Obama Compared the Palestinians to Canada? Networks Ignore The Gaffe, Lavish Time on Obama

Radio hosts like Mark Levin and Web sites like Canada Free Press are mocking President Obama’s statement in a press conference yesterday with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, where he compared the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to U.S.-Canada relations. What? Levin called him a "moron" for the comparison.

But ABC, CBS, and NBC failed to notice. They acted like a press release service for Obama on their newscasts Thursday night and Friday morning, offering Obama 18 soundbites adding up to 215 seconds, often ending in applause. Only Chuck Todd on NBC Nightly News aired a soundbite from anyone other than Obama.

The evening newscasts gave the president 11 soundbites adding up to 135 seconds. In addition to four soundbites adding up to 40 seconds of Obama speaking as what he called “diplomat-in-chief,” Chuck Todd included six seconds of Abbas and eight seconds of pretty neutral analysis by longtime NBC Mideast correspondent Martin Fletcher.

On ABC, reporter Jonathan Karl gave Obama four soundbites totally 44 seconds. The report ended with anchor Diane Sawyer insisting “So the White House is considering this trip a big success?” Karl agreed: “Given the low expectations, they view this as exceeding expectations, because they reaffirmed the strong relationship with Israel, and challenged the Israelis to move forward with peace talks.”

On CBS, reporter Major Garrett offered three soundbites of 51 seconds. The last one was a 24-second answer to a Garrett question (also shown on screen). At least Todd and Karl each noticed a Hamas rocket attack on Thursday, and Todd showed a couple seconds of anti-U.S. protests. Garrett was apparently too busy repeating “Obama adviser” statements. He seemed the most enthusiastic in acting as an Obama publicist.

The morning shows offered Obama seven soundbites adding up to 80 seconds. Again, Garrett won the Best Friend to Obama contest. NBC’s Todd showed one somber 17-second Obama soundbite from Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial. ABC’s Karl had two Obama clips adding up to 15 seconds. Garrett’s report carried four soundbites totaling 48 seconds, including applause.

The only note of Garrett’s independence was a morning reference to how Obama’s speech to students was “stocked with Obama supporters.” That might explain why Evening News substitute anchor Bob Schieffer boasted “students gave him rock star treatment.”

The Canada Free Press site credited the Washington Free Beacon with this Obama passage:


OBAMA: Even though both sides may have areas of strong disagreement, may be engaging in activities that the other side considers to be a breach of good faith, we have to push through those things to get to an agreement,” Obama says “Because, if we have an agreement, it will be very clear what the nature of that agreement is.  There will be a sovereign Palestinian state, a sovereign Jewish state of Israel, and those two states will be able to deal with each other the same way all states do. I mean, ya know, the United States and Canada has arguments once in a while.

Then Robert Laurie brought the pain to Obama with what Dan Rather calls “context and perspective.”

Apparently, the President doesn’t understand - or chooses to ignore - the fact there are a few differences regarding U.S. relations with our neighbor to the North.

    -- Canada isn’t controlled by a terrorist organization named Hamas.
      
    -- Canada isn’t calling for the destruction of the United States.
    
    -- Vancouver isn’t lobbing missiles over the border into Seattle.
    
    -- The Canadian government isn’t funding suicide bombers who blow themselves up on U.S. buses and in U.S. pizza parlors.
    
    -- Canada has taken the bold step of acknowledging that the United States has right to exist.
    
    -- Canada’s Prime Minister probably doesn’t believe that the “Zionists” colluded with the Nazis to create the holocaust.

Other than that, he’s right. It’s exactly the same.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis