The Democratic Party has been roiled by the latest anti-Semitism charge against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. As Nancy Pelosi prepares a resolution this week to reject Jew hatred, one which might mention Omar by name, the network newscasts have remained silent. By contrast, Fox News and MSNBC covered it on Monday.
Last week at a town hall event, Omar said of Jewish influence: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” On Monday, Fox's Harris Faulkner explained, “Some people said it was anti-Semitic from her, again. Omar suggesting that lawmakers who support Israel have dual loyalty.”
This story will become harder and harder for the networks to ignore as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has called for a resolution against anti-Jewish bigotry. ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt wrote to Pelosi and condemned, “Accusing Jews of having allegiance to a foreign government has long been a vile antisemitic slur that has been used to harass, marginalize, and persecute the Jewish people for centuries.”
Although the networks have ignored this, MSNBC’s Garrett Haake covered it on MSNBC Live:
I think this is a warning shot to the freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar about her ongoing controversial remarks that have been primarily about Israel.... On Wednesday, the House will vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. It is not clear, as I stand here right now, whether it will mention her name. But the intended recipient is clear.
Speaking of embarrassed Democrats, he added, “But it is clear her colleagues are fed up with this.... This could become something of a messy fight.”
Although the ABC, CBS and NBC newscasts have stayed silent this week about Omar, The View’s Meghan McCain brought it up on Monday, saying of coverage:
It's easy to spot anti-Semitism when it's a bunch of crazy people with Tiki torches screaming, “Jews will not replace us.” What's trickier is tweets like congresswoman Ilhan OMAR’s recently deleted tweet about how Israel has, quote, “hypnotized the world to carry out,” quote, “evil.”
This is the (now-deleted) tweet from 2012:
As I reported in January, PBS went soft on that tweet. Amanpour and Company host Christiane Amanpour talked to Omar and said of the Israel is evil tweet: “Put that in context.”
Back in November, CBS and NBC were more interested in Omar. Both networks celebrated her win as a victory for diversity.
Remember how quickly the networks jumped on Congressman Steve King’s disgusting comments appearing to defend white supremacy? Wouldn’t it be nice if condemning these type of comments wasn’t a partisan issue?
Partial transcripts of Fox News and MSNBC can be found below:
HARRIS FAULKNER: Freshman Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is facing some huge controversy over her remarks at a D.C. Event last week. Some people said it was anti-Semitic from her, again. Omar suggesting that lawmakers who support Israel have dual loyalty, and also asks why it was okay for her to speak critically of the NRA's influence but not a pro-Israel lobbying group. ouse foreign affairs committee Chair Eliot Engel is demanding an apology from her.
3:14 PM ET
GARRETT HAAKE: I think this is a warning shot to the freshman congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, about her ongoing controversial remarks that have been primarily about Israel. I'll get back to that in a moment because I think it is important. On Wednesday, the House will vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. It is not clear, as I stand here right now, whether it will mention her name. But the intended recipient is clear. Omar has angered, in this case, once again, Democratic lawmakers, her fellow Democrats, for the second team for comments that she’s made about Israel. The first, you might remember, was about Israeli or Jewish money in PACs, their influence over government. It was roundly condemned. The second comment that has gotten attention was about the idea of declaring allegiance to a foreign country by supporting Israel. Omar has aggressively defended herself on Twitter and other social media, saying this is it's not about foreign countries. It’s not about Jews, or Judaism, American Jews. But it is clear her colleagues are fed up with this. It is a distraction and it is something they feel they have to deal with. Stay tuned, Ali, because I don't see this debate going away. I don’t see Representative Omar letting this one go and we don't know exactly how this resolution will be phrased or put together. This could become something of a messy fight.