Uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News on Tuesday failed to mention Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's criticism of the Obama administration for not being aggressive in preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons. The CBS Evening News included a plug in its opening teaser and then devoted a full report to the story.
Sunday's CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News tried to spin negatively a vague statement by Mitt Romney advisor Dan Senor that the GOP presidential candidate would "respect" the Israeli government's decision if it chose to attack militarily Iran's nuclear capability, suggesting that the Romney campaign's words amounted to a criticism of the Obama administration, and thus a breach of protocol that American politicians in a foreign land should not criticize the U.S. government.
But the effort to paint the statement into a gaffe contrasts with the media silence in July 2008 when then-Senator Barack Obama, during a trip to Israel as he campaigned for the White House, claimed to be a member of a Senate committee on which he did not serve, in an effort to portray himself as tough on Iran, as he tried to take credit for the actions of the Senate Banking Committee.
Conservative author Ann Coulter made an outstanding observation on Fox News's Hannity Monday about the ongoing national security leaks controversy.
"When the New York Times is printing classified intelligence under a Republican administration, it's to make the Republican administration look bad. When they’re doing it under a Democrat administration, they’re doing it to make the Democrat look good" (video follows with transcript and absolutely no need for additional commentary):
Just how in the tank for Barack Obama is CNN's Piers Morgan?
During an interview with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak Wednesday, Morgan actually said to his guest concerning Iran, "President Obama clearly would prefer not to see Israel take any action before the election" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
While President Obama and his adoring media did a victory lap on the one year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's assassination, Fareed Zakaria had a completely different take about how the War on Terror is going.
On CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, the host said, "We don't look like people who have won a war. We look like scared, fearful losers" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"Russia's top military officer told a conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials that Russia would mount a preemptive strike on U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe if Washington goes ahead with its plan to build a missile shield," the Associated Press has reported.
The Washington Post carried the 5-paragraph story, but buried it on page A6 of the May 4 paper under the headline, "Military ups the ante on missile defense."
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, the news network's founder, Ted Turner, complained that a double standard exists between the U.S. and Israel being allowed to possess nuclear weapons while Iran is expected to be nuclear-free, as he suggested that all countries dispose of their nuclear arsenals to persuade Iran not to build such weapons.
After host Piers Morgan asked Turner what he would do about Iran if he were President, the CNN founder absurdly complained that Iran was being held to a different standard than Israel, without either he or Morgan noting Iran's support of terrorism against both Israel and the U.S. Turner:
Why is the New York Times so invested in promoting J Street, the minor, left-wing group of Jewish doves, as an influential counterweight to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)?
Reporter Helene Cooper Wednesday gave the benefit of the doubt to J Street, which wants to, in its words, "end the occupation" of Palestinian land, complains on its website about the influence on Israeli policy by the American "far right," and receives funding from George Soros. Yet Cooper insisted, against that evidence and more, including smearing supporters of Israel by the offensive term "Israel Firster," of calling J Street "Pro-Israel," as did the headline over her story: "J Street, Pro-Israel but Opposed to Attacking Iran, Takes Its Message to Washington."
The Obama-loving media clearly weren't concerned by the President's open mic incident Monday when he told Russia's Dmitry Medvedev that he'll have "more flexibility" regarding a missile defense agreement after the elections.
Count NBC's Jay Leno in that camp as he told Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on the Tonight Show Tuesday, "That doesn’t seem that weird to me" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The New York Times, laboring under the false impression it participated in George W. Bush's "rush to war" in Iraq, is pushing back hard against the prospect of preemptive action against Iran's nuclear threat, raising the specter of another Middle East quagmire for the United States.
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift and National Review's Rich Lowry got into quite a heated debate on PBS's McLaughlin Group this weekend.
With the topic being President Obama's Middle East policy, after much back and forth, Lowry scolded, "If you’re honest about it, that is your bottom line. You are okay with [Iran] getting a nuclear weapon" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Newsweek's Eleanor Clift got a bit of a tongue-lashing from US News and World Report's Mort Zuckerman on this weekend's McLaughlin Group.
After Clift predictably praised President Obama's press conference last week, Zuckerman aggressively shot back, "That's nonsense to say the Israelis don't think through the consequences of war! That’s ridiculous!" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, liberal columnist Mark Shields seemed to show mor skepticism than other panel members about whether Iran is really trying to build nuclear weapons, as he brought up the failure to find an advanced nuclear program in Iraq, asserting, "I've seen this movie before."
He later defended the rationale for Iran locating its nuclear program under a mountain as being a response to threats by other countries to bomb the program.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has a long-standing infatuation with the 1995 film, The American President, in which actor Michael Douglas plays Democratic commander in chief Andrew Shepherd. That infatuation was clearly on display on Tuesday, as Williams praised President Obama for taking on Republicans over Iran.
On Tuesday's Nightly News, Williams cheered Obama's afternoon press conference on the matter: "President Obama chose this Super Tuesday, of all days, to take on his Republican rivals who've been criticizing him on the campaign trail on the topic of Iran...you can call it an 'Andrew Shepherd moment.' Film buffs will recognize the part played by Michael Douglas in the movie 'The American President,' where he said, you know, 'I am the president, your 15 minutes are up.'"
Warning: Please make sure there are no fluids in your mouth or sharp objects and combustibles near your computer before proceeding.
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman actually began Wednesday's piece entitled "Israel's Best Friend" saying, "The only question I have when it comes to President Obama and Israel is whether he is the most pro-Israel president in history or just one of the most":
If Libya was considered a good war in New York Timesland, war with Iran would definitely be a bad one, reporter Scott Shane says, lumping any action against Iran’s nuclear threat to our long and costly involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Shane tried to dissipate the threatening “whiff of gunpowder in the air” in his front-page “news analysis” Wednesday, “In Din Over Iran, Rattling Sabers Echo,” which is written in the style of an anti-war activist. He quoted four scholars, all of whom were dismissive of the threat and against intervention, and even noted criticism of his own paper for overstating Iran’s threat.
On Monday, uniquely among the broadcast network evening newscasts, ABC's World News skipped the news that Israeli diplomats were the targets of simultaneous assassination attempts in two different countries, most likely from Iranian sources.
In his pre-Super Bowl interview with Matt Lauer on Sunday, President Obama was asked the following question about Iran in light of the heightening tensions over its nuclear program and the possibility of an Israeli air strike: "(In repsonse) Do you fear that they will wage attacks within the United States on American soil?" Obama responded as follows: "We don't see any evidence that they have those intentions or capabilities right now."
Really? The President's statement directly goes against statements made recently by other government officials, up to and including Attorney General Eric Holder. Lauer, who is paid to look good while delivering the news and conducting interviews but not necessarily to deliver on substance, especially if it might disturb the American people before the Big Game, totally missed the contradiction. Fortunately, Ed Lasky at American Thinker didn't (internal links added by me):
Appearing as a guest on Thursday's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, ABC's Christiane Amanpour characterized conservatives as several years ago "frog-marching" the U.S. to war with Iraq as she and host Colbert discussed the likelihood Israel will soon attack Iran to prevent the Islamic state from producing nuclear weapons. (Video below)
A few years ago, when FNC's Fox and Friends substitute co-anchor Peter Johnson, Jr., accidentally referred to left-wing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as "Cesar Chavez," the famous American labor and civil rights activist, the flub received attention from some of FNC's left-wing critics, even though the FNC host corrected himself moments later.
But Tuesday's World News on ABC demonstrates that you don't have to be a target of the left to make the same flub. (Video below)
Iraq’s former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said Sunday that President Obama was wrong when he claimed the United States left Iraq as a stable and democratic country.
Appearing on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS, Allawi said, "It’s neither stable nor democratic, frankly speaking. The terrorists are hitting again very severely. Al Qaeda is fully operational now in Iraq" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
According to one of Iran's most acclaimed directors, anti-American schlockumentarian Michael Moore is the most famous filmmaker in that Middle Eastern nation that so happens to be a sworn enemy of the United States.
During Tuesday's live coverage of the New Hampshire Primary on MSNBC, at about 6:53 p.m., Chris Matthews asked guest Tom Ridge why it is that "crazy neocons" and Republican "chickenhawks" always want to "go to war with other people's children."
As he began the interview, Matthews listed several Republicans who have not served in the military and whose children have not served, and then posed: (Video below)
On Tuesday's The Daily Show on Comedy Central, as he recounted the racist newsletters that were published in the 1990s under the name of GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, host Jon Stewart mocked other GOP candidates after clips of them attacking Paul for not taking seriously the threat of a nuclear Iran, suggesting that the candidates were not so concerned about racism. (Video below)
Moments later, as he mocked Republican voters for adding former Senator Rick Santorum to the list of candidates they are willing to consider, Stewart took another race-based shot at the Republican Party as he used a box of Whitman's chocolates as a prop and pronounced the brand name as if it were "White Man's."
After showing clips of the candidates criticizing Paul's willingness to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, Stewart cracked:
On Sunday's Meet the Press on NBC, as guest Rick Santorum criticized President Obama because he refused to support a democracy movement in Iran that might have weakened the anti-America radical Muslim government of Tehran, but, by contrast, supported a democracy movement in Egypt directed against a pro-America government - which resulted in an election that recently handed more power in Cairo to radical Muslims - host David Gregory accused the GOP presidential candidate of being "patently contradictory." (Video below)
As he moved into the foreign policy portion of the interview, Gregory brought up a recent speech in which Santorum accused President Obama of engaging in "appeasement" against America's enemies, and then the NBC host defended Obama's foreign policy:
On Monday's The Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz accused Republican presidential candidates of "fearmongering" on the issue of the danger posed by a nuclear Iran, but, ironically, on the same day the CBS Evening News led its show with an interview with Obama administration Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who hinted at the possibility of a nuclear strike on Iran within the next year because the radical Islamic state is believed capable of assembling a nuclear bomb within that time.
As he interviewed Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshare Fund about the latest on North Korea, Schultz switched over to talking about Iran:
Christopher Hitchens, RIP, would likely have loved the rough-and-tumble of today's Morning Joe. The first half-hour was a jolting fix for political junkies.
If the goring of Newt Gingrich was predictable, there was much that was not. Michelle Bachmann's debate performance was roundly praised. Lefty Jeff Sachs put himself to Ron Paul's right on the Iranian threat. Joe Scarborough and Donny Deutsch reported that normally-Dem New York CEOs have deserted Obama en masse. Video after the jump.