Obsession: Local Newspapers Distribute Right-Wing Propaganda

The propaganda film titled 'Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West' is being distributed one-by-one by a pro-John McCain group -- and it's coming to a newspaper near you.

Actually, if you get the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, or Palm Beach Post, it already arrived in DVD form in your Sunday newspaper. The movie, described by Editor & Publisher as a "neo-con propaganda scam," is being distributed by newspapers in battleground states across the country, 26 million copies total. Our three local dailies all signed deals with the right-wing Clarion Fund to distribute the film with their newspapers.

Only the Herald has reported on it and the film has apparently caused quite the controversy in South Florida's Muslim circles. For good reason. This is exactly the kind of political garbage that newspapers are meant to expose and fact-check -- not to blindly propagate. It's the Fourth Estate's job to describe the real issues that have led to violence, not to spread the Bushism that our enemies were born evil and hate America for no reason.

Fear, hatred, and ignorance are the tools Clarion using to help get its candidate elected and the Herald and other newspapers have made themselves an accomplice. (I also understand that the DVD is being sent direct mail, so don't be surprised when a copy shows up in your mailbox).

John de Groot, the venerable newspaperman, digs deeper than anyone else into the roots of the propaganda film:

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Fear and Loathing from Israel
By John de Groot

How long will it take the nation’s newspapers to learn they earned millions promoting a highly controversial film by an Orthodox Israeli Rabbi that has enraged Muslims throughout the United States ?

It’s a fair question.

Especially since newspapers ranging from the New York Times to the Miami Herald have tried and failed to identify those responsible for the DVD inserted as advertising in nearly 100 newspapers throughout the United States .

Titled “Obsession” – with a logo featuring the Star and Crescent of Islam and an AK-47 rife -- the film was produced and co-written by Rabbi Raphael Shore, a leader of Aish HaTorah, an Orthodox Jewish organization and yeshiva closely aligned with the Israeli government.

More about Rabbi Shore the movie-maker later – because he is a truly unique man of god.

However…..

Free copies of the DVD were inserted in this past Sunday’s newspapers throughout Florida, sparking shocked comments from local Muslim leaders in Monday's Miami Herald.

“My cellphone has been ringing off

the hook … We feel that it’s going to incite more hate and bigotry against our community,"said Altaf Ali, Florida ’s chapter director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Syed Rahman, a Muslim pharmaceutical consultant from Weston, said he was shocked to see the film bundled with his Sunday Miami Herald. "I could not believe my eyes," he said.

Nidal Hussain, a Kendall computer consultant, was also taken aback. “I watched it with my wife… it is vulgar material.’”

By way of explanation, the Herald’ quoted its vice president for advertising thusly:

“We reviewed the (Obsession) DVD, the wrapping, the website and the material posted (on the internet) amd we opted to not enter into the realm of censorship.”

However, in an article in the Herald’s sister paper, the Charlotte News & Observer, a professor of Islamic Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill who watched the film several time concluded, “It’s fear mongering."

“If there was a 30-minute DVD warning people against blacks and Jews, would (the newspaper) distribute it?” asked Professor Ormid Safi.

Having watched the film, I feel professor Safi asks a fair – but rhetorical -- question.

But then I grew up in the Old South where we learned the difference between Good and Bad Black Folks and “how our white women are safe as can be around most negras.”

Just as Rabbi Shore’s film clearly states (at least twice) that NOT ALL Muslims are out to slaughter us.

In fact – and in all in fairness to the DVD – Rabbi Shore’s talking head experts stress that ONLY A FEW HUNDRED MILLION insane and blood-crazed Muslims are out to destroy Western Civilization, Christianity, Israel, Freedom, Democracy and so on by arming suicidal toddlers with deadly bombs in a scheme devised by Adolph Hitler himself and the late Jew-hating Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

Which led and columnist in Editor & Publisher to conclude that Rabbi Shore’s DVD insert a “propaganda campaign (that) is a shameful episode in the Fourth Estate.”

Although the DVD is being inserted in nearly 100 newspapers in the United States , the media – and E&P -- have failed to learn much about the folks behind the film, including who is paying millions of dollars to have the DVD distributed by virtually every major newspaper in the nation.

"The Clarion Fund, a New York-based nonprofit organization … is paying newspapers to distribute the DVD,” the News & Observer was able to report

However, the News & Observer said “the Clarion Fund refused to disclose its board of directors or donors.”

Which of course led me to Google the Clarion Fund.

And what I got was a red-white-and-blue web page feature the Statue of Liberty explaining how the:

"Clarion Fund, created in 2006, is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to educate Americans about issues of national security.

“Our primary focus is on the most urgent threat of radical Islam (by) helping Americans understand the mainstream media is not adequately conveying the threat of radical Islam.”

Okay.

So who are these guys and just what is their mission?

Well, first we have Raphael Raphael Shore who is listed as producer of the DVD insert “Obession” but who also is…

The Canadian-born Rabbi Raphael Shore now living in Israel who has produced and co-written two other “educational” films crammed with blood-curdling details of insane Islamic holy men, bloody-thirsty children and unknown legions of turbaned storm troopers sworn to kill all non-Muslims in the name of Allah.

In addition, all three of Rabbi Shore’s films were created by the same Israeli-based team of movie makers.

Rabbi Shore’s first film, titled “Relentless: the Struggle for Peace in Israel ,” was sponsored by Aish HaTorah, an Orthodox Jewish organization based in Jerusalem and supported by the Israeli government.

In addition, both Rabbi Shore the movie-maker’s first (“Relentless”) and second (“Obsession”) film were promoted by HonestReporting – an Israeli based global organization led by Rabbi movie-maker’s twin brother Rabbi Ephraim Shore who spearheads a global organization dedicated to combating Anti-Israeli stories in the international news media.

More to the point, the two twin Rabbi brothers know what they’re doing.

Rabbi Ephraim of HonestReporting maintains a list of 150,000 media watchers ready launch a letter-writing writer and email campaign against any news agency suspected of Anti-Israeli reporting.

While Rabbi Rafael the movie-maker developed stunningly successful marketing plan to captures viewers for his blood-soaked “Obsession”:

In the beginning,” Shore told the New York Times under his non-Rabbinical identity, his early showings of “Obsession” targeted “evangelical Christians and the Jews (as) the most receptive to the message of the film.”

“But (now), we are trying very hard to expand beyond these groups, because we specifically don’t want to be seen (in) that connection.”

Today, based on the millions of Shore’s’ DVDs inserted in newspapers throughout America, it looks like the Rabbi’s done pretty well on his Mission from God to market the Terror of Islam versus the Sanctity of Israel..

Small wonder Editor & Publisher likened Rabbi Shore ”s DVD newspaper insert to “Delivering Propaganda As If It Is Toothpaste.”

Bottom line?

After viewing the film, E&P concluded virtually all the major newspapers in the United States “have been paid to distribute a film designed to spread fear about our national security.”

Also of concern to E&P was how nearly all the major newspapers distributing the Israeli propaganda film are “located overwhelmingly in (presidential campaign) battleground states” … making Rabbi Shore ’s DVD “a kind of 527-fund contributrion to the presidential campaign of John McCain.”

In short, E&P concluded, “these papers have allowed themselves to be caught up in a ‘neo-con’; propaganda scam in the context of the presidential campaign.”

Oh yes.

We can’t forget some of the talking head experts featured in Rabbi Shore ’s film like:

- Walid Shoebat, an alleged Palestine terrorist and now Born-Again Christian who has described Muslims as “agents of Satan.”

- Daniel Pipes, author and investigative journalist who claims to have proof that Barak Obama spent his childhood as a Muslim … and that “American Muslims …present true dangers to American Jews.”

- Alfon Hecks, a former Nazi officer interviewed to establish a clear link between Adolph Hitler, the Islamic Mufti of Jerusalem and the current Islamic jihad against Israel and America .

- Steven Emerson, a free lance journalist and terrorist expert who claimed Yugoslavians were behind the bombing of the World Trade Center .

- John Loftus, attorney, president of the Florida Holocaust Museum and author of “How the Bush Family Made Its Fortune from the Nazis.”
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