HBO's Bill Maher clashed with Charlie Rose on the veteran host's PBS show on Tuesday over the atheist's outspoken views on Islam. Maher underlined the "illiberal beliefs that are held by vast numbers of Muslim people." Rose countered with a left-wing talking point: "Vast number of Christians, too." The comedian shot back, "No, no. That's not true – not true. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion, you should be killed for it."
In a report for Tuesday's NBC Nightly News, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel declared that "Gazans tried to put their lives back together" during a cease-fire with Israel and said of the Palestinian terrorist group that spurred the conflict: "Hamas, after a month of punishment, realized it was nearly without friends in the region. Especially Egypt, its Arab neighbor and former ally." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Engel explained: "This is Gaza's crossing into Egypt. Throughout this war, Hamas's main demand has been to open it, but it's still closed. Hamas has enemies in Israel and in the military-led government in Egypt." Strange that NBC never reported on the isolation of Hamas until after the violence subsided.
New York Times Cairo bureau chief David Kirkpatrick's front-page story on Thursday, "Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel, Stay Silent," appeared under a sympathy-inducing photo of a shattered United Nations school allegedly hit by an Israeli shell, while Kirkpatrick's story tried to induce sympathy toward Hamas, abandoned by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, its erstwhile allies in the fight for the destruction of Israel.
An online teaser actually suggested Egypt's opposition to the terror group Hamas was a regrettable obstacle to peace: "Led by Egypt, a coalition of Arab states has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas, posing new obstacles to efforts to end the Gaza conflict." Acording to Kirkpatrick, Hamas's terrorist status is up for debate, as it is merely "deemed a terrorist group by the United States and Israel."
In an unsurprising display of ignorance, Jon Stewart felt it necessary to interrupt his guest, Egyptian Revolutionary Socialist Gigi Ibrahim, to crack a lame joke comparing the human rights abuses occurring under military rule in Egypt today to the American government’s restriction of “civil rights under the guise of fighting terrorism.”
Stewart’s claim that “we’re not so different after all, you and I” came after Ibrahim explained how the Egyptian government instated an anti-protest law that led to the imprisonment of 41,000 political prisoners. Ibrahim describes how these prisons abuse, rape and torture their occupants, while the arrests and prison conditions are kept out of the media through government censorship. [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]
NPR prides itself on being globally sophisticated. So why on Earth would one of its correspondents ask “Which Place Is More Sexist, The Middle East Or Latin America?”
On NPR's "Parallels" blog, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro suggested Brazil is just as oppressive for women as Egypt or Iraq, in a different way. She concluded: “Activists often target the Middle East for its policies towards women. But as living in Brazil has taught me, for women, even having all the freedom in the world can be its own cage.”
John Seigenthaler, the former NBC news anchor who now reads the news on Al Jazeera America, showed up on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report Tuesday night to undergo a faux-grilling from Stephen Colbert about his new employer. While explaining how he came to work at Al Jazeera, Seigenthaler remarked, “They offered me the chance to anchor a newscast that focused on serious news. In-depth journalism, unbiased reports.”
Colbert, in character as usual, feigned skepticism, demanding:
It seems that Associated Press reporter Maggie Michael and Sarah El Deeb, her partner in distortion, can hardly believe that Egypt's military-backed government is calling terrorists "terrorists."
The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization. Even if one believes, as Michael asserts, that "The Brotherhood, founded in 1928, denounced violence in the late 1970s," that alleged repudiation was rendered null and void after hard-line Islamist Mohammed Morsi, who lost his legitimacy when he took dictatorial powers in November of last year, was ousted from power in July. After that, the Brotherhood, as I noted at the time, with evidence, "rededicated itself to terrorism." Egypt's government is recognizing the obvious, and the in three process thumbing its nose at the Obama administration, which as far as I can tell has never backed away from its position that the Brotherhood should have a role in Egypt's government.
When George W. Bush was president, America's media loved reporting international demonstrations against him once things in Iraq turned south.
With this in mind, it will be interesting to see if the same historically anti-war press will cover a picture depicting Barack Obama as the devil published Wednesday in the popular Egyptian newspaper Al Wafd.
David Letterman took a comedic swipe at George W. Bush and Barack Obama Wednesday.
Talking about what appears to be a looming American strike on Syria, the CBS Late Show host said, “It's going to be kind of an enjoyable switch for Obama. Now he can start a war that the next president will be stuck with” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Maybe, in sync with the predictable press reactions to oft-seen bad economic numbers, the headline at Julie Pace's late-morning story at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, should have been: "Obama Foreign Policy Falls Apart ... Unexpectedly."
Pace's pathetic attempt at pathos in assessing the status of the Obama administration's foreign policy tells AP readers that some of it is due to "factors outside the White House's control" (as if previous administrations haven't had to deal with unanticipated developments), that Obama "misjudged" what would come in the Arab Spring's aftermath (we're supposed to ignore all of those contacts he's had with Muslim Brotherhood officials and their sympathizers), and that the NSA revelations have hurt our standing in Europe (without noting that the root cause is NSA's spying on U.S. citizens). Excerpts follow the jump.
Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had some harsh words for the White House Wednesday.
Appearing on Fox News’s Special Report, Krauthammer said President Obama has made America “irrelevant” in the Middle East.
In the media’s wall-to-wall Egypt coverage, one important facet of the ongoing crisis has gotten short shrift: the deadly plight of that nation’s Christians. The three broadcast networks in particular have buried the anti-Christian violence, devoting just 5 percent of Egypt reporting to it since last week. Six days ago, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and deposed President Mohammed Morsi launched what some are calling a “pogrom” and “jihad” against Egypt’s Christian population.
Violence against Egypt’s Christian minority is nothing new. Nor is the media’s disinterest in it. But in the last week, that violence suddenly escalated to epidemic levels.