An Op-ed By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com
What would have happened if CNN’s chief international anchor, Christaine Amanpour, would have reported that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in a “shootout?”
Join me. Join me for an exercise.
We are in Memphis, Tennessee. It is Thursday evening, April 4th, 1968. At 6:05 PM, Martin Luther King is shot while standing on a balcony outside of room 306 at the Lorraine Motel. An ambulance rushes King to St. Joseph’s Hospital, but it is too late. The doctors pronounce him dead at 7:05 PM.
But, let us imagine that instead of Doug Stone or Brian Sullivan reporting, it is Christiane Amanpour from CNN that is reporting on the event, Amanpour declares, “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died this evening in a shootout between Dr. King and 40-year-old James Earl Ray.”
In other words, let us imagine that she did then what she did on CNN earlier this month in 2023. When reporting on the vicious and cowardly murders of the British-Israeli Dee sisters and their mother, Amanpour said – live on CNN air, that the Dee sisters—Maia, 20, and Rina, 15 “were killed in a shootout.
In the murder of the Dee family, there was, of course, no shootout. It was a cold-blooded and cowardly murder just like that of Dr. King. The difference being that James Earl Ray shot one bullet, whereas the Paelstinian murders shot twenty bullets into them.
Had Amanpour have used this terminology for the murder of Dr. King, CNN would have fired her instantly. Instantly.
They would also have made her apologize immediately.
But here, after the cowardly murder of 48 year-old Lucy Dee, 20 year old Maia and 15 year old Rina – there is no apology and no firing. Who murders innocent women? Who calls their cold-blooded murder a “shootout?” But CNN is silent.
A CONDEMNATION IS NEEDED HERE
Christiane Amanpour should be condemned.
- She should be condemned by the University of Rhode Island where she got her BA in journalism. Its president Mark Parlange should condemn this major journalistic failure.
- She should be condemned by the Center for Public Integrity for her utter lack of public integrity – an organization upon which she serves as a board member. Craig Newmark,a fellow board member and founder of Craigslist should be recruited to push this along.
- She should be condemned by the International Women’s Media Foundation for her callous attitude toward the murder of women – where she also serves as a board member.
Group after group has asked them to retract, to apologize, but there is nothing. Nothing. Jewish life is so cheap in their anti-Semitic eyes, that they choose to ignore it. And, apparently, they are getting away with it. According to Camera, when the New York Times reported on the story, not only was it buried, but the NYT never even “mentioned the names of the sisters, Maia and Rina Dee. Not only did the paper not name the mother, Lucy Dee, but it didn’t report on her subsequent death.”
Until Amanpour apologizes, she should be condemned by and from the entire country – from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire to the mighty mountains of New York. Until CNN does something, they should be condemned from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania to the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado. From the curvaceous slopes of California to the Stone Mountain of Georgia and from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee this evil should be denounced.
Perhaps we can even say that we have an obligation to pressure CNN and Amanpour to apologize.
In seventeenth century Poland, a Jew was brutally murdered outside of Cracow. The police refused to take the case and the question was whether there was an obligation to actually pay the police to take on the case. The author of the first Tzemach Tzedek, Rav Menahem Mendel Krochmal, a student of the Bach who lived in Cracow (1600’s) wrote in a responsa (#111) on this question. Rabbi Krochmal’s answer was an unequivocal “yes.”
Rav Krochmal also understands the idea of finding and punishing the murderer, when its cost is significant, as a communal obligation and one where there is a tangible financial obligation incumbent upon us to ensure that police and judicial justice be applied.
According to camera.org, “in 2023 alone, nineteen people were killed in Arab attacks. Eighteen of them were civilians. A third of that number were pairs of young siblings: Asher and Yaakov Paley, aged 8 and 6, murdered in February. Hallel and Yagel Yaniv, aged 22 and 20, gunned down two weeks later. And now, the Dee sisters.”
It is these types of falsehoods perpetuated by Christiane Amanpour and the like, that creates an environment where such murders are acceptable. We should reach out for condemnations.
The author can be reached at [email protected]