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.
Friday at the UN (text here), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of engaging in "ethnic cleansing."
Earlier, in a speech to 200 supposed "senior representatives of the Palestinian community in the U.S." (would that include Gaza flotilla organizers and Barack Obama pals Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn? Just askin'), Abbas declared, as relayed by Ynetnews.com, that "They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer: We shall not recognize a Jewish state."
Given that there would hardly be a point to covering Abbas's speech if readers knew of the just-cited statements, it's hardly surprising that the press is also in a non-recognition mode:
NBC's David Gregory on Sunday did his darnedest to get Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to say Israel has had no better friend in the White House than President Obama.
As the "Meet the Press" host continued to force the issue, Netanyahu finally said, "David, you're trying to throw me under the bus of American politics. And guess what, I'm not going to be thrown there" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Reporting on President Obama speaking at the United Nations for Wednesday's NBC Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell sympathetically declared: "Preparing for today's speech, the President was all smiles for the class photo, but while hoping to run a victory lap as the new Libyan government officially joined the United Nations....Everywhere else, trouble loomed."
Referring to the Palestinian push for statehood recognition from the UN, Mitchell described how Obama was "grappling with the same problem that has trapped American presidents for more than half a century, the Middle East." Later in the report, Mitchell cautioned: "The President could end up paying a heavy political price for supporting Palestinian rights in the past, even as he is losing support around the world for standing by Israel this week at the UN."
The Palestinians see the membership application as a last-ditch attempt to preserve the two-state solution in the face of ever-encroaching Israeli settlements, as well as a desperate move to shake up the negotiations that they feel have achieved little after 20 years of American oversight. The question is whether trying to bring the intractable problem back to its international roots will somehow provide the needed jolt to get negotiations moving again.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer fretted over Rick Perry blasting Obama's foreign policy soon before the President was to deliver his address to the United Nations. CNN analyst David Gergen agreed with him, painting Perry as a grenade-thrower.
In a meeting with New York City Jewish leaders GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry slammed what he termed President Obama's policy of "appeasement" in the Middle East, and labeled it "naive and arrogant, misguided and dangerous." Perry made his remarks on the eve of President Obama's address to the UN, in the same city.
Someone at MSNBC should tell Martin Bashir that he might not agree with Pat Buchanan's politics, but he's not one to challenge about a matter of fact.
On the show bearing his name Thursday, Bashir mistakenly tried to refute the conservative's claim that former Mayor Ed Koch accused President Obama of throwing Israel under the bus (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CNN's Fareed Zakaria got more than he bargained for in his Sunday interview with guest Donald Rumsfeld.
As he pushed the former Secretary of Defense on America's need to cut military spending, the "GPS" host blushed when Rumsfeld smartly said, "There are people who think we're living in the post-American world, to coin a phrase. There are people who believe that we should step back and lead from behind" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The folks involved in the storming of Israel's embassy in Cairo are probably wondering what they have to do to become the press's pet word for rampaging Muslims (the country is 90% Muslim, and it would be a very safe bet that heavily persecuted Coptic Christians aren't involved): "militants."
I guess breaking through the Israeli embassy's security wall, ransacking offices, and dumping documents doesn't get you there, at least not with Aya Batrawy of the Associated Press. The ransacking, as well as the vehicle burning which is also taking place (see this photo), don't even get into AP's headline (bolds are mine):
By all accounts, President Obama has been far more hawkish than anyone anywhere in the world could have possibly imagined.
Despite this, "New Yorker" magazine editor David Remnick told the crew at MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday that the current Administration is responsible for the lack of anti-American displays in Arab Spring uprisings (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Tina Brown seems to be very conflicted about her opinion of Dick Cheney.
After telling the "Morning Joe" panel the former Vice President is a "wrecking ball" who "seems to be totally in denial still about Iraq," the Daily Beast-Newsweek editor said moments later, "He's been validated by Obama" (video follows with transcript and commentary):