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Media Analyses





C-SPAN January – February 2012


February 24, 2012 – 9:02 AM

Host: SUSAN SWAIN, C-SPAN President and Co-CEO.

Guest: RUSS FEINGOLD, former U.S. Senator (D-Wisc.) (1993-2011).

Topic: The guest's new book, While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era.

Caller: Tyrone from Baton Rouge, Louisiana (click here to listen). Tyrone is a repeat anti-Israel caller whose most recent calls (Oct. 21, 2011 and Sept. 26, 2011) consisted mainly of condemnations of the Jewish state.

Caller: “I'm a Ron Paul supporter. I do not mean to put you on the spot, I haven't had a chance to read your book but I have read part of the previous guest, Pat Buchanan' s, book. My point comes down to the economy and how we invest money in foreign aid. I get in trouble when I say this because a lot of people take it the wrong way, and I hope you do not, Senator. I think we are a bankrupt nation. We will never get out of this debt with the individual policies that we have. I think much of it has to do with the security of Israel. I' m not against the security of Israel, but us going into Iraq, on the verge of going into Iran to try to prevent their nuclear proliferation, and there is no proof that they have these weapons or that they are really trying to have the advantage to get them, I guess what I' m trying to say is that at some point we' re going to run out of money to help these foreign countries, paying Israel to stay one step ahead and paying their neighbors not to attack them. At some point, when our money runs out, what will happen to the state of Israel? I mean, we're not going to have the money. China will not take them under their wing. The only outlet they will have will be to go back to Europe. When they depend on Europe, the Jewish nation, the Jewish people always got in trouble when they go there. We simply cannot sustain this.”

Guest: “Iran is not just a threat to Israel, which it is, but it's also a threat to the United States of America if they get nuclear weapons. So, because Israel is an ally and because they are a direct threat to our security, as well as our European allies, I think we need to take seriously what is going on in Iran. But that does not mean I advocate an attack or invasion. We just have to make sure they don't get a nuclear weapon. As to foreign aid, I agree with the caller a little bit. I do not want us to just throw more money at a lot of different countries in order to solve our problems. But what I try saying in my book, While America Sleeps, is – I'd like to see a very small amount of money be used to help Americans reach out to these other countries and improve our knowledge of these countries while having a more positive relationship with people in these countries…”

NOTE: Neither host nor guest disabuse the anti-Israel caller of the illusion that foreign aid is a factor in U.S. budget problems. Total U.S. foreign aid is a small percentage of the federal budget and a tiny proportion of the gross domestic product. Likewise, the comparatively small amount of the foreign aid budget going to Israel is hardly a drain on the American economy. Most of the approximately $3 billion per year in U.S. aid to Israel is used to acquire military materials, most of which are purchased in the United States. Also unmentioned, though relevant given the caller's critical focus on aid to Israel, are reciprocal advantages to the United States; much of the aid is returned to the United States in the form of technology, including for improved unmanned aircraft, anti-missile defenses, battlefield medical techniques and intelligence on anti-U.S. as well as anti-Israeli Arab and Islamic radicals. And neither guest nor host mentioned the oft-reported facts that U.S. federal deficits and overall debt problems stem primarily from growing, unfunded domestic obligations, beginning with Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The figures involved are essentially infinitely greater than annual U.S. foreign aid spending.

February 24, 2012 – 9:05 AM

Host: SUSAN SWAIN, C-SPAN President and Co-CEO.

Guest: RUSS FEINGOLD, former U.S. Senator (D-Wisc.) (1993-2011).

Topic: The guest's new book, While America Sleeps: A Wake-up Call for the Post-9/11 Era.

Caller: Mary from Bellbrook, Ohio (click here to listen). Typically indulged by C-SPAN, deceptive repeat caller “Mary,” also calling herself “Rebecca,” “Kathleen,” “Patricia,” “Jackie,” “Ann,” “Kay,” “Kate,” invariably condemns and defames Israel and rails against American foreign policy in each of her numerous calls. Her most recent calls: Rebecca (click here to listen) Jan. 15, 2012;  Kathleen (click here to listen) Jan. 13, 2012; Jackie (click here to listen) Jan. 9, 2012; and Ann, Jan.8, 2012. (These calls demonstrated again that C-SPAN is generally unable or unwilling to enforce its own ostensible "one-call-per-30-days" rule.)

Caller: “I have a lot of respect for you Senator Feingold and I hope you run for national office again. The new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Dempsey, was just recently on Fareed Zakaria's CNN on the GPS program. He was the most rational conversationalist – or statement I've heard on Iran. There was a sense of deep understanding of foreign policy and he said the Iranian regime was a rational actor. He said a strike at this time would be, in his words, "destabilizing." (Indistinct) said that Iran is a direct threat to the U.S. Iran has never threatened the U.S. and comments from Ahmadinejad have been misrepresented by some of the very same people who lied our nation into Iraq. I believe you voted against the Iraqi war revolution and you were on the Senate Intelligence Committee at that time.”

Guest: “I was not on the Intelligence Committee, but I did vote against the Iraq resolution at that time.”

Caller: “Senator Durbin [D-Illinois] who was on the Senate Intelligence Committee voted against it. Don't you think those operating out of the Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon, that Seymour Hersh and others have written about, those who created and disseminated false intelligence, should they be held accountable? On C-SPAN, they have often had the former head of the CIA bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer, on and he has repeatedly said that the three issues – the reasons that people around the world are so angry with the U.S. are U.S. support for dictators in the region, the U.S. Support for Israel no matter what they do – and no matter how many illegal settlements they continue to build and illegal housing in east Jerusalem – and also our military bases on their land to access the oil in that region. So, If you could talk about the core reasons that people in that part of the world are so angry about what the U.S. – Michael Scheuer has talked about.”

Guest: “A lot of the stories I tell in While America Sleeps has to do with my – in fact one of the stories I tell in my book has to do with, frankly, my first experiences meeting with Islamic Americans and foreign students in Madison, Wisconsin, just a few days after 9/11. We had an open house because they wanted to have a dialogue. They had a wonderful reception and talking – and I asked this question – I basically asked, what are the source of some of the feelings in the Middle East. Now there were certainly comments about Israel and the Palestinians at the time prior to the Iraq war, and the no-fly policies and the various humanitarian issues at the time. The overwhelming criticism was that we supported dictators and despots in the Middle East, as you said. That is the big one. We have these values of democracy, human rights, women's rights and so on, and yet we support people like ben Ali in Tunisia, Mubarak in Egypt, Saleh in Yemen, and even on occasion working with Saddam Hussein when it was convenient for us. So, this is what people say. It just galled them that we would have these values – this is what we claim that we cared about it and yet we picked some guy like Musharraf [President of Pakistan] and went with him instead of making connections with the people. That is a fundamental flaw. I know what people say. You do not what you're going to get if you don't back these kind of dictators. But that's the chance we have to take.We have to figure out a way to work with the actual people in the country and not just pick some strongman that will repress people and cause people to hate us much longer.

The root of our bad relationship with Iran has to do with the mistake we made in this regard in the early 1950's. They had finally gotten a freely chosen prime minister in Mossadegh. With the CIA and others, we took him out of power. This was a great frustration for the Iranians people that led to the dominance of the Shah of Iran, one of these strong men that we supported. This is the kind of mistake we have made.”

NOTE: The frequent caller's lengthy rambling monologue is tacitly accepted by C-SPAN as usual. Her demonstrably false claim that “our military bases [are there] on their land to access the oil in that region” is not refuted by either host or guest. The caller's dubious assertions about “[Israel's] illegal settlements … and illegal housing in east Jerusalem“ are unquestioned but the legality of Israeli settlements in general and east Jerusalem in particular has been argued by numerous eminent legal scholars.

Likewise, both host and guest fail to address the caller's false assertions concerning Michael Scheuer (whose tenure as head of the CIA bin Laden unit was certainly not successful as the unit failed to find and eliminate bin Laden). The caller's endorsement of Michael Scheuer is revealing since whatever his previous government experience, Michael Scheuer has long since joined the ranks of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish ranters.

A CAMERA critique of Scheuer exposed his extremist, violent views:

Reviewing Scheuer's later work, Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam after Iraq, Joshua Sinai, program manager for counter-terrorism studies at the Analysis Corp., said the author's foreign policy view, “especially [toward] Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia tilts toward the jingoistic, propagandistic and one-sided.” Scheuer, who repeated that "I care not a whit whether or not Israel survives [or any other country except the United States]” recommended that after 9/11. America should have “fire-bombed Kabul and Kandahar, demolished whatever ruins were left, and sowed salt over the length and width of both sites…As [historian and syndicated columnist Victor Davis] Hanson noted, “Scheuer sounds goofier each time he gives an interview.”

The annihilationist intention of Iran's leaders, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, toward Israel have been documented repeatedly, but neither the host nor guest point this out. As to the Iranian President's attitude toward Israel and the United States, both host Swain and guest Feingold seem either unaware of or uninterested in pointing out the falsity of the caller's assertion, “Iran has never threatened the U.S. and comments from Ahmadinejad have been misrepresented [about Israel]...” Ahmadinejad, a religious fanatic who apparently believes world conflict will hasten the return of Shi'ite Islam's messianic “Twelfth Imam,” has frequently advocated the destruction of Israel. For example, on Oct. 26, 2005, in a speech to a "World Without Zionism" conference in Tehran, he vowed that "Israel must be wiped off the map." The Iranian president called for Israel to be "uprooted" in a press conference with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Feb. 25, 2010, one of a number of more recent such statements.

Iran's hostile attitude toward the United States – since the country's violent takeover by the Muslim fundamentalist regime in 1979 – has been demonstrated by its occupation of the American embassy in Tehran that same year and seizure of American diplomats, and its strong continuing support of terrorist entities hostile to American interests such as Hamas and especially Hezbollah, whose 1983 truck bombing killed 241 American Marines at the multinational force barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. Iran was linked to the bombing of U.S. military housing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in 1996, in which several dozen Americans were murdered and many more wounded and more recently to arming anti-American insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran reportedly was behind the recent plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C. C-SPAN hosts repeatedly allow, as in this case, anti-Israel callers to paint a revisionist portrait of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Republic without interruption or factual contradiction.

February 21, 2012 – 9:30 AM

Host: GRETA BRAWNER.

Guest: MATTHEW KROENIG, Council on Foreign Relations, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow.

Topic: U.S. tensions with Iran.

Caller: David from Los Angeles, California (click here to listen). Misinformed, anti-Israel caller is indulged by C-SPAN.

Caller: "I hope you'll allow me an opportunity to make these points here before you cut me off. Now, as we were discussing this morning about the oil crisis and how the Middle East situation is planning to – how its affecting we the American people. Now, do you have a situation where you have our so-called ally Israel who is doing all this saber rattling and threatening another country. Iran is not threatening Israel, Israel is threatening to bomb Iran. And so we're now playing these issues in a way that Iran is the big enemy. And then you have a whole way in which you discuss this. You make Israel more important than the American people."

Host: "Okay, let's take that point."

Guest: "I think he is right that Israel is threatening Iran. Israel has said all options are on the table to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon including the military option. But Iran is also threatening Israel. Iran has said that Israel should be wiped off the map, that it's a cancerous tumor. There's plenty of atomic threats on both sides. This claim that the United States is only interested in Iran's nuclear program because of Israel is not quite right. I think a nuclear-armed Iran poses a real threat to national security interests for a variety of reasons. It could be to defer the nuclear proliferation in the region. Iran itself could become a nuclear supplier and provide uranium enrichment technology to U.S. adversaries in the region and around the world. As I pointed out before, the crisis involving a nuclear-armed Iran could result in a nuclear war in the Middle East which would obviously be catastrophic. At some point, Iran could develop delivery vehicles capable of delivering nuclear weapons to the east coast of the United States. So, a nuclear-armed Iran could pose a threat of nuclear war against the U.S. homeland. So, Israel is very threatened by Iran's nuclear program as a caller points out. So, I think we have a real reason to be concerned."

NOTE: <Pending>

February 21, 2012 – 9:43 AM

Host: GRETA BRAWNER.

Guest: MATTHEW KROENIG, Council on Foreign Relations, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow.

Topic: U.S. tensions with Iran.

Caller: Chris from St. Paul, Minnesota (click here to listen). Heavily accented, somewhat incoherent anti-Israel caller is indulged by C-SPAN.

Caller: "My question is – how sure are we that Israel is not evaluating the Iranian threat? 2) Why can't we use diplomacy in Iran? 3) (indistinct) very defensive. Israel continues to say that Iran is about to attack them and so, with the international community, why can't we tell Israel to leave Iran alone? Why are we defending Israel? That is my question. Thank you."

Guest: "Israel is a sovereign state and has a right to defend itself when it sees Iran's nuclear development as very threatening. The United States has been in close consultation with Israel. We've tried to dissuade Israel from conducting a military strike but they said they're not going to give us a veto over their national security policy. The other question had to do with diplomacy. There are only three ways that this will turnout in the end. Either we'll get some kind of negotiated settlement through diplomacy, or we will acquiesce to a nuclear- armed Iran or the United States or Israel will conduct a military strike to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. So, really a set of bad options. The diplomatic option would be the best of we could get there. But it's really hard to imagine at this point what that agreement would really look like. It does not seem like there is really any overlap with what Iran's Supreme Leader would be willing to agree to and what would simultaneously assure the United States and the West that Iran's nuclear program is no longer a problem..."

February 21, 2012 – 9:52 AM

Host: GRETA BRAWNER.

Guest: MATTHEW KROENIG, Council on Foreign Relations, Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow.

Topic: U.S. tensions with Iran.

Caller: Phil from Los Angeles, California (click here to listen).

C-SPAN fails to adequately address anti-Israel caller's canard concerning accidental attack on an American ship.

Caller: "I just wanted to let you know that I am a United States Navy combat wounded veteran. I served my country honorably in 1967 aboard the USS Liberty that was deliberately attacked by the government of Israel in a sneak attack using unmarked jet aircraft. Israel is no friend of America, I guarantee that. They murdered 34 of my shipmates aboard the USS Liberty and wounded 174 others, including myself. So, I think it's time for the United States to cut the ties with Israel. Let Israel fight their own wars including Afghanistan and Iraq. Go to [caller refers to a Web site dedicated to railing against American foreign policy, Jews and the Jewish state] if you want to learn more about the USS Liberty. God bless America"

Host (addressing the guest): "Alright. Are you familiar with that scenario of the USS Liberty and what he was outlining there – is there any evidence of that?"

Guest: "It was a case that took place a few years ago. There was – Israel attacked a U.S. ship. And there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding that – whether Israel knew it was a U.S.. ship or not. It is something that happened in the past. I think if we look at the strategic situation today, we see that Israel is a close ally to the United States. The Middle East is a very important strategic region. We don't have many close allies in the region. I think that maintaining that strong partnership with Israel is important. Again, when we think about the Iran nuclear issue, it's a mistake to think of this as something we are doing as a favor to Israel. Even if Israel were not in the picture, we would be concerned about Iran's nuclear program. We have our own interests and it makes sense to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons."

NOTE: <Pending>

February 8, 2012 – 8:29 AM

Host: GRETA BRAWNER.

Guest: Congressman MAC THORNBERRY (R-Texas), House Armed Services Committee vice chair.

Topic: Future of the Defense budget.

Caller: Jackson from Prescott, Arizona. (Click here to listen). Host fails to challenge caller's dubious anti-Israel point.

Caller: "I am really enjoying the conversation. But I have a lot of things I've got to say – I'll try to keep it like just three things. Number one, your guest said that if we cut back the military, we won't be able to do something like have two wars, like Iraq and Afghanistan. I do not think that is necessarily a bad thing. It's like maybe having too big of a military for politicians is like having a credit card with no limits. It's just sending our military willy nilly and by cutting back they have to pick and choose. Maybe then we would not have bought that war choice in Iraq.
 
Number two, he [the guest] said that just focusing on defense does not work because look at 9/11. There you are, this brought about a situation where people want to attack us like on 9/11. Third of all, my worst nightmare is the situation is not someone attacking Israel. If you look at the history of Israel, read The Jewish State by the first Zionist, Theodor Herzl [Jewish European journalist, considered the father of modern political Zionism, died in 1904]. He said they knew they were going to have to fight all of their neighbors and beat them into oblivion until they accept Israel. So, they [Israel] are getting exactly what they expected."

BRAWNER: "I want to take the first point about two wars and Congress using defense like a credit card and if you didn't have that capability you'd have to pick and choose."

NOTE: Neither host nor guest addressed the caller's false allegation about Herzl's book ( "they knew they were going to have to fight all of their neighbors and beat them into oblivion until they accept Israel"). Once again, a C-SPAN host fails to question a caller's anti-Israel assertion, in this case phony but touching on fundamentals. Here, Brawner should have challenged the caller, asking "Caller, Can you tell us what chapter or page number are you referring to in the book?"

In fact, Israel's own Declaration of Independence called on its neighbors to establish peaceful relations, which they rejected. It's hard to imagine Brawner would not have challenged a caller who asserted that America's Founders had made a similar assertion about beating all their neighbors into oblivion before the Revolutionary War. Neither host nor guest questions the caller's tangled claim about focusing on defense. The United States did not focus on primarily on its military before Sept. 11, 2001. Why didn't the host ask what produced that situation "where people want to attack us." Instead, she treats the caller, who makes vague and false generalizations, seriously and asks the guest to pursue one of his points.

February 5, 2012 – 7:19 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY.

Topic: Russia, China veto UN resolution on Syria.

Caller: Bill from Defiance, Missouri (click here to listen).
 
This is an obsessively anti-Israel repeat caller (typically neither interrupted nor challenged by the C-SPAN host) who has used different names at different times, including Bill, Bob and Darrell. Examples: Oct. 12, 2011 (7:19 AM) Bill (click here to listen), Sept. 21, 2011 (7:06 AM) Bill (click here to listen), May 19, 2011 (7:15 AM) Darrell (click here to listen), May 2, 2011 (9:18 AM) Bill (click here to listen), March 18, 2011 (7:30 AM) Bob (click here to listen), Feb. 26, 2011 (7:16 AM) Bill (click here to listen), Feb. 1, 2011 (7:21 AM) Darrell (click here to listen).

Caller: “I agree with the Chinese and Russian moves. This is just like what we've done about Israel and the Palestinians and I did not see Susan Rice say a word about what has been going on in Israel and what's been happening to the Palestinians. We've vetoed probably a 100 resolutions against Israel and nobody said a peep. So, I agree with Russia and China.”

NOTE: Typically, a C-SPAN host fails to question or interrupt an anti-Israel, repeat caller's off-topic rant. The asserted equivalence could not be more false: The Syrian government has set its military against Syrian citizens protesting their dictatorship, killing at least 5,000 in 11 months. Meanwhile, Israeli hospitals treat thousands of Palestinian Arabs even while Palestinian terrorist groups fire rockets and mortars at villages and cities in democratic Israel. Yet the Washington Journal host fails to raise this obvious point.

February 5, 2012 – 7:26 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY.

Topic: Russia, China veto UN resolution on Syria.

Caller: Fred from Long Island, New York (click here to listen). Typically, the C-SPAN host fails to question the caller's anti-Israel allegations.

Caller: “My comment on the veto, the resolution. I cannot understand why everyone is so upset about the Chinese and Russia. Mind you, I'm not waving their flag but what the Israelis do to the Palestinians is unconscionable. When there is a resolution against Israel, the first one to veto it is the United States. Now, the whole world doesn't get excited over that. That's really all I have to say on the thing.”

NOTE: Host Scully fails to challenge the caller's attempt to tar Israel by making an implied comparison to Syria. The host displays no professional curiosity about the vague, unsubstantiated allegation that “what the Israelis do to the Palestinians is unconscionable.”

February 5, 2012 – 7:27 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY.

Topic: Russia, China veto UN resolution on Syria.

Caller: Anthony from Long island, New York (click here to listen). Typically, a disinterested C-SPAN host fails to challenge a confused anti-Israel caller who believes erroneously that United States favors Syria's Assad.

Caller: “Listen, the Obama administration – and I'm an independent – had better not use one troop to go over there to defend this tyrant [Syria's Assad]. He has mass murdered his people, yes. But every U.N. resolution that has been ratified or submitted for approval for the settlements that have been built in Palestine and the way that the Israelis are treating the same type of people, the same group of people, just across the land, just across the border [from Syria]. There has been no resolution approved by this government. So, an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, but not one troop, not one young person should be sent there to defend this tyrant because Israel is a tyrant as far as I' m concerned toward the Palestinians.”

NOTE: For the third time in seven minutes, host Scully fails to respond to an anti-Israel diatribe or even the caller's baseless concern that the United States would use American soldiers to defend Syrian leader Bashar Assad. It could have been pointed out how the Palestinians are playing politics at the U.N. instead of entering serious negotiations with Israel. The C-SPAN host does not point out the obvious, that tens of thousands of Syrians are protesting a murderous tyrant, while many Palestinian Arabs support either Hamas, a terrorist organization dedicated to genocide of the Jews, or Fatah, which has rejected a "two-state solution" with Israel three times in 12 years and honors terrorists as "martyrs."

February 5, 2012 – 7:39 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY.

Topic: Russia, China veto UN resolution on Syria.

Caller: <no name> from Georgia (click here to listen). The nameless caller is welcomed by C-SPAN to disparage Israel and mischaracterize United States foreign policy.

Caller: “I'm just watching the U.N. Secretary there talk about Russia and China vetoing every time something comes up on Syria. On the Palestinian and Israelis, every time something comes up to help the Palestinian people, the United States vetoes any resolutions to help them. So, what is the difference? “

Host: “Thanks for the call.”

NOTE: Yet again, a disinterested C-SPAN host tacitly accepts a caller's anti-Israel claim. The recent U.S. threat to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution sought by the Palestinian Authority was to prevent it from circumventing the international call for direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Meanwhile, the United States continues to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the PA and supportive organizations. As noted above, the host could easily, and relevantly, have answered the question "So, what is the difference?" by sketching just how different the two situations – Syria's oppression of its own people and Israel's desire to negotiate a two-state solution with the Palestinian Arabs – really are. C-SPAN's repeated failures are glaring.

February 5, 2012 – 8:55 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY.

Guest: ASH JAIN, Washington Institute for Near East Policy visiting fellow.

Topic: U.S. response to Iran's nuclear program.

Caller: Nick from Cancun, Mexico (click here to listen).

Caller: “Thanks Peter, thanks for letting us know who this guest is spewing his propaganda for the two senators he worked for. Forgive me, he has been lying ever since I have seen him on your show. [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad never said they wanted to wipe Israel of the face of the earth and your guest knows this full well. What he said was that the Zionist regime needs to be taken out of the pages of history. Now, Israel has over 150 nuclear weapons. They do not sign on to the IAEA. There is no inspection. Why is Israel allowed to threaten? One more question, and I'll let you go. Why do you think Iran is doing this?”

Guest: “As I said earlier, there is a critical difference between the fundamental nature of the government, a democratically elected government in Israel, and the theocratic regime that assumed power in Iran through a revolution a few decades ago. I think it comes down to a matter of responsible state behavior and who do you trust?
 
The Israelis, presumably, have had a nuclear weapons capabilities for decades and no one has been particularly concerned about the Israelis striking out or aggressively behaving in some way that would threaten other states in the region directly. None of the Gulf States – I think it is indicative – that none of Israel's neighbors have tried to obtain nuclear weapons capability directly as a deterrent against Israel. Rather, it is the threat of a nuclear Iran that has prompted widespread concern throughout the region. Again, based on the fundamental nature of the Iranian regime and its past behavior, its past history and support for radical actions and terrorism in the region, I think it simply comes down to looking at what are the kinds of specific areas and threats that nations, including the United States, have an interest in preventing.”
 
NOTE: The host seems either unaware of or uninterested in point out that the caller's anti-Israel assertion, “Ahmadinejad never said they wanted to wipe Israel of the face of the earth…” is fraudulent. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a religious fanatic, has frequently advocated the destruction of Israel. For example, on Oct. 26, 2005, in a speech to a "World Without Zionism" conference, he vowed that "Israel must be wiped off the map." Likewise, the host fails to either rebuke the caller or defend guest Ash Jain when the caller outrageously accuses Mr. Jain of propagandizing and lying.
 
February 5, 2012 – 9:07 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY.

Guest: ASH JAIN, Washington Institute for Near East Policy visiting fellow.

Topic: U.S. response to Iran's nuclear program.

Host reads tweet and e-mail (click here to listen).

Tweet: “John on the twitter page saying – Iran does not want peace between Israel and the Palestinians because peace would legitimize Israel.”

E-mail: “Isn't it time to insist that Israel sit down at the negotiating table with Palestine in exchange for having to back them in this next war.”

Guest: “Right, and this is a very another good point because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, unfortunately efforts to resolve it peacefully have probably been a casualty in the short-run of this focus on Iran, and I say that because there's so much concern about where Iran is headed and its support for Hizballah and Hamas and these terrorist groups that are committed to the destruction of Israel that it's left very little space to try to push efforts to resolve this long-standing conflict regarding the occupation of the Palestinian territories. Ideally there would be some way to move forward on both fronts, and in fact in the Bush administration this was the effort that I was a part of in terms of trying to push both tracks at the same time, and unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, the Israeli-Palestinian track has now fallen quiet.”

NOTE: Washington Journal hosts virtually never, in the face of anti-Israeli allegations, point out relevant, contradictory facts. In this case, it is Israel that has been insisting for several years that Palestinian Authority leaders return to direct negotiations and that it has been the PA that has refused, instead attempting most recently its highly publicized end-run at the United Nations. Nor do the hosts supply fundamental information when, as in this case, called for: There is no "Palestine"; Jordan and Israel are the successor states to British Mandatory Palestine. A second Arab majority country may come into being in the remnant of the mandate – the West Bank and Gaza Strip (the so-called “Palestinian territories”) – the heartland of ancient Israel (referred to as Judea and Samaria in several Christian New Testament verses, Samaria (Shomron) is referred to in several Hebrew Bible verses) – are legally and historically disputed territories.

Their status waits to be resolved by negotiations between the two parties. The main stumbling block to negotiations is the refusal of Palestinian Arab leaders to recognize Israel as a Jewish state – the only Jewish state in the world – although there are 21 Muslim-Arab states and dozens of non-Arab Muslim majority states. What is the point of public affairs broadcasting such as this on Washington Journal when it a) permits repeated dissemination of bigotry and misinformation and b) makes no effort to accurately inform viewers?

January 20, 2012 – 9:11 AM

Host: SUSAN SWAIN, C-SPAN President and Co-CEO.

Guest: MICHAEL KRANISH, Boston Globe newspaper political reporter, author of The Real Romney.

Topic: The real Romney.

Caller: Don from Los Angeles, California (click here to listen).

"Don" is the notorious anti-Israel, antisemitic C-SPAN caller, James Morris, who has identified himself variously as James, Jim, Tim, Ron or Tyrone. This is Morris' fifth call (recent previous calls – Jan. 10, Jan 7, Jan. 1, Dec. 31) within a 30-day period. C-SPAN should immediately recognize Morris' voice and familiar scripted monologue. Click here to listen to the Jan. 10 call and here to listen to the Jan. 7 call. C-SPAN is usually unwilling to enforce its own ostensible "one-call-per-30-days" rule for anti-Israel, antisemitic callers.

Morris is presented falsely as a legitimate analyst by the Iranian state-owned English-language propaganda outlet Press TV, providing his report  in an audio clip (a photo of Morris is included). A chronology  is supplied by CAMERA of Morris' approximately 60 similarly scripted calls to C-SPAN's Washington Journal since December 2008. Very few, if any, of these Morris diatribes have been challenged. Morris epitomizes the numerous callers to the Journal's 3-hour daily broadcasts who spew invective and falsehoods against Jews and Israel. C-SPAN, watched by more than 28 million viewers (C-SPAN's estimate) weekly, allows no other ethnic or religious group or nation to be repeatedly vilified on these broadcasts.

Caller: “I'd like to talk about how Mitt Romney is embracing the neocon war for Israel agenda. You can go to [Morris names one of his favorite Web sites dedicated to railing against American foreign policy, Jews and the Jewish state] and he wants to take us down...”

Swain: “Don, I' m going to interrupt you because Don actually is not your name. Regular callers to C-SPAN remember that 30-day policy please.”
 
NOTE: In this instance, the rare occasion of a Morris cut-off by C-SPAN occurred but it came much too late to avoid Morris' characteristic injection of invective and falsehoods against Jews and Israel. A professional operation would have provided for screener cut-off obviating any air time.
 
January 15, 2012 – 8:10 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY.

Guest: ADAM BEAM, South Carolina newspaper political reporter.

Topic: South Carolina GOP primary.

Caller: Rebecca from Ohio (click here to listen). Anti-Israel repeat caller's reference to a discredited writer's allegations about Israeli Mossad activities is characteristically unquestioned by C-SPAN. “Rebecca” has identified herself in each of her most recent previous (Jan. 13, Jan. 9, Jan. 8) calls as Kathleen (click here to listen), Jackie (click here to listen), and Ann.
Apparently, C-SPAN is either unable or unwilling to enforce its own ostensible "one-call-per-30-days" rule.
 
Caller: "…I'd like C-SPAN to do a program on this article in Foreign Policy [magazine] by Mark Perry about [Israeli] Mossad agents posing as CIA agents to recruit people in Pakistan to go into Iran. The major media is not talking about this, but you can read the article at Foreign Policy. Thank you."
 
NOTE: The caller's lengthy rambling monologue, mainly consisting of remarks supporting presidential candidate Ron Paul's isolationist foreign policy terminated with a conspiracy-tinged reference to a magazine article by writer Mark Perry about alleged Mossad activities (the function of Israel's Mossad is roughly equivalent to that of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency). However, CAMERA has documented  that Mark Perry is an unreliable reporter who seems to have an anti-Israel agenda. He was a one-time advisor to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and he advocates American diplomatic engagement with Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists. Perry's interpretation of General David Petraeus' statements concerning U.S.-Israeli relations have been dismissed publicly by Petraus himself.

A C-SPAN host hearing an allegation that Israelis, posing as CIA agents, recruit Pakistanis to infiltrate Iran ought to interrupt the caller to require specifics. The claim sounds like a B-grade movie thriller plot.

January 10, 2012 – 8:50 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY

Guest: James Pindell, Political Director of WMUR-TV in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Topic: New Hampshire primary today.

Caller: Tim from Los Angeles, California (click here to listen).

"Tim" is the notorious anti-Israel, antisemitic C-SPAN caller, James Morris, who has identified himself variously as James, Jim, Tim, Ron or Tyrone. This is Morris' fifth call (recent previous calls – Jan. 7, Jan 1, Dec. 31, Dec. 12) within a 30-day period. C-SPAN should recognize Morris' voice and familiar scripted monologue. Click here to listen to the Jan. 7 call. Apparently, C-SPAN is either unable or unwilling to enforce its own ostensible "one-call-per-30-days" rule.
 
Morris is presented falsely as a legitimate analyst by the Iranian English-language propaganda outlet Press TV, providing his report  in an audio clip (a photo of Morris is included). A chronology is supplied by CAMERA of Morris' approximately 60 similarly scripted calls to C-SPAN's Washington Journal since December 2008. Very few, if any, of these Morris diatribes have been challenged. Morris epitomizes the numerous callers to the Journal's 3-hour daily broadcasts who spew invective and falsehoods against Jews and Israel. C-SPAN, watched by more than 28 million viewers (C-SPAN's estimate) weekly, allows no other ethnic or religious group or nation to be repeatedly vilified on these broadcasts.
 
Caller: "I am a Ron Paul supporter. I'd like to say that people have to know about Jon Huntsman that he is willing to start World War III by attacking Iran and that is very scary, as our ships are actually heading to the Gulf. A British warship is heading there. The pro-Israel lobby in America and in England is pushing this war upon us with the neoconservatives and AIPAC in America. Again, Ron Paul is the only one who is standing against this war for Israel agenda. Americans should take a good look at it, unless they want to send their sons and daughters to war for Israel with Iran.
 
Again, Jon Huntsman and all the other neocon GOP candidates are for war for Israel because they are pandering to the neocons. And lastly, you've got Newt Gingrich, who has this rabid, neoconservative Jewish donor from Las Vegas and he wants war with Iran as well. He is probably the one responsible for Newt Gingrich saying that the Palestinians do not exist. Again, Newt Gingrich is a pandering, war mongering chicken-hawk as Ron Paul said. You can go to [Morris names one of his favorite Web sites dedicated to railing against American foreign policy and the Jewish state] for more. Thank you for your time."
 
Host: "How much has foreign relations and foreign policy experience, and goals, shaped this race?"
 
NOTE: The caller's characteristic spewing of falsehoods and invective against Jews and Israel elicits no rebuke or response of any kind although such is clearly required by common journalism/public affairs broadcasting standards. But this C-SPAN failure is not surprising. The network has, as CAMERA's C-SPAN-Watch documents, a long, indefensible record of permitting without challenge on a regular basis, callers who defame Jews and Israel, something rarely permitted by C-SPAN in the case of any other religious or ethnic group.
 
January 8, 2012 – 9:06 AM

Host: PAUL ORGEL

Guest: RALPH NADER, author, consumer advocate, former presidential candidate.

Topic: Campaign 2012.

Caller: Doug from Boston (click here to listen).
 
This is the familiar British accented Israel and Jew-bashing veteran C-SPAN caller to whom C-SPAN has provided a platform on at least these occasions: Nov. 25, 2011 (9:06 AM), April 24, 2011 (9:32 AM), Feb. 19, 2011 (8:45 AM), Dec. 27, 2010 (7:50 AM), Nov. 24, 2010 (9:10 AM), April 11, 2010 (8:51 AM), Jan.1, 2010 (9:13 AM), Dec 20, 2009 (9:09 AM).
 
Caller: "No one seems to be talking about Newt Gingrich's or Rick Santorum's new best friend forever – Sheldon Adelson. Sheldon Adelson is a gazillionaire Zionist Jew who wants to make the Middle East safe for Israel and increase the settlements on the West Bank and who wants to bomb Iran to make Israel safe from everybody in that area."
 
NOTE: Host Orgel just happened to have a Washington Post article about Sheldon Adelson at hand, "They are talking about casino mogul Sheldon Adelson who has given $5 million to an independent committee supporting GOP presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, the first of what is expected to be many millions the Las Vegas billionaire is expected to spend this election year."

Guest Nader, although no friend of Israel, declined to bite on Orgel's teaser and the caller's falsehoods about settlements and bombing, opting instead to talk in more general terms about the influence of money in government decision making. The Jew-bashing, Israel-bashing Boston Brit, Doug, unsurprisingly singled out for condemnation a Jewish contributor from among numerous political contributors of many different religious and ethnic backgrounds. True to form, the C-SPAN host indulged the caller. What would a caller have to say about Jews or Israel, beyond "gazillionaire Zionist Jew ... who wants to bomb Iran to make Israel feel safe" to prompt C-SPAN to recognize, and cut off, a bigot?

January 7, 2012 – 8:27 AM

Host: ROBB HARLESTON

Guest: JOSEPH MCQUAID, President and Publisher of “The Union Leader” newspaper (New Hampshire).

Topic: Countdown to New Hampshire Primary.

Caller: Jim from Los Angeles, California (click here to listen).

“Jim” is the notorious anti-Israel, antisemitic C-SPAN caller, James Morris, who has identified himself variously as James, Jim, Tim, Ron or Tyrone. This is Morris' fourth call (recent previous calls – Jan 1, Dec. 31, Dec. 12) within a 30-day period. Host Harleston should recognize Morris' voice and his familiar scripted monologue, having dealt with him on several Washington Journal broadcasts, including most recently, the Jan.1 broadcast (9:01 AM). (Click here to listen). Apparently, C-SPAN is either unable or unwilling to enforce its own ostensible “one-call-per-30-days” rule.
 
Morris is presented falsely as a legitimate analyst by the Iranian English-language propaganda outlet Press TV, providing his report  in an audio clip (a photo of Morris is included). A chronology  is provided by CAMERA of Morris' approximately 60 similarly scripted calls to C-SPAN's Washington Journal since December 2008. Very few, if any, of these Morris diatribes have been challenged. Morris epitomizes the numerous callers to the Journal's 3-hour daily broadcasts who spew invective and falsehoods against Jews and Israel. C-SPAN, watched by more than 28 million viewers (C-SPAN's estimate) weekly, allows no other ethnic or religious group or nation to be repeatedly vilified on these broadcasts.
 
Caller: “Why don't we talk about our former [Osama] Bin Laden CIA desk head, Michael Scheuer, who endorses Ron Paul. Ron Paul is hardly dangerous. He doesn't want to fight Israel's wars in the Middle East and he doesn't want to get attacked because we support Israel. Again, look at the last Washington Journal segment. Go to [Morris names one of his favorite Web sites, which includes 9/11 in its name, that rail against American foreign policy and the Jewish state] and you will see who is really dangerous – the neocon GOP, the ones who want to continue wars for Israel – and dissident Republicans like myself have become independent. We are (inaudible) against it. Believe me, they will leave – I have already left the party and many others will. We will vote for Ron Paul as an independent and the neocon GOP will lose.”

Host (to guest): “Jim in Los Angeles. Joe McQuaid, you get the last word.”

Guest: “I'm not sure what the 9/11 thing is. That is probably a reference to September 11, 2001. Dr. [Ron] Paul has famously stated that we brought that on ourselves. That is one of the reasons why I think he is a dangerous man.”
 
NOTE: Typically, C-SPAN indulges caller Morris, permitting his uninterrupted anti-Israel diatribe. Morris refers approvingly to the discredited, anti-Israel Michael Scheuer, who headed the CIA's bin Laden desk from 1996 to 1999. The United States failed to find, kill, capture or stop bin Laden during that period. In 2004, Scheuer left the agency after writing the book Imperial Hubris, first published anonymously. As historian and syndicated columnist Victor Davis Hanson wrote, "once Scheuer was publicly identified, the world could examine what he had to say on various topics. People weren't impressed – especially by Scheuer's assertions in interviews that Osama bin Laden shouldn't be identified as a terrorist, and the Holocaust Museum in Washington was a means to make Americans feel guilty about the Holocaust."

January 7, 2012 – 9:48 AM

Host: ROBB HARLESTON

Guest: JOHN DUNBAR, Managing Director of Center for Public Integrity.

Topic: SuperPACs (political action committees) spent $13 million on early primaries.

Caller: Issar from Catonsville, Maryland. Off-topic caller is allowed to falsely bash Israel and its supporters.

Caller: “I just want to say a few comments and then I will ask the gentleman a question. These are lobbyists that are financing these campaigns, is what they are. They have a corrupting influence on what America does around the world. I'll give you just one example of how America is on the wrong side all the time because of this corrupting influence – AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee], for example. Nelson Mandela went to the West Bank and said it was worse than the apartheid of the Palestinians – 20 percent Christians and 80 percent Muslim – that he had gone through in South Africa.”

Host: “Issar, we're trying to limit this discussion of the SuperPACs to elections that are happening here in the United States.”

Caller: “Okay. You can see that AIPAC is financed through these mysterious PACs. Romney, Santorum and all the other campaigns, and try to use this power over the media.”

Host: “Thanks for the call. Anything regarding his statement? Has there been a big influx – has AIPAC, in fact, created a SuperPAC – and if so, who are they supporting?”

Guest: “Well, there is – and I am going to mess up the name, I won't even use it -- but there is a Republican Jewish organization that is well funded, that has been spending money in congressional races so far, particularly in the special election that we saw in New York, may or may not get involved. But the overall point – I try to stay away from the issues – but the overall point is that if an ideological group wants to get involved, it can create a nonprofit, and this is the scary part, they can make the independent expenditures and they do not have to reveal who their donors are. The other issue is self interest versus ideology, something I' m trying to unwind myself – which is – if you give $2 million, is it because you want someone to give you a good regulatory decision for your business? Or are you just a good Republican? I'm not sure how that is going to unwind in the 2012 election.”
 
NOTE: C-SPAN host Harleston typically indulges the off-topic caller's falsehood-filled bashing of Israel and its American supporters. What would have been appropriate here would have been the introduction of basic facts refuting the caller's erroneous charges. AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is not a political action committee. It is not a foreign agent. It is not "financed through these mysterious PACs." It does not make political donations. It is a domestic U.S. lobby that supports close U.S.-Israel ties. Instead, the clueless host asks the guest to comment on the caller's baseless claims.

As for Nelson Mandela's allegation that Palestinian Arabs suffer South African-style racial segregation under Israeli control, Harelston should have pointed out the obvious here as well, that other South African anti-apartheid campaigners have refuted the charge, that Palestinian Arabs, unlike blacks under South African apartheid, are not citizens of the country they are fighting but often supporters of terrorist groups committed to attacking Israeli civilians. Nevertheless, they have access to Israeli courts, medical care, and so on. Or the C-SPAN host could have imposed an early cut-off. Instead, he facilitated it.

Here is yet another instance in which C-SPAN, watched by more than 28 million viewers (C-SPAN's estimate) weekly, allows Israel and its supporters to be vilified, something it rarely permits for any other nation or its supporters.

January 1, 2012 – 8:58 AM

Host: ROB HARLESTON

Guest: SIMON CONWAY, WHO radio (Des Moines, Iowa) talk show host.

Topic: Countdown to Iowa caucuses.

Caller: Mike from Ohio (the first of two consecutive anti-Jewish callers).

Caller: “I've got a question here. This idea of preemptive strikes and weapons of mass destruction [WMD], you know, that was all based on a lie, too. I just wonder about the influence of the Jewish lobby and how many of our officials have ...”

Host (interrupting): “Mike, what does that have to do with the countdown to the Iowa caucuses?”

Caller: “Well, these clowns all claim to be Christians and so forth and I understand that the Jewish lobby is the main influence on most of our country. Explain that.”

Guest: “There is the [anti-Jewish] racism. There is the racism that our previous caller was talking about. The alleged Jewish conspiracy that's being talking about. We're not talking about the safety of the United States. Everybody knows that Iran is trying to get a nuclear weapon. They said so. We have seen the technology. We've seen the buildings. I am very grateful that we or maybe the Israelis seem to be conducting some kind of covert operations in Iran because we are seeing buildings from satellite imagery that appeared to have been destroyed. The Iranians are saying accident. I am not quite buying the accident…”
 
NOTE: Guest Simon Conway appropriately characterizes the antisemitic call. The caller falsely claims (apparently referring to the invasion of Iraq in 2003), "This idea of preemptive strikes and weapons of mass destruction [WMD], you know, that was all based on a lie, too." In fact, the United States and its coalition partners invaded Iraq in 2003 because they believed, based on information from many Western intelligence agencies and Saddam Hussein's own behavior regarding international inspections, that Baghdad was developing weapons of mass destruction in violation of existing U.N. sanctions.

The caller's false claim that "…the Jewish lobby is the main influence on most of our country" is delusional. More influential than the American Association of Retired Persons, than the Catholic Church in America, or labor unions, the dairy lobby or National Rifle Association? The caller's nonsensical but hateful assertion rests on sheer bigotry.

January 1, 2012 – 9:01 AM

Host: ROB HARLESTON

Guest: SIMON CONWAY, WHO radio (Des Moines, Iowa) talk show host.

Topic: Countdown to Iowa caucuses.

Caller: Tim from Des Moines, Iowa (click here to listen).

“Tim” is the notorious anti-Israel, anti-Semitic C-SPAN caller, James Morris, who has identified himself variously as James, Jim, Tim, Ron or Tyrone. This call is his second in as many days and his third call (he called on Dec. 12 –7:43 AM) within a 30-day period. Apparently, C-SPAN is either unable or unwilling to enforce its own ostensible “one-call-per-30-days” rule. Morris is presented falsely as a legitimate analyst by the Iranian English-language propaganda outlet Press TV, providing his report in an audio clip (a photo of Morris is included). A chronology  is provided by CAMERA of Morris' approximately 60 similarly scripted calls to C-SPAN's Washington Journal since December 2008. Very few, if any, of these Morris diatribes have been challenged. Morris epitomizes the numerous callers to the Journal's 3-hour daily broadcasts who spew invective and falsehoods against Jews and Israel. C-SPAN allows no other ethnic or religious group or nation to be repeatedly vilified on these broadcasts.

Host: “Tim is calling from Des Moines, Iowa this morning. Go ahead Tim.”

Caller: “Hi, I'm up to caucus for Ron Paul. I'd just like to say that Mr. Conway is a Jewish Zionist who is pushing for another war for Israel. You've got [Morris names his favorite Web site that rails against American foreign policy and the Jewish state].”
 
Host: “Let's move on.”
 
Guest: “Wow! Wow! Wow! It is out there, isn't it? The [anti-Jewish] racism is out there. Incredible.”
 
NOTE: The antisemitic, obsessive frequent caller not withstanding, Israel and Jews are hardly the only parties wary of Iran. Many member countries of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency, which has cast doubt on Iran's claim of a nuclear program for peaceful purposes only, view with alarm the possibility of nuclear weapons in the possession of Iran's fanatical Islamic rulers. In addition, other Middle East neighbors, like Saudi Arabia, have warned the United States not to permit Iran to acquire nuclear arms.

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