A few years back, sad news reached Jerusalem that Veteran Yankee Catcher Yogi Berra had passed away at the tender age of 90 years old, on the morning after Yom Kippur.

Except that the New York Times published the headline: “Yogi Bear Dead “.

As a media pundit and fan of both the cartoon character Yogi Bear and the baseball player Yogi Berra, having grown up in a home where the New York Timeswas sanctified on Sunday in Philadelphia, I decided to get to the bottom of this crass example of media inaccuracy .

At 3AM in Israel, well after we had broken the Yom Kippur fast, I called the news desk of the New York Times in Manhattan and asked about the story,introducing myself as an interested journalist fro Jerusalem.

The young intern at the desk did not know what the problem was.

He genuinely did not know the difference between Yogi Bear and Yogi Berra.

Before I could than fedex picnic baskets for the Times front desk from Jellyystone Park, the intern got defensive, knew something was wrong, did not know what was wrong, and proceeded to tell me that this was an AP Story, not within his purview, and that the Times contracts the AP for breaking news.

Rather than get upset with the nascent Times staffer, I proceeded to call the AP wire at their news desk in New York.

I reached another intern, this time a young woman.

I proceeded to ask her about the Yogi Bear death story on teh AP wire which was picked up at the Times saying that I was a journalist calling from Jerusalem.

Her response: “Do you have more details on the story? Over here, no one has waken up yet”. .

This time I asked her age, wanting to know for myself as to whether she was old enough to have seen Yogi Berra play ball or Yogi Bear drive the forest ranger mehsuagana.

Well, the young woman intern confided that she was 19.

Neither Yogi Bear and Yogi Berra played in her life experience.

That is the real story behind media bias and press inaccuracy.

Journalists often have no background on stories that they write.

Few reporters rise to the level of media bias.

Following the insight attributed to Yogi Bear, someone made a “boo-boo”.

No press conspiracy can account for the fundamental lack of knowledge in the fourth estate during the 21st century.



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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.