Former CNN contributor Professor Marc Lamont Hill accused mainstream liberal American news outlets such as NBC and ABC of being "Zionist organizations."
Hill made the comments during a panel on "embedding Palestinian rights in the 2020 agenda" at the annual Netroots Nation summit for progressive activists in Philadelphia on Friday.
"They're like, I want to work for Fox, or I want to work for ABC or NBC or whoever. I want to tell these stories," Hill said in response to a question about how young journalists can report about the Palestinian Arabs.
"You have to make choices about where you want to work. And if you work for a Zionist organization, you're going to get Zionist content. And no matter how vigorous you are in the newsroom, there are going to be two, three, four, 17, or maybe one powerful person — not going to suggest a conspiracy — all news outlets have a point of a view. And if your point of view competes with the point of view of the institution, you're going to have challenges."
T-shirts were sold at the summit presenting "Zionism" as a force to be resisted along with racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and other forms of bigotry.
Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt slammed the t-shirts as anti-Semitic.
"Zionism is nothing like white supremacy. Anyone who offensively claims Zionism is a white supremacist project is ignorant of the tremendous diversity of modern Israel and seeks to negate the millennia-old connection of Jews to the Land of Israel," Greenblatt told Jewish Insider.
Another speaker at the panel, George Mason University Professor Noura Erekat, said of the Arab-Israeli conflict that "the whole land is occupied" and that those "still having conversations about a two-state solution are either ignorant or malicious."
In May, Hill suggested that Mizrachi Jewish identity was a Zionist invention designed "as a means of detaching them from Palestinian identity."
Hill took to Twitter to deny that his comments constituted an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.
"The idea of "Jewish controlled media" is an anti-Semitic narrative that I wholly and unequivocally reject. My instinct is to ignore this, but I care too much about the subject to do so," Hill wrote.
"First, I told the student that if they wanted to do radical work, they may not be able to so inside a mainstream outlet. Then I said, as an example, that you can't do anti-Zionist work inside a Zionist org. I specifically said that there is NOT a conspiracy of media control. More broadly, I consistently say and firmly believe that we can critique policy and practice. But we can never support, implicitly or explicitly, any forms of anti-Semitism. Including long-standing and harmful narratives," he concluded.