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Weaver’s Response

In today’s Cape Times Tony Weaver has attempted to rubbish the TIMER Report which documented the systematic bias of the Cape Times in its coverage of Israel. He did this effectively using an across page spread at the bottom of the Opinion page based upon my alleged failure to pick up on the Cape Times articles relating to the Toulouse-Montauban shootings in March last year. Needless to say, he did this in a manner which maximised the damage to my own reputation and undermined the validity of the Report at the same time. Unfortunately I can’t reproduce his article here for the moment.

Needless to say his arguments are tendentious but in the world of the media and politics (life in general), perception is everything.  To a significant extent my direct challenges to him were personal in nature and this was his payback time. So I can’t complain. 

I am, of course, infuriated with the apparent failure of Ornico to pick up these articles (after repeated requests for them to check the accuracy and completeness of their coverage) and I have written to them to send me the articles Weaver alleges were missed. He blithely extrapolates from this “error” to suggest the whole report is suspect. 

Well the detailed analysis of the period 20 June to 20 July 2012 (Phase 1 of the study) is certainly completely accurate. I carried it out myself and had my own analysis checked by an independent, trained individual. But who can say whether some errors have crept into Phase 2 in which I was depended on the services of Ornico, the Media Monitoring Service used by the Zionist Federation? I suspect that, if any, they were slight and irrelevant to the thrust of the Report which is undoubtedly valid.

Yu can read the TIMER Report in full by clicking on the relevant page listed across the top of this blog. When I have received a full report-back from Ornico, I will be in a better position to comment. Unfortunately, I will be away for a few weeks from Tuesday 26 March. 

The BDS refrain goes on undermining any hope of a proportionate and balanced debate on the Middle East issues. I am moving away from responding to every provocation in the media to try to introduce a more informed public discourse. So this does not come at a good time and is a nasty diversion. But I hope people are not misled by the Cape Times shenanigans. 

Will keep you informed.

Mike Berger






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