Independent flubs key passage in story about Natalie Portman & the Sony hacking scandal

The Independent published a story on December 24th, by their Deputy People Editor Ella Alexander, about the ongoing Sony hacking scandal.

Here’s the headline, photo and strapline.


So far so good.

As Alexander reports, “Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Seacrest were among a select few to receive emails from Relativity Media CEO and The Social Network executive producer Ryan Kavanaugh about anti-Semitism in relation to the Gaza conflict”.

However, in attempting to explain the nature of those emails (a reply-all chain argument leaked by Sony hackers about Gaza, featuring Russell Simmons, Portman, Scarlett Johansson, and Ryan Seacrest) from Kavanaugh, who is Jewish and a passionate Israel supporter, the Indy reporter gets a serious element of the story wrong.

Alexander writes the following:

Kavanaugh likened the situation in Gaza to the Holocaust.

No, he most certainly did not.

As the rest of the quote from Kavanaugh’s email cited by Alexander makes clear, he was likening the situation for Jews worldwide to the Holocaust, and arguing that the rise of antisemitism has dangerous parallels to the 1930s.

The problem is that Moore ‘ law is kicking in. Before the summer 50 percent of college students supported israel, today less the 25 percent do. There are hate crimes against heed happening in almost every major metropolitan city, now including the US.

We have let this happen. And it’s our job to keep another Hollacast [sic] from happening. Many of you may think that can’t happen, that is extreme. My Grandmother told me over and over again remember no one believed it could happen and everyone thought the government would not allow it to. It took 5 years before the [sic] us stepped in, and 12 million dead.

If you pull newspapers from pre Hollacast [sic] it seems eerily close to our world today.

Kavanaugh doesn’t mention “Gaza” in his email, which is clearly addressing the dangerous rise in antisemitic incidents (largely in Europe) over the summer.

Though, of course, there were a more than a few shrill, intellectually unserious voices making implicit (and sometimes explicit) comparisons between Israel’s war against Hamas and the Holocaust, Ryan Kavanaugh certainly was not one them – as the Indy journalist surely could have surmised by carefully reading the relevant quote in her own article. 

9 replies »

  1. You read way too much into the piece. This is just an English way of wishing the Jewish people a happy Christmas.

  2. The BTL comments are textbook anti-Semitism by any standards. However, it is a little unfortunate that Ryan Kavanaugh appears incapable of writing in English.

    • “The BTL comments are textbook anti-Semitism by any standards.”

      Cohen is right:

      “However, it is a little unfortunate that Ryan Kavanaugh appears incapable of writing in English.”

      The SD, the intelligence agency of the SS and Nazi Party in Germany, was to a large degree staffed by many of Germany’s most brilliant intellectuals.

      Besides, Kavanaugh really hasn’t done badly considering:

      “Relativity has produced, distributed, and/or structured financing for more than 200 motion pictures, generating more than $17 billion in worldwide box office revenue and earning 60 Oscar nominations. In 2012, Kavanaugh brokered a deal in which billionaire Ron Burkle will partner with Relativity and invest $800 million in the company. As Chairman and the largest shareholder, Kavanaugh will retain control of Relativity and control the majority of the board of directors of Relativity.”

  3. It’s depressing and upsetting that someone with a senior job at the Independent can’t even read the material she’s quoting to make sure she gets it right. What does that tell you about the Indy, and about the quality of the people it employs? I’d have to believe that they are paid peanuts, because the other half of that saying is quite clear.

    • What I find even more depressing is that having not read or understood the language correctly she immediately goes on autopilot and imagines what he must have said, because, in her warped imagination, that’s how all decent and sensible people think.

      At one time the gentiles of Europe almost to a man and woman came for the Jews of that accursed continent or stood by and watched. Having found and murdered the vast majority of those Jews they now have come for the Jewish state.

  4. Potatoe, Potato, holocaust, Shmolocaust. Don’t ruin the Independent’s jolly Proletarian Christmas with pesky “accuracy”.

    Remember these are people who genuinely believed Angelina Jolie didn’t invite her father Jon Voight to her wedding “because he SUPPORTS ISRAEL”…

    When these people see the words “Gaza” or “Israel” in an unusual context they lose their mental faculties and deface themselves in hysterical rapture.

  5. Leave it to the BTL commenters at the Independent to completely miss Kavanaugh’s point and inadvertently confirm Kavanaugh’s fears while self-proclaiming their moral and intellectual superiority. A study in how propaganda warps very average minds.

  6. One of the things that the trolls to this site (poor things they are) don’t get, or want to, is that stupidity, sloppiness, and unapologetic inaccuracy from reporters covering Israeli/ME issues is just as much of a problem as dishonesty and bigotry. I don’t really like to call people liars, and I don’t like to call people incompetent, but there are too many intersections of both on these subjects to just wish away.