A little under a day ago veteran Arab Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh shared a brief and somewhat cryptic message with his friends on Facebook and twitter:
Shame on @NBCNews for its disgusting and arrogant treatment of (and discrimination against) its employees in the Middle East
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) November 16, 2014
This morning he’s followed it up with a longer message on Facebook shared only with friends, with permission I’m quoting him here:
There’s a serious problem when a major US network tells its employees they won’t get compensation for decades of work unless they promise not to say or write anything about their former working place.
In other words, they are saying: You must not reveal any of our secrets or tell the world about double standards and hypocrisy of the foreign media.
Not only is this unethical and filthy, but it’s also a form of blackmail. I wonder if NBC NEWS would treat its employees in the US in the same way. And what is NBC NEWS afraid of?
Clearly NBC News has sent some communication out to all of it’s staff in Israel and perhaps the wider region with a change to the terms of their employment.
What are they afraid of? Is this somehow linked to the kinds of revelations of inherent bias that Matti Friedman exposed in the workings of the Associated Press (AP) in Jerusalem that we’ve covered in depth at Israellycool (some links below)?
I’m going to be keeping a very close eye on this, I think there is a growing number of insiders who know the system of producing news about Israel for the outside world is fundamentally broken. NBC News might be trying to stick their finger in a collapsing dyke while water starts to pour over the top.