Friday, October 31, 2014
  Home
RSS Feed
Facebook
Twitter
Search:
Media Analyses
Journalists
Middle East Issues
Christian Issues
Names In The News
CAMERA Authors
Headlines & Photos
Errors & Corrections
Film Reviews
CAMERA Publications
Film Suggestions
Be An Activist
Adopt A Library
History of CAMERA
About CAMERA
Join/Contribute
Contact CAMERA
Contact The Media
Links
Privacy Policy
 
Media Analyses





C-SPAN July – August 2012


August 31, 2012 – 7:53 AM

Host: BILL SCANLAN (bscanlan@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Gov. Romney accepts GOP presidential nomination.

Caller: John from Apex, North Carolina (click here to listen).
 
This is just another in the long steady stream of Washington Journal anti-Israel callers whose distortions and obvious animosity towards the Jewish nation are rarely if ever challenged by a Journal host.

Caller: “I just want to say a couple of things. I am actually a registered Democrat but I am going independent in the upcoming election in the swing state of North Carolina. But, you know, I do not understand this two party system. I mean, Obama and Romney pretty much sound the same. But I'm an African-American guy and …”

SCANLAN (interrupting): “What is it that makes them sound the same?”

Caller: “Well, look at some of their foreign-policy initiatives. I mean, it is the same across the board. Mitt Romney – a lot of Americans probably just don't know what's going on with Israel and Iran; what's really going on. “Bibi” Netanyahu [Israel's prime minister] wants to go to war with Iran. He's trying to drum up support in the media for war with Iran and he's trying to force Obama's hand before the election. He wants to attack Iran. This is what I have been reading online. You have Mitt Romney who is anxious to get into another war. I just read something about a five-star general, a U.S. general, was saying that we don't need to be sending our boys to another war in Iran. You know, it is crazy you know. He passed universal health care in Massachusetts. He supported the (indistinct) act – the Obama act in the past. He has even talked about the Federal Reserve on that. I mean, given we do not even have a two party system in this country, isn't that odd that people are putting millions, almost billions of dollars in these campaigns?”

SCANLAN: “Alright John. You talked a little bit about foreign policy issues, in particular Iran and Israel. A front page story in the New York Times this morning with the headline, ‘Nuclear Report on Iran Puts Israel in a Box.' [Scanlan reads the first paragraph of the Times front page article:] ‘For Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the International Atomic Agency on Thursday [yesterday] offered findings validating his longstanding position that while harsh economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation may have hurt Iran, they have failed to slow Tehran's nuclear program. If anything, the program is speeding up.' A couple more minutes of your phone calls …”

August 25, 2012 – 8:25 AM

Host: PETER SLEN (pslen@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: JOSH ROGIN, Foreign Policy magazine writer.

Topic: Obama and Romney on foreign policy.

Caller: Gabrielle from Brooklyn, New York (click here to listen).

Caller: “I am a very disenchanted Republican. I am listening to the Republicans talk on foreign policy and I have heard nothing. My gripe is with Israel. Israel is itching for a fight, and Mitt Romney only went over there and told them what they wanted to hear. We cannot afford a fight with Iran right now.”

ROGIN: “Mitt Romney's trip to Israel was notable for the fact that he promised not to put any space between the U.S.-Israeli positions. He defended Israel's right to strike Iran unilaterally without American permission or even American notification. That does have serious implications for our national security because an Israeli strike on Iran would most likely result in a counter attack that would (indistinct) in the region, including hundreds of thousands of U.S. forces that are planted in that region. That is the consensus position of the GOP foreign policy establishment. Of course, Romney is doing this also because he has very close interests financially with big donors who advocate these positions. Again, it is not clear that he would implement that policy. The bottom line is that once you are president, you have a responsibility that candidates simply do not have. As president, there is no way he would want to be in a war with Iran. It is a downside risk scenario no matter how you look at it. But for the purposes of campaigning it makes a lot of sense to advocate that we should appear like we are about to attack Iran, and of course, there is the stream of thought that says the threat will prevent the war because Iran will come to the realization that we are serious and reverse course. That is the argument that a lot of Romney's advisers – Elliot Abrams and John Bolton – use that we have to threaten to attack, because that is the only thing that will convince them not to go nuclear so then we won't have to attack. That is a sort of a circular argument that a lot of people really don't buy.”

August 12, 2012 – 7:05 AM

Host: ROBB HARLESTON (rharleston@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan 2012 Republican ticket.

Caller: Doris from Louisville, Kentucky (click here to listen).
 
Caller: "Quite frankly, I do not have a good feeling about Mr. Romney. Now, this young man [Paul Ryan] – he seems like he' s a nice person, but there is just something about him. I do not think he's very experienced. I was not going to vote this year, quite frankly, but I' m leaning towards Obama. One of the reasons why is simply because of Mr. Romney's stance with Israel. At least with Mr Obama – in his administration – I do like what he's done – he' s trying to stay very even- handed with Arabs and Jews both. He sees people as people not as all good and bad in one category. It seems like Mr. Romney wants to revert back to some of Mr. Obama' s predecessors have done and I that's wrong. I think what it does is – It sends a message too that in being so pro-Israel that they are trying to use the Jews just to get their vote and I think that' s wrong. So, that's what I think about it.
 
And I also have to say I did not know much about Mr. Romney and I had a chance to watch some of his interviews. I know – even with the idea of gay marriage – this was a man who was for gay marriage in Massachusetts and now he is against it. At least with Mr. Obama, he was courageous enough to come out in favor of gay marriage. If they are going to talk about ideological issues with this young man on the ticket, these issues are going to be just as important as the economy. I think both of them don't understand the economy. I do not think either Mr. Romney or Mr. Obama understand what is going on economically. I do agree on the one hand that Mr. Obama has not done much to fix the economy but I don't think Mr. Romney is going to do much either."
 
NOTE: Typical of Washington Journal hosts, especially where it concerns Israel or Jews, Harleston fails to probe the caller's thinking or note that it is at odds with that of a large majority of Americans (according to opinion polls) who believe that Israel is the United States' closest ally in the Middle East and accordingly view Israel and close U.S.-Israel relations positively. He doesn't challenge her on U.S. "even-handedness" regarding Arabs and Israelis when he could have pointed out that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was a frequent foreign visitor during the Clinton administration years, but violently rejected U.S.-Israeli offers of a "two-state solution" in 2000 and early 2001. He doesn't mention the current Palestinian leadership's rejection of an Israeli offer of a West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem state in 2008 in regard to the caller's "even-handedness" charge. And Harelston fails to point out that, historically, a large majority of American Jews vote for Democratic presidential candidates so long as they are not seen as hostile to Israel. Instead, he allows the caller's insinuation that Republicans are merely pandering to Jewish voters on Israel to pass unquestioned.
 
Washington Journal, C-SPAN's daily public affairs and call-in show, has been given a free pass for too many years on the failure of its hosts to challenge the prejudiced allegations of antisemitic, anti-Zionist callers. C-SPAN's major patrons include Comcast, the largest cable television provider in the country, Time Warner and DirecTV. Neil Smit (Neil_Smit@cable.comcast.com) is president of Comcast Cable and most prominent member of C-SPAN's five-member board of directors executive committee. Another prominent member of this five-member group is Glenn Britt (glenn.britt@timewarnercable.com), chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable. Second only to Comcast among TV providers in terms of number of customers is satellite television provider DirecTV whose CEO is Michael White (mdwhite@directv.com).

Courteous, concise e-mails should urge Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV to make clear to C-SPAN executives that Washington Journal must not continue providing a platform to haters of Jews and the Jewish state. C-SPAN's chief executives are Susan Swain (sswain@c-span.org) and Rob Kennedy (rkennedy@c-span.org).

August 12, 2012 – 7:35 AM

Host: ROBB HARLESTON (rharleston@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan 2012 Republican ticket.

Caller: Alan from Huntington Beach, California (click here to listen).

Caller: "I think it was a great pick, but it's certainly not enough to change my mind. After he made the choice yesterday, Romney goes back to saying that the president is running such a low campaign. And I listen to all the source event – I don't. listen to the pundits. I think his campaign is lower than the president's. He stands before the VFW [convention] and says this president is corrupt; provides no evidence except that he disagrees with him on Israel. He says he is opposed to the president' s signing the welfare bill, yet when he was governor he signed a letter asking for the freedom to do exactly what the new bill does. He says he is opposed to government health care, yet he was the first governor to implement it. I think he' s completely hypocritical. My mind is not changed at all. He reminds me of Richard Nixon. If he wants my vote, he' s going to have to release his tax returns and prove to me that he' s not a cheat like Nixon was."

Host: "Hey Alan, we've got a Tweet from Joyce Martin who writes: ‘Paul Ryan VP and Mitt Romney lack foreign policy experience. Obama has no experience of any kind – is never brought up by anybody.' What Joyce Martin is talking about – her perception about the congressman and the governor having no foreign policy experience – will that be a factor when you go to the polls?"

Caller: "Well, I've pretty well made my decision. If Romney releases his tax returns and starts talking about the core ideas and prove he's not a hypocrite and talks about giving, being generous to other people and so forth, he stands a chance of me even looking at that. But, as far as I' m concerned, why make a change in foreign policy when you have a team right now that seems to be doing a pretty good job? We are not getting more into war. We certainly do not need to accelerate the Israeli-Arab conflict by overly leaning towards Israel. So, I do not think that Romney has an adequate foreign-policy resume at all. But neither did the president when he came in and I will admit that."

NOTE: Another Washington Journal caller betrays a critical fixation with and mischaracterization of U.S. support for Israel ("overly leaning towards Israel" when news media have reported repeated efforts by Washington to retard any Israeli strike against Iran) – yet the C-SPAN host accepts such views as beyond question. The points made in the NOTE above pertaining to caller Doris' lengthy monologue apply, as well, to caller Alan's views.

August 11, 2012 – 8:26 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY (lcasey@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) selected as Mitt Romney's Vice Presidential selection.

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

Dossier of an obsessive hater of Israel perpetually indulged by C-SPAN: Typically condemning Israel, this caller, yet again using his transparently fake southern accent, is actually the obsessively anti-Israel polemist, James Morris who has vilified Israel in each of his 60 calls to Washington Journal monitored by CAMERA over the past three years. In these calls, Morris has identified himself variously as Tony, Don, John, James, Jim, Tim, Ron, Tyrone. Curiously, in none of Morris' previous 59 calls, many of which dealt with casting accusations upon Israel in connection with America's invasion of Iraq, has he ever mentioned, as he did today, a “son in Iraq.”

His most recent call was on July 8, 2012 (allowed to violate C-SPAN's ostensible one-call-per-30-days rule) as “Tim from Norfolk, Virginia” (click here to listen), using the familiar transparently fake southern accent. Previously: July 4, 2012 as “Don from Monrovia, California” (click here to listen); March 9, 2012 (allowed to violate C-SPAN's ostensible one-call-per-30-days rule) as “Tony from Norfolk, Virginia” (using his fake southern accent) (click here to listen); March 5, 2012 as “Tim from Los Angeles” (click here to listen).

Additionally, Morris, who habitually voices support for Iran (whose fanatical Islamist leaders threaten to destroy Israel) in its conflict with the United States and Israel, is presented falsely as a legitimate analyst by the Iranian state-owned, English-language Press TV in an audio clip (a photo of Morris is included).

Caller Morris: “Our son was in Iraq and I heard the call earlier about Paul Ryan voting for the Iraq war. I mean, we're just getting another product of the Israel lobby, AIPAC and neocons. He'll have us in Iran. The latest news coming out of Israel today is – Israel is going to attack Iran before the election and make Obama look like an idiot and, of course, neocon Republicans are all going to be for that. Go to [names one of his several anti-Israel, anti-United States Web sites]. Thanks.”

CASEY: “Tim, are you still with us? No, I guess not.”

NOTE: Caller Morris' unsubstantiated claim that Rep, Ryan is "another product of the Israel lobby" is unchallenged by host Casey as is Morris' unfounded allegation, "the latest news coming out of Israel today is – Israel is going to attack Iran before the election …" What is Morris' source for this news? Casey does not ask. This host's lack of journalistic curiosity is typical of Washington Journal hosts who continue to indulge deceptive anti-Israel callers like James Morris. Washington Journal, C-SPAN's premier daily public affairs and call-in show, has given a free pass to antisemitic, anti-Zionist callers.

C-SPAN's major patrons include Comcast, the largest cable television provider in the country, Time Warner and DirecTV. Neil Smit (Neil_Smit@cable.comcast.com) is President of Comcast Cable and most prominent member of C-SPAN's five-member Board of Directors executive committee. Another prominent member of this five-member group is Glenn Britt (glenn.britt@timewarnercable.com), Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable. Second only to Comcast among TV providers in terms of number of customers is satellite television provider DirecTV whose CEO is Michael White (mdwhite@directv.com).
 
Courteous, concise e-mails should urge Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV to make clear to C-SPAN executives that Washington Journal must not continue providing a platform to haters of Jews and the Jewish state. C-SPAN's chief executives are Susan Swain (sswain@c-span.org) and Rob Kennedy (rkennedy@c-span.org).
 
August 5, 2012 – 8:20 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: MARVIN KALB, Brookings Institution foreign policy scholar.

Topic: Foreign policy and the presidential campaign.

Caller: John from New York City, New York (click here to listen).

Caller: "My question is regarding the sensibility of any of these politicians. It would appear that the Obama administration is currently supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in many different areas. We've got interventionists within his administration pushing for military action Syria. There are all kinds of ridiculous and dishonest actions in Libya. And the unintended consequences are that U.S. interests are not served. That's (1). And here's (2) and then I will shut up and let you comment. This whole – Iran cannot have a bomb – why is Iran the only country that cannot have a bomb? There are plenty of countries with a bomb. And deterrence works in many instances. I think that is really a bad kind of premise to go from and most probably because of the influence of the Israeli lobby and the money involved in American politics."

KALB: "Well, John raises two points here. One, basically about the Middle East and the new Middle East and the Arab spring. The large issue is what is it that the U.S. can do to satisfy its own interests and at the same time cultivate, if possible, democratic tendencies and growths within the Arab world? It is a very hard thing to do. The American policy under Obama has been to do different things depending on the needs of the different country. For example, you try to strike a deal with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt because the Muslim Brotherhood politically is in charge in Egypt. There is the military, but there is the Brotherhood, so you've got to reach out to both. In Syria, likewise, it is such a mess and so dangerous. We do not know exactly who the rebels are. So, to give them lethal weapons right now, for the U.S. To move troops into Syria right now, would in my judgment, be a horrible blunder and the president is not doing that."

SCULLY: "Senator Barack Obama said that he would identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – (indistinct) has not changed (indistinct) talk about it as president. His press secretary was asked about the capital of Israel and deferred. Mitt Romney was in Jerusalem as a candidate saying that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel."

KALB: "Yes. And any number of American presidential candidates have spoken about the need for the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I suspect that a good chunk of Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel. The question is, how do you sort of divide Jerusalem so that the Palestinians can claim part of Jerusalem as its capital when it has a new Palestine? Okay; that is something for the future. But almost – I don't want to say every – but often a presidential candidates takes the position that Jerusalem is the capital and we're going to move our embassy to Jerusalem. We do not do that because once you are president, you realize that America's interests in the Middle East are not just with Israel, but with the Arab world as well. How do you reconcile the interests of Israel with the interests of the Arab world? That has been a problem for every president as far back as I can remember. The idea that the Iranian – the person who raised the question from New York about Iran being just a function of Israel – it simply is not. Even if you assume this is a political question and Romney was seeking to increase the number of Jewish votes that he will have in November, that is less than the number of [Christian] evangelical votes that he might have in November. The evangelical component in the United States is extremely supportive of the Israel position. So, again, it is just much more complicated than many of us think."

July 30, 2012 – 7:10 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY (lcasey@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Task group report questions U.S. spending in Afghanistan.

Caller: Gilbert from Tulsa, Oklahoma (click here to listen).

Every "Gilbert from Tulsa" call to Washington Journal is a "blame-the-Jews" call that defames Israel, including: April 9, 2012 (click here to listen), March 2, 2012 (click here to listen), Dec. 23, 2011 (9:16 AM), May 11, 2010 (7:27 AM).

Caller: "First of all, the report and everything else I have been hearing – it is disturbing. First of all, all of the problems we have here at home. We are over there worrying about Israel and Iran. We' re thinking about reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. What about here in New York City, Washington D.C.? The inner cities are falling apart. Unemployment, transportation is non- existent. I think it is horrible and what I do not understand is – maybe someone can explain this to me – why are we such an avid supporter of Israel? What are we getting for the billions of dollars that we send there? When we have people, like in Florida – on [CBS] 60 Minutes yesterday – there are children living in cars and homeless. We' re spending billions and billions of dollars all over the world. We have bases that we have to pay for in over 130 countries."

Host: "Gilbert, let me ask you – you are an independent caller – how much does the issue of Afghanistan figure into your vote?"

Caller: "I would vote for anybody – Ron Paul, especially – if we can get out of all of these foreign countries. Ron Paul has it right. We have problems at home we need to take care of. And I would advise anyone listening to read the book 'The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.' We are everywhere in the world but at home."

NOTE: The over-the-top caller ("transportation is non-existent [in inner cities]") is indulged on Washington Journal as he has been in every one of his calls. He singles out Israel for targeting from among America's numerous allies and aid recipients. Host Casey characteristically indulges Gilbert instead of challenging him on "Transportation is non-existent?" "Inner cities are 'falling apart?'

Casey could have challenged with, "Which ones, and how?" "Don't you know that the U.S. benefits from Israeli breakthroughs on everything from military unmanned aerial vehicles to airplane avionics and armored vehicle protection to advances in cell phone technology and medical diagnostics? Our aid supports the only Western-style democracy in a volatile, strategically important region. Are you saying the Middle East, its oil, its sea lanes, the threat of Islamic fundamentalism are not important to this country?" But, as usual, when Israel is the target, no matter how empty the allegations, Washington Journal hosts say nothing except to encourage the caller to keep talking.

July 29, 2012 – 9:55 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: NORA BENSAHEL, Center for a New American Security senior fellow.

Topic: Iraq update.

Caller: Todd from New Orleans, Louisiana (click here to listen).

Caller: "I have a question, actually. What the U.S. or Western nations is trying to change a centuries and centuries old cultures and political systems especially in the Middle East. And of course, everything the U.S. does – it's by the pressure from Israel – and of course, Israel benefits first – everything is for Israel – it might not help the U.S. But the question is also, as the old saying goes, the U.S. is a good starter and an extremely poor finisher. We have seen this in Somalia, Iraq, now in Afghanistan. So, they're thinking twice about Syria involvement. The U.S. and the West should be really involved in the Syrian issue. Here' s why – Iranian regime isn't defeated, Syrian Regime has not been defeated. Syria is not Iraq. They' re completely different. Two different systems. The Syrian regime really should be defeated. The West should do everything in their power because what's going on there – this is spreading to other nearby nations – harmful to the West. Thank you."

SCULLY: "Thanks for the call. On his last point about spreading throughout the region, can you elaborate?"

Guest: "Yes, there's great concern that as the violence and I think it' s clear that it will have ripple effect on all states in the region. On Iran, because Syria is its primary ally in the region, on Iraq, because al Qaeda militants are flowing across that border. It's actually kind of a twist on what happened in Iraq where al Qaeda inspired fighters were coming in over that porous from Syria into Iraq. A lot of them are now going back from Iraq after being battle hardened in the fight against the Americans. Turkey is very concerned – things could be destabilized there. Lebanon is always in a fragile political situation and has the potential to take on a tremendous number of refugees. Jordan is already absorbing a lot of refugees that could destabilize that country. But I want to go back to the first thing the caller said. It is well known among students of military history that starting wars is lot easier than ending them. That's one of the reasons you' re seeing so much caution, particularly after just having gone through the experience of Iraq. Obviously the two countries are very different in terms of culture, the tribes, and the dynamic. I did not mean to suggest that they were similar in that way. But in terms of intervening to stop a conflict underway, it is reminiscent of what the U.S. faced going into Iraq."

NOTE: The caller's second point is the charge that "everything the U.S. does in the Middle East is by pressure from Israel and benefits Israel first – everything is for Israel." Neither the host nor the guest questions or refutes this obvious falsehood. Guests, of course, may focus on what they will, but when one allows such an audience response to pass without comment, responsibility falls to the host. Yet on Washington Journal, when Israel is gratuitously targeted, that's a responsibility C-SPAN hosts chronically avoid. Washington Journal, the network's premier daily public affairs and call-in show, has been given a pass for many years on the failure of its hosts to challenge allegations by antisemitic, anti-Zionist callers. C-SPAN's major patrons include Comcast, the largest cable television provider in the country. Neil_Smit@cable.comcast.com is the e-mail address of Neil Smit, president of Comcast Cable and most prominent member of C-SPAN's five-member Board of Directors executive committee. Another prominent member of this five-member group is Glenn Britt, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable, who can be reached at glenn.britt@timewarnercable.com.

Courteous, concise e-mails should urge Comcast and Time Warner Cable to make clear to C-SPAN executives that Washington Journal must not continue providing a platform to haters of Jews and the Jewish state. C-SPAN's chief executives are Susan Swain (sswain@c-span.org) and Rob Kennedy (rkennedy@c-span.org).

July 28, 2012 – 7:28 AM

Host: PEDRO ECHEVARRIA (pechevarria@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Is Uncle Sam helping or hurting the economy?

Caller: Andre from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (click here to listen).

Washington Journal continues airing callers' unchallenged irrational, defamatory accusations against Israel and American foreign policy.

Caller: “I think Uncle Sam is definitely hurting this country and the reason is because Uncle Sam does not work for the people. It is for private organizations and the secret companies and the oil companies. That is who is truly running this country. The government is not for the people. It is for the highest bidder, the oil companies, all of these wars for oil and pipelines and Haliburton contracts. It has nothing to do with freedom or keeping America saved. There are no terrorists anywhere. The only terrorist is Israel. Someone has to say it. Israel is ruining America and the rest of the world.”

NOTE: Typically, a C-SPAN Washington Journal host indulges an off-topic, bizarre, conspiracy-mongering caller. The network describes itself as "created by the cable television industry as a public service." What public service is C-SPAN performing by airing, uncontradicted, yet another anti-Israel conspiracy fantasist? "Secret companies and oil companies are running the United States." "There are no terrorists." "Israel is the only terrorist and it is ruining America and the world." Of course. Behind secret companies are the Elders of Zion, pulling the strings. Over and over, Washington Journal discredits itself and C-SPAN by indulging such callers.

Most call-in shows, unlike C-SPAN's Washington Journal, employ a few seconds call-delay system to reduce the likelihood of airing irrational, defamatory accusations such as Andre's. Without one, the responsibility falls to program hosts to expose and rebut, if not promptly cut off, such callers. It is a responsibility they chronically avoid.

July 25, 2012 – 7:07 AM

Host: PAUL ORGEL (porgel@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Who do you trust on Foreign policy – President Obama or Governor Romney?

Caller: Kay from Columbus, Ohio (click here to listen).

Caller : “I will try to be nice about this but as a sister of someone that served in Vietnam, VFW members should not have even applauded a draft-dodger. Mormons were the only ones allowed to get out of going over to Vietnam. Now his sons are helping him become a president. So, they can't fight in Afghanistan while my grandsons are. Romney is an empty suit. I'd be leery of anyone who tries to hide what happens in the Olympics. As governor, he has hidden everything, tore up all of his papers. No taxes. This man should not be elected. He knows nothing. All he wants to do is suck up to the Jews.”

July 22, 2012 – 8:25 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: ANDREW TABLER, Washington Institute for Near East Policy senior fellow.

Topic: United States future role in Syria.

Caller: John from Capitol Heights, Maryland (click here to listen).

Caller: “That last caller was somewhere on the mark that there's so many different points of views about what's happening over there. But you all talking about 12 years ago, Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, were all friends of the American government, all those dictators were friends of America, and America knew then that what they were doing was undemocratic. So now all of a sudden – oh! – Syria and the president and whoever he is – is such a bad guy. I mean, but what's amazing to me is the two-faced, the hypocrisy, the lies, the selective justice, no accountability, of what America is doing in that part of world, what Israel is doing in that part of the world and yet everybody over there is so wrong but nothing is said or done about our hands, our footprints, our CIA, our manipulations in all that part of the world for the sake of the oil and putting whoever we want to be in there in order to protect Israel. Israel can kill who they want to and then justify it. But at the same time (indistinct) those people aren't stupid and crazy although there are different regimes and tribals coming at each other. But in the meantime, I cannot disagree with Russia or China when they sit back and see just how two-faced and unjustified we are in what we do, so we want to hold everybody else accountable.”

Guest: “First of all we didn't support Libya. They're actually a long- term adversary of the U.S. although there was some reconciliation before. Getting to your point, I agree with you that the U.S. had been backing a lot of these regimes earlier. It was because we thought that they were stable. There is a lot of hypocrisy. Are you particularly surprised that in international politics like domestic politics – that our politicians are not consistent? And maybe even a greater question, are even people consistent in pursuing their interests which are sometimes complicated.
 
I wish it wasn't so. I wish we were supporting – and this is what I learned by living in the region – I wish we were supporting regimes or governments that were more in touch with their people. Anybody who lives in the Middle East for a long time understands that. But some of the reasons you mentioned, we don't. And that's because they've got – I think a lot of people believed and tried to boil down our policy to a couple of things, and of course, in Democratic Party circles, it was that the [Arab-Israeli] peace process reigned supreme, and that was the way we should approach the region. The peace process is important and the settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians is very important to the two-state solution, but that conflict is not the reason why people get up in the morning in the Middle East. They are – their concerns have broadened over time. And hopefully they will have solved that problem eventually. But until that time they're going to be dealing with basic issues of governance that I think are here for the coming years if not decades.”

NOTE: Yet again, a C-SPAN host allows a conspiracy-monger's error-filled, rambling, anti-Israel call to go uninterrupted, "Twelve years ago Libya, Iraq, Egypt and Syria were all friends of the American government"? Ludicrous – but unchallenged and uninterrupted by the Washington Journal host. "Israel can kill who they want to and then justify it"? Israel's targeted assassinations of terrorists responsible for the murders of thousands of Israelis and foreign visitors parallels U.S. strikes against al Qaeda while, according to reports, causing fewer collatoral casualties. But interrupt a biased anti-Israel rant on C-SPAN? Rarely. A caller agrees with the positions of Russia – which maintains a naval base at Tartus and is Syria's major arms supplier – and China – which oppresses its own people, including ethnic and religious minorities and so shields the Assad regime – yet draws no challenge from host Scully.

C-SPAN's tolerance of such callers on its daily three-hour public affairs program turns the show into a frequent as well as chronic misrepresentation of U.S. policies and actions.

July 19, 2012 – 7:58 AM

Host: PETER SLEN (pslen@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: Rep. ELIOT ENGEL (D-NY), House Foreign Affairs Committee member.

Topic: Growing concern over Syrian violence.

Caller: Alice from Pennsylvania (click here to listen).

Caller: “I saw two programs. David Pollack [Middle East analyst] was on a couple of weeks ago and just two days ago, Josh Lambert [columnist] was on, and both of them telegraphed that yes – we need to assassinate Assad. Since when did the United States get into the assassination business? We have adopted Israel's tactics. Israel is a pariah state. It is dangerous to the people of the United States and the people of the world.”

Guest: “Well, I do not think anyone is talking about assassinating Assad. We are talking about helping the rebels to help him leave. That's what we're talking about. In terms of Israel – Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and a strong ally of the United States. I think the caller's characterization [of Israel] is way off base.”

NOTE: What are the caller's sources for her view of Israel as a “pariah” state? Host Slen fails to challenge this serious misrepresentation. Israel is the only Western-style democracy in an area of the world that for decades has consisted mostly of brutal dictatorships. This is another of the frequent and obsessively anti-Israel callers to Washington Journal whose mantra is always the same – no matter what the political problem in the Middle East or even in the United States – it's Israel that is to blame.

July 19, 2012 – 8:06 AM

Host: PETER SLEN (pslen@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: Rep. ELIOT ENGEL (D-NY), House Foreign Affairs Committee member.

Topic: Growing concern over Syrian violence.

Caller: Clarence from New Orleans, Louisiana (click here to listen).

Caller: “They keep saying it's about Syria, it's about Syria, but all you keep hearing is Iran, Iran, Iran, Iran. It is about Iran or about Syria. Do they think the Iranian people are stupid? Any kind of which way they make a nuclear attack on somebody, or on Israel, don't they know that their country will be wiped out? Israel will respond with a nuclear attack, and they say about Iran having nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Iran should not have nuclear-weapons – does Israel have nuclear-weapons?”

Guest: “You asked a lot of different questions. First of all, the difference between Israel and Iran is that Israel is a democracy. They have elections just like we do in the United States. Whereas Iran and Syria are brutal dictatorships, police states, fascist states, where the people have no say really whatsoever. The struggle to prevent Iran from having nuclear weapons is a struggle of concern for many countries in the Middle East and out of the Middle East. That is something that we have concerns with. Again, Syria, in my estimation, has been essentially a client of Iran, a puppet state of Iran, allied with Iran. We know that Iran's interests and the interests of our country are very, very different. That is why the United States, the Obama administration in coordination with our allies and NATO, are working very hard on sanctions to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon. In my estimation, that prevention is very important.”

NOTE: Iran is controlled by a fanatical religious dictatorship members of which reportedly believe in a doomsday scenario. One cannot be certain that Cold War-style nuclear deterrence between the United States and Soviet Union would prevail between Israel and Iran. What is it about this reality that so many C-SPAN callers are incapable of grasping, and why don't C-SPAN hosts challenge them on the topic?

July 8, 2012 – 7:33 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Topic: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and foreign policy.

Caller: Rick from San Fernando, California (click here to listen).

Caller: “Hillary Clinton does not have the interest of the United States first, in my opinion. She is pushing this one world government. We just sent $1.5 billion to Libya. We need to be focusing on here at home more. And to the previous caller who was talking about Israel and Palestine, I do not think there'll be peace between them two until all the Palestinians who are displaced have the right of return and that is just not going to occur.”

NOTE: Rather than being ignored by host Scully, the refugee issue (“right of return”) brought up by the caller deserves to be considered in context: In the wake of Israel's War of Independence in 1948, the overwhelming majority of Palestinian refugees were not expelled by the Israelis. But a much larger number of refugees, Jewish refugees who had resided in Arab countries for many generations, were forced to flee their native lands. No right of return or compensation has been seriously considered for these Jewish refugees nor any significant activities to bring this about. But for the Palestinian Arab refugees, the story is much different given the enormous pressure from the oil-wealthy Arab world, other anti-Israel interests and various well-meaning but na´ve groups.

In contrast, Israel has made sincere efforts as pointed out in an essay published in Commentary magazine in May 2001 by professor Ephraim Karsh. It discussed Israel's policy on Arab refugees: “In 1949, Israel offered to take back 100,000 Palestinian refugees; the Arab states refused. Nevertheless, some 50,000 refugees have returned over the decades under the terms of Israel's family reunification program, and another 75,000 who were displaced from the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 war have also returned to those territories.”

Israel has continued to make good faith efforts to alleviate the Palestinian Arab refugee problem:

[I]n 2008 the Israelis tried again, when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced his own peace plan, which would have uprooted tens of thousands of Israeli settlers, abandoned Hebron, divided Jerusalem, and even offered some accommodation to the Palestinian claim to a right of return. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, refused the peace proposal and once again failed to make a counter proposal.

In the face of the documented truth that it is the Palestinians who have repeatedly run away from a negotiated peace and statehood, it is astounding that both the Palestinians and many Europeans act as if Israel refuses to make peace, as if Israel stands in the way of a Palestinian state.

Until the Palestinians and the Arabs abandon their myths and face reality, until they accept the hard truths that they have been their own worst enemy, the prospects for peace will be dim indeed. When the false narrative is finally exposed and debunked among the Arabs, peace will not be easy or even likely, but it will be easier and likelier.

In response to the raising of a significant controversial issue such as “right of return,” even if the C-SPAN host is incapable of enlightening viewers, at least the viewers could be referred to a relevant non-partisan information source. But this is not the C-SPAN way.

July 8, 2012 – 9:40 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: STEPHEN TANKEL, American University assistant professor, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar.

Topic: Future of U.S.-Pakistan relations.

Caller: Bob from Washington, D.C. (click here to listen).

Caller: “Are you aware of a fellow named Zayid Hamid (ph) in Pakistan? He's a nationalist in Pakistan? Are you aware of him?”

Guest: “The name sounds vaguely familiar. I'm just curious, why are you asking?”

Caller: “Well, that goes to my second question. Let me ask you – in fact, I would like to ask this question of all guests on C-SPAN – are you a Jew?”

SCULLY: “Bob, I have to jump in on this. I have to ask you what relevance this has to anything.”

Caller: “Relevance to – we really should call it southwest Asia. It has relevance to all geopolitics. The other side of geopolitics is the prize which is known as Russia. But right now, we are talking about Pakistan. If you want to talk Turkey, let's talk Turkey.”

Guest: “Turkey is another country, entirely. Although I do not think that is what you meant. I am not going to get into questions of faith. I'm just not. I think we should probably move on.”

NOTE: In a rare Journal occurrence, a host actually even mildly challenges a caller's antisemitic implication but host Scully was remiss in not immediately terminating the call at “Are you a Jew” when it was obvious that this caller had nothing useful to contribute to the discussion.

July 8, 2012 – 9:46 AM

Host: STEVE SCULLY (sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: STEPHEN TANKEL, American University assistant professor, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar.

Topic: Future of U.S.-Pakistan relations.

Caller: Tim from Norfolk, Virginia (click here to listen).

This caller, using a transparently fake southern accent, is actually the obsessively anti-Israel polemist, James Morris who has vilified Israel in each of his 60 calls to Washington Journal monitored by CAMERA over the last three years. In these calls, Morris has identified himself variously as Tony, Don, John, James, Jim, Tim, Ron, Tyrone.
 
His most recent call was on July 4, 2012 (the July 8 call violates C-SPAN's ostensible one-call-per-30-days rule) as “Don from Monrovia, California” (click here to listen). A previous call was on March 5, 2012 as “Tim from Los Angeles” (click here to listen). A previous Morris call using his fake southern accent was March 9, 2012  as “Tony from Norfolk, Virginia” (click here to listen).
 
Additionally, Morris, who habitually voices support for Iran (an international outlaw nation led by religious fanatics) in its conflict with the United States and Israel, is presented falsely as a legitimate analyst by the Iranian state-owned English-language propaganda outlet Press TV providing a Morris report in an audio clip (a photo of Morris is included).

Caller: “I spent time in the Marine Corps. I saw your guest on a show, David Berger, the General David Berger from Afghanistan earlier (Journal's July 4 guest Major General David Berger, commanding general of First Marine Division, Afghanistan) and this ties into Pakistan. I heard the caller [Don from Monrovia, California, 7:55 AM on July 4, who was also actually James Morris, the tireless anti-Israel deceiver] basically ask him about the motivation for 9/11 – with the leader Pakistani Kalid Sheikh Mohammed – that it was support for Israel, and the host, Libby Casey, basically didn't let the general answer the question – and (instead) cut the caller off. We got attacked on 9/11 by the Pakistanis because – Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – because of U.S. support for Israel. You can Google 9/11 motive. It's all there – you can look at page 147 of the 9/11 commission report. We don't discuss that. It is all about Israel. You can go to [Morris names an antisemitic, anti-Israel Web site].”

Host: “Okay, you brought it up. I'll give you [the guest] a chance to respond if you want.”

Guest: “Sure. As we get into the question of the 9/11 attacks, there were numerous motivations for that. Of course, one of which was U.S. foreign policy. I do not think there is a secret to that. That something has been well known that that was al Qaeda's aim to change U.S. foreign policy. It was al Qaeda' s aim to try to unify all of these disparate jihadist groups. This was behind it and one could argue that they have resoundingly failed. Al Qaeda is by no means dead, but it's certainly weakened. To my mind, the U.S. Is a strong enough nation that it does not need to be changing its foreign policy because Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would like it too.”

NOTE: Blaming the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on America's support of Israel is a favorite canard of antisemitic conspiracy-mongers such as James Morris who has referred often to “page 147 of the 9/11 commission report.”

But the 9/11 commission report's page 147 (chapter 5) reference to Israel describes a self-serving, post-capture explanation by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001: "By his own account, KSM's animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel." This sentence is one of the two references to Israel in Chapter 5 (pages 145 to 173 of the report). The second reference (page 154) states that KSM had intended to land a hijacked plane at a U.S. airport, kill all the male passengers, and publicly excoriate "U.S. support for Israel, the Philippines, and repressive governments in the Arab world."

The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, perpetrated by Muslim Arab terrorists against New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., were orchestrated by al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who stated in public pronouncements in the 1990s, that his main anti-American motivation was the presence of U.S. forces in “the land of the two holy places” (meaning Saudi Arabia). Bin Laden's desire to overthrow "impious" Muslim rulers and reestablish a pan-national Sunni caliphate also provided a major impetus for al-Qaeda.

July 4, 2012 – 7:55 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY (lcasey@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: Major General DAVID BERGER, commanding general of First Marine Division, Afghanistan.

Topic: Afghanistan update.

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

The caller is the obsessively anti-Israel polemist, James Morris, a frequent Washington Journal phoner. In these calls, Morris has identified himself variously as Tony, Don, John, James, Jim, Tim, Ron, Tyrone. Here, host Casey indulges Morris' defamation of Israel and promotion of several Web sites dedicated to condemning American foreign policy and defaming the Jewish state. Host Casey allowed Morris as recently as March 5, 2012 (“Tim from Los Angeles”) (click here to listen) to promote another of his favorite Web sites dedicated to condemning American foreign policy, Jews and the Jewish state.

Propagandist Morris is presented approvingly as a "political commentator" on a video clip on the Web site of Iran's English-language propaganda outlet, Press TV. C-SPAN airs James Morris frequently (more than 50 calls since late 2008) despite his familiar voice and script.

Caller: “I'd just like to say that our marines should be on the U.S. border instead of wasting billions for Israel in Afghanistan. We were tragically attacked on 9/11 and earlier at the World trade Center in1993 because of U.S. support for Israel. You can look up Israel as a terrorist motivation at [Morris gives the names of four Web sites dedicated to condemning American foreign policy, Jews and the Jewish state].

CASEY: “Don, Don, let's turn your call into something the general can actually answer.”

CASEY (to the guest): “Sir, do you have a sense of where your forces will go after the Afghanistan drawdown finishes out? Do you have sense of your future and the future of your troops?”

Guest: “Whenever it is time to head back – and the president will decide that – then we will go to the next part of the world where we are focused on. From what we read in the papers, there is some shift in attention toward the Pacific. But as far as where I go next, it's where the commandant of the Marine Corps sends me.”
 
NOTE: Typically, C-SPAN's Washington Journal fails to challenge a caller's anti-Israel propaganda. Caller Morris' preposterous accusation that America is “wasting billions for Israel in Afghanistan” goes unanswered. Basic journalistic skepticism or curiosity should have prompted Casey to ask how U.S. involvement in Afghanistan is somehow on behalf of Israel. Morris' gross distortion, “We were attacked on 9/11 and 1993 because of support for Israel” is belied by the fact that the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, perpetrated by Muslim Arab terrorists against New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., were orchestrated by al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden who stated in public pronouncements in the 1990s, that his main anti-American motivation was the presence of U.S. forces in “the land of the two holy places” (meaning Saudi Arabia). Bin Laden's desire to overthrow "impious" Muslim rulers and reestablish a pan-national Sunni caliphate also provided a major impetus for al-Qaeda. The 1993 bombing attack on WTC, orchestrated by Egyptian Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, a favorite of the anti-Western, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish Muslim Brotherhood was likewise motivated.
 
Casey's failure to contradict Morris' familiar anti-Israel falsehoods by reminding viewers of the relevant facts undermines C-SPAN's public affairs broadcasting mission. Washington Journal, the network's premier daily public affairs and call-in show, has been given a free pass for too many years on the failure of its hosts to challenge the prejudiced allegations of antisemitic, anti-Zionist callers. C-SPAN's major patrons include Comcast, the largest cable television provider in the country. Neil_Smit@cable.comcast.com is the e-mail address of Neil Smit, President of Comcast Cable and most prominent member of C-SPAN's five-member Board of Directors executive committee. Another prominent member of this five-member group is Glenn Britt, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable, who can be reached at glenn.britt@timewarnercable.com. Courteous, concise e-mails should urge Comcast and Time Warner Cable to make clear to C-SPAN executives that Washington Journal must not continue providing a platform to haters of Jews and the Jewish state. C-SPAN's chief executives are Susan Swain (sswain@c-span.org) and Rob Kennedy (rkennedy@c-span.org).
 
July 2, 2012 – 9:43 AM

Host: LIBBY CASEY (lcasey@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org).

Guest: ALAN FISHER, Al Jazeera English (Qatar) senior correspondent.

Topic: Foreign news bureau of Al Jazeera English (Qatar).

Caller: Marie from San Antonio, Texas (click here to listen).

Caller: "Good morning Mr. Fisher. I just wanted to thank you so much for Al Jazeera. It amazes me that so many people still do not know about Linktv [cable network that carries daily Al Jazeera reports]. I watch Al Jazeera, I watch ... You have to dig for the truth. We have two types of media in America now. We've got the thirty-somethings that talk all day long. They don't have any life experience and do not know what is going on in the country. Then you've the ones that of been there so long that the party with the same people they are supposed to be investigating. It just amazes me. We have the Iraq war because of the American media. No one asked the questions that needed to be asked. They elected Obama the last time. We do not have a choice anymore. And it does not surprise me at all that you are banned in Israel. They control our foreign policy, our financial system and they bought out most of the Congress [emphasis added]. So, you really, really have to dig for the truth. And I just want you to know how much we appreciate that some voice is out there."

Guest: "Well, I appreciate your call. Let me just correct you – perhaps you did not hear me quite clearly. We are not banned in Israel. We haven't been banned in Israel. I think they quite like what we do because we seem to be fair and we seem to be honest. I think you' re right, there is a real challenge for journalists now to ask the questions that need to be asked, not just to accept with the government tells you and ... that's the way it's always been. And I think you're right. I think in America, on cable channels, people are not being well served. There was a great line in a paper in London from a terrific writer. He came over to the United States for a while and said that the idea of news for American television seems to be three middle-aged man shouting at each other. People want to be informed. After 9/11, people asked, 'What did we not know about this?' ..."

NOTE: Both host and guest fail to expose the preposterous antisemitic canard, "They [Israel] control our foreign policy, our financial system and they bought out most of the Congress." The failure to refute such a false accusation is par for the course for Washington Journal. Regarding Qatar's state-financed news organization Al Jazeera English (which is an outgrowth of Al Jazeera's Arabic-language service), its brand of journalism comes with dubious baggage but cautionary advice in this respect is highly unlikely to come from C-SPAN.
 
According to C-SPAN's Web site, more than 28 million viewers tune in each week – making it an information source of potential significance. Washington Journal, the network's premier daily public affairs and call-in show, has been given a free pass for too many years on the failure of its hosts to challenge the prejudiced allegations of antisemitic, anti-Zionist callers. C-SPAN's major patrons include Comcast, the largest cable television provider in the country. Neil_Smit@cable.comcast.com is the e-mail address of Neil Smit, President of Comcast Cable and most prominent member of C-SPAN's five-member Board of Directors executive committee. Another prominent member of this five-member group is Glenn Britt, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner Cable, who can be reached at glenn.britt@timewarnercable.com. Courteous, concise e-mails should urge Comcast and Time Warner Cable to make clear to C-SPAN executives that Washington Journal must not continue providing a platform to haters of Jews and the Jewish state. C-SPAN's chief executives are Susan Swain (sswain@c-span.org) and Rob Kennedy (rkennedy@c-span.org).

Bookmark and Share