On Friday’s NBC Nightly News, as correspondent Richard Engel informed viewers that many thousands of Egyptians are again protesting against the government in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, he noted that organizers of the original protests fear that the Muslim Brotherhood will have too much influence in the new government, and recounted the Islamist group’s increased power in Egypt since January.
He went on to highlight the "staunchly anti-Israel" views of the Brotherhood and showed a clip of one of the group’s leaders making an anti-Semitic statement accusing Jews of wanting to "live in war," claiming that it is their "history":
CNN foreign affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria – who has recently had off-the-record conversations with President Obama on foreign issues – noted the president's "restraint" in his dealing with the "Arab Spring" and the conflict in Libya Wednesday. Zakaria previously gave a thumbs-up for Obama's Mideast speech in May and later defended the president's plan for removing American troops from Afghanistan.
The point-of-note is that this is the same analyst whom, according to the New York Times, President Obama "sounded out" while shaping his foreign policy. The two simply had "off-the-record" conversations on foreign issues, according to Zakaria, and the CNN host claimed he was not an advisor to the President.
Fareed Zakaria has privately advised President Barack Obama on foreign policy. So it's no surprise the CNN anchor approved of the president's foreign policy speech yesterday.
Unfortunately, however, he never informed his viewers of his private consultations with Obama.
NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell discussed Zakaria's cozy arrangement with the White House on the May 19 "Hannity" program's "Media Mash"
[See video of the segment below the page break]
Update below the break: Although Zakaria said he would be "surprised" if any Israelis objected to Obama's "quite even-handed" call for pre-1967 borders between Israel and Palestine, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed clear disapproval of the idea Thursday.
CNN's Fareed Zakaria appeared three times on Newsroom Thursday to preview and evaluate President Obama's speech on the Middle East – but never revealed that he has recently had face-to-face meetings with the president on foreign policy matters.
Last weekend a comment by CNN prime time host Eliot Spitzer revealed that Zakaria was advising the president on foreign policy matters, but Zakaria later dismissed that observation and said he simply had off-the-record conversations with Obama on foreign issues. However, he still did not disclose that information when he evaluated Obama's foreign policy speech Thursday on CNN.
As we watched President Obama tell us Sunday evening of Osama bin Laden's death, we knew the media would be starting the Mother of all victory laps.
Not surprisingly out ahead of the cheering throngs was Huffington Post's senior politics editor Howard Fineman with his Monday love letter "Obama Gets Osama: Goodbye Vietnam":
While it was suggested during February's coverage of anti-government protests in Egypt that the radical Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement only had the support of a minority of Egyptians, a recent Pew Research Center poll finds that over 70 percent of the Egyptian public holds a favorable view of the Islamist organization. The same poll also notably finds that the more secular April 6 movement has a similar appeal.
The Haaretz Web site contains the AP article "Poll: More Than Half of Egyptians Want to Cancel Treaty with Israel," which notes: "The conservative Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and the largely secular April 6 movement - two groups closely involved in the uprising, had the highest approval ratings in society, with over 70 percent seeing them in a very or somewhat favorable light."
On the February 8 NBC Nightly News, correspondent Richard Engel had estimated the group's appeal to be between 20 and 40 percent.
And, as the headline alludes to, 54 percent of poll respondents expressed the view that Egypt's thirty-year treaty with Israel should be ended: "According to the poll results, only 36 percent of Egyptians are in favor of maintaining the treaty, compared with 54 percent who would like to see it scrapped."
A new poll finds one out of 10 Egyptians are sympathetic to Islamic "fundamentalists," 75 percent have a positive view of the Muslim Brotherhood, and 79 percent have a "very" or "somewhat unfavorable" view of the United States.
But Washington Post's Michael Birnbaum seems to portray this data as of little concern (emphasis mine):