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.
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":
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.