Following a smattering of mentions since Hamas’s barbaric terror attacks on October 7 and a few full segments, the “big three” of ABC, CBS, and NBC decided this week to finally care during their flagship morning and evening newscast about the “troubling” and “very alarming” anti-Semitism on college campuses (after Biden administration had stepped in). Of course, it came with helpings of bothsidesism to paint Islamophobia as a somewhat equal concern.
NBC had the most previous mentions before last week with five mentions (two full stories) on their flagship news shows between the October 10, 11, and 13 episodes of Today and the October 11 edition of Nightly News.
On ABC, they had mentions on October 8’s Good Morning America (GMA), a pathetically pro-Hamas segment on the October 13 GMA, and then a mention on October 21’s GMA. CBS was in the back with nothing directly about anti-Semitism in higher education until Monday night.
Things started to change last Thursday with a full story on NBC Nightly News with anchor Lester Holt warning that “[r]ising tensions are fueling an alarming increase in anti-Semitism while Palestinians have been targeted as well.”
To her credit, longtime correspondent Andrea Mitchell provided the first network mentions of Jewish students being harassed and barricaded in the library of Cooper Union College by “pro-Palestinian protesters pound[ing] on the door,” “[a]nti-Israel slogans projected at night on campus buildings at George Washington University,” and a Los Angeles man having his home invaded by a rabid anti-Semite.
“An alarming surge in anti-Semitic incidents,” she added.
Before ending with a White House statement about anti-Semitism being “a disturbing pattern”, she threw a bone to the terrorists by fretting that “Palestinian groups also reporting incidents against them” as evidenced by the murder of a six-year-old Palestinian-American boy allegedly by his white landlord.
But, with Team Biden finally deciding that anti-Semitism was bad and that it should be addressed, all three rushed to cover it on Monday night and Tuesday morning.
CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell broke the blackout Monday by describing anti-Semitism in higher education as an “alarming spike” with one example being the “disturbing and hate-filled threats against Jewish students at Cornell University.”
Chief White House correspondent Nancy Cordes said the war has “inflam[ed] campuses” with examples being Cornell and the students at Cooper Union.
She had sound from a Monday press conference of Jewish students at Columbia University, with one saying he “know[s] now that there are students in our class that simply hate us because we’re Jewish” and another student saying universities have failed to properly call out “harassment”.
Tuesday’s CBS Mornings was almost entirely focused on anti-Semitism with co-host Nate Burleson fretting “some” “protests” for Palestinians (read: Hamas) were “tainted by hateful rhetoric.”
Correspondent Meg Oliver reported from Cornell’s campus, but paid the brief lip service to Muslims with the nod to “advocacy groups...report[ing] alarm spikes in incidents that target Jews and Muslims” (click “expand”):
GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): We will not tolerate threats or hatred or anti- Semitism.
OLIVER: That was New York Governor Kathy Hochul in Ithaca Monday after a post threatening deadly violence against Jewish Cornell students were discovered over the weekend on a website where people write reviews of fraternities and sororities. One post specifically targeted the building that houses both Cornell Center for Jewish Living and a kosher cafeteria. [TO ZARGE] Do you feel safe walking across campus by yourself?
CORNELL CENTER FOR JEWISH LIFE’s JEREMY ZARGE: I think, I’m fearful. I mean, I’m going to have to go to classes, but there’s always going to be, at least right now, that elements of fear in the back of my mind.
OLIVER: We spoke to Jeremy Zarge, a co-president of the Center for Jewish Living and Ori Baer, its vice president of Communications.
CORNELL CENTER FOR JEWISH LIFE’S ORI BAER: We’ve always been a proponent of, you know, open and peaceful discourse, but we’ve also noticed that some of these demonstrations, there’s kind of tiptoeing the lines between anti-Israel and anti-Semitism.
OLIVER: In recent weeks, college campuses have become flashpoints for debate and protest over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with some opposing groups scuffling in the streets, in other cases escalating into intimidation as at Cooper Union College in New York, where anti-Israel demonstrators appear to corner Jewish students in a library.
CORNELL HILLEL’s RABBI ARI WEISS: It is legitimate to be scared.
OLIVER: Rabbi Ari Weiss is the executive director of Cornell Hillel and a grandson of Holocaust survivors.
WEISS: The post that we saw which called for Jewish people to be murdered? Right? That is not about Israel at all. Right? That is a specific threat. That is incitement. That is hate speech.
OLIVER [TO ZARGE]: Are you going to change anything about your schedules or how you go about campus in the wake of this?
ZARGE: That’s what they want. They want you to — they want to break your spirit, they want to get to you, and to stay strong and to stay true to who you are and that’s how you win.
Going to ABC, World News Tonight anchor David Muir alluded Monday to “growing concern over threats here at home” to Jews with Cornell being the flashpoint.
Eventually, she broadened out to cite FBI statistics that “[a]nti-Semitic hate crimes in the U.S. already reached record highs before the Hamas attacks on October 7, up 25 percent last year.”
Along with the Illinois boy, she brought up an attack in New York City where “a man punched a woman in the face at Grand Central Terminal, allegedly because she was Jewish.”
As if ordered to muddy the waters, Ramos brought up Islamophobia: “[T]he Department of Homeland Security warns there may be more anti-Semitic and Islamophobic hate attacks here in the U.S. Officials think those threats will increase as the conflict continues.”
Ramos returned for Tuesday’s GMA with a similar story following a lead-in from co-host George Stephanopoulos warning of “federal officials....tracking a rise in anti-Semitic threats”.
This time, however, she had more sound of terrified Jewish college students (click “expand’):
RAMOS: This morning, on the heels of the Israel/Hamas war, a rise in hate here in the U.S. At Cornell University, the FBI now investigating after threatening statements were posted about Jewish people on an internet discussion board. Rattling students and prompting officials to send police to guard a Jewish center and kosher dining hall.
CORNELL UNIVERSITY STUDENT DAVIAN GEKMAN: A lot of students don’t feel safe on campus anymore.
RAMOS: The university president alerting the FBI of “a potential hate crime” after the messages were posted on the website “unaffiliated with the school.” Anti-Semitic hate crimes in the U.S. already reached record highs before the Hamas attacks on October 7, up 25 percent last year.
RAMOS: At Columbia University, demonstrations taking place. Students calling on the university to do more to support students facing anti-Semitism.
She also had a soundbite from the mother of the Illinois boy (whose being represented by race-hustler Benjamin Crump).
Returning to NBC, they got ahead with a story on Monday’s Today. Co-host Savannah Guthrie expressed her disturbance with “the alarming rise of aggression targeting Jewish students across the country.”
Later, she had the annoying qualifier that there’s “an uptick in hate crimes against Jewish and Muslims” with co-host Hoda Kotb doing the same about “anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents.”
Correspondent Stephanie Gosk called the scene “an alarming rise...especially on college campuses” that’s “gotten the attention of the White House” (albeit weeks later, but she ignored that fact).
Gosk ran through the recent major incidents before trotting out the both-sides angle and the radical Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) (click “expand”):
GOSK: This as NBC News has learned the Biden administration is set to announce new steps to combat anti-Semitism and Islamophobia on college campuses, including DHS and the FBI improving coordination between campus law enforcement and state and local counterparts in responding to incidents. The Anti-Defamation League reports, since the war began three weeks ago, there have been 312 reported cases of harassment, vandalism, and assault targeting Jews, up nearly 400 percent from the same period last year.
PRO-ISRAEL RALLY ATTENDEE: What we're seeing today in America, it's not just the war in Israel. It is a war on all Jewish people.
GOSK: Muslim leaders are also reporting an uptick in hate crimes with the Council on American-Islamic Relations citing 800 complaints across the country since the beginning of October. Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters shut down traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday, while in Grand Central Station, a pro-Palestinian group called the Jewish Voice for Peace protesting during Friday’s rush hour. And there are protests overseas as well in London, Madrid, and Rome, thousands calling for a ceasefire. While in Karachi, Pakistan, protesters denounced the war, some burning Israeli and American flags. Back to that incident at Cornell, campus police are investigating the anti-Semitic messages and say they will remain onsite to ensure students and community members are safe but they’re certainly on edge there this morning[.]
NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt would describe the war as having “generat[ed] a wave of hate” while senior White House correspondent Gabe Gutierrez took the baton from Gosk, but added a brief exchange with Cornell Center of Jewish Living’s Molly Goldstein, who said “all students are absolutely terrified.”
He too had to cite both the ADL and CAIR to create a faux equivalency despite FBI hate crimes statistics showing over half of religious-based hate crimes in 2021 were against Jews, but just over nine percent on Muslims.
“Fueling hate,” said Kotb in a tease on Tuesday’s Today for another Gosk segment. “The war sparking new protests and an increase in anti-Semitic incidents on campuses...Threats also being aimed at Muslim students.”
Guthrie later called it a “sharp rise in anti-Semitic threats and incidents” while Gosk noted the irony that, at least in theory, “college campuses are supposed to be where the issues of the day are debated, but...students, faculty and staff say the debate over the Israel-Hamas war has been drowned out by hateful speech, threats, and even violence.”
What followed was another segment tilted toward anti-Semitism concerns, but Gosk made sure to both-sides the issue: “On college campuses nationwide, Jewish and Muslim students worry the war overseas is fueling hate here at home.”
She even promoted dubious claims in a quote from the radical Students for Justice in Palestine that “Muslim students have had hijabs ripped off, students are jeered at, photographed, and followed.”
Once Gosk finished by saying police and universities want students to come forward with any threats or incidents, Guthrie remarked that, to her, “[i]t’s very alarming what’s happening on college campuses”.
Now that the White House was involved, will the liberal media keep this up and maybe explain to views the poisonous rhetoric being hurled by pro-Hamas students and sympathizers?
To see the relevant transcripts from October 30, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), here (for NBC’s Today), and here (for NBC Nightly News). To see the relevant transcripts from October 30, click here (for ABC), here (for CBS), and here (for NBC).