I can’t take them seriously any longer…..
One of the rare times I agree with Jennifer Rubin (RINO hack), but she does get this one right. So bettering your competition in the free market (where others are able to compete and do the same) makes you less free?….. go figure. Where does Finland rank(11 beating US at 21)….seeing that it subsidizes with public money most of the big media and has a state media as well? How about Sweden, the closest thing to a western stalinist state you can have?
What was Israel to do — ban Israel Hayom? Oh no! “Freedom House would consider a government ban of a publication — whatever the country and whatever the publication – a serious infringement of press freedom,” Ruby said. Ah, so Israel is damned either way because it has a free press and free market where anyone can start a publication. The logic here is incomprehensible.
Freedom House, which tracks and rates countries based on their international human rights records, will publish on Wednesday its findings on press freedom around the world in 2016.Right Turn received an advance copy of the report from a third party.
The report downgrades Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, one with a vibrant range of media choices, from “free” to “partly free.” The report alleges, “Israel declined due to the growing impact of Yisrael Hayom, whose owner-subsidized business model endangered the stability of other media outlets, and the unchecked expansion of paid content — some of it government funded — whose nature was not clearly identified to the public.”
The action shocked and angered the pro-Israel community. “At a time when the Middle East is beset by barbarism and tyranny, it is malicious and a disservice to the truth to downgrade the one, thriving multi-cultural democracy in the region,” said one official at a pro-Israel group.
Robert Ruby, director of communications for Freedom House, insisted, “Israel, like some other democracies, has hovered on the line between ‘Free’ and ‘Partly Free’ for several years.” He struggled to explain the two rationales for the change.
“The first is the growing economic influence of Israel Hayom, which is distributed free of charge,” he said. “It has affected the economic model and stability of other publications.” In other words, if you are successful, you create an “unfree” press. Maybe the invention of the free Internet or the success of free Twitter and Facebook have made the United States unfree since so many publications have gone belly-up. He could not explain why that phenomenon does not affect the U.S. rating as “free,” but Israel Hayom’s success makes Israel “partly free.” (Previous reports noted the instability in the U.S. media market, but the United States did not lose its “free” rating.)
Noah Pollak, executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel, observes, “The media business has never been stable in any free-market country. In just the past five years in America, Facebook — which is free! — has become the single biggest source of news in the country, a new reality that has quickly destabilized the media business.” He explains, “Publications that haven’t succeeded at creating Facebook-friendly content have failed, and publications (such as Buzzfeed) whose traffic and distribution model is designed almost entirely around Facebook have flourished.”