On The Monitor this week:
Anti-Jewish Campaign Traced to Pro-Israeli Grad Student – an interview with Lance Tapley
U.S. Ranked 46th in the world by Reporters Without Borders – an interview with Delphine Halgand
More about this week’s guests:
Lance Tapley is an Investigative reporter for Common Dreams, Tapley just wrote an extensive piece entitled: “The Double Identity of an ‘Anti-Semitic’ Commenter: Smearing a Progressive Website to Support Israel,” which states: “Like many other news websites, Common Dreams has been plagued by inflammatory anti-Semitic comments following its stories. But on Common Dreams these posts have been so frequent and intense they have driven away donors from a nonprofit dependent on reader generosity.
A Common Dreams investigation has discovered that more than a thousand of these damaging comments over the past two years were written with a deceptive purpose by a Jewish Harvard graduate in his thirties who was irritated by the website’s discussion of issues involving Israel. His intricate campaign, which he has admitted to Common Dreams, included posting comments by a screen name, ‘JewishProgressive,’ whose purpose was to draw attention to and denounce the anti-Semitic comments that he had written under many other screen names.
Some who have applauded the Common Dreams investigation have criticized the decision by the website not to name the perpetrator.
Tapley writes: “Common Dreams is not revealing his identity because, as a Jew who for years tricked Vanguard News Network, a major neo-Nazi website that has harbored people committed to violence, he could be put in danger by such a revelation.”
Quote: “The United States is ranked at the 46th position in the Reporters Without Borders 2014 World Press Freedom Index. One explanation for the United States to be ranked at the 46th position: The whistleblower is the enemy. Eight alleged whistleblowers have been charged under the Espionage Act since Barack Obama became president in 2009, which is the highest number under any previous administration combined. Leaks are the lifeblood of investigative journalism, given that nearly all information related to national security is considered secret. It is safe to say that this crackdown against whistleblowers is designed to restrict all but officially approved versions of events. These developments highlight the need for a comprehensive federal shield law in the U.S. which could protect journalists’ sources at the federal level.”