with the full confidence of the Times’ journalists.

“People are going to start paying closer attention, and that probably isn’t good for newsroom morale,” says one Timesman, “because there’s now a widely held sense that this guy’s story doesn’t add up.”

If you’re following the Beeb’s fall more closely, Poynter rounds up more worthwhile links.

Israel and the Palestinians

The JPost and AFP talked to long-suffering residents of Sderot:

“Things like this ruin your life. Every time my son hears a ‘Code Red’ [rocket siren] it takes years off my life,” he said.

Will the fighting escalate? Israeli journalists Yaakov Lappin, Yoav Limor, Mitch Ginsburg and Ron Ben-Yishai all weigh in. The Wall Street Journal‘s Josh Mitnick nicely ties together the Gaza and Syrian fronts. See also Jeffrey Goldberg.

 ”Tit-for-tat” references are a tip-off that the journalist is either lazy or uninterested in making a moral judgment about how the fight started. Case in point: Voice of America‘s Robert Berger:

But with tit-for tat attacks across the border, neither side is backing down.

AFP: In a phone call to Mahmoud Abbas, President Obama said he opposed the PA’s statehood push in the UN. But Abbas rebuffed the president.

I’ve heard claims that Jesus was a Palestinian, but PA television has gone even further: Jesus was the first Islamic martyr in history.

NY Times staff-ed to President Obama: Don’t forget the Mideast:

Many are pessimistic that anything can be done about an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal as long as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in office and Palestinians are divided between Fatah and Hamas. It would be a mistake for Mr. Obama to cross this challenge off his list. He needs to keep seeking openings to promote the two-state solution.

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Source material can be found at this site.

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