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Media Analyses





C-SPAN January – April 2018


C-SPAN.Wash.Jl.bmp
 
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
 

February 18, 2018 – 9:55 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: Impact of Russia on 2016 election.

Caller: Michael from New York (click here to view).

Note: Washington Journal host Scully characteristically indulges a caller who makes inflammatory accusations that are not and cannot be substantiated against Israel (in a list of three countries) as well as an implicit swipe against Jewish Americans.

Caller: “I just wanted to say, of course I think Russians were attempting to meddle in the election in some way, but if an American citizen had done the same, it would be okay. I think that is strange. I also think this has much to do about nothing when you look about what all the nations do, China, India, Israel, where they can determine the outcome of elections across America to buy [indiscernible] campaign -- re-routing campaign donations from people with dual citizenship. It is legal for them to give donations to these nations and the fact that it is legal for me in New York to give donations to people in districts around the country. That makes it possible for New York or other cities, with many people with allegiances for foreign nations, to give donations, changing the outcome of elections. I think this is a bigger problem than Russia trying to do some Internet hacks.”

[Host fails to comment as he transitions to next caller].

NOTE: C-SPAN host is silent to caller's inflammatory polemic condemning Israel and Jewish Americans implicitly: “… China, India, Israel … they can determine the outcome of elections across America [with] campaign donations from people with dual citizenship… makes it possible for New York or other cities, with many with allegiances for foreign nations, to give donations, changing the outcome of elections.”

Where's the evidence? Typically, the question is not asked.

February 17, 2018 – 7:19 a.m.

Host: KIMBERLY ATKINS, Boston Herald newspaper chief Washington reporter and columnist [journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan].

Topic: Indictment of 13 Russian nationals for meddling in U.S. elections.

Caller: Tracy from Minnesota (click here to view).

Note: Host Atkins, who has written a commentary unfairly critical of Israel in the Boston Herald newspaper (more below in the NOTE), accepted without comment this caller's polemical swipe at Israel and its supporters and then continued to indulge caller.

Caller: “Thanks for C-SPAN. I think there's really nothing here. Every country is trying to meddle in other people's elections. You look at our country, the biggest meddler in our elections has been Israel. I mean Congress and our leaders – you have to take an oath to support AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] which is the Israeli lobby. Any meddling whatsoever should be frowned upon or watched against. But we do just as much meddling in any other people's elections. People have been doing it. Countries have been doing it to each other for a long time. There's nothing major here. I mean, there's actually – Israel actually donates money to our candidates that are running for office. So I mean, we got to watch out for that stuff but we have to call out who's the biggest influencer right now and it isn't Russia. It isn't. It's Israel.”

Note: What evidence does the caller have that U.S. leaders “take an oath to support AIPAC.” The question is not asked though host Atkins almost certainly knows that the claim is manifestly untrue. Instead, she reinforces his lies by continuing to indulge him:

Host: “Let me ask you this. Are you concerned about that though? Do you think that the White House or Congress should take more action to stop interference from any country into our election?”

Caller: “I one-hundred percent agree. Every country should be on the list about who's influencing. I bet China – I mean, they probably tried to influence our election or at least some of the Senatorial seats. This has been going on. We got to watch out for all of it from friend or foe. America needs to protect our election process. And we have to call out even France.”

Host: “All right [proceeds to next caller].”

NOTE: This repeat anti-Israel caller (more below) mendaciously propagandizes that “the biggest meddler in our elections has been Israel. I mean Congress and our leaders … take an oath to support AIPAC which is the Israeli lobby… Israel actually donates money to our candidates that are running for office. the biggest influencer right now isn't Russia… It's Israel.”

Host Atkins, exhibiting the chronic journalistic malpractice endemic to Washington Journal, readily accepts caller's demonization of Israel and its American supporters. Is Atkins impartial towards Israel? As a Boston Herald columnist she has written of the Israel-U.S. relationship. For example, her Feb. 16, 2017 page 4 Herald column, “Bibi, Trump smile for cameras in sham of support,” in which she misleadingly and sarcastically criticized both the President and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu (more below on Atkins' mishandling of anti-Israel callers).

Caller's pernicious falsehoods are at odds with reality. AIPAC is an American lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization, not a political action committee, it is prohibited by law from giving money to individual members of Congress or government officials. It doesn't donate money to candidates running for office. Its stated mission "is to strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of Israel and the United States." It is not an arm of the government of Israel or any Israeli organizations. There is nothing nefarious about this group. AIPAC is bipartisan; it does not get involved in election campaigns.

The power of American supporters of Israel to control the U.S. government is a myth perpetrated by haters of Israel. It is easily disproven by history: American presidents have repeatedly gone against the wishes of Israeli prime ministers – the Iran nuclear deal is a prime example. Another example is arms sales to Arab countries. But examples of Israel supporters defeating major U.S. government arms sales to Arab countries traditionally hostile to Israel are virtually non-existent. An example often cited by those who exaggerate the influence of supporters of Israel, is the failure of a proposed arms sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the pro-Israel Reagan administration in the 1980s — The Los Angeles Times reported in 1987, “President Reagan withdrew a proposed $360-million sale of sophisticated anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia Thursday in the face of overwhelming congressional opposition sparked by concern for Israel and unhappiness with both the Saudis and the Administration.”

While the best known single pro-Israel group is AIPAC, the key component of support is represented by continuing majority support among the American people for Israel (especially in the sizable Christian Zionist community). Majority support is indicated repeatedly in opinion polling. For example, Gallup's World Affairs Poll on Israel (2017) notes, “Just over seven in 10 Americans have a favorable opinion of Israel. That represents the fourth straight year that Israel's favorable rating has been 70 percent or higher.”

Furthermore, much greater political clout than AIPAC is wielded by, for example, the American Association of Retired Persons, labor unions, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the dairy farmers' lobby or the National Rifle Association. While AIPAC is frequently vilified by haters of Israel, invariably overlooked is a lobbying heavy-weight, the petro-dollar funded anti-Israel pro-Arab lobby, and direct funding from Arab countries. This influence is felt not only on Capitol Hill, the State Department and Pentagon, through multi-billion dollar weapons purchases but also in academia, with large-scale grants to prominent universities and think tanks, and in society in general through subsidies and material support to mosques, religious schools and advocacy groups. Examples are: The Middle East Institute is largely funded by the United Arab Emirates; Brookings Institution receives sizable funding from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia has donated millions of dollars to buy influence in U.S. universities.

This caller, Tracy, previously called Journal on April 7, 2017 at 7:48 a.m. as “Anthony from Minnesota” (click here to view) when C-SPAN characteristically accepted his big lie condemning Israel. Previously, host Atkins was silent to anti-Israel propagandist callers on April 9, 2017 at 7:20 a.m. and again at 7:47 a.m.

February 15, 2018 – 8:18 a.m.

Host: PEDRO ECHEVARRIA [pechevarria@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @PLEchevarria, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Guest: Stacey Plaskett, Congressional Delegate [D] Virgin Islands.

Topic: White House Vetting Systems in the aftermath of the Rob Porter story.

Caller: Richard from Durham, North Carolina (click here to view).

Note: Caller, reinforced by guest, significantly exaggerates the race problem in Israel as well as in Europe and the United States. The racist distortions are characteristically accepted without comment by the C-SPAN Washington Journal host.

Caller: “I would like to say to the Virgin Islands delegate today that the biggest problem that we face in America today is the race problem. The race problem is permeating everything that happens in this country am top to bottom. We need to really recognize this. Being led by the United States, Israel, eastern Europe, western Europe, all is infected by the race problem. Even the issue yesterday with the guns is affected by the race problem. Until we make up our minds to solve the race problem, we are not going to solve any of these problems. It is only going to get worse with the election that put Trump in. We have relatively few delegates in the Electoral College of color. All of them were white, and they were part of a gerrymandered voting system that is rigged from top to bottom.”

Guest: “I think that we do not have a race problem just today. There has always been race in this country. If you look at the foundation of the country and how it was built, what we are seeing today is that this is coming to a head and we are hearing it in a louder fashion. People are not as cautious as expressing issues of race and animus towards other people. I see it in the immigration policy where they are pitting dreamers against those of African, Caribbean, and other descent, whether you will allow diversity lotteries. I heard it in much of the speech that was given to us at the State of the Union address. Trying to color the dreamers as gang members. Saying that individuals of the NFL who were speaking out in a patriotic manner, in my mind, were un-American. This is an issue that goes back almost 300 years and is now just coming to a head.”

[Host, without comment, proceeds to the next caller]

NOTE: Highly exaggerated racial accusations by detractors of the United States and Israel (as well as Europe) ignore the reality of rampant racism elsewhere, for example in the Arab and Islamic world. Racism in the Arab world covers an array of forms of intolerance against non-Arab minorities such as Africans and South Asians. Mona Eltahawy, a columnist for Egypt's Al Masry Al Youm and Qatar's Al Arab, wrote about this in the New York Times in an article titled, "Racism: The Arab world's dirty secret."

Israel like other Western style free democratic societies has racial problems which are not hidden. But Israel also has remarkable accomplishments never mentioned by its detractors.

Consider the presence in Israel of thousands of dark-skinned fully assimilated Israeli Jewish citizens from Ethiopia, Yemen and India. As the late New York Times columnist William Safire memorably wrote on Jan. 7, 1985 after “Operation Moses,” the rescue of Ethiopian black Jews, was revealed, “For the first time in history, thousands of black people are being brought to a country not in chains but in dignity, not as slaves but as citizens.” Prime Minister Netanyahu has appointed Israeli Ethiopian blacks to important positions.

February 14, 2018 – 7:28 a.m.

Host: PEDRO ECHEVARRIA [pechevarria@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @PLEchevarria, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Topic: How should the Senate act on immigration reform?

Caller: Robert from Maryland (click here to view).

Note: Caller is indulged as he makes a hideous invalid equivalence between U.S. immigration policy and the events of the Holocaust, the most extreme expression of genocide in world history. It involved the slaughter of six million Jews – one-third of the world's Jews. Such is the chronic journalistic malpractice of C-SPAN's Washington Journal pertaining especially to Jews and the Jewish state of Israel.

Caller: “Look, please give me a moment. Our predatory, parasitic corporate cultures exploited, in conjunction with our government, all of the South American governments and left those people hungry. Those same hungry people come to America, and these same corporations welcome them at the time to exploit them here. They are called ‘guest workers.' As soon as they get off the job, they have the police outside calling them illegal aliens, criminals. This is the same thing that happened in Germany. The German government blamed the Jews for their problems, just like our government is blaming these poor people.”

Host: “How does that apply to the Senate work?”

Caller: “I'm sorry, ask the question again.”

Host: “How does that apply to the Senate as far as the immigration bill is concerned?”

Caller: “These people are making a mockery of my country. They are destroying this country. If we are going to take and say that these people are criminals, rapists, murderers – maybe Canada should build a wall along the Canadian border.”

Host: “Let's go to [next caller].”

NOTE: The caller's offensive, invalid comparison, “The German government blamed the Jews for their problems, just like our government is blaming these poor people” requires a response.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has provided a scholarly analysis of such invalid, offensive comparisons including:

“Holocaust trivialization is one among various categories of Holocaust distortion. It is a tool for some ideologically or politically motivated activists to metaphorically compare phenomena they oppose to the industrial-scale destruction of the Jews in World War II by Germans, Austrians, and their allies. Examples include environmental problems, abortion, the slaughter of animals, the use of tobacco, and human rights abuses.

Those abusing Holocaust comparisons for their ideological purposes want to exaggerate the evil nature of a phenomenon they condemn. With the Holocaust symbolizing absolute evil for many, they use it as an instrument for their purposes.

Holocaust trivialization manifests itself partly in the growing use of language concerning a large number of disparate events that have no connection to genocide. Other trivializers operate out of commercial or artistic considerations. Unlike in the case of most other distortions of the Holocaust, the trivializers usually do not target Jews.”

The host's not unexpected indulgence of the caller, particularly the non-response to the caller's hideous equivalence, can likely be attributed to at least one of the following conditions: allegiance to C-SPAN's corporate culture, shallowness, disinterest, bias.

February 2, 2018 – 8:27 a.m.

Host: PAUL ORGEL [porgel@c-span.org, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org, @PaulLOrgel, @cspanwj, facebook.com/cspan ].

Guest: Max Stier, President and CEO of Partnership for Public Service.

Topic: The federal workforce under the Trump administration.

Caller: Gina from Florida (click here to view).

Note: Repeat caller “Gina from Florida,” allowed by C-SPAN to violate 30-day wait rule between calls, uses the same theme as in her call three weeks ago including an off-topic swipe at Israel.

Caller: “The caller from Virginia said that there is a deep state that is trying to undermine President Trump. That was a real propaganda call. There's an expression, many mistakes are made on purpose. When you get what you've got now, this authoritarian government with so many generals are running around the White House. They are going to diminish the departments they find unnecessary. They will focus on what they want. This administration wants provocation in the Middle East, claiming Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Trying to destroy the Iranian nuclear deal. It's very obvious what they are trying to do. The Department of Defense, General Mattis, he said he wants more diplomats. It's just the opposite.”

Guest: “I think the idea of the deep state is counterproductive and not accurate. Americans should understand they have a phenomenal government but it won't stay that way if we don't invest in it. One of the great challenges is a [indistinct] that's the reason why you serve. What we have is a mission oriented workforce trying to do their best. They are being failed by the system they are operating in. If we want to stay at the top of the world, we need to make sure we are taking care of our government in an effective way. The other quibble I would have is the notion that the generals are part of the problem. If you look at our military, they have in many ways the most effective talent operation, more than the civilian side. They look at their people as an asset. On the civilian side, most look at the talent as a cost. We need to look at it as an asset. Those people should understand the civilian workforce is more than a majority focused on national security.”

NOTE: This caller “Gina” phoned in on Jan. 7, 2018 (9:17 a.m.) as “Rita from Orman Beach, Florida” (click here to view). At that time she attacked Nikki Haley, United States Ambassador to the United Nations at the U.N., for “pushing for Jerusalem to be the capital. Constant provocation. Going after the Iranians with the Iran nuclear treaty deal. Constant provocation.”

She deceptively identified herself differently presumably in order to avoid getting caught violating C-SPAN's ostensible 30-day wait rule between calls. 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.

As to the deceptive caller's assertion, “This administration wants provocation in the Middle East [by] claiming Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” in fact what the United States 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.

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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