Kudos to NBC's David Gregory for making a relatively rare declaration of just how fanatically anti-Israel the terrorist group Hamas actually is. On Friday's Race for the White House on MSNBC, Gregory hosted a panel discussion of whether Jimmy Carter's plans to meet with a Hamas leader are a danger to Barack Obama's presidential campaign, during which Gregory described Hamas as "the terrorist organization bent on destroying Israel." After liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz suggested that negotiation with Hamas may some day be necessary, Gregory further clarified his description of Hamas's nature: "But, well, but this is a different matter. I mean, Hamas has made it very clear, Tony Blankley, that it wants Israel destroyed in no uncertain terms." (Transcript follows)
On the Thursday April 10 The Situation Room, CNN's Brian Todd similarly noted that Hamas has "called for Israel's destruction." Todd: "Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government. It's called for Israel's destruction."
Notably, on Independence Day last July, CNN correspondent Cal Perry used a softer description of Hamas, calling it a "military organization who are fighting for independence against Israel," ignoring Hamas's stated long-term goal of taking over Israel as part of a Palestinian state.
Over on ABC, the network which historically has often qualified labels of Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist groups by attaching such phrasing as "which Israel considers to be a terrorist group," anchor Dan Harris on World News Sunday merely reported that Carter plans to "meet with Palestinians the U.S. considers terrorists." Referring to the ABCNews.com Web site, Harris relayed: "Among our most read stories today, former former President Carter defending plans to meet with Palestinians the U.S. considers terrorists."
Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Friday April 11 Race for the White House on MSNBC:
DAVID GREGORY: First in the "War Room" tonight, former President Jimmy Carter has all but said he's backing Barack Obama. But now Carter is planning to meet with a leader of Hamas, the terrorist organization bent on destroying Israel. Obama said this about Carter's trip today:
BARACK OBAMA: I'm not going to comment on former President Carter. He is a private citizen, and, you know, it's not my place to discuss who or who he shouldn't meet with. I know that I've said consistently that I would not meet with Hamas.
GREGORY: Is that good enough, Ed Schultz, or does Obama
need to go farther? I mean, this is could be, it's a former President, would be a superdelegate, would he have to take a stronger stand politically, particularly given some of the problems he's got in the Jewish community?
ED SCHULTZ, LIBERAL TALK RADIO HOST: Well, it depends on how close Jimmy Carter gets to Barack Obama. Barack Obama said at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this week that he believes that a solution in Iraq is to involve Iran. Now many people take that as a sign that he would meet with [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, with the Iranians. So you could parallel the meeting with Hamas and the meeting that Obama might have with the Iranians. This could be a touchy area for Barack Obama, but I really think that he's not going to be able to reel in Jimmy Carter. And who knows, if you're going to have peace, you're going to have to eventually talk to both sides.
GREGORY: But, well, but this is a different matter. I mean, Hamas has made it very clear, Tony Blankley, that it wants Israel destroyed in no uncertain terms. And this is also an opportunity for Barack Obama to take a stand here, maybe solve, at least go down the road of solving a problem.