While the liberal media have noted how little foreign policy was raised at the GOP convention and will surely play up President Obama's attacks on Republican opponent Mitt Romney as being weak on that issue portfolio, it's noteworthy how little media attention is being given to the Democratic Party's views on America's most reliable, democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel.
Even as Democrats on Wednesday afternoon hastily re-added language about Jerusalem being the capital of Israel to their party platform, the document is hardly as pro-Israel as its 2008 iteration, Ben Shapiro of Breitbart's Big Government site noted in a September 6 post. "[T]he full language of the 2008 platform is still gone, Shapiro noted, before quoting the 2008 document's Israel plank and then explaining that:
In a rare moment of reluctant semi-journalism which didn't name names, the Politico's Reid Epstein, in reporting about the God-Jerusalem debacle at the Democratic Convention Wednesday night, buried the lede, waiting until his third paragraph to tell readers (belated HT to Weasel Zippers) that "While the campaign at first said Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, it later said he did not learn of the issue until Wednesday morning, when he became aware of seeing news coverage of the issue." (Sidebar: Does that mean Dear Leader watches the despised Fox News?)
Then Epstein just let the disclosure sit there with no additional follow-up. His story has what is in my view a deliberately "this is boring" headline ("Division over platform at DNC" ... zzz). However, it would appear that the folks over at the Associated Press got to Epstein's third paragraph, and went into full-keister-covering mode.
Well, it looks like we have a bit of evidence that, contrary to an assertion by a pair of Politico reporters, it's not the media elites who can "powerfully shape" the narrative coming out of party conventions (the issue in question there was how Mitt Romney's nomination acceptance speech would be spun).
After all, as Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today, the three major networks have totally ignored the omission of "God" in the Democratic Party's platform, and have only lightly covered the platform's failure to name Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Despite that, and therefore obviously because of center-right media pressure (and semi-sensible Dems sensing disastrous election fallout), those issues now are both like Prego spaghetti sauce -- i.e., they're in there. Associated Press reporters Julie Pace and Steve Peoples seemed a bit unhappy with this turn of events in the version of their dispatch which appeared shortly after 6 PM ET, and tried to pin the entire blame on Republicans:
A major controversy erupted on the floor of the Democratic National Convention Wednesday surrounding God and Jerusalem inside the Party's platform.
Hours later, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave CNN an absolutely ridiculous explanation for what transpired resulting in her being mocked for her "alternate reality" by numerous commentators including Anderson Cooper and John King (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern today, it took three attempts for Democrats to reinstate the words "God" and "Jerusalem" into their party platform, drawing some reactions of despondency from the more liberal members of the party. Over on MSNBC, for example, Chris Hayes called it a "craven capitulation."
This shift from the original platform that omitted God and did not explicitly express support of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital wasn’t mentioned once during ABC World News September 5 broadcast. Below is video from C-SPAN of the actual vote on the matter, which, you can tell was unlikely an actual 2/3rd vote for the rule change.
As NewsBusters has been reporting, the Obama-loving media spent many days in recent weeks trashing presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for alleged gaffes he made during his overseas trip to Europe and Israel.
Rather surprisingly, in an interview to be aired on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, Obama-supporter and former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave Romney good grades for his trip saying, "He demonstrated that he can participate in foreign relations in a way that is constructive...I think he did himself good by going to these countries" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Friday's Inside Washington on PBS, regular panel member Evan Thomas dismissed media claims that Mitt Romney's recent trip abroad suffered from gaffes as the Politico correspondent asserted that the GOP presidential candidate spoke the truth about the Olympics in London and the social problems of the Palestinians.
National Review editor Rich Lowry has been granted space for a column in the liberal Politico newspaper/website, and he's not mincing words. On Wednesday, his headline was "The media's terrible trip."
"During his overseas trip, Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, traveled to some of our closest allies accompanied by some of his most merciless enemies — the media. If you don’t know that Romney’s foreign jaunt was the worst diplomatic fiasco since the Zimmermann telegram or the XYZ Affair, you haven’t been reading his press clips," he wrote. Politico reminded readers that was its spin by advertising within Lowry's piece: "Also on POLITICO: Mitt needs veep to replace flop."
It appears as though Andrea Mitchell has joined the chorus of "journalists" on MSNBC attacking Mitt Romney for his comments in Israel over the weekend.
On Wednesday’s Morning Joe, Mitchell tried to scold Dan Senor, senior advisor to Mitt Romney, over what she described as Mitt’s ‘deeply offensive’ comments on the relationship between culture and economic success in Israel. [Video follows page break; MP3 audio here.]
I am pumped up about Mitt Romney's speech in Israel — for both political reasons and policy ones — and believe it may represent a turning point in the campaign.
Politically — and this is important because it is critical that he win, or he won't be able to implement any policies and set America back on the road to recovery — Romney has shown again he is going to take the gloves off, deal with the issues directly and draw a stark contrast between his policies and Obama's record. The significance of this cannot be overstated. Some of the reasons John McCain lost in 2008 were his lackluster campaign, his refusal to showcase Obama's extreme liberalism and, thus, his failure to demonstrate why he would make a better president than Obama.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is being reamed by liberals in the media for a supposed gaffe in stating that Israel is much more successful economically than territories under Palestinian control because of its "culture."
Rich Lowry explains how that is perfectly true in a piece at National Review Online today. The long and short of it is that Western classically liberal values like the rule of law, representative democracy, religious tolerance/diversity, free speech and secure property rights are hallmarks of Israel's civil society that are woefully lacking in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip:
Journalists are quite eager to undermine Mitt Romney’s trip. “A new diplomatic dust-up,” CBS anchor Scott Pelley teased Monday night, citing how “Mitt Romney in the Middle East says culture makes Israelis economically superior to Palestinians.” NBC’s Peter Alexander declared upsetting Palestinians meant Romney’s “day began in Israel with another diplomatic misstep” as ABC’s David Muir saw “another overseas controversy in a trip with missteps already.”
Muir also discovered, without citing any evidence, “fallout today from a question we asked Romney during our one-on-one last night on World News,” specifically Muir’s demand to know: “Was there ever any year when you paid lower than the 13.9 percent” income tax rate?
In a news brief on Monday's NBC Today, anchor Natalie Morales touted how "Palestinian leaders are slamming Mitt Romney" for remarks he made during a "fundraising visit" to Israel: "Romney sparked outrage by suggesting that he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, calling it Israel's 'capital city.' Palestinian leaders say the comment is, quote, 'unacceptable.'"
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.
One of the most embarrassing yet telling exchanges (using the term loosely, as will be seen) in the history of presidential press secretaries occurred on Thursday. Connie Lawn, described here as longest-serving White House reporter, asked Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney what should have been a really easy question: "What city does this administration consider to be the capital of Israel -- Jerusalem or Tel Aviv?"
Carney wouldn't answer it, and accused Lawn and relentless national treasure Les Kinsolving of WND.com of asking about something they already knew. Carney's contemptible behavior has been virtually ignored in the establishment press. Here is the complete exchange as relayed at the White House's web site, complete with an asterisk, which I will explain (I have added names of the questioners where needed; a YouTube of part of what follows is here; bolds are mine):
Not even in death will the New York Times accurately describe Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yassir Arafat as a terrorist.
In a January 6, 2005 story not long after Arafat's death, then-Jersualem bureau chief Steven Erlanger described Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as having "no heroic history like that of his predecessor as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasir Arafat...."
On Sunday's Today show, as he read a brief item on the passing of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, NBC's Ron Mott recounted criticism painting the conservative Israeli leader as "increasing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians" by expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Mott:
Appearing on Wednesday's The O'Reilly Factor on FNC, during the show's regular "Miller Time" segment, comedian Dennis Miller lambasted House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi as "vile" and "distasteful," but contended that "I don't hate her."
The discussion of hate came about as host Bill O'Reilly began the segment by asking about a survey by the New York Post listing the most hated people in America.
O'Relly then turned the conversation to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision to regulate the selling of beverages in restaurants, leading Miller to complain about liberals pining for government to exert control over their lives. Miller:
The New York Times is transparently invested in promoting J Street, the left-wing lobbying group of Palestinian-supporting Jewish doves, as an influential counterweight to the more hawkish American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), as proven by its latest public relations article on behalf of the group: "Lobbying Group Is Being Heard as Moderate Voice on Israel."
According to the paper's blatantly promotional coverage of J Street, which the paper insists on calling "pro-Israel," just keeps moving from strength to strength (as it has for years at the Times, without ever coming close to challenging AIPAC in influence). Here's reporter Eric Lichtblau on Thursday:
On Saturday's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, NBC correspondent Richard Engel conveyed that the reform advocates who led the toppling of Hosni Mubarak's regime in Egypt are distraught at the kinds of candidates that Egyptian voters are choosing to replace Mubarak, with both major presidential candidates likely to curtail freedom if elected. Engel recounted: (Video at bottom)
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):
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:
The Society of Professional Journalists's lifetime achievement award that was named in her honor has been "retired" but Helen "Thank God for Hezbollah" Thomas can console herself with her latest trophy: high praise from the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
Plugging his new book, The Crisis of Zionism, on Thursday's The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, the Daily Beast's Peter Beinart - formerly of Time magazine - advanced the irrational view that it is the Israeli government and those who support the existence of Jewish settlements in the West Bank who are the obstacles to peace with the Palestinians. (Video below)
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."
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.
Departing New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner filed Thursday's off-lead front-page story from the West Bank town of Ramallah, passing on yet another sympathy note for the Palestinians, whose left-wing cause for statehood and against Israeli "occupation" is no longer being trumpeted as loudly in the wake of the tumult in the region: "Mideast Din Drowns Out Palestinians."
The above-the-fold photo featured two Israeli soldiers firing orange flame at "Palestinian stone throwers" in the West Bank....from a clash last month. A photo of a Palestinian "protester" throwing stones was relegated to the jump page.