On Thursday, as Connor Williams at NewsBusters reported, Joe Scarborough at MSNBC "ripped Israel for their 'indiscriminate' attacks upon Gaza, and feared that this would only cause the conflict to worsen in the future." Specifically, Scarborough said that "this is asinine. This continued killing of women and children in a way that appears to be indiscriminate is asinine," and "we will rue the day that this is happening every day and women and children are being seen."
On Friday, as Laura Flint at NewsBusters noted, Scarborough attempted to walk back some of what he said, insulting his objectors by saying he would use "simple talk that simple minded people can understand." He was apparently so proud of what he said that he had it printed virtually verbatim at the Politico late Friday afternoon, complete with an emphatic, condescending title. Let's revisit the screed to make a few important points (produced in full because it has already been broadcast; bolds and numbered tags, used so Joe can better follow "simple-minded" points, are mine):
On Friday night, the major broadcast networks all covered the latest developments in the conflict between the Israelis and Hamas as a three-day cease-fire collapsed after an Israeli solider was captured during an ambush while the two sides fought in an underground tunnel. In their coverage, the networks used some harsh language in describing the Israeli offensive to seek out those responsible and two networks touted Palestinians praising the capture.
Anchor Diane Sawyer said on ABC World News described Israel’s actions after “one of their soldiers was apparently captured by Hamas” as “[a] pounding response.” In a report from ABC News chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran, he noted how, at the start of the cease fire, there “was quiet in Gaza” as “[y]ou could hear the birds chirp” before noting that, not long after, “it was on again.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
In response to the media backlash following Joe Scarborough’s harsh remarks about Israel on yesterday’s Morning Joe broadcast, the former Republican congressman spent almost four minutes of air-time on the August 1 edition insulting “the usual suspects” that lacked “the intellectual capacity to actually grasp” his earlier “statement.” He stated that he would use “simple talk that simple minded people can understand” to refine his stance.
For Scarborough, “simple talk” meant backing away from many of the statements he made yesterday. As my NewsBusters colleague Connor Williams noted, on the July 31 edition of the MSNBC morning show, after speaking with MSNBC’s notoriously biased journalist Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza, Scarborough went on a rant, blasting the “asinine” and “indiscriminate” attacks by Israel on Palestinian civilians. In contrast, today he asserted that “America must stand with Israel” as “they are America’s strongest ally in the region.”
Do Gaza civilians support Hamas' military operations that use them as human shields and store weapons in their schools and mosques? Ayman Mohyeldin would have you think so. On today's Morning Joe, the NBC reporter claimed that among Gazans, Hamas' military wing is "very highly revered."
To which Israeli spokesman Mark Regev had a stunning comeback: "I mean, if you walk down the street in Gaza with an NBC camera and you ask people, well, was Hamas shooting from this building that the Israelis targeted? No, everyone will say, of course, not. Because you have a regime that is ultimately authoritarian and violent to its own people and they have that ability to control the message. It's like walking down the street in Cuba with a camera and saying do you like Fidel Castro? What can people say?" View the video after the jump.
New York Times Cairo bureau chief David Kirkpatrick's front-page story on Thursday, "Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel, Stay Silent," appeared under a sympathy-inducing photo of a shattered United Nations school allegedly hit by an Israeli shell, while Kirkpatrick's story tried to induce sympathy toward Hamas, abandoned by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, its erstwhile allies in the fight for the destruction of Israel.
An online teaser actually suggested Egypt's opposition to the terror group Hamas was a regrettable obstacle to peace: "Led by Egypt, a coalition of Arab states has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas, posing new obstacles to efforts to end the Gaza conflict." Acording to Kirkpatrick, Hamas's terrorist status is up for debate, as it is merely "deemed a terrorist group by the United States and Israel."
As the Israel-Hamas conflict rages on, it appears that the Israelis have lost Joe Scarborough as a trusted ally. On the July 31 edition of Morning Joe, the former Florida Congressman ripped Israel for their “indiscriminate” attacks upon Gaza, and feared that this would only cause the conflict to worsen in the future.
Following Ayman Mohyeldin’s pro-Hamas reporting on the issue, Scarborough reacted to the news that an Israeli rocket reportedly hit a UN school in Gaza: [MP3 audio here; video below]
Appearing on Fox News’ Hannity on Wednesday, July 30, Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of the founder of the terrorist group Hamas, had some harsh words for those who claim that the group is merely a “humanitarian” organization.
Speaking to Sean Hannity, Yousef insisted that Hamas is “not a humanitarian organization. Hamas is a terrorist organization with a humanitarian face to it.” [See video below.]
In an interview with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer on Thursday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted how "anti-Israel protests around the world" "have taken a disturbing turn and become anti-Semitic in nature," but proceeded to blame Israel for the prejudice: "Do you ask yourselves, 'Okay, we may be winning militarily but are we losing the larger battle, the PR war?' And perhaps, as one headline put it yesterday, minting the next generation of terrorists?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
The headline Guthrie cited was from the liberal Daily Beast website, which on Wednesday published an article by Jesse Rosenfeld, who ranted: "It is not Hamas propaganda, the school curriculum or even their parents that make these children see a future where continued resistance is the only option for survival. That was an education taught by the Israeli bombs that flattened their homes and by the bread lines across the street from the school."
"As much of world watches Gaza war in horror, members of Congress fall over each other to support Israel," the Associated Press shockingly tweeted Tuesday morning, only revising the headline four hours later, Fox News's Megyn Kelly noted Wednesday night as she introduced Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center (MRC) -- the parent organization of NewsBusters.org -- for a segment on liberal media bias in the coverage of Israel's Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. [Listen to MP3 here; video embed follows page break]
"That was pretty surprising to many in the media world," Kelly noted, asking for Bozell's thoughts. "The tweet referred originally to a news article that was as slanted as that," the MRC founder noted, adding, "That news article could have been written by Hamas working for the AP or the AP is doing press releases for Hamas. It's indistinguishable. This makes a mockery of journalism." But alas, anti-Israeli bias is hardly contained to the AP news wire, Bozell noted, recalling how:
Are you okay, Marc? I have a hankie you can use to wipe away that rolling teardrop that Alan Dershowitz possibly caused during your heated debate on Israel and Gaza during CNN Tonight on Monday.
The weird thing is that Marc Lamont Hill was actually crying over Israel (GASP!) defending itself against both rocket attacks and secret tunnels built from Gaza into Israel for the purpose of killing and kidnapping. A video was posted by Soopermexican showing Hill's tear of absurdly misplaced compassion (or was it frustration from arguing with Dershowitz?) rolling down his cheek.
In a report for Wednesday's NBC Today, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel – who on Monday fretted that Hamas would get "nothing" out of a cease-fire deal with Israel – highlighted a Palestinian teenager celebrating the terror group's attacks: "In Gaza, many see these attacks as justified. 16-year-old Farah Bakkar has developed a following online after live tweeting as [Israeli] bombs fell....Farah never supported Hamas before, but does now." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A sound bite ran of Bakkar proclaiming: "When I see the [Hamas] rockets getting to Israel, I start loving them more and more and I pray for them."
Married Oscar-winning Spanish actors Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz led an effort among Spanish artists to write an open letter denouncing Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza strip as “genocide.”
The Hollywood Reporter relayed they demanded a ceasefire by the "Israeli Occupation Forces" and called on the European Union to "condemn the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip." They insisted Israel "lift the blockade, which the Gaza Strip has suffered for more than a decade."
During the Bush years, network news air time was loaded with criticism of George W. Bush for every foreign-policy development. His policies either caused the crisis, or worsened an existing crisis, or, in the case of Iraq, both. Everything Team Bush did was either bumbling, dishonest, blatantly unconstitutional, or horrendously costly in lives and treasure.
"Bush lied, thousands died." That was the vile mantra of the ultra-left, but never denounced as vile by the news media, perhaps because so many agreed with that sentiment. Bush had ruined America’s image in the eyes of the world.
Earlier today, I gave the Associated Press an unwarranted benefit of the doubt. I figured that there was no way the language contained in an offensive AP tweet on the Israel-Gaza situation would appear in an actual story by an alleged professional journalist. Boy, was I wrong.
The language in question was posted at 6 a.m. ET and is still present at the wire service's official Twitter account. It reads: "As much of world watches Gaza war in horror, members of Congress fall over each other to support Israel." I wrote this afternoon that "The tweet ... links to a brief dispatch by Bradley Klapper, whose coverage, to be fair (but only if he's not the tweeter), doesn't reflect the sentiments expressed in the tweet." Well, it didn't then, because the underlying story had been revised. Here's are the first five paragraphs of Klapper's story as they appeared before comprehensive cleanup efforts ensued:
On Tuesday, July 29, NBC Nightly News was the only network evening newscast to highlight criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry following his inability to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
While CBS and ABC ignored the criticism of Secretary Kerry, Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, did her best to cast the Secretary of State as a victim of anonymous Israeli criticism. During a press conference earlier in the day, Mitchell sympathetically asked Kerry if such criticism was “hurting your ability to be a mediator here, to have Israel -- with these blind quotes from Israeli officials attacking you so vociferously?” [See video below.]
Not only is Israel on the wrong side of opinion when it comes to the liberal media, but evidently the world’s lone Jewish state is losing its soul as well. At least this was the opinion of Andrea Mitchell on her midday MSNBC program.
In a conversation with Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, the Andrea Mitchell Reports host – in reference to the large number of civilians dead in Gaza – questioned what he would say to Americans: “And what do you say to them that Israel may be losing its soul, may be losing the war because of the political impact of what is happening on the ground?” [MP3 audio here; video below]
On Monday night’s edition of his PBS show, Charlie Rose aired an interview with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal that he conducted in Doha, Qatar over the weekend and Meshaal took the insane and ridiculous step of comparing himself and the Palestinian people to what Nelson Mandela and South Africa went through under apartheid. This statement is just the latest since excerpts began airing on CBS’s Face the Nation, CBS This Morning, and CBS Evening News on Sunday and Monday.
When asked by Rose for a prediction on how does he believe that the fighting in Gaza will end, Meshaal railed against Israel as carrying out the “occupation” by declaring that: “Every single occupation ought to fail and every single occupation ought to stop and every single settlement ought to perish. Yes, it is difficult, we'll pay a price, Mandela played – paid plenty but he was victorious at the end of the day. Ultimately, the Palestinian people will be independent." [MP3 audio here; Video below]
On Tuesday, only NBC's Today covered Israel's heavy criticism of the Obama administration's effort to pushed a Hamas-backed cease-fire plan in Gaza. At the top of the broadcast, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "...the Obama administration goes on the defensive after Israeli media rip John Kerry's efforts to make peace." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In the report that followed, correspondent Kate Snow observed: "The public and the press seem to have turned on Kerry. Take a look at the headline in this morning's paper. 'Obama and Kerry,' it says, 'are playing with fire.'"
As yours truly noted a week ago, journalists who have ventured into Gaza operate under coverage restrictions imposed by Hamas, the terrorist group which controls it. Based on the tenor of their coverage, the New York Times and other organizations are complying with Hamas's constraints, usually without telling their readers, listeners, and viewers. This of course begs the question of why those reporters and photographers stay there — unless they'd like to leave and are being prevented from doing so.
A little onsite reality leaked out of Gaza today, in the form of two tweets from Wall Street Journal reporters based there, before they were quickly withdrawn. Twitter user Yair_Rosenberg caught them before they disappeared. They provide evidence that a rocket strike at a Gaza hospital which killed many Palestinians was the result of an errant Hamas rocket, not an Israeli strike:
CBS This Morning aired multiple excerpts on Monday morning of co-host Charlie Rose’s interview with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, that will air on Rose’s PBS show on Monday night. In the excerpts that were aired, Rose allowed him to compare the Palestinian people in their fighting with Israel to Americans waging war with the British in the America Revolution. Further, Meshaal denied any possibility that, in his mind, a state of Israel could co-exist with any Palestinian state.
In the first excerpt, which aired in the 7:00 a.m. hour, Rose began by citing former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who said that “Hamas was perfectly well aware of what would happen” if they shot rockets toward Israel and that “they have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so the rest of the world will condemn them”. Rose cited Clinton as someone who isn’t Israeli, but was “a man who worked hard to create peace between Palestinians and Israelis.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]
Of all the Associated Press reporters out there, Matt Lee, whose beat is the State Department, appears to have the least patience with the pablum (and worse) he is expected to swallow from the Obama administration.
In September of last year, as the situation in Syria escalated, Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a non-mandatory request for a Congressional vote on U.S. military involvement in Syria. After hearing State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki defend that proposal as "courageous," Lee, after getting a non-response to a question as why it was courageous, famously asked: "Was there some kind of, like, group spine-removal op procedure at the White House over the weekend?" Though he may not have exercised the best judgment this morning in posting the tweet which follows the jump, at least we can say that Lee hasn't taken up permanent residence in the wire service's otherwise very crowded water-carrier wing:
The media coverage of the current Israeli-Hamas conflict has been decidedly anti-Israel, and the lack of reporting on growing anti-Semitism worldwide has only made it more apparent. Surprisingly, on the July 28 edition of At This Hour with Berman and Michaela, the hosts devoted a segment to cover the virulent anti-Semitic protests occurring in Germany, France, and even in the United Kingdom.
Co-host Michaela Pereira led off by lamenting that protests from Paris to Berlin have “turned nasty, targeting all Jews. In Paris, protestors have attacked synagogues, they’ve looted shops owned by Jews, chanting death to the Jews.” Co-anchor John Berman cited an even more horrifying scene from Germany, where some have called for Jews to be killed: [MP3 audio here; video below]
The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wants Americans to know that the Obama adminisration is really, really upset — but not at Hamas for committing terrorist acts, using women and children as human shields, and digging tunnels for the purpose of mass-murdering civilians on Rosh Hashanah.
No-no-no. Team Obama is "fuming" (i.e., their poor little feeeeewings are hurt) because Israeli officials and the Israeli media — even its liberal wing — are furiously criticizing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for apparently doing all he can to sell out the Jewish state's positions in attempting to negotiate a ceasefire with Hamas.
On Monday's NBC Today, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel worried that Hamas was not getting enough out of a temporary cease-fire agreement with Israel: "What is Hamas getting in return? So far, nothing. No deal, no immediate lifting of the closure of the Gaza Strip. Just a reprieve from Israel's assault that has flattened entire Gaza neighborhoods and killed more than a thousand Palestinians, many of them civilians, many of them children." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Engel continued to outline the demands from the Palestinian terrorist organization: "The war could easily escalate again. Hamas wants an agreement to end the fighting, not for Israel to unilaterally scale back the assault on its own terms."
On Sunday’s Meet the Press, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu profoundly slapped down moderator David Gregory’s assertion that Israel had been involved in the “targeting of a U.N. school that killed children and those civilians who were fleeing a safe place to go in the fighting.”
Netanyahu resoundingly condemned Gregory’s statement and insisted that the “Secretary General of the United Nations before this incident took place, said that, admitted that two U.N. schools in Gaza were used to stockpile rockets.” [See video below.]
While all three networks denounced the shelling of a U.N. school in Gaza on Thursday, NBC, ABC and CBS all failed to report on similar U.N. schools in the war-torn territory being used to hide Hamas rockets. As Fox News reported on Tuesday, "The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said the rockets were found in between two other UNRWA schools that are being used to host 1,500 displaced people."
On Wednesday's Special Report, anchor Bret Baier read a statement from the office of the U.N. Secretary General condemning Hamas for the action. Panelist Charles Krauthammer blasted the international organization: "The U.N. workers, UNRWA, have collaborated with Hamas for years and years. They know that there are missiles in the schools, in the hospitals, in the mosques, and they know what's going to happen. Kids will be killed and that's going to be on television." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer wasted no time on this evening's Erin Burnett OutFront to hit CNN for bias by omission in its reporting on Palestinian casualties at a United Nations hospital in the Gaza Strip.
"I think it would be a disservice to your viewers for a [CNN] reporter from Gaza not to mention that in the last week we had two different UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration Works Agency] schools where we had actually rockets found in the schools and handed over to Hamas," Dermer chided host Erin Burnett, who interrupted, "These are two different UN schools, you're saying." "That's correct," the ambassador replied, continuing his attack on the network's bias with a suggestion that the network was not properly doing its homework on the conflict (emphasis mine; watch video below page break):
Both Wednesday's CBS Evening News and Thursday's NBC Today offered full reports on President Obama being criticized for attending Democratic Party fundraisers at a time of international crises. ABC continued to remain silent on the growing controversy.
On Evening News, White House correspondent Major Garrett reported: "President Obama arrived late today in Los Angeles for his fifth meeting with big donors in two days." A clip played of Garrett challenging Press Secretary Josh Ernest: "Could you address what many Americans believe is either the trivial or unnecessarily-distracting obligation of presidents – including this one – to raise money in the course of conducting important matters of state?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Over the last 15 days, the world has been rocked by two troubling and growing international crises: the shootdown of a civilian airliner over the Ukraine; and the intense fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. While the three evening newscasts have offered considerable coverage of the unfolding events, CBS, NBC and ABC have made almost no attempt to evaluate the performance of Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry or the administration generally, and critics of the administration have been ignored.
Since July 8, the broadcast evening newscasts have aired 79 stories (169 minutes) on the Gaza fighting; only 45 seconds of that included criticism of the administration. Since July 17, the three evening newscasts have aired 96 stories (209 minutes) on the jet shootdown; just 10 seconds of that coverage has included criticism of Obama or his team.