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Media Analyses





C-SPAN January – April 2018


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The following entries involve non-trivial references to Israel or Jews
 
Send your comments about C-SPAN's platform for the defamation of Israel and Jews to CAMERA:  c-span-watch@camera.org
 

January 21, 2018 – 9:57 a.m.

Host: STEVE SCULLY is C-SPAN's political editor and senior executive producer [sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @SteveScully, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Topic: Day two of the U.S. Government shutdown.

Caller: Robert from Brooklyn, New York (click here to view).

Note: Off-topic, heavily Middle-Eastern accented caller defaming Israel is typically indulged by C-SPAN. Host Scully characteristically accepts caller's incendiary falsehood without comment. This repeat anti-Israel caller “Robert from Brooklyn, New York” is the same person as “Hendi from New York” (more below). How does he get by the call-screener? Was the screener easily fooled? Is C-SPAN's call-screening system workable?

Caller: “I just want to know where the Tea Party is? I know they disappear. And other question is – where is Vice President Mike Pence? He is supposed to be in the United States right now and he is no where to be seen. When they marched, our Vice President is in Israel, where they are sabotaging peace and treating ladies like dogs.”

Host: “The Vice President is in the Middle East and Egypt, part of a rescheduled trip because of issues in Washington in mid-December. He's expected to be back this week during the President's State of the Union message still slated for one week from Tuesday on January 30. Last night [NBC's] SNL taking aim at the President, his health and the government shutdown. [video clip]. All right, all right. [applause]…”

NOTE: Host Scully characteristically accepts caller's incendiary falsehood, “[T]hey [Israel] are sabotaging peace and treating ladies like dogs.” Scully fails to comment on caller's message. C-SPAN Washington Journal hosts rarely, if ever, comment on messages attacking Israel or Jews, allowing such callers to have their full say.

What is the caller's background given his thick Middle Eastern accent? Can he offer first hand knowledge of the treatment of women in the Arab or wider Islamic world? Typically, a disinterested or intentionally uninformative Scully fails to ask this relevant question. He must certainly realize that nowhere in the Middle East, and much of the world for that matter, are women treated better than in Israel. Caller's claim that Israel is “sabotaging peace” is propaganda. At least Scully should have drawn out the caller to elaborate on the claim.

This caller previously called on Dec. 13, 2017 (7:51 a.m.) as “Hendi from New York” (click here to view). He disparaged Israel and U.S. policy.

Can there be any legitimate excuse for the failure to identify caller as a repeat caller focusing on the same subject matter each time? Any modern computer based call-in talk show phone system, one that is presumably utilized by C-SPAN's Washington Journal (if not, why not?), provides various features for the host including flagging of repeat callers and information on their previous calls.

But this is C-SPAN's Washington Journal, after all, where journalistic malpractice is the standard mode of operation at least concerning Israel and Jews.

January 7, 2018 – 9:17 a.m.

Host: STEVE SCULLY is C-SPAN's political editor and senior executive producer [sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @SteveScully, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Guest: Behnam Ben Taleblu, Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior analyst.

Topic: The Iran Protests.

Caller: Rita from Orman Beach, Florida (click here to view).

Note: Caller's detached-from-reality rant, including defamation of the guest, is accepted without comment by host Scully. This is typical of C-SPAN Washington Journal hosts including its ranking host Scully.

Caller: “Very strange world we live in. The Iranians, you know, they're the enemy. I get it. I get what the Trump administration is trying to do. And the Saudis are our buddies. 3000 Americans died [Sept. 11, 2001]. It was mostly Saudis that were part of that group that attacked the Towers. Now you see Alex Haley [caller refers to Nikki Haley, and current United States Ambassador to the United Nations] at the U.N. pushing for Jerusalem to be the capital. Constant provocation. Going after the Iranians with the Iran nuclear treaty deal. Constant provocation. Remind me a bit of Bush/Cheney and Ahmed Chalabi [an Iraqi politician, founder of the Iraqi National Congress]. He was an Iraqi citizen and he helped make the case to go to war against Iraq which were lies. I do not trust this man that's on now [guest Behnam Ben Taleblu] and I do not trust the Trump administration. I believe they're trying to destabilize the entire Middle East and continue with the wars.”

Host: “What is your response?”

Guest: “Fortunately, no one is calling for war here. I think that war to save the Iranian people as the answer to protests or economic or social malaise or lack of political freedoms – at this point of time – would be foolhardy. Just a couple of corrections to the caller's statement. The JCPLA, the nuclear deal, is not a treaty, it's just an agreement. Every country has a political buy-in but it's not necessarily legal, For instance, Congress was not part of the negotiations. Just one other point, the caller had mentioned about Iran being the enemy, I would caution the caller, Iran actually is not the enemy. The Islamic Republic of Iran, meaning the government of Iran, is the enemy. I think very clearly we've seen that this [Trump] administration draws a sharp cleavage between the Iranian people and the Iranian government.”

NOTE: What is the caller's source for her disjointed information here? Typically, the question is not asked. Caller should have been challenged on her erroneous statement about the “United States … pushing for Jerusalem to be the capital [of Israel].” What the United States in fact did was to finally recognize the reality that Israel's actual capital, Jerusalem, is Israel's capital. This after dithering by many U.S. administrations in declining to act on the will of the U.S. Congress. In other words, the United States ceased to be part of the cynical international cabal that for political reasons refuses to recognize the reality. Of all the nations in the world, only Israel is singled out for non-recognition of its actual capital. How bizarre and unfair!

January 7, 2018 – 9:21 a.m.

Host: STEVE SCULLY is C-SPAN's political editor and senior executive producer [sscully@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @SteveScully, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Guest: Behnam Ben Taleblu, Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior analyst.

Topic: The Iran Protests.

Caller: John from Englishtown, New Jersey (click here to view).

Note: Host Scully characteristically is silent to conspiracy-mongering caller's defamation of the guest who represents a respectable conservative think tank. Host seems to lend respectability to the baseless claim that cannot be substantiated that United States and Israel are fomenting economic and political related protests by the Iranian people.

Caller: “I'm talking about the protesting in Iran. This man [the guest] is nothing but a Mossad [the national intelligence agency of Israel] or a CIA agent. They, without the use of force, they're using the people to overthrow the country [Iran]. Israel and the United States are involved in trying to overthrow Iran.”

Host: “Is that the case?”

Guest: “I'm sure that the Israeli government would like a more representative government in Iran because the assumption is that the more representative the government, the more it would be in line with the Iranian people and U.S. security interests…”

January 5, 2018 – 8:48 a.m.

Host: GRETA BRAWNER [gbrawner@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, Twitter: @gretabrawner (https://twitter.com/gretabrawner), @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan].

Guest: Melissa Boteach, Center for American Progress vice president.

Guest: James C. Capretta, American Enterprise Institute resident fellow.

Topic: Entitlement Reform.

Caller: Mary from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (click here to view).

Caller: “If the Medicare program is not sustainable, it could have been if President Obama had not taken out $760 billion. It just blows me away how much he took out of Medicare to start the ACA. It should've actually been illegal. The Democrats say they won't touch our entitlements as they call it, but they did when they voted for the ACA. If we didn't have the money, why was he [Obama] allowed to give $200 million to Palestinians as he went out the door? I really feel sorry for the younger people. They are paying into it. They are never going to get it. I do have Medicare and it has been very good for me. I'm 90 years old. I'm worried about it lasting long enough for me.”

Host: “I want to take the question about the ACA and what the Affordable Care Act said.”

Guest: “I think she's referring to changes that were made to save money for Medicare. When she said the President voted for it, was she mistaken? It was not going to affect anybody's ability to finance health care. It is about finding efficiencies in the system. The ACA helped millions of people gain health insurance and in addition it really expanded Medicare that so that a lot of people had better health during their working years and better health as seniors. I disagree with the notion that Medicare recipients will be worse off because of the ACA.”

Host: “I think the caller is referring to the fact that they cut the Medicare program quite substantially in the Affordable Care Act. She's right that around $700 billion that they cut on hospitals and Medicare Advantage plans. They use the resources of that to increase subsidization of people in the Affordable Care Act. Does that hurt Medicare beneficiaries?”

Guest: “Not necessarily. Depends on how one views the changes. I would say that the cuts that are made -- there's a lot to talk about form. That's not really what happened. What they did was, they basically lowered the payment rate for hospital admissions by a lot. They did that on a permanent basis. Will that harm access to hospital services overtime?”

NOTE: Caller's rhetorical question, “If we didn't have the money, why was he [Obama] allowed to give $200 million to Palestinians as he went out the door?” is reasonable but unsurprisingly ignored by guests and host.

January 5, 2018 – 9:44 a.m.

Host: GRETA BRAWNER [gbrawner@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, Twitter: @gretabrawner (https://twitter.com/gretabrawner), @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan].

Topic: Your views on the latest news.

Caller: Gary from Pennsylvania (click here to view).

Caller: “I want to mention a few things, one about this supposed Trump/Russian collusion thing. It's been going on over a year now, how much longer do they need to take, it is like a dead horse that has been laying in the field dead for over a year, it is no longer a corpse, just a big skeleton. The other thing I have to say about collusion or meddling in elections … I'm not saying it is right, as the United States goes, we have been meddling in elections for I don't know how long. We put Iran's Shah in. I wanted to know if it this thing is true about the election when Barack Obama was president, that somehow he was either funneling money or had a hand in trying to give or funneling $200,000 to defeat [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu. Is this true or made up or whatever?”

Host: “We will look into that, you know, on one of the fact-checking websites, as we continue here for about 15 more minutes on today's Washington Journal.”

NOTE: Regarding the matter of possible interference in Israel's national election by the Obama administration, there seems to be substance to this charge (more below).

January 5, 2018 – 9:48 a.m.

Host: GRETA BRAWNER [gbrawner@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, Twitter: @gretabrawner (https://twitter.com/gretabrawner), @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan].

Topic: Your views on the latest news. (click here to view this entry).

Note: Host Brawner here tries to exculpate the Obama administration in connection with activities aimed at defeating Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu in the most recent national election in Israel. A different view is in the closing NOTE below.

Host: “Following up on the previous caller [“Gary from Pennsylvania”] about President Obama funneling money to an anti-Netanyahu campaign.”

[Reading from Politifact Website:]

“In September 2013, the State Department funded two projects run by OneVoice, a New York nonprofit. The OneVoice mission is clear -- to advance a two-state solution in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Through OneVoice, ‘young grassroots activists in Israel and Palestine are equipped with the knowledge and skills to be heard as they build momentum and a constituency for the two-state solution locally and internationally,' the organization wrote in its 2013 annual report.

Affiliates OneVoice Israel got $233,500 from the State Department to spend in Israel and OneVoice Palestine got another $115,776 to spend in the Palestinian Territories. That adds up to a little more than $349,000. The question is: Do those contributions amount to funding "anti-Likud, anti-Netanyahu groups in Israel for tomorrow's election"?

[…]

Given that residents of the Palestinian Territories can't vote in national Israeli elections, it's hard to see how money spent there would influence voters in Israel. That leaves us to account for $233,500. Payton Knopf, senior director of global communications for OneVoice, said the money helped fund a series of ‘town-hall style meetings on university campuses and provided support to the Knesset Caucus for the Two-State Solution in organizing a meeting with 300 Israeli students and (Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud) Abbas in February 2014.' Knopf told us the State Department money was spent by November 2014 -- nearly four months ago. OneVoice, he said, never ‘spent any U.S. government funds in connection with the recent elections in Israel. Claims to the contrary are simply wrong.' You can read more at politifact.com.”

NOTE: Regarding the matter of possible interference in Israel's national election by the Obama administration, there seems to be substance to this charge: “Under the auspices of Chairman Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) has released a report today confirming allegations that an NGO with connections to President Obama's 2008 campaign used U.S. taxpayer dollars attempting to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2015. President Obama has had the worst relationship of any U.S. president with the elected prime minister of the Jewish State” (Washington Post, July 12, 2016).

January 2, 2018 – 9:25 a.m.

Host: JOHN MCARDLE [jmcardle@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @cspanMcArdle, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Guest: Anthony Cordesman, Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Topic: U.S. foreign policy challenges in 2018.

Caller: Grant from Washington D.C. (Click here to view).

Note: Repeat Washington Journal caller identified as "Grant from Washington D.C." is Grant F. Smith a Washington, D.C. author and director of an anti-Israel advocacy organization, Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, American Educational Trust. Jeff Stein of The Washington Post noted that Grant Smith has made a career out of writing books critical of Israel. Caller has been an apologist for Islamic terrorists and the Iranian government led by Islamist fanatics. Consistent with Journal's chronic habit of airing unchallenged defamation of Jews and Israel, host fails to adequately identify the caller (more below) while the guest provided only a weak, self-serving challenge of caller's unfounded anti-Israel accusation.
 
Caller: “I want to ask Anthony what he thinks the U.S. moral position on nuclear nonproliferation is. Essentially we waived – or presidents were allowed by Congress to waive – arms export, control acts prohibition on aid to Pakistan and India. In 1999, Mr. Cordesman himself said in 1986, he believed the Israelis were in collusion with a plant owner in Apollo, Pennsylvania, actually stole enough weapon grade uranium to build 10 nuclear weapons. I mean, what is the U.S. moral authority on nuclear nonproliferation when we're essentially bit by bit destroying this country's credibility on nuclear nonproliferation?”

Guest: “Well, first, let's be very careful that I reported as many others had, the suspicion that there had been an Israeli effort to obtain material from a plant. It has never been confirmed. When you talk about proliferation, the reality is that we have continuously taken a strong stand attempting to check it. The reality is, when you have the kind of confrontation you do between India and Pakistan, you have to deal with the fact that once they proliferate, you have to live with two major powers that have great regional impact and influence. When you talk about what has happened in Israel, and frankly there's no doubt, as most experts believe, Israel has a modern nuclear armed ballistic missile force. But the U.S. has consistently pressured Israel not to make that kind of over force that might provoke its neighbors. But it's put pressure on virtually all of the Arab states to not go nuclear. There's only so much you can do, frankly in the world. It is not simply a matter of dealing with nuclear, you have advances in biotechnology. You have the fact that precision-guided conventional weapons can now take out critical economic facilities, effectively becoming weapons of mass effectiveness. These are realities that are going to become steadily more threatening in the future. We can put as much pressure as we can and the new national security strategy calls for that. But we have no unilateral capability to stop other countries and taking the moral stand that cost us our influence and ability to work with them, is not going to achieve any moral effects.”

NOTE: Caller Grant Smith's unfounded anti-Israel accusation that "the Israelis were in collusion with a plant owner … stole enough weapon grade uranium to build 10 nuclear weapons" is completely without substance. McArdle hosted this caller on Feb. 3, 2014 (9:29 a.m.) when Smith conveyed this same false accusation. CAMERA's C-SPAN Watch entry debunks the accusation.

Can there be any legitimate excuse for the failure to identify caller “Grant” as a repeat caller focusing on the same subject matter each time? In addition to the fact that this same host McArdle has at least three times previously indulged this same notorious caller, any modern computer based call-in talk show phone system, one that is presumably utilized by C-SPAN's Washington Journal (if not, why not?), provides various features for the host including flagging of repeat callers with information on their previous calls.

Host McArdle dealt with caller Grant Smith on numerous occasions. On Nov. 15, 2017 (9:29 a.m.) (click here to view); and on May 9, 2016 (8:21 a.m.) when he advocated for “Muslim American” groups in opposition to Israel and vilified “Israel Lobbyists.”
 

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