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4 Feb, 2019 15:09

Trump-inspired? Netanyahu stars in webcast to tackle Israeli ‘fake news’

Trump-inspired? Netanyahu stars in webcast to tackle Israeli ‘fake news’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing social media ridicule after concocting a seemingly Trump-inspired answer to unfavorable media coverage: a weekly webcast designed to combat “fake news.”

The Israeli leader vowed on Sunday that his webcast would “get rid of the fake from the news.” In his first installment, which aired on his Likud party’s official Facebook page, Netanyahu boasted about preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and claimed Likud was “the only democratic party” in Israel.

A promo of the program aired on Saturday, starring Israeli reality TV star Eliraz Sade.

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“You’re asking me for positive coverage?” Sade asks Netanyahu in the short clip.

“Truthful coverage,” the prime minister replies.

“But if I present truthful coverage, it might come out positive,” Sade muses.

The first broadcast, which attracted an estimated 6,000 viewers, received not-so-glowing reviews.

An opposition leader quoted by the Times of Israel said that the stunt showed how Netanyahu wanted a media that was “obedient, castrated, humiliated, and fawning towards the leader. Without tough questions, without investigations, without confusing people about upright behavior and the rule of law.”

“So Trump it feels like a joke, but it’s not, I think, probably,” Raoul Wootliff, a political correspondent for the Times of Israel, wrote, referring to US President Donald Trump’s crusade against “fake news.”

“Having dismissed the entire Israeli media as #fakenews, Netanyahu is setting up Likud TV to share his truth with voters,” Eylon Levy, a news anchor at i24News, tweeted.

Politicians and media types weren’t the only ones up-in-arms over the slight against the press: Israelis took to social media to air their grievances with Netanyahu’s very Trumpian presumptions.

“The pathological liar started a new channel, ‘Here Only Lies,’” another netizen jokes.

Netanyahu’s fake news crusade is somewhat ironic given allegations laid out in what have become known as Case 2000 and Case 4000, which detail how Netanyahu allegedly conspired with media moguls to run stories that provided favorable coverage of him and his wife Sara.

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