Politicians are consistent. The minute they get caught doing something wrong they find a scapegoat and nine out ten times that scapegoat is the media. Blaming the media is a favorite game of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He likes to blame is 97% disapproval rating on the fact that the media doesn’t like him. What he doesn’t realize is that the rest of the country doesn’t like him either.
The latest maestro of blame the media is Interior Minister Roni Bar-On. Bar-On blames the Winograd report on the media. Hey Roni we don’t need a report to say that the Lebanon war was mismanaged. Israeli opinion and the Winograd findings weren’t created by the media, they were created by the government’s lousy performance.
Interior Minister Roni Bar-On said on Monday that the Winograd committee’s findings over its investigation of the Second Lebanon War were distorted by media pressure aimed at satisfying public opinion.
At a meeting of the Israel Bar Association in Eilat, Bar-On said that “the Winograd report is a document that was served up to the Moloch of public opinion, following media pressure on the committee members.”
Bar-On severely criticized the report, claiming that “the Winograd report is an incoherent report.”
The minister also criticized the report’s consequences. “I sit in the security cabinet now that there are deliberations over Gaza, and I’m telling you, the security cabinet is now speaking ‘Winogradian.’ Everyone speaks for an hour so that he can tell the probe committee that ‘I voted for, but was actually against.’
According to Bar-On, “the fundamental flaw regarding the report stems from the attempt to find its legal dimension, and view the committee members as actual judges. I am a witness to the grave phenomenon of procedures being documented in the context of ‘a future defense [against an indictment],’ and hear things being said for the sake of the protocol.”
“The Israeli public has formed a powerful yearning for a scapegoat to blame for all that goes wrong in public life. It seems to me that we have returned to the Middle Ages, to a place where the city square was the central stage, and the show trial was the main event. Although the suitable sphere is the public sphere and not the defendants’ bench in the courthouse, there is still mounting public pressure for someone to take personal responsibility and, if possible, criminal responsibility. Only the judicial syste can satisfy the primeval urge to see heads roll.”
“The easiest solution is replacing the prime minister. It will allow us to evade the questions that the committee poses to a generation of leaders. Replacing the prime minister now, or going to early elections, is a negative message to future governments, and will deter leaders from making difficult decisions,” Bar-on concluded.