While English-networks ABC and NBC combined with Spanish-language networks MundoFox, Telemundo, and Univision on Thursday night to skip testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry in a Senate hearing on the Iran deal, CBS covered it in a news brief, but only summarized it and ignored false statements by Kerry as he faced criticism from both sides of the aisle.
In contrast, the Fox News Channel (FNC) program Special Report not only had a full segment on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing from chief Washington correspondent James Rosen but a takedown of three claims from Kerry.
Introducing Rosen’s piece, host Bret Baier explained:
Secretary of State John Kerry says the idea the U.S. could have held out for a better deal with Iran over its nuclear program is a fantasy, but critics of the deal grilled him today during the first congressional hearing into the agreement.
Rosen first detailed the criticism of the nuclear deal from both Republicans and Democrats before shifting his focus to how Kerry “made some demonstrable false statements.”
First, Rosen tackled how the country’s top diplomat avowed that “[n]body has ever talked about actually dismantling their entire program” when, as Rosen explained, he told Congress on December 10, 2013 that the State Department engaged the Iranian regime “because we knew that it would hopefully help Iran dismantle it’s nuclear program.”
In yet another inaccurate utterance, Rosen added that “Kerry suggested, as he had before, that inaction by the Bush administration tied President Obama’s hands” when the facts are that: “[International Atomic Energy Agency] reports show 75 percent of Iran's centrifuges were installed on Mr. Obama's watch.”
For the final piece that Rosen debunked, he took on Kerry’s emphasis on Thursday that: “I never uttered the words ‘anywhere, anytime’ nor was it ever part of the discussion that we had with the Iranians.”
Providing a final dose of reality, Rosen played a clip of White House adviser Ben Rhodes from CNN’s The Lead on April 6 in which he told host Jake Tapper the following: “Under this deal, you will have anywhere, anytime, 24/7 access as it relates to the nuclear facilities that Iran has.”
As for the coverage that CBS aired on Thursday’s CBS Evening News, fill-in anchor Charlie Rose teased Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s upcoming appearance on Friday’s CBS This Morning along with a news brief on the hearing and criticism from Republicans:
Today, Secretary of State John Kerry came face-to-face with senators, hoping to sell them on the nuclear deal with Iran. The Iranians have agreed to limit their nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions, but one Republican senator told Kerry he’d been fleeced. Another said the secretary had been bamboozled.
The relevant portions of the transcript from FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier on July 23 can be found below.
FNC’s Special Report with Bret Baier
July 23, 2015
6:00 p.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Playing Defense]
BRET BAIER: Secretary of State John Kerry says the idea the U.S. could have held out for a better deal with Iran over its nuclear program is a fantasy, but critics of the deal grilled him today during the first congressional hearing into the agreement. Chief Washington correspondent James Rosen has tonight's top story from the White House.
JAMES ROSEN: Members of a far-left group applauded Secretary of State John Kerry, but members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on both sides of the aisle had more pointed commentary on the Iran nuclear deal.
ROSEN: Kerry noted that the French, Brits and Germans all approved the deal, too.
SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: They're not dumb.
ROSEN: Responding to reports that Iran, not inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency will be collecting environmental samples at suspicious sites like the military base at Parchin. The cabinet officers argued the Iranians, to receive sanctions relief, will respect the chain of custody for critical nuclear evidence.
ROSEN: Kerry, however, made some demonstrable false statements.
KERRY: Nobody has ever talked about actually dismantling their entire program.
ROSEN: Actually, Kerry himself previously told Congress that dismantlement was the goal of the sanctions.
KERRY [on 12/10/13]: We did it because we knew that it would hopefully help Iran dismantle it’s nuclear program.
ROSEN: Likewise, Kerry suggested, as he had before, that inaction by the Bush administration tied President Obama’s hands.
KERRY: When we began our negotiations, they had 19,000 centrifuges, up from the 163 that they had back in 2003 when the prior administration was engaged with them on this very topic.
ROSEN: In fact, IAEA reports show 75 percent of Iran's centrifuges were installed on Mr. Obama's watch and lastly, there was this about whether Iran would face anytime, anywhere inspections.
KERRY: And I can tell you I never uttered the words “anywhere, anytime” nor was it ever part of the discussion that we had with the Iranians.
ROSEN: In fact, such access was part of the U.S. negotiating posture as late as April of this year.
WHITE HOUSE ADVISER BEN RHODES [on CNN’s The Lead, 04/06/15]: Under this deal, you will have anywhere, anytime, 24/7 access as it relates to the nuclear facilities that Iran has.