CBS, NBC Ignore Embarrassing Gaffe: Obama Caught Mocking Israel's Prime Minister

The CBS and NBC morning shows on Tuesday both ignored an embarrassing gaffe committed by Barack Obama: Being caught on an open mic, mocking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Only ABC's Good Morning America covered it with a single news brief.

News anchor Josh Elliott explained, "At last week's G20 summit, the BBC reports that President Sarkozy was overheard calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a liar. In response, President Obama told Sarkozy, and I quote, 'You may be sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day.'"

NBC's Today and CBS's Early Show found no time for this, but they did allow multiple segments on the conviction of Michael Jackson's doctor.

In contrast, George W. Bush in September of 2000 was caught on an open mic, making fun of New York Times journalist Adam Clymer a "major league a**hole." A September 5, 2000 Media Reality Check explained how the networks covered that gaffe:

ABC and NBC led off with the big news last night that an open microphone caught George W. Bush telling Dick Cheney that New York Times reporter Adam Clymer was a "major league a–hole." All three networks returned to the subject this morning. Newsweek’s Howard Fineman announced on NBC’s Today "there goes the newsroom vote." On CBS, Bryant Gumbel declared "Bush may have taken yet another step backwards by sticking his foot in his mouth with a vulgar comment." This from the man recently caught calling a conservative a "f–-ing idiot."

Perhaps the networks consider insulting a journalist with a profanity as worse than deriding the leader of one of America's closest allies?

A transcript of the November 08 GMA news brief can be found below: 


7:17am EST

JOSH ELLIOTT: Meanwhile, President Obama and the president of France have apparently fallen victim to an open microphone. At last week's G20 summit, the BBC reports that President Sarkozy was overheard calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a liar. In response, President Obama told Sarkozy, and I quote, "You may be sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day." End quote.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org