CBS Finds ‘Even [Israel’s] Friends Question’ Blockade of Gaza, Ignores Regular Aid Shipments Through Israel

While the broadcast networks ABC, CBS and NBC have all failed to remind viewers that Israel allows regular aid shipments into Gaza over land from its side of the border, on Tuesday’s CBS Evening News correspondent Richard Roth highlighted complaints about the effect of the blockade on Gaza residents, used a soundbite of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to argue that "even [Israel’s] friends question the effect," and even noted that Egypt was opening its border with Gaza for humanitarian aid – all while still not informing viewers that the Israelis regularly screen aid shipments and allow them into Gaza.

RICHARD ROTH: The U.N. says 70 percent of its million and a half people live on less than a dollar a day. Smuggling through tunnels to Egypt provides much of what Gazans need but at prices not many can afford. Israel says the aim of the blockade is to control terrorism, but even its friends question the effect.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The situation in Gaza is unsustainable and unacceptable.

ROTH: Wary of sharing blame, Egypt's now opened its own border with Gaza – for humanitarian reasons, said Cairo – but probably not for long.

On the same day’s The Early Show, CBS anchor Betty Nguyen also noted Egypt’s actions: "This morning, Egypt has temporarily opened its border with Gaza to let in aid shipments after Israel's raid that killed nine people on a humanitarian flotilla."

Similarly, during the war in Gaza from late December 2008 to January 2009, CBS was the network most likely to air complaints about the blockade’s effect on the people of Gaza, and the least likely to report that humanitarian aid was being transported into the Gaza Strip.

ABC’s Simon McGregor-Wood and NBC’s Tom Aspell have at least noted in recent days that aid stored on the ships that were raided would be transported into Gaza by the Israelis, but they have not informed viewers that aid shipments into Gaza are already a common activity.

By contrast, on Monday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC contributor Charles Krauthammer related: "There's no one starving in Gaza. The Gazans have been supplied with food and social services, education, by the U.N., by UNRWA, for 60 years, in part with American tax money. Second, when there are humanitarian needs, the Israelis allow every day food and medicine overland into Gaza."

And on Tuesday’s Fox and Friends, FNC’s Peter Johnson, Jr., informed viewers: "We know that 15,000 tons of humanitarian aid goes to Gaza every week that's sanctioned by Israel. They do check it for explosive materials, they check it for concrete that's being used to build tunnels."

Below are complete transcripts of the reports from the Tuesday, June 1, The Early Show and the same day’s Evening News on CBS:

#From the Tuesday, June 1, The Early Show on CBS:

BETTY NGUYEN: This morning, Egypt has temporarily opened its border with Gaza to let in aid shipments after Israel’s raid that killed nine people on a humanitarian flotilla. There were demonstrations against the Israeli action in New York, California and other cities yesterday. Israel says its forces acted in self-defense, and released video showing commandos being beaten as they boarded the ship.

#From the Tuesday, June 1, CBS Evening News:

KATIE COURIC: Turning now to the Middle East, tensions there are high after U.N. inspectors reported Iran has stockpiled enough material to make two nuclear bombs. Then there's the uproar over Israel's deadly raid on ships delivering aid to Palestinians in Gaza. The White House said today the President supports an international investigation into what happened, and tonight there's word that activists are sending another boat to challenge Israel's blockade of Gaza. Richard Roth has more.

RICHARD ROTH: Leading them off as prisoners, Israel began deporting nearly 700 passengers from the flotilla who came from 37 countries. And around the world from every one of them, it seemed, there was more anger or questions about Israel's raid on the convoy and its continued blockade of Gaza. Visiting one of his wounded commandos, Prime Minister Netanyahu defended the assault in which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed. Israel's claim – backed by its military video – is that troops only fired in self-defense when they were attacked and beaten by activists begging for a fight.

ALON BEN-DAVID, ISRAELI MILITARY ANALYST: It's like the road to hell. It's covered with good intentions. They were so eager to avoid a bloody confrontation, to avoid massive friction with the demonstration, that they sent troops that were poorly equipped, hardly armed.

ROTH: But some passengers insisted Israelis were the aggressors, needlessly attacking a convoy on a peaceful mission to deliver humanitarian aid. Aboard a sister ship, a retired U.S. diplomat didn't witness the violence, only the disappointment.

EDWARD PECK, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR: This could have worked out well, it could have been a contribution to what everybody wants, and instead it's going to be, it's going to get worse for a while.

ROTH: In Gaza, that's hard to imagine. The U.N. says 70 percent of its million and a half people live on less than a dollar a day. Smuggling through tunnels to Egypt provides much of what Gazans need but at prices not many can afford. Israel says the aim of the blockade is to control terrorism, but even its friends question the effect.

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The situation in Gaza is unsustainable and unacceptable.

ROTH: Wary of sharing blame, Egypt's now opened its own border with Gaza – for humanitarian reasons, said Cairo – but probably not for long. Richard Roth, CBS News, London.