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Media Analyses





C-SPAN November – December 2010


December 27, 2010 – 7:15 AM

Host: ROBB HARLESTON.

Topic: Can mass transit be protected (from terrorists)?

Caller: (Anonymous male) from Foxworth, Texas.

Caller: "I disagree – I agree with what was just said. But the issue overall has to be addressed. In the last (indistinct) of those that cause the terrorists to want to attack America, more needs to be addressed. I am sure Hugh Hefner when he goes to fly does not have to go to the same screening and security as the average Joe does. So, mass transit will be protected as the need arises. But we need to address the issue and lifestyle and arrogance of being overseas. We pay more for a barrel of oil because the military is over there (indistinct). What I actually think should be done is take the budget of Israel and give it to the Palestinians. Just tell Israel, ‘We'll no longer give you the money. We are now going to give the money to the Palestinians.'"

NOTE: Host Harleston is characteristically non-responsive to this rambling caller who apparently opposes U.S. foreign policy. Taking advantage of Washington Journal's welcome mat for anti-Israel callers, regardless of relevance, accuracy or clarity, this caller makes the leap, allowed by the host, from mass transit protection to recommending that the budget of Israel (does he mean U.S. aid? – the host does not clarify) be given to the Palestinian Arabs. An engaged, effective moderator would have attempted to focus the discussion, asking "Why do you single out Israel alone of all our allies for punishment? Why do you think a majority of Americans (according to Gallup polls) believe that Israel is a valuable ally?"

December 27, 2010 – 7:50 AM

Host: ROBB HARLESTON

Guest: STEVEN EMERSON, Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Caller: Doug from Boston, Massachusetts (repeat caller).

Caller: "Oh, hi. This guy is about as much an expert on terrorism as I am a nuclear physicist. I'd like to remind you that this was the guy who had proof about the Oklahoma bombing being done by Islamic radicals and I am surprised that C-SPAN isn't aware of the fact that this guy is under IRS investigation – him and his organization – for some rather bad accounting activities. Everybody knows that this guy is nothing more than a shill for Israeli informational …"

Host (belatedly cutting-off caller): "We are going to leave it there."

EMERSON: "Well, listen – this guy has a vivid imagination but he's entitled to it because if you're in this line of fire, you get shot at. Number 1, in 1985, to go back to the Oklahoma City bombing, what I reported was very simple – that law enforcement suspected radical Islamic extremists to be responsible in the first 24 hours. That was confirmed by the FBI, the Department of Justice, by law enforcement. And then when we found out it was two white extremists, I definitely switched in terms of my comment. So, there's no way of saying that somehow I was deliberately blaming Islamic extremists. If you say that, then you'd also have to blame NPR, ABC, NBC and all the major networks."

"Number 2, the claim that I am under IRS investigation is just a figment of your fantasy. I'm sorry. We have a special arrangement set up for which the IRS has approved – in which we can protect the identities and lives of our employees and our office and our subcontractors because many of them have been under threat, including myself. So we have set up a separate management company that disperses the funds without disclosing the identities of those employees who would be subject to death threats, as I have been for the last eleven years."

NOTE: Every call from "Doug from Boston" (who speaks in a British accent) promotes a similar propagandistic story-line involving false accusations against the United States and Israel or those who investigate Islamic radicalism and its connection to anti-American terrorism. In a Nov. 24, 2010 call at 9:10 AM, "Doug" said: "The only reason why we are in Afghanistan is because the Pentagon doesn't want to admit that a person wearing pajamas and dressed in flip-flops is besting the United States, and as for this demonization of Iran, anybody with half a brain knows that this is being promoted out of Israel." On January 1, 2010 at 9:13 AM, "Doug" lashed out about Israel's future "war crime" against Iran and falsely accused "United States Special Forces" of killing eight school children in Khan Yunis (Gaza Strip).

December 21, 2010 – 7:20 AM

Host: GRETA BRAWNER

Topic: START (nuclear arms control treaty): Should Senate ratify?

Caller: Jane from Stoneham, Massachusetts.

Caller: “I would like to say I oppose this very much, the reason being that we cannot trust Russia. We cannot trust China. Israel is our best ally and they are going to go against Israel in the near future. Mr. Putin is KGB (Russian/Soviet spy agency). They might have changed their name from KGB to freedom something, you know, just to have a nice name just to deceive people. Israel is our best ally. We should be on their side and not be making friends and treaties with the people that are going to come against them. I think it is totally wrong and I think it will be very dangerous for this country and I oppose it strongly. Thank you very much.”

BRAWNER: “Okay.”

NOTE: Host Brawner, merely proceeding to the next caller, failed to pursue this caller's themes of trusting in America's ally Israel while mistrusting Russia and China.

December 21, 2010 – 7:46 AM

Host: GRETA BRAWNER

Topic: START (nuclear arms control treaty): Should Senate ratify?

Caller: Darrell from Defiance, Missouri (repeat caller).

Caller: “How are you doing Greta? I have no faith at all in our Senate. I think there's only three things that they're good at doing and that's stuffing cash in their pockets, selling the American people out and kissing Israel's ass. You have a good day.”

BRAWNER: “Alright.”

NOTE: <Pending>

December 20, 2010 – 7:34 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY.

Topic: Homeland security: Are we safer?

Caller: Rob from Casper, Wyoming.

Caller: “Yes, thanks for letting me talk here. This is the most important issue that faces the world today. The war on terror is a total fraud as many callers have quite accurately pointed out. This is exactly the opposite of how you would go about securing a country. If there really were an international organization of pure evil, that can't afford to buy its own shoelaces but can build an atomic bomb with chewing gum like MacGyver (fictional television hero) then they would have already infiltrated thoroughly the entire United States and had bombs buried under every rock and tree. And yet you hear Chertoff (former head of Homeland security) and Napolitano (current head of Homeland Security) and all these other chuckleheads who are acting very suspiciously. They're assuring us that there's nothing to worry about and we don't need to worry about common sense anymore. Now they're telling us – it's not just terrorism – and that angle's highly suspicious – you look at 9/11 and the historic question surrounding it and even more condemning – the fact that none of these people that have supposedly have assumed the role that we don' t want them to assume, to protect us from these phantom terrorists.

And don't worry, they will think something up to make sure we think there's a real terrorist independent of our government.”

“The British (indistinct) bombings in London – Visor Corporation – this is all documented – you can find out all of this – all you have to do is look it up and hear the audio and the video. He said that when he set out to do the bombings on the Monument-Bank area of London, were exactly along the same lines as the British MI5 counter-terrorism exercise drills from that same day. He said his hair stood up on the back of his neck. He worked for a company named Visor Corporation that was helping to assist MI5 in these exercises. Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel's prime minister) was in that same exact area – very coincidental. This is nothing against anybody's religion or race. It's against countries that we support right or wrong no matter even if they sink our own ships – the USS Liberty – killed nine sailors in unmarked aircraft – blame it on Egypt – so, we can get in a war with Egypt. Everything that's happening in America is all manipulated. 9/11 was an inside job…”

CASEY (belatedly cutting off the caller): “Let's leave it there.”

NOTE: <Pending>

December 13, 2010 – 8:58 AM

Host: GRETA BRAWNER

Guest: Ms. DEVON CHAFFEE, Advocacy Counsel in the Washington D.C. office of Human Rights First (a nonprofit, nonpartisan human rights organization).

Topic: Guantanamo Bay detainees [a discussion of the latest action in the House of Representatives to bar the use of funding to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States for prosecution].

Caller: Rod from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Caller: “Thank you for taking my call, C-SPAN. I wanted to congratulate the young lady, who is your guest, for bringing to light some of this bizarre insanity that seems to continue unabated forever. The primary reason – and I would love her comment on this – as to why there is resistance to public trials – is that there is an attempt across the length and breadth of the media and in the political structure as it exists, to keep the primary reason – to begin with, the word terror can be applied to anyone. You can walk out of a building in down town Minneapolis and you can open fire and that is an act of terror. It is the resistance – is basically what we are dealing with. Any one of these deranged individuals who are blowing up whatever is that they can access – they would gladly trade their satchel for an F-16. So, we need ...”

BRAWNER (interrupting): “So, Rod, what's your question?”

Caller: “The question is: How much longer is this insanity going to continue until we address the crux of the issue, which is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?”

BRAWNER: “Alright, Devon Chaffee, let's take the part about – you address what you heard there.”

CHAFFEE: “I do believe the issue of public trials is one of great importance. We have seen in the military commissions and in our experience as a human rights organization, that observe the military commissions, is that the access to those commissions is very limited to the public. There are select media that go down there, select observer groups that will go down there to observe the trials, but by and large, you see that the victims – or the families of the victims – of these crimes are unable to see the perpetrators being brought to justice. And that's one of the advantages of civilian trials being within the United States – is that there would be increased transparency and increased access to victims and family members. I think you saw that in the trial of Ahmed Gahlani (ph), the family members of the victims of the East African embassy bombings. That's part of the reason, I believe, that they were in favor of using the civilian court option, and in fact, remained in favor, even after he was convicted, of the civilian court option one that is transparent and one that allows the victims to have access to the trials as they occur.”

NOTE: <Pending>

December 4, 2010 – 8:50 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY

Guest: SCOTT WORDEN, U.S. Institute of Peace (funded by Congress).

Topic: U.S. policy in Afghanistan.

Caller: Wayne from Tom's River, New Jersey.

Caller: “Good morning. My comment is that I believe that all of this can be resolved by Israel accepting Ishmael's sons and daughters back to their homelands and that would resolve all of the issues all through the Middle East.”

SCULLY: “We will get a response.”

WORDEN: “Well, I think that certainly the Afghanistan situation is complicated by its neighbors and think there is a domino affect. It goes from the dispute in Israel, in “Palestine,” through the region through Afghanistan. I don't think that there is a direct connection between the Israeli/Palestinian issue and the problems in Afghanistan. There has not typically been that many direct links between those two regions. On the other hand, what Afghanistan has always been plagued by are stronger neighbors who play out their own political interests on Afghan territory. As the situation with Israel and Palestine tends to destabilize – or the situation in Pakistan or in Iran, this then is going to affect Afghanistan. So, it is a part of the larger puzzle that certainly involves several countries in the region.”

NOTE: <Pending>

December 4, 2010 – 9:02 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY

Guest: SCOTT WORDEN, U.S. Institute of Peace (which is funded by Congress).

Topic: U.S. policy in Afghanistan.

Caller: Herb from Eugene, Oregon.

Caller: “I was just thinking that we do need additional help, I think, in Afghanistan, with other countries helping us, NATO. We might look into, maybe, Russia helping us with the terrorist issues. I think everybody has a problem with the terrorist issues not just one country. We have an issue in Israel with the Palestinians. I think if the Palestinians helped Israel with the fire that they're having now, Israel may see that the Palestinians are not really wanting to harm Israel. Maybe something can be worked out there. I think everybody could work something out if they just try. That is it.”

Host: “Thank you, caller.”

NOTE: <Pending>

December 3, 2010 – 7:22 AM

Host: SUSAN SWAIN.

Topic: Federal aid program details.

Caller: James from Akron, Ohio.

Caller: “Yes, first of all – Bernie Sanders was an Independent. He's the one that got this through (the disclosure that moneys were doled out to foreign banks via the Federal Reserve Bank at the height of the financial crisis). It's no secret that the Republicans and Democrats didn't want this out. They're also against the 9/11 Commission. But when you're talking about the Federal Reserve, you are actually talking about the Jewish lobby. You are talking about Goldman Sachs – if you look at Greenspan, Robert Rubin …”

SWAIN: “James, I'm going to move on here.”

NOTE: <Pending>

November 27, 2010 – 8:42 AM

Host: ROBB HARLESTON

Guest: DANIEL GOURE, Vice President of Lexington Institute.

The mission statement of Lexington Institute, a small non-profit organization, says:

“It is the goal of the Lexington Institute to inform, educate, and shape the public debate of national priorities in those areas that are of surpassing importance to the future success of democracy, such as national security, education reform, tax reform, immigration and federal policy concerning science and technology.”

Topic: Reducing the Defense Department budget.

Caller: Teresa from Bolingbrook, Illinois.

Caller: “Hi. I was just wanted to say that – I think a lot of our problem as far as defense is concerned is (indistinct) about the wars that we fight. The Iraq war was a war that we didn't have to fight. I think – our national security – Israel is a national – is, is, is – to me, Israel is against our national security. They are only thinking about Israel. So, as long as we're their allies and let them get away with things that they are getting away with – that is causing terrorism in this country whether people want to realize that or not. And I just think we need to be smarter about that the wars that we fight and the allies that we chose and be neutral on some of these things because Israel is going to get this country in another war. That's all I wanted to say.”

Host (addressing the guest): “Talk to us about the alliances, not only in the Middle East but in the far East, in Asia – central Asia. What is it that our alliances are costing us in terms of military expenditure?”

Guest: “Well it depends really upon the way that you kind of phrase it. If you say that our military is simply – if we're in Europe or the Far East – is simply to support those people, then it's a net cost. But in fact, we have interest in it. If there's a war in the Korean peninsula – Korea, I think, is our 7th largest trading partner – we are going to suffer. If there's a war involving Japan, or involving Israel or involving Saudi Arabia, U.S. interests are at stake. In fact, in a lot of these cases we are a net gainer. If we have a division, or a brigade, or an aircraft-carrier in the Far East on the Korean Peninsula, in Europe – the host country is paying a lot of the cost. For example, we're moving forces into Guam, building that area up, putting an aircraft-carrier in there – Japan is spending billions of dollars, literally handing us a check, to support that kind of creation – building that facility. If we brought all these troops home – which a lot of people have advocated – and put them in bases in the United States, we bear the full costs. So, in fact, whatever else ... they share intelligence, they buy our military equipment, they also provide actual direct subsidies for U..S. forces.”

Host : “You were talking about moving our forces into Guam and how the Japanese are paying us. Ho w much more would it cost the Japanese to put their own military in Guam and how much money it would we save by not having a military presence, on the island?”

Guest: ”It depends which forces that go out to the area...”

NOTE: <Pending>

November 27, 2010 – 8:57 AM

Host: ROBB HARLESTON

Guest: DANIEL GOURE, Vice President of Lexington Institute.

Topic: Reducing the Defense Department budget.

Caller: Paul from Brooklyn, New York.

Caller: “Yes I was interested in the earlier caller's comment on our funding of Israel and I thought that question was avoided because you started talking about Japan which does give us money and it seems like we've just been dumping money into Israel and you say we need to keep our defense spending up and it doesn't make sense to me why we can't ask for all these various interests that we're supporting to actually start kicking in a lot more money if, as you point out, if we don't provide this defense, we create instability around the world. While I have no problem with us providing defense , I do have a problem with us paying for the vast majority of it. And I don't think the example of Japan with the example of Israel – it's like apples and oranges. So, if you could please address all the places in the world where we are kicking in the vast majority of the money. While I realize it is in our interest to provide them with defense, I don't see how it is in our interest to be putting this money in especially if we are looking at financial catastrophe and a destabilization of the dollar in the future and if we have to pull back like Britain did in ‘72, then we have to get them to give us more money for that stability around the world.”

Guest: “Actually, I would argue that we have to empower those friends and allies to do more for themselves. I have written a study on that subject. We need to look to places, our allies in Europe, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Korea, and to start to help them get more capability to defend themselves. For example, we should have been looking to let the Japanese and others buy the F-22 before we shut down production. The production line could continue and other countries would have an air superiority aircraft. Other countries are kicking in, in the sense of buying U.S. equipment. We have a new deal pending with Saudi Arabia, that's going to be $60 billion worth of U.S. equipment – which is obviously jobs and sales and profits – so they can better defend themselves.”

“On the subject of Israel, we give foreign military assistance to Israel. Actually, Israel supplies most of its own defense dollars. We provide some but, for example, we get the ability to store war material in Israel so that we can go and get that material if there's another war in the Middle East. We collaborate with them on missile defense and intelligence sharing. We give over $2 billion a year to Egypt for their military. It stabilizes that part of the Middle East so there is less likelihood of a major war. And that in the end serves our interests.”

NOTE: <Pending>

November 27, 2010 – 9:08 AM

Host: ROBB HARLESTON

Guest: DANIEL GOURE, Vice President of Lexington Institute.

Topic: Reducing the Defense Department budget.

Caller: Milan from Richmond, Virginia.

Caller: “Hello, how are you guys this morning? I have a couple comments on – one thing, I know you guys were talking about this a long time ago – but I wanted to talk about the contractor issue. I think you might have mentioned something about it saving money – but I just wanted to talk just for one second about– I feel like there's a moral issue in hiring contractors to fight wars. Because it changes what used to be for a country cause, for something the money, but anyway back to the budget. I think the proportion that's spent on the defense budget is really just too high. I mean, you mentioned something about $100 billion in cuts. I don't know what that percentage would be but just imagine how many different areas you could enrich with $100 billion in cuts. But I'd really be interested in seeing what the legitimate public opinion is of the citizens of the United States about our presence around the world because I feel like quite a few callers who called and who said that they kind of resent our presence in other areas. I feel like I definitely have struggled with trying to come up with a rationale for our presence in Israel. Especially, you know, how aggressive they are, it seems like it's just a ticking time bomb...”

Host: “We're going to leave it there.”

NOTE: <Pending>

November 24, 2010 – 7:13 AM

Host: SUSAN SWAIN

Topic: Airport security: what really works?

Caller: Alan from Atlanta, Georgia.

Caller: “Yes, good morning Susan. First of all, I think you are the best host that C-SPAN has ever had, so I wish you were on five days a week and not just one.”

Host: “Thanks, Alan.”

Caller: “My thought on the airport security is that it's a fraud on the public. The public are sheep. The Constitution needs to be rewritten and replace the word people with sheeple because the people put up with any lies and nonsense that our elected legislators choose to enact or promulgate. It is basically business, as you mentioned earlier, Chertoff is involved in the purchase of these machines and therefore he is making – his company is making a great deal of money. The solution is political. These machines will not stop anybody who really wants to do harm to our airline system because terrorists could drag or carry on a bagful of C4 [explosives] into an airport, blow themselves up at the checkpoint and kill hundreds of people. As such, it is valueless. It's just show-time to pretend that they are actually doing something.”

Host: “So, Alan, What would be – what would be useful?”

Caller: “Well, there is a political problem in the Middle East. The tail is wagging the dog. Israel is wagging the U.S. government. I don't know whether you reported on it recently, but we are paying the Israelis $30 million a day to stay at the peace table. And the Arabs are just outraged by it. It is political.”

SWAIN: “Alright Alan, thanks for your call from Atlanta, Georgia. But on his first point about al Qaeda and its intentions, I don' t know if you saw the coverage but last weekend in a number of media outlets they were talking about a new magazine, the third edition of which, has been since published. It's an English language magazine done by an affiliate of al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. And the name of the magazine is called Inspire. We have a copy of it to show you what they were saying about the latest which was about the printers [explosive printer cartridges] on the cargo planes. They brag about the fact that it took them, they say, only $4,200 and three people involved and just a couple of months for that and that it worked because it increased security. Here is an exact quote from Inspire magazine, the November 20 edition: ‘To bring down America, we need not strike big  we can infect an environment with security phobia that's sweeping America. It is more feasible to stage smaller attacks that involve less players and less time to launch and thus we may circumvent security barriers that America has worked so hard to erect. This strategy of attacking the enemy with smaller but more frequent operations is what some may refer to as the strategy of a ‘thousand parts.' The aim is to bleed the enemy to death.' That is from the Internet on November 20, Inspire magazine with what they say is their strategy regarding the West. We are asking you about what really works in airport security.”

NOTE: Host Swain, flattered by the caller, fails to challenge his generalization that U.S. airport security "is valueless." Swain once again allows the off-topic defamation of Israel. She fails to ask the caller for evidence that U.S. airport security threats are connected to U.S.-Israel relations when al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden's motivation remains the overthrow of the "impious" Saudi ruling dynasty, and other insufficiently Islamic, in his view, Arab governments such as Egypt's, driving U.S. forces from the Middle East and re-establishing the international Sunni Muslim caliphate. Swain does not challenge the caller's charge  another generalization, without context of current U.S. diplomacy aimed at Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, that the United States is “paying them (Israel) $30 million a day to stay at the peace table.”

November 24, 2010 – 9:10 AM

Host: SUSAN SWAIN

Guest: LESLIE GELB, president emeritus of Council on Foreign Relations.

Topic: Foreign policy: GOP matters more than force.

Caller: Doug from Boston, Massachusetts (anti-Israel, occasional caller).

Caller: “Hi. We've got the greatest military in the world using a half-million dollar missile to knock out a 15th century mujahidin (holy warrior) riding on his five dollar donkey. This monster called NATO should have been disbanded as soon as the Warsaw Pact disbanded. The only reason why we are in Afghanistan is because the Pentagon doesn't want to admit that a person wearing pajamas and dressed in flip-flops is besting the United States, and as for this demonization of Iran, anybody with half a brain knows that this is being promoted out of Israel. Well, that's all I got to say  and you have a nice day. Thanks.”

GELB: “Well, Susan, I hope you invite me back so we can talk specifically about Iran and Afghanistan. It's very complicated stuff. But Iran is not just a threat to Israel and the imaging of Iran as a major threat to its neighbors and the world  is not just Israeli propaganda. It's a fact. Just ask any of the other countries in the region too. Saudi Arabia, which doesn't happen to be any friend of Israel.”

NOTE: Guest Gelb does what C-SPAN's Washington Journal hosts virtually never do  exposes an anti-Israel caller's ludicrous claim that the world's concern about the danger posed by Iran is due to what the caller mendaciously refers to as Israel's “demonization of Iran.” Every “Doug from Boston” call (spoken in a British accent) provides a similar story-line involving a propagandistic condemnation of both the United States and Israel. A previous "Doug from Boston” call (Jan. 1, 2010 – 9:13 AM) lashed out about Israel's future “war crime” against Iran and falsely accused “United States Special Forces” of killing eight school children in Khan Yunis (Gaza Strip).

November 14, 2010 – 8:10 AM

HOST: STEVE SCULLY

Guest: KEVIN MADDEN, Republican strategist.

Guest: MICHAEL BOCIAN, Democrat strategist.

Topic: Roundtable Discussion on 112th Congress.

Caller: Jim in Fairfax, Virginia.

Caller: "Good morning. I've got one question and one comment, please. That question is: As a strong supporter of Israel, okay, Congress would not condone any illegal settlements in any other country except Israel. Why does Congress condone settlements – illegal settlements – in occupied territory? Not only Congress but the Press also? And the one comment, to the Republican strategist, sir, when Boehner is asked will he compromise, I suggest that he says – "I will cooperate with the President when it enhances the American people. I will not cooperate with the President if it enhances the progressive, liberal agenda" – instead of throwing out a lot of bull. That's all he has to say and the American people would be behind him."

SCULLY: "Thank you Jim."

MADDEN: "Well, the first part of Jim's question about Israel, it is obvious that for a very long time now that Israel is such a strong ally of the United States and has very active constituencies within Congressional districts and all 50 states. So, it is an issue that many Americans – I'm sorry – many lawmakers pay great attention to – and they also believe it is the most important footprint of democracy in that region right now where there's a lot of instability and that is a strong relationship with Israel is going to be important. To the second question that Jim had, I think that it is emblematic of a lot of voters who voted for Republicans and believe that we need to stop this growth of government, stop the spending in Washington, stop the size of deficits and they have very calcified opinions on it and they don't want to see us even (indistinct). They believe now that the leverage lies with a lot of Republicans on Capitol Hill as we begin to contest some of the issues with the administration and Democrats have on Capitol Hill."

BOCIAN: "On Israel, I would just jump in and say, I think it is one of the hardest issues that presidents deal with and I think under the Clinton administration we were at the doorstep of peace – we were very, very close with Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak and ultimately didn't get there. I think the last two presidents, honestly – Bush and Obama – have struggled with it. I think that president Bush largely ignored it the first seven years and then tried to get very engaged at the end and was unable to make progress and I think President Obama has had a little trouble in his own right with signals getting mixed and not totally clear with Prime Minister Netanyahu."

NOTE: In reply to the caller's antipathy toward Israel, guest Madden properly cited the U.S. alliance with Israel as one that is mutually beneficial for the United States because Israel "is the most important footprint of democracy in that region ...." Guest Bocian's reference to the Barak-Clinton offer in 2000 to Yasser Arafat of a West Bank and Gaza Strip state is erroneous. Arafat rejected the proposal without making a counter-offer. Instead of being "very, very close" to peace then, Arafat – criticized by Clinton, Saudi Arabian, Egyptian and other leaders for his rejection – launched the terror war known as "the second intifada."

Neither of the guests nor the host pointed out that Israeli settlements in the disputed West Bank are not illegal but promoted under the relevant international law, League of Nations Palestine Mandate, Article 6. According to Article 6 of the Mandate, "close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands not required for public use" was to be encouraged. This matter is discussed at length here.

Article 6 was reaffirmed by U.N. Charter Article 80, and implicitly under U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. Neither guest Madden nor host Scully points out Bocian's error regarding President George W. Bush. Rather than "largely ignore" the issue his first seven years, Bush in June, 2002 outlined his "vision" of an Israeli-Palestinian settlement, with two states, Israel and Palestine, side-by-side, democratic, at peace, the Palestinian Arabs with a leadership untainted by terrorism. This was adopted, although diluted regarding Palestinian obligations, in the 2003 "roadmap" promoted by the United States, Russia, the United Nations and European Union. Palestinian failure to provide such leadership and its split between Arafat's Fatah movement and the Islamic extremists of Hamas, not alleged Bush administration dismissal, obstructed progress. A competent C-SPAN host would have brought these basic facts to the audience's attention in response to the anti-Israel caller.

November 14, 2010 – 9:03 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY

Guest: TERENCE SAMUEL, National Journal managing editor.

Topic: New House and Senate Members to Watch.

Caller: John from South Hampton, Pennsylvania.

Caller: "Good morning, thanks for C-SPAN. It's been well over a year, Steve, since I have had an opportunity to call in."

SCULLY: "Well, don' t be a stranger. You're the second person that hasn't called in for awhile. So, do call in once in a while."

Caller: "Yes. I'd appreciate an opportunity to make a few points here."

SCULLY: "Certainly."

Caller: "It will be fascinating to see if the Republicans will betray the Tea Party movement. I have spoken with numerous people who identify and I have identified with the Tea Party. I have spoken with a number of people who have attended quite a few of these protests or rallies, what ever you would call them, and my sense of what it really stands for is first of all, fiscal responsibility with the deficit of over $1 trillion, bankruptcy looming. It is really a failure of the system leaving a legacy of disaster to our grandchildren. Number two, no amnesty for the illegal aliens, no path to citizenship, repatriation through enforcement."

SCULLY: "Hey, John let me talk to your next point and follow up, if I could, because you brought up the issue of immigration – which we haven't talked about."

SCULLY (addressing guest): "Will that be one of the leading topics in the next Congress?"

SAMUEL: "We suspect not. This is not a place where I think there is a lot of agreement on. Certainly the majority leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, says he will bring up – may bring up immigration – during the lame-duck in part because they are worried that if it spills over into the next Congress, nothing gets done on it. It is a point of contention. Given what John (the caller) just said about the Tea Party movement's position on this and the fact that they now have more voices in the Congress, it is not likely to be something that lends itself to any kind of agreement or compromise."

SCULLY: "Let's go back to John's point. John, are you still with us?"

Caller: "I certainly am and it would be an enormous betrayal. What a disaster if the Congress in the lame-duck session was to take up some of these contentious issues that have been clearly – the voters have rejected these ideas and for them to take up this. To get back to my point – what the Tea Party really represents – because of the deficit, because of the failure of these wars, of the enormous cost – I think that the third thing that the Tea Party represents a which is not getting publicity which is that the mainstream media is not giving voice to the fact that the majority of the Tea Party people are opposed to this interventionist foreign policy, fighting for democracy, making the Middle East safe for Israel."

"This whole thing of spending trillions of dollars of our money when we don't have it to spend. Interestingly enough, I don't know if anybody has seen it, but let me bring to your attention Scott McConnell, the former editor of the American Conservative, yesterday had an article about how they neocons are trying to coopt the Tea Party movement and trying to suggest that they really stand for interventionist foreign policy and a strong military. Freedomworks is not a genuine Tea Party movement – that's Dick Armey – he's a multimillionaire lobbyist with an enormous amount of money. He Is a fraud. He is for amnesty. He is for foreign wars for democracy, so to speak. Dick Armey is not a genuine grass- roots Tea Party person. He is one of these people who is trying to co-opt the movement."

SCULLY: "Hey, John – thanks for the call and don't wait for another year before you call in. Okay?"

Caller: "Thank a lot and really it's great for C-SPAN."

SCULLY: "Glad to hear from you."

NOTE: Host Scully seems beguiled by the caller; Mr. Scully was exceptionally warm and receptive to this caller and neither host nor guest, after the completion of the call, commented on the caller's unsubstantiated attribution of anti-Israel attitudes on the part of Tea Party supporters. A competent host would have noted that virtually no public opinion polling showed U.S. Middle East policy in general or U.S.-Israel relations in particular a Tea Party issue. The host fails to stress that the purpose of U.S. Middle East policy is to "make the region safer for U.S. interests," including suppression of anti-American Islamic terrorism and maintaining the stability of oil producing states exporting to the West, as well as helping uphold Israel as the one Western style democracy in the region.

The host should have asked for the caller's evidence for his claims regarding American Middle East interests and the Tea Party and Israel since there is scant evidence for them. The host also should have commented for the audience on what should have been obvious: the caller's citation of the American Conservative, a reactionary paleo-conservative, anti-Israel publication, as a reliable source.

November 10, 2010 – 7:17 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY

Topic: President's outreach to Muslim world.

Caller: Paul from Columbia, South Carolina.

Caller: "Good morning. I oppose the President going around the world speaking about Muslims because the Muslims do not respect the Christian religion. That makes me – I am not against Muslims as long as they treat Christians correctly and Jewish people correctly. But they are against us – they seem to be. I was over in Turkey, stationed there for about three years and I have never been lied to so many times in my life as I was there. I Thank you very much."

NOTE: This call contained something rarely heard in a call to Washington Journal – generalized criticism if not bias against Muslims. This is in contrast with biased anti-Jewish, anti-Israel calls routinely heard on the program. Host Casey remained silent rather than challenge the caller.

November 10, 2010 – 7:26 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY

Topic: President's outreach to Muslim world.

Caller: Josh from Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Caller: "Thank you for taking my call. Well, a lot of good points were just made as I was sitting here listening to on both sides of what was just said and that last caller made a lot of good points about Christianity and Jesus reaching out to all sides. But let's look at how (President) Obama is doing it. He's shunning and criticizing our number one ally and what God declares we're supposed to protect – and that's Israel. And in shunning them and turning his back against Israel and he's spending $3 billion of taxpayer money to go to a peaceful nation and expressed concern for making peace in a peaceful nation with Muslims. Now, there's nothing wrong with respecting Muslims – it's only right that we respect all religions – but let us look at – as how he did it. He is a Muslim. He lied to the Americans saying that he is a Christian. Now, if he's a Christian, I hope so, that's between him and God. But personally I don't think he is. He's lied to the American people as he's lied about many things and … (cut-off by host)."
 
CASEY: "That's your opinion. We have heard from the President that he does profess a Christian faith. Let's look, though, at this point that you made, Josh, about Israel, about the relationship with Israel that the United States has. From the (today's) Washington Post, Scott Wilson reports that the President did criticize Israel (Casey reads from the newspaper) ‘for undermining two-month old peace talks with new plans to build on land that Palestinians claim as their future capital. At a news conference Tuesday evening, he said of the Israeli government's project to construct 1,300 apartments in East Jerusalem, ‘This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations.' Israelis and Palestinians both claim rights to Jerusalem, and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to Obama by asserting in a statement that ‘Jerusalem isn't a settlement – Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.'"

NOTE: The caller, antagonistic towards President Obama, repeats the conspiracy theory that he's a secret Muslim. After cutting off the caller, the usually taciturn host, Casey, responds – not by reading a news article about the President's religious affiliation but rather one that rebuts the caller's stated support for Israel – reading part of a Washington Post report emphasizing the President's difference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The host does not moderate the program, she takes a partisan position, one critical of Israel.

November 10, 2010 – 7:34 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY

Topic: President's outreach to Muslim world.

Caller: Aaron from Texas.

Caller: "Good morning. I think it (President's outreach to Muslim world) is wonderful, and it has to be because the diplomacy is much better than being hate and evil and what we don't want to portray for the simple reason that picking a fight with everybody does not put us in a good position. He's the opposite of what Bush were – with all the rhetoric and hate and evil. And the thing about it is – we cannot – so many Muslims in the world – different people are different. Everybody has bad in every religion and different things like that so we can't just stigmatize one religion. To just go with Israel and what they do and then oppose the Muslims for what they do for the simple reason that we are supposed to be a Christian country and we supposed to believe in what the Bible says and it even in Israel, they don' t believe in Lord Jesus Christ but we still treat them – you know – humanitarianly. So, why can't we do everyone like that and … (cut-off)"

NOTE: Host Casey failed to take umbrage at this caller's characterization of the previous president (Mr. Bush) as "with all the rhetoric and hate and evil" in contrast with her response to the 7:26 AM call, in effect defending the current president (Mr. Obama) against a parallel negative characterization. Moreover, typically for a Washington Journal host, Casey failed to challenge the caller's Christian supercessionism toward Israel .

November 10, 2010 – 9:05 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY

Guest: CLARK KENT ERVIN, former Inspector General, Homeland Security Dept. (2003-04).

Topic: Terrorism & cargo security.

Caller: MacArthur from Atlanta, Georgia.

Caller: "Hi Mr. Ervin. I appreciate you giving us your views and me talking about things that I think really think have no relevance to what you're talking about. What I will say is that America really needs to look at our policies towards other countries. And it's the reason that other countries really hate us. I'm a diehard American, I have been in the military and I fight for my country. But we need to start looking at the way we have been engaged – we can't be all supportive of Israel, and I think about the Palestinian people, because they did take the people's land. So, America needs to be the referee there. Maybe a lot of people would stop attacking us because we need to be more fair and stop picking partners when it comes to our policies – they should be fair and balanced."

ERVIN: "Well, the caller raises an interesting question that's been a subject of debate among counter-terrorism experts and that is: Do terrorists hate us because of who we are – because we're Americans, because of our values, because of our principles, because of our form of government etcetera or do they hate us because of our specific policies in this world conflict or another? Chances are that the answer is really both. I think it's rarely ever the case that there is one answer to a complicated question. Now, the good news is that the administration is trying very, very hard to solve the Israeli-Palestinian question, for example, to encourage the Indians and Pakistanis to solve the conflict between them with regard to Kashmir. As I say, the issue of what really motivates terrorists is a very complex one. We are grappling with it and doing what we can, but it is very difficult indeed."

NOTE: While the guest's notion of why terrorists hate us – is not unreasonable, typically, neither guest nor host rebuts the caller's pernicious falsehood that "they (Israel) did take the (Palestinian) people's land." The Jewish people's return to their ancient homeland was not "theft" but repossession, as both the British Balfour Declaration in 1917 and League of Nations' Palestine Mandate in 1920 recognized. The Arab population of the territory that became Israel, sparse in the late Ottoman period, grew rapidly as Jewish settlement improved health and economic conditions. But there was never a sovereign Arab state from which Israel took land. As for the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), Israel gained this territory in a successful war of self-defense in 1967 and it remains to be allocated according to negations about legitimate Jewish and Arab claims under U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 and 338.

Yet again, C-SPAN allows the unchallenged airing of a defamatory accusation against Israel.

November 10, 2010 – 9:11 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY

Guest: CLARK KENT ERVIN, former Inspector General, Homeland Security Dept. (2003-04).

Topic: Terrorism & cargo security.

Host: Warren from Daytona Beach, Florida.

Caller: "Good morning, C-SPAN. I love your show. You have a great guest today. All sorts of philosophical things about what we should do about the place we live, and it is a very sad state in today' s America – when you sacrifice everything and go against being a free country. But I could make point after point about all this. But I think what we really need to do is wrestle with is as a country is who we really want to be. I mean, do we really want our daughters to be scanned and have our privacy violated? Are we really going to sacrifice everything we want our country to be so that we fell a little bit safer?"

Host: "Warren, it sounds like this is an emotional issue for you."

Caller: "It is really disgusting. I believe in God. I' m not afraid of dying. I do not understand why we are willing to spend all this money and give up everything in terms of freedom – but we're going to sell all of these weapons to Israel and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the number one weapons proliferator in the world. What do you expect?"

Guest: "Let me leave the weapons Issue aside. Warren raises the liberty versus security issue. I believe security can be compatible with liberty. It is very important that we not divest ourselves totally or even largely of liberties in pursuit of that security. It is important that they be harmonized. I hearken back to the long telegram in the Cold War that George Kennan offered when we were focused on communism, that the one thing ultimately that would defeat us is that in order to defeat our enemies we become like them. We have got to (indistinct) security and it's pretty good that there is a way to do that, and a good example – we have got to harmonize security and liberty. There is a way to do that, and a good example is taking off the shoes for airport security checks."

NOTE: Neither guest nor C-SPAN host highlights the basic issue raised, if unclearly, by the caller: Intrusive security measures in the United States are a response to real threats by extremists driven by the belief that Islam must triumph over the West. Neither guest nor host points out that while U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia (home of the influential, extremist Wahhabi school of Islam) and Pakistan, a governmental unstable, nuclear armed country home to numerous extremist movements may well not enhance U.S. security, such sales to Israel help protect the one Western-style democracy in the Middle East.

November 6, 2010 – 8:46 AM

Host: PEDRO ECHEVARRIA

Topic: Election 2010: Impact on U.S. foreign policy.

Guest: STEVE HURST, Associated Press White House correspondent.

Caller: Tony from Falls Church, Virginia.

Caller: “I was going to ask sort of a generic question initially, and then maybe focus it. I know that the U.S. Congress, once sworn in, gets visits by the special interests, covering many areas of the world, the most influential, being AIPAC, the American-Israeli political action committee (sic), and part of the paralysis that sort of, you know, made up the situation in the Middle East is because Congress is beholden to AIPAC throughout. So, what does AIPAC want us to do now? Do you think they have a general interest in seeing the Palestinians have their own state as is dictated by our foreign policy?”

Guest: “Well, I would hesitate, in fact, I will not try to speak to the wishes of AIPAC. I would recall, for you, that Dennis Ross, who is a very important figure in the U.S. Middle East foreign policy establishment, recently spoke to that organization and he very carefully but did not pull any punches outlined what the Obama administration is trying to do. He again talked about the necessity of there being some sort of give on both sides and mentioned especially this whole issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Obviously, the organization is an enormously powerful force as regards to U.S. policy towards Israel because of its influence in Congress and throughout the United States. But, I think that, at heart, it is an organization that also knows that it has to deal inside the United States political system and also has to understand that some sort of comity between these two forces and agreement will at some time come and is necessary, and that is necessary not only for the desires of the Palestinians, but the long range security of Israel.”

NOTE: Both guest Hurst and host Echevarria fail to correct the misstatement of the caller in saying that AIPAC is the “American-Israeli political action committee.” AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and is the registered American pro-Israel lobby, not a political action committee. Unlike a PAC, it makes no political contributions.

AIPAC may be the best-known foreign policy lobbying group, but its influence pales in comparison to that of labor unions, the Chamber of Commerce, and lobbying organizations for veterans, farmers, the elderly, and so on. But AIPAC is a favorite whipping boy of the anti-Israel crowd (including several frequent callers to the Journal). Hurst's exaggerated characterization of AIPAC as “an enormously powerful force” leaves the impression that he supports the caller's mendacious claims. In fact, Congress has never rejected a major U.S. arms sale to an Arab country requested by the White House, regardless of objections from pro-Israel organizations.

Neither the moderator or guest note that the Palestinian leadership negotiated previously many times with Israel without insisting on a freeze in construction in Jewish communities in the disputed territories, but once the Obama administration made clear its own opposition, the Palestinian Authority felt it could do no less. And neither moderator nor guest points out the Palestinian "poison pill" positions: refusal to recognize Israel's legitimacy as a Jewish state, insistence on the non-existent "right of return" of Arab refugees and their descendants, insistence – contrary to U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, the keystone of Arab-Israeli diplomacy – that Israel return to the pre-1967 armistice lines, and refusal of the PA to halt anti-Israel, anti-Jewish incitement as required by previous agreements. Instead, the guest wrongly characterizes the Middle East peace process as being impeded by Israel when he echoes the current Palestinian line concerning Jewish settlements. Overall, C-SPAN's Washington Journal continues to show no ability or inclination to inform viewers about the underlying realities of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

November 5, 2010 – 7:05 AM

Host: SUSAN SWAIN

Topic: Is America the greatest country?

Caller: Dean from London, Kentucky.

Caller: “Good morning. We were at one time the greatest country in the world. But now we have such evil leadership in Washington that our value system is going down the tubes. No longer is the will of the people being recognized. We have judges that are legislating from the bench against the will of the people. If we ever get back to our core values, we will once again be the greatest country in the world.”

SWAIN: “Is there another country that's taken our place?”

Caller: “I would say Israel would be the greatest country, in my opinion, in the world today.”

SWAIN: “Why is that?”

Caller: “They recognize God as their true leader and we have ignored God and we're keeping Him out of everything in our society.” We're starting to open the doors to Islam which is one of the most evil religions. We need to get back to our core values – God first, us second.”

NOTE: Host Swain failed to challenge the caller on why he considers Islam to be “one of the most evil religions.”

November 5, 2010 – 7:38 AM

Host: SUSAN SWAIN

Topic: Is America the greatest country?

Caller: (indistinct name) from Lincoln, Nebraska.

Caller: “Good morning. God bless America. America is a great place. No matter where you go, what you do, you come back and find America is the best place in the world. And the man who said that Israel will be next – if Israel is next, it doesn't kill innocent people. He said they believe in God. If they believe in God, they don't demolish the Palestinians' homes, they don't kill the innocent young kids and the women. They demolished the homes and schools. And Israel hopefully it will never be the same because (indistinct) that's what makes the United States is a great place to live and God bless America and all the American people too.”

SWAIN: “Thank you for your call.”

NOTE: While viewers rightly would agree with the sentiments that the United States “is a great place to live” and “God bless America,” the caller's vituperative attack on Israel, prompted by Dean's call (7:05 AM) praising Israel, bore no resemblance to reality. The admission by a senior Hamas official, reported in early November by Agence France Presse among others, that approximately 700 of the roughly 1,100 Arab fatalities in Israel's December 2008 - January 2009 "Operation Cast Lead" were combatants, as Israel had insisted at the time [many others were Arabs killed by Arabs or "human shields" behind whom Hamas and its allies fought] should have put the lie to the slander that Israeli forces "kill the innocent young kids and the women." Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, has noted that Israel has taken more care to avoid civilian casualties than any other modern army. But such unchallenged, unrebutted anti-Israel claims as those by this caller from Lincoln, Nebraska are routine on Washington Journal. Such baseless propaganda is refuted, for example here and here

What is true regarding casualties is true for housing demolitions, which in fact are very few and far between. The Palestinian Authority itself has demolished Palestinian homes that were built illegally on what it considers to be its state property. This is documented here and here.

Host Susan Swain, who is also president of C-SPAN and co-chief executive officer, is either unwilling or incapable of countering obsessively anti-Jewish, anti-Israel callers. No other ethnic, religious or national group elicits this kind of antagonism on a regular basis on Washington Journal and Journal hosts generally still fail to deal with it properly.


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