'Im Dying to Talk About the Yair Netanyahu Recording, but the Situation Is a Bit... Volatile'

Journalist Raviv Drucker sheds light on the process of selling newsworthy recordings and footage - like Yair Netanyahu's scandalous strip club tape - to Israeli media outlets

Yair Netanyahu (file photo).
Marc Israel Sellem / Pool

Hello to Channel 10 journalist Raviv Drucker. Nir Gontarz from Haaretz here. Whats up?

Whats happennnning, Gontarz?

Isnt it correct that you always dreamed of being in this column? Well, now you are.

Great! At long last! Yaallah. Years of building a slow, Sisyphean career and nothing comes of it.

Because we sometimes talk, without any connection to the column, Im honing the point that now its for the column. Cool? We got it?

We got it.

Beautiful. Listen to what intrigues me. Around the superb story of Guy Peleg, who came up with the Yair Netanyahu recordings, its being alleged that[Channel 10 competitor] the Israel Television News Company bought the tapes for money. Dont get me wrong, I dont think theres anything wrong with that. And the story is that, beforehand, the source approached you and [the mass-circulation] Yedioth Ahronoth. And then I realized that I have a lacuna in my brain, in the sense that no one ever approached me and I never paid for a story. What interests me is the price market. Since he approached you, and since in the past maybe you paid for stories, Id like you to please take me into that world.

Thats a question Im actually comfortable with. Im dying to talk about the story of the Yair recording, but at the moment the situation of the source is a bit, err volatile, so its comfortable for me to talk about the position in principle.

Go for it.

Im one of those who think theres no problem with paying for material.

Terrific.

Im for it. Ive done it very few times in my life, but, lets say, maybe twice, I think.

This column is short. Im interested in the cost.

You cant do anything in this country. The sources who sometimes come with material think its a bonanza. That this is the United States. They think in terms of hundreds of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars that will transform their situation. And the channels in Israel, or the media, when theyre willing to pay – and theyre almost never willing to pay, because theyre tightwads – pay, top of the top, tens of thousands of shekels.

Tens of thousands is 30 or 80?

Because there are two examples, its hard for me

But I assume that you were approached more times, and that you know more.

Relatively few times – this is Israel.

Still, tens of thousands of shekels, what does that mean?

We paid tens of thousands of shekels to someone who put a hidden camera on himself and

Just a minute, dont tell me about another case. Im interested in the amount.

I wont say the exact amount, but more than 50 and less than 100.

You don't say? Thats still enough for a small car.

Yes, but you know Someone who did very significant work. Was exposed, did work – you know. Didnt just come up with a tape. If someone were to bring me a tape of [attorney David] Shimron talking about the submarines and saying amazing things, wed be willing to pay tens of thousands. Id be willing – I dont know about the station

And there are negotiations?

Yes.

Like buying a carpet?

Yes. Its rare, but it happens. For sure. By the way, with [car] accidents, its not rare at all. [And] all kinds of people who filmed a terrorist attack and come to you that same day and conduct negotiations. For sure.

Really? The TV channels buy footage of terrorist attacks?

Obviously! Terrorism. Stabbings. All kinds of security cameras. A guy comes and says, I have security cameras that filmed this and that, and on the spot they buy it from him. Of course!

How much does security camera footage go for?

Its generally, I would say – I've been less involved with that – thousands of shekels, and in the highest case, thousands of dollars.

Understood. Do you regret not having made the Yair recordings public?

Ahhhh, Im dying to talk about that subject, and maybe in another few hours I will talk about it. Do you see? I dont want you to feel screwed.

Just tell me if you regret it.

Its not a yes-or-no answer. But if you want, call me in a few hours, or in a day. I just want to see whats happening with it.

Understood. Twitter says youre running for leader of Meretz.

Yes, I saw that.

And what do you say?

That Im not running for leader of Meretz.

Ironclad?

Ironclad.

And you wont go into politics at all?

I wont promise you never. Not in the coming years.

Interesting. How old are you?

Forty-seven.

Interesting. So lets say, not in the next two governments interesting. Besides that?

Life is lovely. Hows by you?

Were moving this week. Its really stressful here.

Aha.

Besides that, I got the phone number of the control center of the prime ministers bodyguard unit. I wanted to ask them, after I made it clear – so there wouldnt be any misunderstandings – that the Shin Bet [security service] isnt demanding to guard me, whether they could nevertheless organize a car and a bodyguard for me. But there was this really uptight security man there. I dont understand how I got to him. Anyway, I didnt get an answer.

Listen, could we go off the record for a minute?

No. Theres no off here.

Alright, then, yallah. Well talk .

All the best, Raviv. Thanks.

Bye.