Leftist San Diego City Beat Reporter Fails to Uphold Objectivity, Villifies “Restoring Courage” Events

Gabriella Hoffman Gabriella Hoffman 10 Comments

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Some in the media are terrified to learn that different groups can come together and support Israel. That is the case with San Diego City Beat reporter Dave Maass, who slammed Glenn Beck, his “Restoring Courage” event in Jerusalem, our Restoring Courage U.S. movement, and our participating groups.

Defending Israel transcends above ideological lines, religious beliefs, and borders. It is undeniable that love for Israel is omnipresent. Republicans, Democrats, independents, conservatives, liberals, Catholics, Jews, atheists, etc., can all come together and stand with Israel and her people. That is the beauty inset with being pro-Israel.

Nevertheless, there are people who thrive on pitting Americans against one another.

Instead of coming to our San Diego event and reporting about it, Dave Maass failed to live up to journalistic integrity and allowed his agenda to supersede the truth.

He initially contacted me to find out more information about our event:

Ms. Hoffman –

This is Dave Maass, staff writer at San Diego CityBeat. Quick question about your Israel solidarity event: Are there any Jewish organizations involved?
Dave Maass
I later responded and extended an invitation to him to cover our event:
Hi Dave,
Although no Jewish organizations are primary sponsors, members and leaders of various pro-Israel groups–including Zionist Organization of America and StandWithUs–will be participating in our event.

Are you interested in covering the event, as well?

Gabriella Hoffman

Maass later asked me about Jewish participation in this event. Sadly, as any pro-Israel activist in Southern California knows, it is hard to unite many groups together. Most local Jewish leaders are not comfortable working with Christian and/or conservative groups, while others are afraid of being ostracized by their community. I was pleased that Christians United for Israel of California, StandWithUs of San Diego, Eagle Forum of San Diego, and Zionist Organization of America’s San Diego chapter participated.
Nevertheless, Mr. Maass tried to paint our event and movement as “right-wing” and “extreme”, although we were calling for ALL pro-Israel supporters to attend our event:

I just got off the phone with Audrey at SWU, and she was really excited about the event. The thing that jumped out at me, though, was that two of the three lead sponsors seem to be Christian groups, particularly the Eagle Forum, which has a pretty extreme position on certain issues, including homosexuality. Add that one of the other groups involved is run by John Hagee, it makes me wonder whether this is a pro-Israel event or a political, right-wing event.

Is there something you could tell me about this event that may make it more palatable for Jews/Zionists who aren’t on the right?

Dave

My response:

Both are pro-Israel groups, even though they have conservative undertones. Many conservative groups support Israel and focus on many issues.

Nevertheless, August 24th will be about Israel and not conservative politics.

Christians United for Israel is strictly a pro-Israel group. They are like AIPAC, but advocate Christian Zionism. I’ve been to their summit, seen firsthand.

Hope that clarifies everything.

Nevertheless, he went on to disparage our event and movement here.

He began his article with the following tagline: “Christian fundamentalists, Tea Partiers and a former Neo-Nazi are behind Glenn Beck-inspired events.”

He then proceeded to go after my friend and Restoring Courage U.S. co-founder Nicole Pearce for her past instead of focusing on our mission:

Now, here’s where it gets weird:

Hoffman’s partner in the event, Nicole Pearce, has an interesting history as an activist. In 2008, she campaigned for Democratic presidential candidates, but then, in 2009, she joined the Neo-Nazi movement.

“I went along and even attended meetings where they discussed many of the things that are being discussed by those who are pro-Palestine in the press now,” she writes on the Restoring Courage U.S. site. ”I was told that Israel and the Jews were the cause of all that was wrong in the world and that Hitler had it right.”

She claims she was “saved” by Glenn Beck last year when he coined the rallying cry, “Not Racist, Not Violent, No Longer Silent.”

“I prayed and thought on that, and came to realize that I had been duped into believing something that I had all along known was wrong just because I did not want to feel alone as a conservative in Boston,” she writes. “After that, I returned to being an active member of my church, began donating to Israel again, and overall became the person I was prior to the Neo-Nazi encounter, just conservative.”

Reporters like Mr. Maass desire to spin this situation in their favor. He created chaos where none was needed. Yes, Nicole had a brief affiliation with a Neo-Nazi group in 2009. Alas, she had an open mind, heard Glenn Beck speak, and decided–for herself–to become conservative and pro-Israel. (Read about her transformation here).

Beck has played an active role in unifying different people to great causes. He did that with Restoring Honor last year and with Restoring Courage last week. Sadly, many of his critics fail to see the good he has done. Beck didn’t simply “save” Nicole. He inspired her to think twice about her opinions and allowed her to see alternative viewpoints. (Reformed leftists drive dedicated activists nuts!)

Alas, Mr. Maass detracted from his journalistic duties and went on a bashing spree.

Additionally, he questioned the merits of our participating organizations and labelled them as “anti-gay” and “anti-Muslim” groups. So much for objectivity…

The driving force behind the events nationwide aren’t Jewish organizations, but rather churches and Tea Party organizations, at least according to Beck’s official watch party list, while many of the events organized by Hoffman’s group are based at universities. Not all, though: Hosts range from You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, a controversial anti-gay Christian group in Michigan, to the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Connecticut.

Locally, no actual Jewish Zionist groups are lead sponsors of the event, though the local chapters of the Zionist Organization of America and StandWithUs, an organization that recently emerged from the San Diego Israel Coalition, will have a presence.

The San Diego event is hosted by two right-wing evangelical groups: Christians United for Israel, an organization formed by evangelist John Hagee (remember his controversial McCain endorsement from the 2008 election?) and the Eagle Forum for San Diego. If you’re not familiar with the Eagle Forum, you can visit their website. Of particular interest for progressives would be the page on the “Homosexual Agenda” and “America’s Muslim Threat.”

The problem inset with the main stream media today is that they have a leftist agenda. Reporters would rather stir the pot than give a fair account of a news story. The truth should have no agenda, especially a leftist one.

If Mr. Maass were genuinely interested in providing fair commentary, he would have come to the event and see for himself how unified it was. If Mr. Maass were a real journalist, he would admit his wrongdoing and issue an apology for misrepresenting this event.

His actions are morally reprehensible. Will he step up and admit his wrongdoing, or continue to defame his opponents?

Stay tuned.

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Comments 10

  1. Ms. Hoffman:

    THANK YOU for taking us Behind the Scenes on how this
    type of ” journalism” works in the real world. I’m glad to
    hear the event you organized was a solid success anyway,
    despite the sniping.

    There is something about assertive, courageous Jewish
    women which upsets and threatens a small segment of
    our political society.

    But THIS Pilgrim says, “Well done, Gabriella, and keep
    reporting the Truth !” 🙂

  2. Post
    Author

    Thank you, Jim!

    It was my pleasure reporting about this.

    I cannot let bias go unnoticed. I don’t appreciate people disparaging pro-Israel and/or conservative events without actual reporting.

    As Glenn Beck says, “The Truth Has No Agenda.”

  3. It’s certainly written with an agenda in mind, but the descriptions used in the article sound in line with what the groups themselves use on their websites. Note that Maass never says “anti-Muslim,” but quotes a fairly representative quote from the Eagle Forum website. That’s not bias–that’s objective reporting. Perhaps he could have added that “You Can Run But You Cannot Hide” claims that it loves the very same homosexuals it claims are sinners/destroying America’s moral values, but “anti-gay” is a reasonable distillation of that notion.

    Maass makes a good point in noting that “this program calls for unity among all faiths” yet was sponsored by organizations that clearly call for a certain view of Christianity (and Islam to boot). Rather than aiding in rallying support for Israel, having those kinds of organizations involved in a pro-Israel rally undermines the broad-based support that Israel can (and does) receive across partisan lines. It’s worth questioning whether or not this rally actually helped advance the pro-Israeli cause and the article certainly does that.

    Plus at least CityBeat gave the rally coverage- that’s better than the Union-Tribune.

  4. Funny how discussion of bias is framed around here as if were a bad thing. There is no commandment that says Dave Maass must be unbiased. Nor did he or City Beat promise anybody that they would be. There is an actual market for bias, as both City Beat and SDRostra prove. So if the market supports it, why are you whining? Don’t you like free markets?
    And, by the way, I agree, he is biased. But I knew that before I read the article. And so should you.

  5. At no point in the blog post did I disparage Hoffman personally or her gender, ethnicity or religion. I described her as a “young conservative dynamo,” because everything I’ve learned about her indicates that she is the definition of an “energetic, hardworking, forceful person.”

    The accuracy of my blog post here does not seem to be in question.

  6. Dave is right, as I’ve written in my own post on the matter – The article was not written for an objective publication, so it’s not fair to criticize for a quality it’s not supposed to have. Better to watch for “objective” reporters who stealth-bias their stories.

    And as Dave said, the article’s accuracy has not been questioned.

  7. In all fairness to the event organizers, it appears to me that they did sincerely reach out to groups of other persuasions. Having the event in a neutral, secular setting, was part of that attempt.

  8. Still waiting for Ms. Hoffman to point out factual problems with the reporting. Seems she’s not been able to, just doesn’t like the facts themselves.

  9. still waiting for the Left to explain its reflexive hatred of Israel, and of those Americans who speak up on that nation’s behalf.

  10. Well Put Mr. Sills. I was out of town or would have attended this event and am sorry I missed it.

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