MSNBC has truly outdone itself. On the July 21 edition of Ronan Farrow Daily, the MSNBC host invited Eli Lake from Huffington Post and Italian-Palestinian journalist and MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal onto the show to discuss how Secretary of State John Kerry’s off-air comments about Israeli operations in Palestine revealed a gap between “American officials’ public versus private thoughts when it comes to Israel.”
When Farrow asked Jebreal, “Why can't American leaders be more honest?” she responded that because of “AIPAC and because of the money behind it and because of Sheldon Adelson and because of all of us in the media,” American political leaders are forced into a pro-Israel stance. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Dear Guardian, thanks for making this easy! Rarely are a media outlet’s prejudices and blinkered sense of moral equivalence more in evidence than in two stories on the left-wing British newspaper’s site.
Exhibit A:A 461-word July 19 story picked up from the AP. Boko Haram killed more than 100 people when the Islamist group entered a town in North Eastern Nigeria on July 20. They “attacked the town of Damboa before dawn on Friday, firing rocket-propelled grenades, throwing homemade bombs into homes and gunning down people as they tried to escape the ensuing fires.” The accompanying photo captioned as “A screengrab taken on 13 July from a video released by Boko Haram shows the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.”
Eakin is in no way a neutral observer of the Israel-Palestine conflict. As she's reporting "objectively" for the Post, she's tweeting out an editorial she'd written defending the Palestinians against "Israel's disproportionate war on Gaza" for al-Jazeera America:
Sunday evening, Noah Pollak at the Weekly Standard noted that "Something important is missing from the New York Times's coverage of the war in Gaza: photographs of terrorist attacks on Israel, and pictures of Hamas fighters, tunnels, weaponry, and use of human shields."
That's because Hamas has demanded that such photographs not be circulated. The Times is clearly complying, and without telling its readers that is coverage has been restricted. Pollak believes that the Times really doesn't mind the overt censorship (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):
It doesn't happen often, just enough to pique the interest of conservatives who comprise a sliver of his audience, but comedian Bill Maher occasionally lapses into lucidity.
Earlier this month, for example, Maher observed that liberals are often little more than "useless Obama hacks." Back in April he denounced "political correctness Nazis" who hound him to "censor every joke" and "apologize for every slight." Two months earlier, Maher mocked the awkward fact that liberals got weak in the knees over Soviet dictator Joe Stalin back in the 1930s. (Video after the jump)
While NBC’s coverage of the latest Israel-Palestine conflict has been distinctly anti-Israel, NBC News foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin is perhaps the worst offender. Despite the reality that Hamas has repeatedly rejected Israeli attempts at a cease fire, Mohyeldin touted Palestinian talking points with surprising consistency.
This time, in a report during the July 21 edition of Morning Joe, Mohyeldin cited “Palestinian medical sources” who described the recent Israeli surgical strikes “as nothing short of a massacre.” [MP3 audio here; video below]
Yet Rudoren clearly slanted against Israel in her unbalanced condemnations of rhetoric vs. reality in the region, claiming that discussion of the dead in Gaza on Israeli news programs lacks a "human, moral" context, ignoring the years of dehumanization of Jews as monkeys and pigs on official Palestinian media.
In the wake of the Israeli military launching a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip to prevent Hamas militants from continuing to fire rockets into their country, NBC has repeatedly taken jabs at Israel and its military.
In a report filed on Today on Sunday, July 20, Richard Engel, NBC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent, provided a fairly biased report on the ongoing violence in the Middle East which concluded by the reporter hyping a Palestinian official saying Israel’s ground attack “was a war crime in the making.” [See video below.]
The envelope please for most inane apologia in defense of Hamas this week ...
Even worse, this particular inanity comes from Thom Hartmann, a top-rated talker on the barren moonscape known as liberal radio. In response to a caller who took him to task for blaming Israel for the latest flare-up, Hartmann downplayed the peril posed by Hamas firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians. (Audio after the jump)
The Obama administration is probably wondering why so many people of all political stripes don't believe that they take foreign policy seriously, up to and including charges that the president and his minions are doing the equivalent of fiddling as some parts of the world burn, and others threaten to.
I don't see why would anyone think that (in case it's not obvious, that's sarcasm). After all, wasn't Bush 43 press secretary Ari Fleischer linking to a friend's column on men's suits after the Bali bombings in 2002? And didn't the London bombings in 2005 lead the otherwise hapless Scott McClellan to wax eloquent on the importance of tie-shirt coordination? The answer to both of those questions is, "Of course not." But yesterday, on a day when Israel invaded Gaza, pro-Russian forces shot down a passenger airliner with almost 300 aboard, and diseases this country hasn't seen in decades continued to be carried over the U.S. Mexican border by "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (that DHS's term), State Department spokesman Jen Psaki tweeted on the dreadfully important topic of how you can be "informed" and fashionable (HT The Blaze):
The liberal media is hemorrhaging foreign correspondents from Israel and the Gaza Strip. Only one day after NBC suddenly pulled anti-Israel Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza citing security concerns, CNN was forced to relocate journalist Diana Magnay from Israel. Both correspondents struggled to keep their reporting and social media presence neutral in tone.
Magnay reported during The Situation Room from a hill in Israel where citizens were “cheering”while watching the “astonishing” and “awful” launch of missiles into the Gaza. The CNN correspondent, normally based in Berlin, followed the segment with a tweet calling the celebrating Israelis “scum.”
You can always count on MSNBC to bring on a radical, seemingly pro-Hamas guest in order to get ‘both sides’ of the argument in Israel's struggle for survival against terrorism. On a July 17 special late night edition of All In with Chris Hayes, guest host Ari Melber discussed the news of Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza with a panel of guests.
Melber led off the segment by asking Noura Erakat – described as a human rights attorney by MSNBC – whether the invasion was a “proportionate and precise operation?” Naturally, Erakat went unhinged: [MP3 audio here; video below]
While NBC, ABC, and CBS have provided wall-to-wall coverage since midday Thursday on Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 being shot down over Ukraine and Israel sending ground forces into Gaza, none of the broadcast networks have made a single mention of President Obama being criticized for attending political fundraisers that night.
Of the three network morning shows on Friday, only CBS This Morning even noted that Obama had just "returned to Washington late last night after a political trip to New York." Though it was never explained the trip was to raise campaign funds for the Democratic Party. NBC's Today didn't bother to mention the fundraisers, but did find time to promote Al Roker's upcoming interview with First Lady Michelle Obama. ABC's Good Morning America didn't even mention Obama's name in its coverage of the crises.
It was strange. Joe Scarborough had just completed a comprehensive indictment of failed American foreign policy around the globe. But at the very moment when he should have laid those disasters at the feet of the sitting President of the United States, Scarborough came down with a bad case of . . . cold feet.
Scarborough laid out to David Gregory a tour d'horizon of failed American foreign policy from the Middle East, to Iran, to Russia/Ukraine, describing it as "one disaster after another.One strikeout after another." But perhaps fearful of where the ineluctable logic of his comments was taking him, Scarborough suddenly made nice, saying "of course that is not directed to President Obama." Really? Who's been in the White House for the last six years? View the video after the jump.
The New York Times' coverage of the ongoing situation in Israel, which began with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, continued this past week to be marked by intense anti-Israel bias in tone and labeling, and overwhelming emotionalism over the deaths of Palestinian civilians in the crossfire (Israeli deaths from terrorism rarely if ever merited such heart-felt treatment). After the tragic deaths of four young Gazan boys on a beach, the Times let its photographer hint at something sinister: "Children, maybe four feet tall, dressed in summer clothes, running from an explosion, don’t fit the description of Hamas fighters, either."
NBC pulled reporter Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza after the journalist witnessed an Israeli air strike that killed four children. Mohyeldin also made some derisive comments about Israel on his Facebook page, writing, "The #US State Department Spokesperson just said that #Hamas is ultimately responsible for #Israel shelling and killing 4 boys who were cousins aged 9-11 because Hamas didn't accept the #ceasefire. Discuss among yourselves."
Before reporting for NBC, Mohyeldin worked for Al Jazeera. On Tuesday, he parroted Hamas's denial that they use human shields, saying, "They definitely reject the labeling of using civilians as human shields....Hamas military wing people that we've been speaking to and others...they will say that this is the nature of the battlefield that they have to fight in."
At last, an Obama administration official has come out in favor of a fence. He promises it will bring security to people on both sides of the border.
Unfortunately, Philip Gordon, National Security Council coordinator for theMiddle East, North Africa and the Gulf, was not speaking of a border fence between the United States and Mexico, but a fence between the West Bank and the 1967 Israeli border. That fence, he said, would be built after Israelrelinquishes the territory in exchange for an empty promise of "peace" with the Palestinians.
MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Wednesday followed up a story on four children who were killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza by marveling, "How long can Israel withstand this kind of international pressure?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
While talking to reporter Martin Fletcher, she noted that Hamas had rejected an Israeli cease fire and insisted, the militant group is "getting the emotional and political benefit, if you will, of the horror of the deaths of their population."
As many as 90,000 of France’s 350,000 Jews – more than one fourth – were murdered in the Holocaust, within living memory. So when Jewish synagogues and businesses are attacked in Paris by mobs chanting “Death to the Jews,” (on Bastille Day, no less) it ought to be news.
Not to the U.S. broadcast networks – at least not when the mob is Muslim. In Paris on Sunday, three Jews were hospitalized after a violent attack on a synagogue by pro-Palestinian demonstrators. According to the Jerusalem Post, “‘The attackers splintered off an anti-Israel demonstration and advanced toward the synagogue when it was full,’ said Alain Azria, a French Jewish journalist who covered the event.”
As my colleagues have been documenting throughout the day, both NBC and MSNBC have had their share of biased segments against Israel on their Tuesday programs.
So it was rather refreshing to see Hardball host Chris Matthews defend the United States's staunchest -- and only truly democratic -- Middle Eastern ally in his closing "Let Me Finish" commentary for the July 15 program. You can read the transcript below the page break (MP3 audio here, video follows page break; emphasis mine):
Ronan Farrow, who used to report to Hillary Clinton at the State Department, was taken to school on the Tuesday edition of his eponymous program by Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Farrow seemed to want Regev to apologize on air for Israel’s “level of retaliation.” Regev argued that Israel is not retaliating but rather is being forced to protect its citizens from a terrorist group that has rejected a cease-fire.
For an example of how MSNBC is leaning forward into biased coverage of the latest troubles Israel is having with the terrorist group Hamas, one need look no further than the July 15 edition of Andrea Mitchell Reports.
After hearing from NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin about how the Egyptian cease-fire was rejected by Hamas because it “failed to address the comprehensive issues that they (Hamas) were trying to go after,” Mitchell invited the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, to discuss the crisis in Israel and offer “his take” on U.S. nuclear negotiations with Iran. When Dermer stated that “Iran wants to develop a nuclear weapon.” Mitchell retorted that they “say they don’t.” Well, that settles it. Just like that time in 2007 when the Holocaust-denying President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, insisted there were no gay men in Iran. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
Reporting from the Gaza Strip during MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on July 14, NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, formerly of Al Jazerra and CNN, parroted Hamas denials that it deliberately placed missile batteries in civilian buildings in Gaza [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]:
They definitely reject the labeling of using civilians as human shields....Hamas military wing people that we've been speaking to and others – not just on these past few days, but in the past several years, because this is an issue that always comes up against Hamas – they will say that this is the nature of the battlefield that they have to fight in. That this is not an issue by design, but as a reality of what Gaza is like because it's so densely populated.
"A Damaging Distance," Ethan Bronner's news analysis for the New York Times Sunday Review, blamed the "growing human distance between Israelis and Palestinians" not on Palestinian terrorist attacks against civilians, but Israel's security measures to stop it.
Bronner's tenure as Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Times was marked by pro-Palestinian bias, including slanted labeling, calling hard-line Israeli supporters "extreme right" without bestowing similar labels on the hard-left of Israel. He also helped spread the truly dehumanizing characterization of Jewish settlers as "rampaging" during protests. He left a consolation card for the Palestinian cause upon his departure in March 2012.
Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped on June 12 while hitchhiking home in the West Bank. They were found dead on June 30, murdered by Hamas militants. Palestinians attacked the ambulance carrying their bodies. Later Hamas launched rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, while Israel countered with air strikes on specific terrorist targets.
The paper's coverage of the ongoing situation has been marked by intense anti-Israel bias in tone and labeling, and a false moral equivalence between the behavior of "extremist" Israelis and merely "militant" Palestinian terrorists.
Of the three morning shows on Thursday, only CBS allowed that Israel's targets in the ongoing violence could be called "terrorists." ABC and NBC described "militants " The networks all highlighted the plight of Palestinian civilians hurt or killed by Israel. But their journalists failed to wonder if Hamas was using people as human shields. Instead, Good Morning America's Alex Marquardt highlighted, "So far, around 80 Palestinians killed, the vast majority civilians. This morning, eight members of a single family mistakenly killed." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Translating from a woman whose house was destroyed, Marquardt quoted, "There is no reason to attack my house...There are no militants here." On CBS This Morning, Holly Williams narrated, "The Palestinians have no protection. This home was flattened by an Israeli strike yesterday. A man and two children were rushed to the hospital." But only CBS deviated from referring to Hamas as "militants."
On NPR's Diane Rehm Show on Wednesday, former Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent Yochi Dreazen (now with Foreign Policy magazine) discussed the growing unrest in Israel, and explained that "the level of distrust toward this White House among Gulf State Arabs in particular is staggeringly high....That includes John Kerry personally. And it includes President Obama even more personally. They don't trust him on a personal level."
Dreazen put that on top of accusations from Israel's defense minister that "John Kerry was trying to do this for a Nobel Peace Prize and because he had messianic tendencies."
ABC, NBC and CBS on July 7 offered slanted coverage of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Today co-host Natalie Morales recounted the deaths of seven Hamas members and qualified, "Israel says it carried out air strikes on at least 14 so-called terror sites." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] An NBC graphic underlined the network's skepticism, "Air strikes Carried Out On 14 'Terror' Sites."
However, the Today show at least offered context. Reporter Ayman Mohyeldin explained that the air strikes came in "the aftermath of a week of violent clashes triggered by the brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager burned alive in a revenge attack for the killing of three Jewish teens by suspected Palestinian militants." The reporting on ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, Monday, ignored the original murder of the three Israeli youths.
On Monday, June 30, it was revealed that the three Israeli teens, one of whom was a dual Israeli-American citizen, that went missing two weeks were found dead, likely the victims of murder from the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
While all three network evening news shows reported on the deaths of the three teenage boys,NBC Nightly News only provided a news brief and completely ignored that one of the boys, Naftaly Frenkel, was in fact a U.S. citizen. Anchor Brian Williams did find time to highlight how “President Obama was among those who expressed outrage over the killings.” [See video below.]
An American teenager, along with two Israeli teens, has been kidnapped in Israel. “[T]wo jihadist groups had posted claims of responsibility for kidnapping the teens,” according to The Washington Post. Israel is in an uproar as the government tries to find them.
But in America, the broadcast networks are breathlessly covering the new movie “22 Jump Street.” In fact, ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted more than 10 and a half minutes to the sophomoric slapstick movie comedy. That’s more than twice what they’ve given to the kidnapping.