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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":
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.
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)
Lewis, a veteran reporter who retired in 2009, is now part of The Constitution Project, which focuses on the alleged ‘erosion of privacy rights and civil liberties in a post-9/11 world” and “indefinite detention without charge of terrorism suspects.” That marks Lewis as a man of the left, as did his reporting for the Times, which included an amazingly slanted May 2008 look at the potential Supreme Court nominees of either Barack Obama or John McCain.
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:
Appearing as a panel member on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show on Sunday, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius predicted that President Obama would be more aggressive in taking on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a second term, as he cited the belief by Obama's people that the President "has had success" in Middle East policy so far. (Video below)
Ignatius seemed to go along with the idea that President Obama has a "strong foreign policy record" as he ended up asking rhetorically:
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 Saturday's NBC Nightly News, during a report recounting the gathering of Christian pilgrims in Bethlehem for Christmas celebrations, correspondent Martin Fletcher relayed Palestinian complaints about Israel, and gave attention to the display of an anti-Israel publicity stunt set to coincide with the occasion taking advantage of a Christmas tree theme.
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:
The New York Times learned Thursday that its biases have consequences.
In a letter from his senior adviser Ron Dermer obtained by the Jerusalem Post, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scornfully declined the Gray Lady's offer to write an op-ed due to the paper's long history of anti-Israel sentiments:
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who poses as a tough friend of Israel, offensively referred to the “Israel lobby” in his Wednesday column “Newt, Mitt, Bibi and Vladimir."
After bashing Newt Gingrich for suggesting the Palestinians are an “invented” people, Friedman reiterated the usual talking points in support of a Palestinian state, but with a hostile and paranoid twist.
New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel, covering the Gingrich campaign, inflated conventional pro-Israel, anti-"peace process" opinions delivered by Newt Gingrich into a diplomatic drama about Gingrich scrapping the two-state solution worthy of "damage control," in Saturday’s “Gingrich Suggests a Reversal of Mideast Policy.”
As NewsBusters has been reporting for days, the Obama-loving media have been doing a collective victory lap concerning the President's appeasement retort "Go ask Osama bin Laden."
When CNN's Candy Crowley tried this during her interview with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday's State of the Union, she got a much-needed education that would help all her foreign policy-challenged colleagues in the press (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
A pathetic, obsequious act on the part of an establishment press member was exposed as utterly foolish mere days after its appearance.
On Wednesday (for Thursday's print edition), New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote glowingly of "Joining a Dinner in a Muslim Brotherhood Home." He swallowed a lot more than food while he was there, as the following excerpts indicate (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Two Republican presidential candidates, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann, are both promising to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if they should become the nation's next president. There's literally no way to "fact check" something that is only a promise, but Gearan wasted over 500 words pretending to do just that. She couldn't even buy a clue that her item's title ("FACT CHECK: Israel embassy promise may be empty") gives away the, uh, fact that it wasn't a "fact check" at all. Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web minced no words in critiquing AP's and Gearan's cluelessness (bolds are mine):
As NewsBusters has been reporting, America's supposedly impartial media have been gushing and fawning over President Obama's press conference retort to Republican accusations of his appeasement, "Ask Osama bin Laden."
Doing his part Thursday was CNN's John King who proudly declared on the program bearing his name, "Point, set, match Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a season in which there is very little "peace on Earth" and even less "good will towards men," it is a particularly tough time for Jews, who may be finding it more and more difficult to tell who their real friends are.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta fired an unusually harsh salvo across the Israelis bow. In a speech at a Brookings Institution forum, he urged Israel to get to the "d--n table" for peace talks. It must have escaped Panetta's notice that the Palestinians are the ones refusing to come to the "d--n table" unless their unacceptable demands are met. These include, depending on the day, the cessation of construction projects, even on pre-1967 Israeli land, the so-called "right of return" of "Palestinian refugees," a concession by Israel to re-draw its borders to 1967 lines -- though such borders would be completely indefensible against an inevitable attack -- and the re-division of Jerusalem, which Israel rightly sees as its capital. Meanwhile, the Palestinian side concedes almost nothing and fulfills none of its promises. Neither is it held accountable for its behavior.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews is very upset about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney saying President Obama is pursuing a foreign policy of "appeasement."
On Wednesday's Hardball, the host was so outraged by this that his Republican Strategist guest, Florida's Sally Bradshaw, ended up laughing in his face and mocking him when he talked about "sophisticated voters" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In an item at the Associated Press datelined early Monday morning not labeled as "analysis" or otherwise characterized as the reporter's point of view, the wire service's Amy Teibel went on the attack against current developments in Israeli politics and society in extraordinarily harsh terms, to the point where her report could easily have been mistaken for a leftist's political stump speech.
Teibel's screed began with the headline ("A battle is raging for the soul of Israeli society"), and went downhill from there (what are in my view deliberately loaded words are in bold):
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.'"
Are we supposed to believe standards of professional journalism are so different in France that when you hear something clearly newsworthy, you don't say or write about it when the government tells you not to because of "tradition"?
That's what Angela Charlton at the Associated Press, which admits to having had a reporter on hand when French President Nicolas Sarkozy told U.S. President Barack Obama that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is a liar," would have us believe. Though she did note Obama's lack of objection to Sarkozy's assertion, Charlton downplayed Obama's actual and equally broad response -- "You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!" -- by holding it until the eighth paragraph of her report and keeping it out of the story's headline. The first six paragraphs of the report (9:45 a.m. version also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), which includes the excuse, follow the jump (bolds are mine):
When microphones were accidentally left on following a G20 meeting, they picked up a private conversation between President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy during which Sarkozy muttered he "can't stand" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to which Obama replied, "You're fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day!"
Could Obama's disparaging remark hurt U.S. relations with Israel? Read more about their conversation after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Drudge is currently linking to a "trash talk" story at Ynetnews.com about how, with a microphone still on, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is a liar." U.S. President Barack Obama's response, also audible, was: "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!" That's not necessarily the most disgraceful aspect of the story. What follows after the jump, which explains why the story is just coming out now, is at least as reprehensible:
On Sunday's Meet the Press, host David Gregory teed one up for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that was specifically designed to mock the Republican presidential candidates while allowing her to brag uninterrupted about the foreign policy successes of Barack Obama (video follows with transcript and commentary):
President Obama no longer has an Israel problem, Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner reported on Thursday, bolstering Obama’s pro-Israel credentials by assuring Times readers that the president’s recent speech at the United Nations on Israel was pro-Israel. Bronner also broadcasted pro-Obama results from an online poll conducted by the Jerusalem Post – although online polls are an unreliable format the paper rarely consider newsworthy, in “Israelis Happy at Home But Glum About Peace.”
Moreover, the sense over the past two years that President Obama was growing angry with Israel and steering American policy away from its interests subsided last week. The parts of Mr. Obama’s United Nations speech about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could have been written by any official here. It said nothing about Israeli settlements, the 1967 lines, occupation or Palestinian suffering, focusing instead on Israel’s defense needs.
New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner took some friendly fire from the paper’s Public Editor Arthur Brisbane in his Sunday column, “Tangled Relationships in Jerusalem.” Brisbane forwarded complaints from a left-wing anti-Israeli blogger about Bronner's business relationship with a conservative Israeli, Charley Levine. But Bronner's history of slanted reporting, especially his hostile coverage of "angry rampag[ing]" Jewish settlers in the West Bank, proves he can hardly be credibly accused of sympathizing with Israeli conservatives.
Conflict of interest, or the appearance of it, is poisonous in journalism. This is particularly so when it relates to reporting on Israel and the Palestinians, a subject that draws a steady stream of skepticism about New York Times coverage from readers and partisans on all sides.