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In Israel, media stars are turning to politics

November 3, 2012 • World News


In this Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 photograph, Yair Lapid, a popular former TV anchorman and head of the new centrist party Yesh Atid delivers a speech in the Ariel college of Judea and Samaria in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel. Four prominent Israeli TV anchors and news pundits are leaving their jobs and running for parliament in Israel’s upcoming elections, reflecting the rising star power of media personalities for an electorate that has long had a penchant for former army generals. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

JERUSALEM (AP) — They spent their journalistic careers analyzing, covering and skewering Israel’s politicians. Now, a striking number are vying to join their ranks.

Four prominent Israeli TV anchors and news pundits are leaving their jobs and running for parliament in Israel’s upcoming elections, reflecting the rising star power of media personalities for an electorate that has long had a penchant for retired army generals.

The recent surge of journalists-turned-politicians reflects in part a desire for new blood in a political scene long dominated by the same faces. Frequent corruption cases against figures in power in recent years only increase the appeal of those coming from outside the ranks of Israel’s career politicians. The media stars seen nightly on TV or read daily in newspapers have the advantage of being both new and familiar.

For the first time, two significant political parties are entering the fray with well-knLogin to read more

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