Palestine/Israel: A Modest Proposal

by Reese Schonfeld

The cleverest man I have met in the last two years (he had been recruited by the NSA or CIA or DARPA after 9/11 as an “Imagineering” genius), told me that America will never succeed unless we legalize drugs and end our support for Israel. I don’t know what to do about drug running, but today’s news brings me back to the Israeli question. Is it possible for US government to abandon Israel entirely? I don’t think so. But I have another thought, and it’s almost as impossible as the first, but given the current state of the world, it might just work.

Let’s suppose the Obama administration enlists Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and all the other oil rich nations and gets them to contribute enough money to buy Israel back from the Jews. The Israelis could then take the money and use it to buy 10,0000 sq. miles of land in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland or one of the other European countries that have gone broke. The country that sells the land would have to give sovereignty, but would end its status as a debtor nation, put its people back to work, and regain their independence from Angela Merkel.

The deal benefits all the parties: it gets the US off the hook about Israel, it permits the Palestinians to return to their homeland, which will be in far better condition then when they left it.  The other Arab nations will get the Palestinians off their backs, Israelis will no longer have to worry about suicide bombers and rockets from Gaza and the lucky state that sells the 10,000 sq. miles will be free at last.

The deal makes so much sense that I’m sure it will never be consummated. Orthodox Israelis will never give up what they consider to be their Holy Land.  No Arab coalition has held together since the Turks rolled into the Middle East 600 years ago. No European country has sold 10,0000 sq. miles of its land to another country since Napoleon completed the Louisiana Purchase. So I am forced to admit that this proposal to put an end to the Palestinian question is unlikely to be adopted. But that doesn’t mean I won’t pray for it.

CNN: Hard News, Good Ratings

by Reese Schonfeld

For the second week in a row, CNN benefits from hard news. Last week was even better than the week before, with CNN topping all the other news networks in all the demographic ratings.

In raw audience, FoxNews still has a lead, but CNN has risen to the top ten in both total day (9th) and primetime (10th). In the key demo, 25-54s, CNN had 24,000 more viewers than FoxNews. Over the total day, CNN had 46,000 more viewers than FoxNews.  In primetime, CNN also edged FoxNews in 18-49 year olds and did even better with 18-34 year olds. This was equally true of total day ratings. MSNBC finished a rather distant third in total viewing, and in the demographics.   Continue reading “CNN: Hard News, Good Ratings”

Waiting for Robespierre

I can’t believe our luck lately at Trading 8s. My friend and mentor Reese Schonfeld has agreed to contribute this post (and hopefully more to come). Reese was the co-founder, President, and CEO of CNN. Yes, that CNN. (Its ratings have declined ever since he left.) He was also the co-founder and President of the Food Network. Before earning his reputation as “The Most Dangerous Man in Television,” he worked for United Press Movietone News, after which he became Vice President of United Press International Television News. He later founded the Independent Television News Association, the Medical News Network, and the world’s first 24-hour local news station. Like his friend Norman Horowitz, Reese is uncommonly brilliant and kind. — AWO

The leaderless “democratic” Egyptian revolution, which began with so much hope, has now entered its second phase. Even as I write this, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians are thronging Tahir Square, celebrating their victory over Mubarak while training their sights on the new military government. Middle-class private entrepreneurs protest the military government’s ownership and control of businesses ranging from the manufacturing of jeeps to the sale of olive oil. They want those businesses privatized.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported, “Egyptian workers and the country’s military chiefs squared off again on Wednesday as strikes and labor protests  spread to the Cairo airport and the nation’s largest textile factory…”  Many of the strikers demand a return to “socialism” when, under former strongman Gamal Abdel Nasser, the state owned all the major industries.   Continue reading “Waiting for Robespierre”