Time's Joe Klein, no fan of the present Israeli government he, has weighed in on Helen Thomas's now infamous "get the hell out of Palestine" comments.
Writing for his magazine's Swampland blog yesterday, Klein denounced the Hearst columnist's comments as "odious," but stopped short of demanding her ouster from the White House press briefing room. Instead, Klein urged in his June 6 post that Thomas should forego her front row seat and get pushed towards the back of the room:
[I]t's not unprecedented for journalists with odious views to have access to the press room. What is unprecedented is for such a journalist to have a front-row center seat. Thomas should no longer have that privilege. The front row should be occupied by working reporters, not columnists. The WHCA should sanction Thomas by sending her back to the cheap seats. This would accurately reflect her current status as a journalist while preserving her First Amendment right to be as obnoxious as she wants.
Of course Thomas has a First Amendment right to be obnoxious, but that doesn't mean she has a constitutional right to a slot in the press briefing room. Perhaps Klein thinks his is a reasonable middle ground for the WHCA to stake out, but there were plenty of reasons to boot Thomas from the front row long before her anti-Semitic ranting made for viral video.
Jane Furse of the New York Daily News reports "Iconic White House reporter Helen Thomas was dropped by her speaking agency and booted as a high school commencement speaker Sunday following inflammatory remarks she made about Jews and Israel." The tone was daintier at The Washington Post, where she wasn't "booted," the agreement was mutual:
Alan Goodwin, principal of [Walt] Whitman [High School], where objections to the appearance had been raised, said he reached a niece of Thomas's earlier in the day. "We had a mutual understanding about her not coming," he said....
In an interview, Whitman parent Raisa Slepoy said, "I don't know why anybody would ask a person like that to speak at a commencement ceremony...especially where there's a pretty large Jewish population."
If Thomas had appeared, Slepoy said, there would "be a lot of people booing her off the stage....It would be an embarrassment."
White House press corps dean Helen Thomas -- on the day that the White House hosted a Jewish Heritage Celebration, no less -- said that Jews who live in Israel should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go "home."
When asked where home was for Israeli Jews, Thomas offered "Poland, Germany... and America and everywhere else" from which the founding generation of the State of Israel originally hailed.
It's been centuries decades since anyone believed Helen Thomas was anywhere near an objective journalist, but this makes it clear that she's at best tactless and unreasonable and at worst an anti-Semite.
Question to mull over in the comments section: Should Thomas lose her coveted seat in the White House press briefing room over this?
It isn't just the pro-Palestinian press that is attempting to distort the reality behind the recent flotilla incident off the coast of Gaza.
Former Democratic Congresswoman, and 2008 Green Party candidate for President of the United States, Cynthia McKinney, has voiced her own version of reality through an anti-Israeli rant in Arab News. McKinney is of course, a reliable source on the topic, having been involved in her own little attempts at defying and breaking an Israeli blockade of Gaza (translation - aiding and abetting a terrorist regime).
In her column for Arab News, McKinney expresses outrage over ‘Israel's needless, senseless act against unarmed humanitarian activists.' Having been involved in previous attempts to defy the authority of the Israeli Navy, McKinney knows full well that the Free Gaza Movement, organizers of this flotilla, consists of anything but unarmed humanitarian activists. In case memory has failed her, here is a handy reminder:
A report from the Intelligence & Terrorism Information Center highlights the link between flotilla organizers and radical human rights violators.
The Jerusalem Post points out that ‘soldiers encountered fierce resistance from the passengers who were armed with knives, bats and metal pipes.' The article then goes on to say that the already armed protestors upgraded their arsenal by ‘stealing two handguns from soldiers', opening fire, and ultimately escalating the violence that they themselves had already started.
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Viacom's Comedy Central is developing an animated show practically designed to offend Christians. But the network's handling of recent controversy over depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad illustrates a stark double standard in how the entertainment media deal with issues of religion.
Comedy Central announced it is developing the script for an animated show tentatively titled "JC." According to the network's release, the show is about Jesus Christ "wanting to escape his father's enormous shadow to live life in [New York City] as a regular guy." The announcement described God as "all-powerful yet apathetic" and said the show would be a "playful take on religion and society with a sprinkle of dumb."
The show promises to stand in sharp contrast to the network's treatment of another religious figure: Muhammad. In 2006, Comedy Central censored a segment of "South Park" that depicted Muhammad. In April of this year, the network added audio bleeps to the second of a two-part episode to cover any mention of the prophet, as well as an end-of-show speech about freedom of expression and giving in to intimidation. The first episode of the story arc featured Mohammad hidden inside a moving truck and a bear costume.
This censorship came in response to a threat from a radical Islamic website, based in the United States, which warned that "South Park" creators would face violent retribution for "insulting" Muhammad by featuring (although not showing him) on the episode.
Around the same time they were caving in to pressure to delete all Mohammed references from an episode of "South Park," the geniuses at Comedy Central posted an online video game containing truly staggering anti-Semitic images.
This abomination was originally called "I.S.R.A.E.L. Attack!" due to the lead character being a murderous robot named "I.S.R.A.E.L." -- "Intelligent Smart Robot Animation Eraser."
As the game opens, the villain says, "You lied to me, Jew Producer" (video follows with lots of commentary, h/t Weasel Zippers):
The Pentagon rescinded the invitation of evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at its May 6 National Day of Prayer event because of complaints about his previous comments about Islam.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation expressed its concern over Graham's involvement with the event in an April 19 letter sent to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. MRFF's complaint about Graham, the son of Rev. Billy Graham, focused on remarks he made after 9/11 in which he called Islam "wicked" and "evil" and his lack of apology for those words.
Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman, told ABC News on April 22, "This Army honors all faiths and tries to inculcate our soldiers and work force with an appreciation of all faiths and his past comments just were not appropriate for this venue."
In a CNN video posted at Story Balloon, left-wing comedian Sarah Silverman expressed her disgust at the nation’s rejection of same-sex marriage as she declared that she is "starting to get appalled by anybody who would get married in this day and age." She went on to compare getting married to joining a racially exclusive country club in the 1960s. Silverman: "I mean, it’s like, if you say, if you joined a club, a country club, you know, in the 60s that, where no blacks or Jews were allowed. Why would you want to join that country club? ... I find marriage has a very ugly mark on it right now, and I would not want to be a part of it."
And, as she made a distinction between her Jewish ethnic heritage and her religious beliefs, she described herself as agnostic, and related that she is only religious when "I’m very, very sick, and, like, on the bathroom floor." Silverman: "I’m not religious. I mean, the only times I’m religious are when I’m very, very sick, and, like, on the bathroom floor, like in sweat, I will definitely find God, or in incredible amounts of turbulence."
Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the video, which can be seen at Story Balloon:
Rush Limbaugh is so reviled by the left, that even when he agrees with liberals and issues facts supporting their arguments, they criticize him and demand an apology.
The latest such group to deride Limbaugh for supposedly offensive comments that they themselves have supported is the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL has called on Limbaugh to apologize for suggesting that the Obama Administration's anti-banker populism has troubling anti-Semitic undertones. He did not suggest that Obama is an anti-Semite, nor that is policies specifically single out or target Jews. He did suggest that Jews who voted for Obama may be feeling "buyer's remorse" now that the administration is using language that has so often--historically--been used to demean and discriminate against the Jewish community.
Here is the quote in question: "To some people, banker is a code word for Jewish; and guess who Obama is assaulting? He's assaulting bankers. He's assaulting money people. And a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's - if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there."
On the December 30, 2008, The Early Show, anchor Jeff Glor reported on former Democratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s presence on a ship attempting to violate the Israeli blockade by delivering supplies to Gaza as the ship was "rammed" by the Israeli military. Glor notably misidentified McKinney as if she were a current member of Congress – which could make her appear to have more credibility – and did not inform viewers of Israel’s account of the incident or of McKinney’s controversial history, which includes links to anti-Semitic figures. Glor: "A relief ship carrying a Georgia Congressman, Cynthia McKinney, clashed with the Israeli navy this morning. The aid boat carrying activists and medical supplies destined for Gaza was reportedly rammed by an Israeli gunship. There were no casualties."
On the same day’s Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC, anchor Jim Angle reported on the boat collision during the show’s regular "Political Grapevine" segment, and passed on the Israeli response: "But an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman says the naval vessel made physical contact only after the supply ship failed to respond to repeated radio transmissions."
"For the record, our third story is neither ridiculing nor disputing [Sarah Palin's] religious beliefs. It is purely an attempt to discern exactly what those beliefs constitute, so that the voters of 2012 know exactly what they`re getting."
Such was amazingly uttered by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Tuesday night.
Bear in mind that we are almost three years away from Election Day 2012, and most political analysts on both sides of the aisle don't believe former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is going to run for President then.
Regardless, the "Countdown" host actually spent over five minutes examining -- and, contrary to his assertion -- ridiculing her religious beliefs.
In fact, the disparagement began right from the get-go with how Olbermann described the object of his disaffection (video embedded below the fold with full transcript, h/t Story Balloon):
With the holiday season approaching, the latest liberal fashion in media bias by omission will be papering over any hard feelings about White House holiday celebrations. Already (as Patrick Gavin of Politico has pointed out), the Jerusalem Post reported that the guest list of the annual White House Hanukkah party is being shrunk in half, from 800 to 400.
Hillary Leila Krieger wrote "Though several Jewish leaders expressed understanding for the economic and other reasons behind the cut, they acknowledged that it would likely help feed feelings in some quarters of the American Jewish community that the White House is giving them the cold shoulder."
It comes as a different attempt at outreach to Jews -- an Obama appearance before the General Assembly of North American Jewish Federations last week -- was cancelled so Obama could attend the Fort Hood memorial service. Krieger added:
Two Republican chairmen in South Carolina have apologized for an op-ed article that made a clumsy comment about wealthy Jews being fiscally prudent. Reporter Robbie Brown and The New York Times's headline writers quickly let us know the two offenders were Republican: "2 South Carolina Republicans Apologize for Reference to Jews."
It made quite a contrast from how the Times treated a Democratic candidate for Congress who circulated truly scurrilous claims against her Jewish opponent in a 2008 primary election.
In Wednesday's story, both the online headline (the print edition headline is different) and a photo caption readily identified the offenders as members of the GOP, as did Brown in his first sentence:
Two Republican county chairmen in South Carolina have apologized for a newspaper op-ed article that stereotyped Jews as financial penny pinchers.
An article in the Albany Times Union promotes a controversy brewing in local schools in upstate New York. A controversy in that schools are willing to close their doors during Christian and Jewish religious holidays - but not Muslim holidays.
Tucked away within the article is a supporting statement from Jay Worona, counsel for the New York State School Board Association (NYSSBA), in which he promotes a possible alternative to canceling classes. Worona states, "One request we have seen is for a room during Ramadan for students to pray in, and many districts are attempting to provide those."
What the reporter fails to note is that Worona, who apparently is in favor of separate prayer rooms for Muslim students, opposes the inclusion of a display containing the Ten Commandments in New York schools.
Interesting. A prayer room for Muslim students. What happened to the separation of religion and education, church and state? Or did that only apply to the assault on Christianity in our schools, the elimination of nativity scenes, the conversion of labels such as 'Christmas Break' to 'Winter Break', or the deletion of the phrase 'under God' from our Pledge of Allegiance?
Blogging for U.S. News & World Report, Paul Bedard reported a double standard in how President Obama and President Bush were treated (or ridiculed) when each wished Jews a Happy New Year a little early, or in Obama's case, a month early:
Washington Jewish Week and Politico tell us that Obama today reached out to about 1,000 Jewish leaders in his expanding campaign for health care reform. One of those on the call, Rabbi Jack Moline, tweeted through the call about what the president said. His Twitter page noted: Obama: "shanah tovah to all of you."
In a June 28 "The Seeker" blog post asking, "[s]hould gay flocks have their own churches," Chicago Tribune religion reporter Manya Brachear failed to find a conservative, orthodox Christians or Jews to level a warning about the incompatibility of homosexuality and those faith traditions.
"Three area churches who cater to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians are marching in today's Gay Pride parade," Brachear noted in opening her 16-paragraph post. "Should gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender flocks have their own sanctuaries? Or does the concept of a LGBT congregation encourage an isolation within faith communities that defies the very purpose of assembling for worship?"
Brachear then went on to cite a Christian pastor and a Jewish rabbi to defend their gay-oriented congregations. Both cited the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt in defense of their sexually-oriented ecclesiology.
Yet despite the Trib's insistence in her profile that "Chicago Tribune religion reporter Manya Brachear embodies the journalist’s quest for truth and the personal search for Truth--with a capital T," the so-called Seeker failed to consult religious conservatives among Jewish and Christian traditions in the Windy City who would rebuke the practice of homosexuality as incompatible with the teachings of those faiths.
On Monday’s Countdown show, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann slammed Jonah Goldberg of the National Review during the show’s "Worst Person in the World" segment because Goldberg complained about the treatment of neoconservatives by liberals, as the National Review Online editor recently charged that "mainstream liberalism and other outposts of paranoid Bush hatred have portrayed neoconservatives – usually code for conservative Jews and other supporters of Israel – as an alien, pernicious cabal."
Olbermann, who has a history of blaming conservatives like Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly for violent acts by extremists, accused the "far right" of "enabling" recent murders, and then claimed not to have ever heard the term "neocons" associated with a particular "religious or ethnic group." He went on to suggest that the word "neocon" may really be code for "belligerence, pig headedness, stupidity, wasteful, indifference to human life," and "paranoid."
For example, Ann Coulter is responsible for yesterday’s tragic shooting at the Holocaust Museum.
Bill O’Reilly is responsible for the shooting of well-known abortion doctor George Tiller.
Oh, and the coup de grace: Sarah Palin and all of her supporters are raging racists.
That’s not to mention the implication that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, and all of Fox News were the favorite news sources of James von Brunn, now-infamous shooter at the Holocaust museum.
Idiotic though these claims most certainly are, liberal bilge of this magnitude demands confrontation. First, examine what Rowe wrote on Ann Coulter:
With recent anti-Semitic remarks, Whoopi and Joy finally condemned Reverend Wright, while Joy ludicrously denied ever supporting President Obama’s former pastor. On the June 11 edition of "The View," Joy Behar logically concluded Wright is indeed an anti-Semite and even branded the reverend "evil."
When Elisabeth Hasselbeck noted such comments are on par with Wright’s past ravings, Behar immediately countered "no one liked him on this panel." While Joy may not have been Wright’s biggest cheerleader, she has attempted to justify Reverend Wright’s extreme remarks even labeling Wright’s "God Damn America" sermon "righteous," spinning an anti-Italian slur as a "compliment" and refused to "sit in judgement" over Wright’s sermons "because I’m not black."
On Friday night’s Real Life with Bill Maher on HBO, the host typically assaulted the Bible and the God of the Old Testament. He said of the Bible and the Koran "These are two books that are filled with hatred and wickedness and all kinds of immorality. I mean, I can’t think of a character who is less reliable as a role model than the God of the Old Testament." Newsweek editor Jon Meacham could only respond with pandering humor for liberals: "He’s kind of Cheneyesque actually – that runs through the God of Abraham...He didn’t shoot anybody. He smited them."
As Maher suggested he was too bright to believe in Jesus the "Jewish Zombie," Meacham also lauded how America has moved beyond a "public piety," as symbolized by Mel Gibson’s 2004 film The Passion of the Christ. "It doesn’t feel to me that we’re in the same place in terms of public religiosity and public piety that we were when Mel Gibson released The Passion of The Christ five years ago, when basically, he made an anti-Semitic film, and the only thing you can say about it is it’s the best film ever made in Aramaic." Surprisingly, Maher said he liked the movie, and he didn’t find it anti-Semitic, but that "the priesthood" had Jesus killed because he threatened their power.
News broke Thursday that Ellen Weiss, senior vice president for news at National Public Radio, insisted that Juan Williams must tell Fox News that his NPR affiliation should not be mentioned or pictured on The O’Reilly Factor. (Weiss also banished a Williams interview with President Bush from the airwaves of NPR in 2007, so it just aired on Fox News.) But what about Ellen Weiss’s potential conflict of interest?
In a brief phone interview with me Friday, Weiss insisted that if news came up "that had anything to do with that advisory board, I’d recuse myself, as anybody would." She added "I have on other things, including how we were going to cover our budget crisis." NPR laid off 64 employees and canceled two programs in December. (Weiss refused to discuss her decision to tell Juan Williams that his NPR affiliation should not be raised on O’Reilly's show.)
Weiss told me that she saw her husband’s appointment as "a non-political advisory council, it’s not paid," and added: "I don’t see his participation as challenging my ability to oversee the independent news coverage of NPR."
An article in yesterday's Washington Post, Jews in S. America Increasingly Uneasy, seemed to be an admirable attempt to expose a growing problem in South America. Unfortunately, on closer inspection, the article is a major disappointment.
The inauguration of the first African-American president is an historic affair, one that should be properly celebrated by all. But when the so-called "objective" network anchors begin comparing a routine political ceremony to a spiritual awakening, have they gone too far?
"Sacred." "Majesty." "Sacrament." "Pilgrimage." These are words loaded with religious and spiritual meaning. And they're words used to describe the inauguration of President Barack Obama by CBS, NBC and ABC anchors on their evening and mornings news shows.
I like Pat Buchanan. I do. He's wise, funny and charming. But every so often . . .
Like tonight. If Buchanan wants to criticize Israel's conduct of the current war, and its treatment of the Palestinians, so be it. But in doing so, is it really necessary to employ terms associated with the Nazis? Appearing on "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," Buchanan accused Israel of carrying out a "blitzkrieg" against Gaza and turning it into a "concentration camp."
As Israel "assaulted" Hamas positions in Gaza with a ground offensive following an aerial bombardment, the New York Times's dispatches over the weekend began to slant toward pro-Palestinian sympathy, reminiscent of its biased coverage of Israel's attack on the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Ray Rivera attended a Times Square anti-Israel demonstration on Saturday that was filled with left-wing protestors. Yet no trace of that ideology made it into his Sunday story, "Rally Protests Fighting in Gaza -- Pro-Palestinian Crowd Marches to Israel Consulate." The text box claimed: "Across Seventh Avenue, others vent their anger at Hamas." As if the anti-Israeli protestors weren't showing anger toward the entire nation of Israel.
Anger over the Israeli assault on Gaza spilled into Times Square on Saturday, as hundreds of protesters condemned the attacks in a demonstration that stretched four blocks and clogged much of the city's central tourist district for several hours.
The protest came as Israeli troops began a ground incursion into the Hamas-controlled territory in what officials described as an effort to end Hamas rocket attacks on southern Israel. The land campaign followed eight days of Israeli airstrikes that have killed more than 430 Palestinians, many of them civilians.
Would Good Morning America invite as a guest a liberal who'd never voted for a Democrat but who after a year spent trying to live like Jesus decided to vote for McCain? I doubt it. But when an evangelical who'd never voted for a Democrat spent such a year and decided to vote for Obama, GMA devoted a segment to his story
Rev. Ed Dobson is the evangelical in question, and let me begin by saying that he seems a sincere and thoughtful person. A graduate of Bob Jones University and a member of the Moral Majority's founding board, Dobson was the pastor of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, MI until retiring in 2005 to battle Lou Gehrig's disease. He is currently a member of the administration of Cornerstone University. Dobson explained that he was inspired by A. J. Jacobs's book, The Year of Living Biblically, in which the author describes his experiences spending a year trying to obey all biblical rules.
GMA weekend co-anchor Bill Weir interviewed Dobson, and the discussion eventually turned to politics.
In another ridiculously lionizing report, the Chicago Tribune has capitalized on the silly 1998 claim by Toni Morrison that Bill Clinton was the "first black president" by finding an Obama sycophant that is claiming Barack Obama is the "first Jewish president." Will this nonsense ever cease?
Sadly, the report barely mentions the anti-Israel stances that Barack is taking much less the many close Obama associates, advisers and transition team members that are virulently anti-Jew. The piece does mention terror cheerleader Rashid Khalidi, but does not mention folks like Susan Power and Hamas booster Robert Malley, both on Obama's foreign policy team. Any anti-Jewish sentiment that Obama has thus far shown in policy ideas and associates was given little notice by this Trib article in favor of the Jews pushing for The One.
But, this "first Jewish president" claim is the central foolishness here. In fact, to use Toni Morrison's example is not even an apropos comparison. In 1998, Morrison wasn't lauding Clinton as a "black" man as if he was the perfect representative of her fellows politically. It was no honorific.