Lights, Camera, Anti-Zionism: Pop Tingz’s Biased Celebrity News
With more than 100,000 followers on Twitter and thousands more on other social media sites, Pop Tingz is an up-and-coming celebrity news source, providing the latest stories on everyone’s favorite musicians, actors, athletes, and influencers.
However, there is a darker side to the glitz and glamor: The anti-Israel bias that subtly permeates Pop Tingz’s posts about the Jewish state and the celebrities who support it.
This bias takes the form of using “Zionist” as a dirty word, questioning the Jewish state’s right to exist and demonizing Israel for its actions.
The “Z” Word
When looking at its posts, it becomes evident that Pop Tingz has an issue with Zionism and Zionists, acting as if these terms are dirty words that tarnish the reputations of those celebrities who have a special relationship with Israel.
When reporting that Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot allegedly lied about meeting with filmmaker James Gunn about an upcoming film, Pop Tingz needlessly described Gadot as a “Zionist.”
The association of the term “Zionist” with someone who allegedly lied seems only to serve the narrative being pushed by Pop Tingz, namely that those who support the existence of a Jewish homeland are liars.
Following this post, many correctly observed that not only was the addition of the term “Zionist” pointless and only seemed to have been used in order to besmirch Gadot but that the entire story was incorrect as Gunn backed up Gadot’s claim to have previously met and discussed the future project.
It’s such a weird adjective to use.
1⃣ “Zionist” is not a dirty word.
It means support for the development and protection of a Jewish nation in the land where Jews are indigenous to, Israel.
2⃣ Does @ThePopTingz point out others’ ideologies and beliefs?
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) August 13, 2023
Similarly, a few months earlier, Pop Tingz shared an Instagram post by Stranger Things star Noah Schnapp that showcased his recent visit to Israel. Pop Tingz’s post read “Noah Schnapp showcases his support for Zionism and shares new photos from Israel.”
While the caption may seem innocuous, many pointed out that the unnecessary mention of Zionism appeared to be a subtle condemnation of Schnapp’s visit to the Jewish state and his connecting to his Jewish roots.
Noah Schnapp showcases his support for Zionism and shares new photos from Israel. pic.twitter.com/3jmhgKRrOj
— Pop Tingz (@ThePopTingz) July 23, 2023
In November 2022, Pop Tingz claimed that Jewish star Lizzy Savetsky was “let go” from the Real Housewives of New York due to her “being revealed as a Zionist.” It appears that for Pop Tingz, supporting the existence of a Jewish state is a valid reason to be dismissed from participation in the entertainment industry.
However, contrary to Pop Tingz’s claims, Savetsky left the show at her own volition after being inundated with an onslaught of antisemitic messages.
As Pop Tingz views Zionism negatively, its unnecessary use of the term “Zionist” and “Zionism” is solely meant to tarnish the image and reputation of the Jewish or Israeli celebrity in question.
Pop Tingz Questions Israel’s Right to Exist
While Pop Tingz’s use of the terms “Zionism” and “Zionist” to denigrate Jewish and Israeli celebrities is more subtle, its questioning of Israel’s very existence is much more blatant.
In December 2021, Israel hosted the 70th Miss Universe Competition in the southern resort town of Eilat. Unlike the disputed territories (such as the West Bank and Gaza), Eilat has been an Israeli city since the end of the War of Independence.
However, this didn’t stop Pop Tingz from advertising the competition as taking part in “Occupied Palestine.”
Today the 70th edition of the Miss Universe will be held in Occupied Palestine at 7 pm (ET)
Who do you think will win?! #MissUniverse2021 pic.twitter.com/GDtjVoPlJR
— Pop Tingz (@ThePopTingz) December 12, 2021
Similarly, in May 2023, the British singer Sam Smith cancelled their Israeli concert, reportedly due to unforeseen logistical difficulties. Even though the concert was set for Tel Aviv and not the West Bank, Pop Tingz wrote in its post announcing the cancellation that the performance was scheduled to take place on “occupied lands.”
Likewise, in its panning of the inclusion of the Sabra character in the Marvel universe series of movies, Pop Tingz claimed that Sabra is “a term used to refer to Jews born in the occupied territories.” Even though “Sabra” connotes a Jewish person born anywhere in Israel, Pop Tingz’s use of “occupied territories” clearly indicates that it considers all of Israel to be “occupied.”
Has Marvel Surrendered to Anti-Israel Pressure After Introducing Israeli Superhero?
Occupation, Human Rights & Israel: Pop Tingz’s View of Israel
The most flagrant instance of Pop Tingz’s anti-Israel bias took place in July 2022.
In response to a question on Twitter about artists being pressured into not performing in Tel Aviv, Pop Tingz responded with an array of libelous claims about the Jewish state, including that it violates human rights “out in the open,” that it kills “in the most brutal ways daily” and that it is “very anti-LGBTQ+.”
It’s different in that Israel occupies a whole people and are killing them in the most brutal ways daily. They are committing human rights violations out in the open.
The Israeli government is also VERY ANTI LGBTQ+ despite trying their best to portray themselves otherwise.
— Pop Tingz (@ThePopTingz) July 25, 2022
Like Oil and Water: Pop Culture & Radical Politics
As a popular source for celebrity news, Pop Tingz has a large (and growing) audience interested in all things pop culture.
When Pop Tingz injects its political bias into its entertainment reporting, it is subtly introducing an anti-Israel narrative and talking points to an unsuspecting audience.
The more the audience is exposed to such extreme views as “Zionism” being a dirty word or calling into question Israel’s existence, the more this narrative becomes legitimized in the public sphere.
While Pop Tingz is free to share its views, no matter how extreme, it’s probably best that it stick to sharing the latest glamor shots and celebrity gossip instead of infecting the public discourse with lies, distortions and falsehoods.
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