This week, CNN absolutely freaked out over Republican Senator Martha McSally calling one of their journalists a “liberal hack.” Hosts on the network raged over it as “indecent,” “disgraceful” and “hatred.” However one year ago this week, when it was revealed that Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar had an old tweet calling Israel “evil,” the cable network only mildly chided her.
On the January 17, 2018 edition of CNN’s Newsroom, hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto interviewed Omar for over ten minutes. But they managed just one question about her tweet. Harlow at least managed to call it “deeply offensive.”
Here’s the relatively weak question:
I do want to ask you also about your comments on Israel to remind people what you tweeted about Israel in 2012 during the offensive in Gaza. You wrote, “Israel has hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” You have commented a lot since then trying to explain what you meant by that. I wonder just what your message is this morning as the first on our game changer series to Jewish-Americans who find that deeply offensive.
So, for CNN, criticizing a journalist draws a massive, angry response. But calling Israel “evil” only gets mild push back?
Harlow then changed topics to disturbing comments by Congressman Steve King. She explained that “you voted to reprehend him as well this week for his racist remarks.” Harlow wondered, “Steve King should be censured?”
On the January 15, 2018 edition of PBS’s Amanpour and Company, the host read the 2012 Omar tweet: “Israel has hypnotized the world. May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” She wondered, “How do you put that into context now and what do you say to American Jews?”
For more examples from our flashback series, which we call the NewsBusters Time Machine, go here.