Maybe Borat Should Interview Christiane

Last month in The Jerusalem Post, Jay Tcath, executive director of the Chicago Jewish Community Relations Council, described how he was manipulated into participating in Christiane Amanpour’s “God’s Warriors,” a documentary whose attempt to impose moral equivalency on fundamentalist Christians, Jews, and extremist Muslims I wrote about for The New York Sun.

Amanpour and Company’s cherry picking and distorting of facts, then leaping from those to a false conclusion – the classic approach of a propagandist – has been discussed, but what this opinion piece sheds light on is how CNN seems to have pulled this off: by enlisting the naive participation of the people they hoped to skewer.

When I first saw “God’s Warriors” I suspected as much. To accompany, for instance, the outrageous narration, “6,000 miles from Israel’s settlements, in the heart of Manhattan, defiance of international law comes dressed in diamonds,” CNN broadcast pictures of Shani and Dov Hikind, who raise money for schools and playgrounds in the West Bank, dancing the night away. I wondered how the Hikinds, former AIPAC head Morris Amitay, or for that matter any of the Christians interviewed, had been persuaded to participate in such a ruse, and suspected that CNN had not presented them with an accurate picture of the documentary’s purpose or point of view.

It reminds me of the way Sacha Baron Cohen ensnares people as Ali G., Bruno, and Borat, except Cohen is funny.

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