C-SPAN September – October 2010

October 30, 2010 – 7:09 AM


Topic: U.S. targeted using cargo planes.

Caller: Stewart from Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The caller, who identifies himself as Jewish, makes two points: 1) The individuals sending bombs from Yemen to particular Jewish houses of worship are likely to have co-conspirators in the Chicago area supplying the specific addresses. 2) This crime (presumably by Muslim terrorists) targets Jews as is evidenced by the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center “because the rabid anti-Semites have convinced themselves that the Jews are in control of the finances of the world.”

NOTE: The caller’s interesting pertinent points draw no response from the characteristically silent host, Pedro Echevarria. CNN’s Washington Journal hosts characteristically have little to offer when callers or guests make supportive points about Jews or Israel and likewise usually little by way of rebuttal to the much more frequent anti-Jewish and anti-Israel calls. See the calls immediately below.

October 30, 2010 – 7:24 AM


Topic: U.S. targeted using cargo planes.

Caller: Kay from Trotwood, Ohio

Caller: “Thank you for taking my call. I hope I get as much time as some of these fellows. I want to thank the Intelligence community, of course, for the incredible job they are doing and also President Obama for how he is handling this. And no excuses for trying to kill anybody innocent, but Americans don’t want to look at the root causes of some of the anger and hatred toward the U.S. They don’t hate us for our freedoms as you had guests on your program, the former head of the CIA bin Laden unit, Michael Scheuer, and you had former CIA analyst, Ray McGovern on. And they have all said, as well as Bill Clinton, you know, until we deal with that Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the continued illegal settlements that are going on, the anger and hatred continues to grow, evolve and be fueled. So, until we deal with the root causes of this issue, which is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the illegal settlements, our military bases on their land and our support for tyrannical regimes. They don’t hate us for our freedoms – this is what Michael Scheuer has said. I have read the 9/11 commission and in the 9/11 Commission’s report they even had the chutzpah to mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and how this is fueling the anger and hatred toward us. We’ve got to deal with the root causes or this is still going to keep coming at us.”

NOTES: Host Echevarria characteristically fails to respond to this deceptive caller, “Kay from Trotwood, Ohio” who is identical to “Sarah from Riverside, Ohio,” a caller to Washington Journal on May 14, 2010 (8:02 AM) when the topic was “Preventing domestic terrorism.” The formulaic rants in the two calls are nearly identical, including usage of the phrase “root causes” and citing Michael Scheuer, and Ray McGovern (both of whom oppose U.S. Middle East policy and are antagonistic toward Israel). Scheuer’s falsifications are exposed here and here and Ray McGovern’s far-left views and falsifications are exposed here. Likewise, the caller falsely implies that President Clinton characterized the settlements as “illegal.” He did not. The caller’s “illegal settlements” assertion is rebutted by CAMERA.

The guest for the May 14 segment, Michael Sheehan (former New York City Police Department deputy commissioner), responded to this caller by appropriately making the point that “the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not a root cause of Muslim anger against the United States, but rather one of many issues manipulated by Islamic extremists such as Osama bin Laden to recruit followers and justify terrorist violence against noncombatants.” As stated in previous C-SPAN Watch Notes: “The Israeli/Palestinian conflict has been a secondary and ex post facto pretext by bin Laden to justify the 9/11 attacks. His primary declared motivations were and remain restoration of the Sunni Muslim caliphate last embodied by the Ottoman rulers and to overthrow Saudi Arabia’s ‘impious’ ruling family.”

The caller misleadingly cites the 9/11 Commission Report to buttress her false message. A comprehensive explanation of the motivation for al Qaeda’s attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon is contained in CAMERA’s C-SPAN Watch entry for March 23, 2010, 9:56 AM, which includes reference to and quotes from the official 9/11 Commission Report.

October 30, 2010 – 7:25 AM


Topic: U.S. targeted using cargo planes.

Caller: Asar from Ellicot City, Maryland

Caller: “I agree with the previous caller (Kay from Trotwood, Ohio) supporting the Nazi Zionist and Palestine issue. But just to get to a point here – please let me finish – if I send a package to China with a wire sticking out and China is rattled by it, then there is an issue with somebody using this box with a wire sticking out in China for Chinese politics. The real issue here is that the U.S. itself has to renounce terrorism as a means for military success, like in 2004 the New York Times published that Bush asked for the Salvador option which means he wanted terrorism to – bombs to be planted in markets and mosques in Europe to blame the resistance. So, [Former Amb. for Counter-Terrorism Paul] Bremer refused and so he [Bush] pushed him to the side and established the Blackwater Corp. under [Amb.] John Negroponte and they went ahead and killed a million Iraqis through terrorism. Americans did this. All of the bombs in Iraq were American-planted by Blackwater.”

NOTES: Host Echevarria remains silent and characteristically fails to cut-off this conspiracy-obsessed caller before the completion of his delusional anti-U.S., anti-Israel, anti-Jewish harangue. “Asar” is the same person who called Washington Journal on Sept.1, 2010 (7:28 AM) when the host was Mr. Echevarria and the topic was “President Obama: It is time to turn the page on Iraq.” One might expect an engaged, observant moderator to have been reminded of the end of the caller’s rant of 60 days prior: “Every bomb that went off was not a suicide attack, it was a Blackwater attack and I think George Bush should be prosecuted for this – him and all of the neocons who were only working on behalf of Israel and not America.”

October 30, 2010 – 7:38 AM


Topic: U.S. targeted using cargo planes.

Caller: Dave from Washington, D.C.

Caller: “I want to say that I heard one of your recent callers (Kay from Ohio) discuss the issue of the settlements being the problem in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unfortunately, there is an exponential level of ignorance when it comes to historical fact around what is happening in the Middle East and what’s happening in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We can’t have individuals reading the news and only listening to one line and not looking any deeper to find out what the roots are, who the people are who were involved , who are the players, who were the people involved who were former terrorists who are actually the chief negotiators and responsible because they are less harassed than other individuals in the Middle East. So to blame Israel is an institutional and organizational continuation of anti-Semitism that doesn’t even make sense and is not based on historical fact. We have to go beyond the last headline to understand who is responsible, who is involved and how this impacts our freedom … “

ECHEVARRIA (cuts-off the caller): “We’ll have to leave it there.”

NOTES: Host Echevarria cuts off a caller who sounds like he is beginning a defense of Israel and an indictment of the apparent anti-Semitism of previous callers immediately after failing to challenge misleading and bigoted attacks by “Kay” and “Asar.” This illustrates C-SPAN’s continued collaboration, witting or unwitting, with anti-Jewish, anti-Israel crackpots.

October 25, 2010 – 9:54 AM


Guest: RICHARD BARRETT, Coordinator, UN Al-Qaida/Taliban Monitoring Team.

Topic: Talking with the Taliban.

Host: Karl from Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Caller: “Yes. It seems to me that we had committed acts of provocation sufficient to justify the (terrorist) bombings – and I love America and I’d hate to see these people killed – but we had done acts of war and bin laden said that the reason why he bombed the Twin Towers was because we had troops in Saudi Arabia, the most sacred land in all of Islam, and because the Israelis from Europe were invading the most innocent people in the world as far as I can see – the Palestinians.”

BARRETT: “Well, these issues, particularly the Palestinian issue has lasted a long time and of course it’s an issue that everyone would like to see resolved. But it certainly gives absolutely no excuse to anyone to go and kill people in another country. It’s just not the way we behave. It’s absolutely unacceptable. It’s like saying, “My neighbor continually parks on my forecourt so I went and burned his car and killed his wife.” It is ridiculous. There’s no basis for the (caller’s) argument. In a civilized world where we have objections to policies or practices, we talk about it. There are many, many forums, in which people can talk about these issues and when you think of the Israel/Palestine problem, you think of how many people are trying to talk about this. Well, that this is the way to move forward and let’s hope there will be a proper settlement. American troops were in Saudi Arabia, of course, because of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, something that was against international law and the (UN) Security Council authorized the expulsion of the Iraqi troops from Kuwait. The American presence there was part of that campaign and it was a very successful campaign. The Iraqis left Kuwait and that was the end of that. I agree that there are many policies practiced by all sorts of states all over the world that people object to but in no case does that give an excuse for terrorism.”

BRAWNER: “We have been talking about the Taliban and Afghani leadership negotiations. But many have said that the real solution to this problem is brokering some have a peace deal between Pakistan and India. (etc).”

NOTE: Host Brawner fails to repudiate the caller’s bizarre justification of terrorist bombings that, according to the caller, citing bin Laden, were due to the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia and “because the Israelis from Europe were invading the most innocent people in the world as far as I can see – the Palestinians.” Guest Barrett appropriately repudiated any justification for terrorist bombings, noting that “we had troops in Saudi Arabia, the most sacred land in all of Islam” to protect it from invasion by Iraq and to free Kuwait, both Arab and Islamic countries .

But the caller’s gross misstatement about the Israelis was left to stand unanswered. First, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict has been a secondary and ex post facto pretext by bin Laden to justify the 9/11 attacks. His primary declared motivations were and remain restoration of the Sunni Muslim caliphate last embodied by the Ottoman rulers and to overthrow Saudi Arabia’s “impious” ruling family. Secondly, There was no invasion by Israelis from Europe. The ancient land of Israel was populated by the Jews thousands of years ago and there has always been a presence of Jewish communities in the land. The League of Nations’ Palestine Mandate, held by Great Britain after the collapse of the non-Arab Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, was created in no small measure to help the Jewish people re-establish their national home in their ancestral homeland. Jews who managed to reach British Mandatory Palestine between 1920 and 1948, often fleeing Nazism or the ruins of the Holocaust, often escaping persecution in Arab lands, were part of the return of an indigenous people, not an “invasion.”

Characteristically, a C-SPAN host failed to repudiate a caller’s defamation of Israel and the Jewish people.

October 8, 2010 – 7:14 AM


Topic: Call-in @30 (Thirtieth anniversary of Washington Journal): Why do you call; why do you watch?

Caller: Charlie from Herkimer, New York.

Caller: “Yes, good morning Susan. The socialist from Michigan is your typical C-SPAN caller. I am one of the five conservatives in America who still watch this program.”

SWAIN: “Yeah, I know I’ve have heard you call other times and make that accusation. So, here this morning, is there any other than five, Charlie?”

Caller: “Well, we’ll see.”

SWAIN: “We’ll see.”

Caller: “Since the election of George Bush, in 2000, this program has deteriorated into a celebration of lies, stupidity, hatred and anti-Semitism. Okay, what you do is – you encourage hatred of the Jewish people, hatred of Republicans and that is why conservatives stopped watching this program. You had David Limbaugh on a few weeks ago. He was called a liar and a racist and you allowed it to happen. Why do I watch? I watch for the same reason that we spy on the Russians. We need to see what the enemy is up to. Let me relate to you my favorite guest and my favorite call of all time.”

SWAIN: “Please do.”

Caller: “You have a leftist reporter from the New York Times on to talk about the Tea Party movement. It was like watching a Saturday Night Live shtick. What does anyone at the New York Times know about people who live in middle America? It was laughable. My favorite call was a guy who called in and he began by talking about the ‘nuts’ in the Tea Party who are running for office this year. And then he went on to say that Kennedy is alive and is in hiding somewhere. You want to talk about nutty – Kennedy is alive and hiding somewhere. That’s why I watch – you amuse me so much.”

SWAIN: “Well, that’s great, I’m glad we amuse you so much. So, tell us a little about yourself.”

Caller: “I was a truck driver. In 1997 I developed rheumatoid arthritis. By 2000 I was no longer able to pass the physical. So, I was forced into retirement . I was channel surfing one morning and I hit upon the Washington Journal. Before 2000 I didn’t even know you existed.”

SWAIN: “Well, thanks for watching, Charlie. I’m glad we make your blood boil enough to come back often.”

NOTE: The caller, Charlie, aptly observes that “This program [Washington Journal] has degenerated into lies and hatred and anti-Semitism … You encourage hatred of the Jewish people …” As is typical of Swain and her fellow Journal hosts (whom she, as president of C-SPAN, presumably supervises), she fails to deal with this serious issue. Instead, she deflects the substance of the caller’s serious charge with banter. Swain avoids the reality. CAMERA’s C-SPAN Watch has documented hundreds of unchallenged anti-Jewish, anti-Israel Journal calls in recent years. These are not from callers with specific, factual criticisms of specific Israeli policies, but from anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist conspiracy theorists blaming Israel and its supporters for the ills of the Middle East if not the world. C-SPAN continues to refuse to explain why it permits Jews and Israel to be the only religious/ethnic and national groups repeatedly vilified and defamed on Washington Journal. But only very rarely does the Journal audience hear from a perceptive caller like Charlie from Herkimer, New York.

October 3, 2010 – 7:06 AM

Topic: State Department will issue “travel alert” today.

Caller: Joe from Salmon, Idaho.

Caller: “On the travel alert, I think that the state of Israel could help out a lot by not being so brutal to Palestine.”

Host: “How does that relate to what’s happening in Europe?”

Caller: “Well, all the wars seem to have been generated right from that spot. No matter what war we’ve had – It’s always from Israel’s control of the Middle East and I think al Qaeda would calm down a lot if the Israelis would reach out and be nice to the Palestinians. I mean, we give them almost 3 billion dollars a year — they should do something for us.”

SCULLY: “Okay. We’ll let your comment stand there. Joe was joining us from Idaho.”

NOTE: As CAMERA has documented frequently, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal is the home of choice for uninformed, anti-Israel, anti-Jewish callers. Here, the caller’s absurd, off-topic comments (e.g. “Israel’s control of the Middle East,” “all the wars seemed to have been generated [from Israel]” and “al Qaeda would calm down a lot if the Israelis would reach out and be nice to the Palestinians”) are accepted by host Scully. A knowledgeable host would have asked how the biggest Middle East war since 1945, the 1980 – ’88 Iraq-Iran war, the 1975 – 1991 Lebanese civil wars with Syrian, Palestinian and Iranian involvement or the post-1991 Algerian civil wars, with millions of fatalities, were “generated” from or by Israel. Washington Journal could have pointed out that al Qaeda opposes an Israeli-Palestinian peace, and that Israeli offers to Palestinian leaders of a two-state solution in 2000, 2001 and 2008 were rejected, the first two times with great violence. As for Israel “doing something for us,” the history of U.S.-Israeli cooperation, from Cold War intelligence on the Soviet military to design of the Pentium MMX, Pentium 4 and Centrino computer chips and development of unmanned aerial vehicles now used widely and successfully by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq easily could have been noted by a well-informed host. Instead, host Scully lets the caller’s nonsensical allegations and insinuations stand unchallenged in an unintended parody of public affairs broadcasting.

October 3, 2010 – 7:14 AM


Topic: State Department will issue “travel alert” today.

Caller: Jane from Atlanta, Georgia.

Caller (sounding confused at the outset): “Hi. I hadn’t really known that I was calling about this. I’ve tried hundreds of times to get through but my son travels a good bit to Europe for music purposes. I just hope that nothing happens to him and I definitely think that we should be warned in any and every way that we can. I will say this. If we were the people in these Arabic countries and so forth and other countries and we had a country like the U.S. or other countries constantly taking over our countries and using us and leaving us in a mess, I don’t think that we would like them, either (chuckling). I don’t think we would like it if – I think – we are sympathetic with the Palestinians, many of us. And also, Barack Obama – and I’m a southerner but for many years – an old southern family, but I think Barack Obama watching the things I have seen on television – on C-SPAN – watching the hearings recently and everything – he [Barack Obama] is doing fabulous things, but the public doesn’t get to hear about it unless they watch C-SPAN.”

SCULLY: “Thank you Jane. Appreciate the call.”

NOTE: As was pointed out in a subsequent Twitter read by host Scully, “All these people are blaming Israel.” Exactly. C-SPAN continues to lend itself to obsessively anti-Israel, anti-Jewish callers. Once again, host Scully loses an opportunity to scrutinize a biased caller who, in this case, could have been asked exactly what countries “the U.S. [is] constantly taking over when our invasion of Afghanistan was a response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks of an Afghanistan-based al Qaeda and our overthrow of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was based on the belief, shared widely by Western intelligence agencies at the time, that he was attempting to reconstitute, in violation of U.N. resolutions, Iraq’s nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. In the interest of informed discussion, the host could have asked the caller why she and her friends “are sympathetic with the Palestinians,” when they’ve repeatedly rejected a two-state solution in exchange for peace. But all the host can muster in place of illuminating dialogue is “Thank you, Jane. Appreciate the call.”

October 2, 2010 – 8:51 AM


Guest: FRANK CILLUFFO, George Washington University, Homeland Security Policy Institute director.

Topic: Threat of homegrown terrorism.

Caller: Rick from San Antonio, Florida.

Caller: “Yes, first of all I’d like to thank all of the men and women in our armed forces and Department of Homeland Security for keeping us safe. Hats off to them. But I do have some concerns. In the last war, specifically the war with Iraq, it was based on faulty intelligence if it wasn’t outright fabricated. There was a lot of folks in this country advocating building up to that war. A lot of the same folks are building up to the next war. I think that the Israel lobby is responsible for this. What are your comments on that?”

NOTE: The caller’s mendacious claim that the “Israel lobby is responsible for this [war with Iraq and build up to a war with Iran]” was not addressed by the guest or the host. It could have been mentioned appropriately at this point that Israel preferred that the United States not depose Saddam Hussein since his regime was the only major, regional opposition to Iran in addition to itself and Iran had long been Israel’s biggest concern by far in the Middle East. But basic, factual information like this that provides a different and fairer view of Israel is usually left unexplored on Washington Journal. As to the danger from Iran, the caller pr efers to ignore the great danger to the United States and its allies which would be posed by a nuclear armed Iran, which already is doing great harm to U.S. interests by its strong support of Islamic terror organizations such as Hezbullah and Hamas and related intimidation of Sunni Muslim states in the Persian Gulf.

October 2, 2010 – 9:17 AM


Guest: FRANK CILLUFFO, George Washington University, Homeland Security Policy Institute director.

Topic: Threat of homegrown terrorism.

Caller: Tracy from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Caller: “Hi guys. Most of the people I associate with, neighbors and stuff, we have always come to the conclusion that Israel is occupying land that they shouldn’t be plus they have nuclear weapons. This creates a double standard of anger and this is what is pulling us into the situations. We are so far stretched into this thing because of that. What if we just took care of that? Maybe that would be the root problem that we can address.”

Guest: “Campaigns to address the West Bank and peace in the Middle East which is a priority for the Department of State right now, the Administration, and has been in the past a very difficult set of issues. Clearly, Israel has been the target of terrorist activity for many years. I think that we need to stand shoulder to shoulder with them as it pertains to terrorist activity, but we also need to work as aggressively as we can ensure peace in the Middle East.”

NOTE: The guest appropriately noted that “Israel has been the target of terrorist activity for many years.” But there is no reply by the guest or, more appropriately, by the host to the caller’s failure to understand that the legal status of the land in question (the West Bank) is that of disputed territory under legitimate Israeli military occupation as a result of successful self-defense in 1967 and ’73 that awaits negotiation as to its disposition – and for now, 90 percent of the residents of the West Bank are in the jurisdiction only of the Palestinian Authority. Additionally, there is a failure to rebut the caller’s mistaken view that Israel is the “root problem” in the Middle East whereas, as the U.N. Arab Human Development Reports of 2002, 2003 and later indicate, the root problems include antagonism held by adherents of Islamism toward the West, authoritarian governments, lack of intellectual, minority, women’s and religious freedom, economic stagnation apart from the petroleum industry, and corruption. Yet again, a Journal caller, impugning an Israeli government that does not threaten nuclear danger against its neighbors, is oblivious to the great peril posed to the world by an Islamic fundamentalist regime in Iran in possession of nuclear weapons. Host Harleston, typically fumbles an opportunity to scrutinize a misinformed caller.

September 11, 2010 – 8:52 AM


Guest: BRUCE KLINGNER, former CIA official, research fellow at Heritage Foundation.

Topic: What’s next for North Korea?

Caller: Kubar from Broomfield, Connecticut.

Caller: “I’m sitting here and I’m listening to the litany of charges you have just made against North Korea of blowing up airlines, attacking their neighbors and engaging in things that are quite unacceptable and detestable to any civilized person. Look, can you tell me – I’m listening to you but I see the same type of things happening that are coming out of Israel – that Israel is doing the same thing. Now, if we can excuse Israel – If we can find some accommodation with Israel, can we not find some accommodation with North Korea? Must we always be engaging in sending our young men and young women to deal with issues that you diplomats have totally failed. to deal with? And that is my main concern.”

KLINGNER: “Well I can’t address the Israel aspect, it’s out of my area of expertise. However, Israel has been a country that has been attacked repeatedly by its neighbors. They don’t accept the existence of the state of Israel and so they have repeatedly engaged in terrorist acts or actual military attacks on Israel. How Israel responds to that is obviously a matter of debate and again that’s outside of my area (guest goes on to condemn North Korea’s hostile actions over a period of many years).”

NOTE: The guest responds appropriately if generally in terms of Israel. However, this is yet another instance of a Washington Journal host allowing an obviously biased, fringe caller to go off-topic in lambasting Israel. An informed, engaged host would have challenged the caller, noting that while neighboring Arab states and terrorist groups they have hosted have attempted many times to hijack or blow up Israeli airliners, succeeding several times before forcing Israel to dramatically improve airline security, Israel only once, shot down an Arab airliner. This was a Libyan plane in 1973 that, headed for Cairo, had strayed over the Israeli-held Sinai Peninsula and disregarded instructions to land in Israel. Israel at the time was on high alert and in a state of war with Egypt. The United States Navy, mistaking an Iranian airliner for an attacking fighter jet, shot it down in 1988 over the Persian Gulf. Although the U.S. later paid restitution, it never apologized. The host’s silence, when an informed comment and challenge would have instructed viewers, is symptomatic of Washington Journal’s unacceptable superficiality and passive complicity when handling anti-Israel, anti-Jewish bigots.

September 9, 2010 – 8:21 AM


Guest: REUEL MARC GERECHT, senior fellow, Foundation For Defense of Democracies.

Topic: U.S. foreign policy.

Caller: Bishop from Detroit, Michigan.

Caller: “I appreciate the chance to express myself. I have about three points I’d like to make in short order. The first being, the hypocrisy of foreign relations that America puts out across the world in the sense that we have backed dictators in the past and the Iranian situation that hasn’t complied with UN resolutions and then Israel has not complied with numerous resolutions. And also even bringing it home, I have converted from Christianity to Islam and I have read all the books and I consider them all a complete set, as someone else said previously. And to experience the murder of a sheikh here in Detroit, Sheikh Luqman Ameen Abdullah, for expressing his displeasure with the policies of America that he has lost faith in (indistinct). I was so close and I knew this man. It made me lose all faith in justice and democracy in this country.”

NOTE: Once again, a Washington Journal host sits silently, perhaps not recognizing the extremist nature of caller’s remarks. “Bishop from Detroit” refers to the FBI killing in 2009 of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, also known as Christopher Thomas. The event was widely reported; the headline on the Christian Science Monitor’s Oct. 29, 2009 coverage read “Detroit imam killed in shootout with FBI; The slain Detroit imam called his followers to violence and wanted to establish a separate Islamic state in the U.S., according to a federal complaint.” Following a two-year investigation, the FBI had charged Abdullah and 11 followers with arms violations and conspiracy to commit federal crimes. When agents arrived at the warehouse the group was using, four followers surrendered. However, Abdullah – who identified with the Taliban and al Qaeda – refused and opened fire, according to news reports. For t he C-SPAN host not to understand the caller’s extremist views – terming Abdullah’s killing a “murder,” saying he was “so close to this man” and the shooting “made me lose all faith injustice and democracy in this country” – and not challenge them suggests either ignorance of an important news event or passivity. Both are unacceptable for a show aspiring to be informative about public affairs. The same criticism applies to the host’s silence in the fact of the caller’s supposed evidence of alleged U.S. “hypocrisy of foreign relations” in condemning Islamic Iran’s non-compliance with UN resolutions but not those of Israel.

United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict fall under Chapter Six, and are non-binding. They cannot be implemented unilaterally by Israel since they require a negotiated settlement between Israel and one or more of its Arab neighbors. The countless anti-Israel resolutions approved the U.N. General Assembly or specialized agencies such as the U.N. Human Rights Council are often the products of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, and essentially anti-Israel propaganda measures utterly lacking status as international law, unlike Iran’s violations of its obligations under the UN’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The host’s failure to engage any of these basic issues again highlights a chronic weakness of Washington Journal.

September 4, 2010 – 9:00 AM


Guest: JENDAYI FRAZER, former assistant secretary of state for African Affairs, 2005-2009.

Topic: Next for Sudan.

Caller: Shelton from Chicago, Illinois.

Caller: “Hello Dr. Frazer. I’m afraid that I have to totally and absolutely disagree with you: Yes, Israel is running guns in the south and yes, the Lords Resistance Army has absolutely nothing to do with the separation agreement …”

FRAZER: “Let me explain to you how the Lord’s Resistance Army is related to the success in the southern Sudan … I’m not sure why you’re wanting to blame Israel and neocons but the fact of the matter is that the United States has to take a leadership role because of our own interests … in dealing with a government that has marginalized the needs of its own people.”

NOTE: The guest appropriately challenged the caller’s “wanting to blame Israel and neocons (a frequently used code for Jews by Washington Journal anti-Israel callers)” for the situation in the southern Sudan ongoing conflict between Muslim Sudanese government and the largely non-Muslim south. Both host and guest were remiss in failing to ask the caller for his information source in charging that “Israel is running guns in the south (of Sudan).” This failure to ask for sourcing for anti-Israel and anti-Jewish allegations is characteristic of Washington Journal when Israel is defamed – as it often is by callers to this program.

September 3, 2010 – 7:22 AM


Topic: The fascination with Sarah Palin.

Caller: Linda from Winter Park, Florida.

Caller: “First, one of the earlier callers in the survey, he said his name was Shane and every day when he calls it is a different name.”

SLEN: “Was he from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin? (No) Was he was from Grosse Point, Michigan?”

Caller: “No, he calls in every day. I know it’s hard because he calls from a different place and a different name, but I recognize his voice and I do not understand why you all cannot recognize his voice.”

SLEN: “We appreciate that. What is your fascination with Sarah Palin?”

NOTE: Caller appropriately scolds Washington Journal for failing to recognize the voices of frequent callers.
September 2, 2010 – 8:03 AM


Guest: AMJAD ATALLAH, New America Foundation, former advisor to Palestinian negotiating team.

Guest: DANIEL LEVY, New America Foundation, former advisor to government of Israel.

Topic: Middle East peace process.

Caller: Steve in Brooklyn, New York.

Caller: I want to comment on the two gentlemen you and I appreciate the Arab negotiator. He seems moderate – he seems reasonable. The other person, Daniel Levy, has the typical leftist point of view. You keep on hearing this over and over again, that if only Netanyahu pressured the Israelis to give in more and more, there would be peace. We are talking about two partners, the recalcitrant person is the right wing of Israel. I think it’s ridiculous. I will give you an example. There was an attack yesterday in Israel. Four Jews were brutally murdered . So what did we get? We got condemnation from Mahmoud Abbas. He said there should be no bloodshed in the Middle East. In these attacks against Arabs, let us say, for Israeli soldiers when they are defending themselves, he calls it in the abhorrent attack. It seems like a minor point, but the so-called Palestinian mentality does not look at this as an abhorrent act.”

Host (interrupting): “Let me give Mr. Levy a chance to respond.”

LEVY: “I think both President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu come from, live within and represent their own peoples, their own narratives. When Prime Minister Netanyahu – if something goes wrong in an Israeli military operation – If something happens to Palestinian innocent civilians – as happened in operation “Cast Lead” (Gaza campaign) – where perhaps two thirds of the over 1000 Palestinian casualties were civilians – the way in which Prime Minister Netanyahu will express regret for Palestinian civilian casualties will be – and I think he is sincere – will be coming from an Israeli position where the Israelis are concerned, number one. Likewise, in a courageous condemnation from President Abbas yesterday, he is still coming at this from a Palestinian perspective. Of course, a third party, the neutral observer, can display equal (indistinct) to both sides. But I don’t think one can expect that from the parties themselves.”

NOTE: The caller questions the suitability of Daniel Levy to be the voice for Israel in this discussion because his left-leaning views are outside the mainstream of Israeli electoral and public opinion. On the other hand, Mr. Atallah is well suited to represent the Palestinian side which he does skillfully as he adroitly criticizes the Israelis in this morning’s discussion while Mr. Levy acts as almost an apologist for the Palestinian side. This is an unbalanced panel. Example: Levy falsely states that “perhaps two thirds of the over 1000 Palestinian casualties (in operation Cast Lead) were civilians” but In fact, the proportion of terrorist casualties constituted approximately three fourths of the total number of casualties.

September 2, 2010 – 8:07 AM


Guest: AMJAD ATALLAH, New America Foundation, former advisor to Palestinian negotiating team.

Guest: DANIEL LEVY, New America Foundation, former advisor to government of Israel.

Topic: Middle East peace process.

Caller: Sherry from Joliet, Illinois.

Caller: “All the oppression and the terrorism that’s going on with the Israelis against the Palestinians has led to the whole situation of the terrorism around the world at this point. What they want from the United States is to snuff out their adversaries, such as – what – Iran. They want the United States to go in there and fight Iran like we did Iraq so they can snuff them out and so they can have nobody to help the Palestinians. It’s all about the haves and have-nots at this point.”

LEVY: “I think it’s a stretch to suggest that all the terrorism around the world is linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a stretch significantly beyond what can possibly be merited by the reality. I do think that one of the reasons you saw the President in the room yesterday with a determination to see this through is that there is an appreciation that resolving this conflict is an American national security interest. That is not just President Obama’ s perception, that’s where the military is, that’s where the Pentagon is. Former CENTCOM commander General David Petraeus put it very starkly when he talked talking about America’s inability to reestablish its credibility in the Middle East, to work effectively with its allies and to push back against its adversaries. As long as this Palestinian grievance – which America is seen as facilitating – the Palestinian lack of freedom continues. Now, of course the President put it in terms which I think are the right terms, which is that this is also in the Israeli interests and so I think there’s a lose-lose that we have seen played out for many years, but there is a win-win-win-win where America interests are advanced, Israel gets peace and security and recognized borders. The Palestinians have their freedom and independence and real sovereignty and the Middle East can be re-stabilized. I think that’s why a President would take a day out in a hard period at the end of the summer where jobs and the economy are on the agenda to say that he will wrap his arms around peacemaking because it matters to America.”

ATALLAH: “I think actually there’s a really important point to make that took place the other day and I’m hoping it’s more than a coincidence. The United States ended combat operations in Iraq and President Obama gave a speech on Tuesday in which he made it clear that the United States had no intention of occupying or colonizing Iraq, that we were ending our combat operations there and moving to a new phase. The very next day he launches talks that are designed to end the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Now, in the Middle East those two things are very connected. That narrative is very connected. Is the United States the good guy that wants peace in the region? Is the United States the good guy that wants freedom for all the people in the region and security for all the people or is the United States an imperial power seeking to occupy and colonize? Those are the two narratives that compete with each other in the Middle East. But the President, within a 48-hour period, basically presented to the entire Arab and Muslim world, that, look, we have no intention colonizing Iraq, we have no intention of staying in Iraq, but he also gave a message to the Israelis – we’re in the same boat — we are getting out of Iraq, you have to get out of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. But the (indistinct) has to be the most important thing. He’s got to make sure that the action achieves this. If you said that you wanted to get out of Iraq and you do not, you’re not going to get any points for it. If you say that you want to end the Arab-Israeli conflict and you fail at it, you will not get any credit for it either.”

NOTE: Guest Daniel Levy repudiates the caller’s delusional thesis attributing the world-wide Islamist terrorist campaign to Israel’s defensive actions: “I think it’s a stretch to suggest that all the terrorism around the world is linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a stretch significantly beyond what can possibly be merited by the reality.” If anything, Mr. Levy has understated the reality. In painting Iran as an innocent potential victim of the United States as incited by Israel, the caller, with an obvious bias unmentioned by either host or guests, is silent about Iran’s development of nuclear weaponry in connection with its stated threats towards the United States and Israel – and its support of genocidal entities such as Hamas and Hezbollah which are designated by the United States and other nations as terrorist organizations. The other guest, Mr. Atallah, draws a false parallel between the U.S. in Iraq and Israel in the West Bank. There is no valid comparison, Israel being the legitimate military occupational authority in the West Bank, as a result of successful self-defense and Palestinian rejection of several Israeli-U.S. “two-state” offers. Additionally, Atallah falsely implied that Israel occupies the Gaza Strip, having withdrawn completely in 2005, but received primarily Hamas-led terrorism from the territory since then. Neither the host nor the other guest points out these essential facts. This exemplifies C-SPAN’s practice of allowing Israel to be the target of smears and false comparisons without moderators noting factual, contradictory information.

September 2, 2010 – 9:09 AM


Guest: Congressman MIKE COFFMAN (R-Colorado), member Armed Services Committee.

Topic: U.S. combat troop withdrawal from Iraq.

Caller: Doris from Sun Valley, California (anti-Semitic, anti-Israel frequent caller).

Caller: “Have you read the 9/11 Commission Report and do you understand the motivation behind why we got attacked? We have gotten attacked because of our support for Israel and their oppression of the Palestinians. We’ve got to quit sending all that money over there. We shouldn’t even get involved in it. I tried to get through to the peace talks (conversation) too because in order to correct that guy, Levy, who used to work for Barak but now we’re on another subject here. AIPAC, the most dangerous Jewish lobby, pushed us into the war with Iraq. (Ehud) Barak said, back in 2002, he was glad we went in there – he practically blew the whole cover – because it made Israel more secure. I’ m really tired of this. They are really driving our country into the ground.”

Host (belatedly cuts off the caller): “Congressman, do you share her points of view?”

COFFMAN: “No. I think that when we look at the writings of Osama bin Laden – the statements prior to 9/11 – he never drew a nexus with Israel. He has recently, as many radical Islamists do, (in order) to try to bolster support from elements of the Muslim world. But I don’ t think that resolving the Arab-Israeli dispute will solve for the problems that the United States really has now with what I would call radical political Islam, which I don’t see as a religion, I see it as an ideology.”

NOTE: Congressman Coffman appropriately repudiated the caller’s familiar, false message condemning Israel for the jihadist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “Doris from Sun Valley, California,” who deceptively uses different names and locales in many calls to Washington Journal, most recently called on August 2 as “Mary from Long Beach, California” typically lambasting AIPAC (America-Israel Public Affairs Committee). Other Doris/Mary aliases used in order to avoid cut-off or censure for violating C-SPAN’s ostensible 30-days-between-calls rule for this deceptive caller whose dishonesty extends beyond her repetitious propaganda message: Debby (Aug. 1), Camille (July 17) and Sherry/Susan/Joanne/Margaret/Carol/Janet/Sally/Peggy. This h ost, Susan Swain, who is also president of C-SPAN, is either unwilling or unable to deal with this caller who was recognized on May 9, 2010 (calling as nameless from Reseda, California) by host Peter Slen on another C-SPAN program, “Book TV”: “This is a caller who calls in nearly every day with the same (anti-Israel, anti-Jewish) message.”

This caller and her fellow-travelers obsessively condemn AIPAC (the registered, American pro-Israel lobbying group) for activities such as having “pushed us into the war with Iraq.” AIPAC has become the designated bogey-man for those who demonize Jews and Israel. Despite its acronym, AIPAC is not a political action committee and does not contribute to electoral campaigns. As a lobby, its activities are public (see www.aipac.org) and effective only to the extent that members of Congress and the executive branch, Democratic, Republican or independent, believe they are in U.S. interests.

As to the actual contents of the 9/11 Commission Report which is misleadingly cited by the caller to buttress her false message, a comprehensive explanation of the motivation for al Qaeda’s attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon is contained in CAMERA’s C-SPAN Watch entry for March 23, 2010, 9:56 AM, which includes reference to and quotes from the official 9/11 Commission Report.

September 1, 2010 – 7:03 AM


Topic: President Obama: It is time to turn the page on Iraq.

Caller: John from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Caller: “I was listening to what you were saying about the President’s speech about turning the page. I happen to be thinking – it is time to turn the page and to stop bashing [President] Bush. I was also reading American Thinker dot com this morning and saw where President Obama authorized submission by the State Department to U.N. on human rights abuses by the U.S. and unfortunately (chuckling), I also saw where the Washington Journal was named the home of the anti-Jewish lunatic fringe because of the anti-Semitic comments a lot of people have. I think that if we can get past all of the rancor and also the problems with our people and just get along so we can all work together and improve the United States.”

NOTE: Caller refers obliquely to CAMERA’s American Thinker article dealing with C-SPAN’s receptiveness to anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli callers. Host Echevarria listens expressionlessly and makes no comment.
September 1, 2010 – 7:12 AM


Topic: President Obama: It is time to turn the page on Iraq.

Caller: Oscar from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Caller: “My name is Oscar Hilton. I am calling to keep the book open. The book should be open until we find out why we went there. 4500 to 5000 People have been killed. I don’t know how many have been wounded. It does not make any sense.”

Host: “When you say ‘keep the book open,’ what do you mean by that?”

Caller: “To find out why we went to Iraq. The real reason. Not the BS reason they always come out with about weapons of mass destruction and other things that were really important. I really think it is about Israel, protecting Israel from starting a war with Iraq and Iran.”

NOTE: Host fails to comment on the baseless assertion (“it is about Israel, protecting Israel from starting a war with Iraq and Iran.”) This caller helps reaffirm CAMERA’s thesis of the ongoing problem of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel callers finding a home at C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.

September 1, 2010 – 7:28 AM


Topic: President Obama: It is time to turn the page on Iraq.

Caller: Unnamed caller from Ellicott city, Maryland.

Caller: “I want to say when you had in Africa, the Hutus and Tutsis – their leaders were brought into international court and prosecuted for war crimes. George Bush brought Blackwater into Iraq and they planted hundreds of thousands of bombs in markets and mosques to divide the Iraqis and have Iraq divided into three countries. They terrorized the whole country. Every bomb that went off was not a suicide attack, it was a Blackwater attack and I think George Bush should be prosecuted for this – him and all of the neocons who were only working on behalf of Israel and not America.”

NOTE: Host fails to comment on the conspiracy-obsessed caller attacking U.S. actions in Iraq and the caller’s factual inventions – “every bomb that went off … was a Blackwater attack ….” – and the lunatic assertion that “all of the neocons … were only working on behalf of Israel.” This caller too supports CAMERA’s thesis of the ongoing problem of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel callers finding a home at C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.

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