About 10 months ago, a delegation from CNN headquarters in Atlanta,
by chief news director and president of the news department Eason
came to Israel. The reason for the urgent visit, whose content was kept
secret, was the initiative of Jewish businessmen, who are identified
with right-wing circles, who started to sell their stocks in the parent
company, Time-Warner, to protest CNN's policy regarding Intifada
This step, which was reflected in the company's share prices, aroused
concern at Time-Warner, which then was conducting negotiations for a
with the U.S. Internet company AOL [America On-Line].
The directors of CNN and Time-Warner were afraid that the sale of the
would cause a sharp decline in the company's worth. Israel was aware of
step, but the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office did not
intervene. The network directors were angry at the "financial
that was supposed to influence their neutral stance. Nevertheless, they
promised to investigate Israel's complaints, and to find a solution, if
In Israel there is a feeling that since the meeting, the network has
trying to take the Israeli position into account. In any case,
sources emphasize, they place more importance on the broadcasts of BBC
World, which has higher viewing rates in regions of importance to
such as Western Europe.
Jewish media mogul Mortimer Zuckerman is also doubtful about the
of the network. He says that many people watch CNN and think that it
represents how the media cover Israel. But he adds that this is not the
case. Zuckerman says that many of the Israeli politicians with whom he
were amazed to discover how unimportant CNN is.
Eason Jordan refused to respond to Ha'aretz's request for his reaction.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said that the CNN delegation had met with
prime minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, and that
two sides had discussed their work relationship.
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