Rush Limbaugh has begun humorously describing MSNBC as "government-controlled television." Trying to watch coverage of President Obama’s Cairo speech on MSNBC last night would certainly give you that impression. Obama’s speech was so impressive that not only were mouths agape in amazement in Afghanistan, Rachel Maddow’s official critical reaction was exactly these words: "Dude, no way. He said what? Huh-uh.



The "Today" show devoted much of last week's coverage of Obama's European trip to obsessing over such frivolous matters as what Michelle Obama was wearing and what kind of gift the Obamas gave the Queen, so when Laura Ingraham was invited on Wednesday's "Today" show, the conservative radio talk show host couldn't resist knocking the silly coverage, as seen in the following exchange with NBC's Matt Lauer (audio available here):

MATT LAUER: So let's be fair and say that he didn't come away accomplishing what he went there to accomplish, but is it possible to say, look at it slightly differently, Laura, and say some of these things take a while to bear fruit and that perhaps some of these leaders, other leaders were reluctant to come forward with some of these things under the glare of the summit spotlight and they may be more forthcoming in the coming weeks and months?

LAURA INGRAHAM: Well I don't know, I guess that's possible. But look we, we know that Europe loves President Obama. He had adoring crowds. The press loves Obama. The question is how will this date end? Okay? The question is, to what end? Why do they love President Obama? They love his personal story, they love his wife. North Korea, China and Russia don't really care about Michelle's arms and, you know, whether they gave an iPod to the Queen, okay? They care about whether America is still going to lead, exhibit strength and doesn't just talk about these vague concepts, Matt, of global cooperation.



Among President Barack Obama's abundant initial achievements -- bringing peace to Gaza by the mere specter of his looming presidency,



Add NBC to the list of news organizations that have shown a clip of two doctors, one of whom is the controversial pro-9/11 Norwegian doctor, Mads Gilbert, supposedly trying to revive a deceased Palestinian boy at Shifa Hospital in Gaza – a scene which some critics charge appears staged. Last week, on the Sunday, January 4, NBC Nightly News, correspondent Richard Engel filed a report in which he recounted the story of a 12-year-old boy, Mahmoud Basrowi, the brother of "Ashraf, a Gaza-based television producer contracted by NBC News," as Ashraf claimed his brother was killed while playing on his family’s roof "when the house was hit by an Israeli shell or rocket."

Narrated Engel:

But in the Gaza Strip now, streets are mostly empty, fuel is running out and there's no electricity. Hospital officials say at least 430 Palestinians have been killed, 30 just today, including 12-year-old Mahmoud Basrowi. His family says the boy was playing on his rooftop with a cousin when the house was hit by an Israeli shell or rocket. Two doctors, one a volunteer from Norway, tried to save Mahmoud. Wrapped in a white funeral shroud, Mahmoud was taken by his brother Ashraf, a Gaza-based television producer contracted by NBC News.



Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor who has long been a pro-Palestinian activist and critic of Israel, and who, according to an article released by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), once expressed agreement with the 9/11 attacks which he considered to be a justified attack on civilians, has been seen numerous times in the last couple of weeks on broadcast network news shows – primarily on CBS and NBC. Without mentioning his extreme views, anchors and correspondents have treated him as a trustworthy source, as if he were a neutral foreign observer, regarding civilian casualties arriving at Shifa Hospital in Gaza amid the Israeli campaign against Hamas. But, according to CAMERA: "When asked by Dagbladet (a Norwegian publication) if he supported the terrorist attack on the U.S., he replied: 'Terror is a bad weapon, but the answer is yes, within the context I have mentioned.' (Sept. 30, 2001)"

The article "Norwegian Doctors in Gaza: Objective Observers or Partisan Propagandists?" by Ricki Hollander, can be found here.

 On the January 5 The Early Show, correspondent Mark Phillips cited Gilbert’s charges that Israel was conducting an "all-out war against civilians" as "compelling evidence" contradicting "repeated claims by Israelis that civilians are not being targeted." Phillips: "Despite repeated claims by the Israelis that civilians are not being targeted and that they are even being warned by leaflets and phone calls to stay away from target sites, the dead and injured continue to be brought into Gaza's overrun hospitals. And the evidence provided by foreign doctors in Gaza is compelling." Then came a clip of Gilbert: "So anybody who tries to portray this as sort of a clean war against another army are lying. This is an all-out war against the civilian Palestinian population in Gaza, and we can prove that with the numbers."



The consequences of a military attack on Iran to thwart its nuclear intentions could have a global economic impact, according to NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel.

Engel warned on the July 1 "NBC Nightly News" an attack by Israel could send oil prices soaring - sending gas prices into territories never imagined.

"I asked an oil analyst that very question," Engel said. "He said, ‘The price of a barrel of oil: Name your price - $300-$400 a barrel.'"

What would oil at those levels mean? A June 11 Time magazine story by Robert Baer put the price of a gallon of gas at $12 a gallon if oil goes to $300 a barrel. In May, Robert Hirsch, Management Information Services Senior Energy Advisor, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" the oil at those prices could mean $15-a-gallon gas.



Invited on to promote his new book, "War Journal," NBC's Middle Eastern correspondent Richard Engel claimed, on Tuesday's "Today" show, that it wasn't "an opinion piece." However, in the book, Engel reveals a definite anti-war bias as he called the Iraq war "a war of opportunity," and charged, "the U.S. invaded the wrong country."

Engel tried to deny the book's slant in the following exchange with "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira:

MEREDITH VIEIRA: You know this is not a political treatise, but you do take a position about the war. You call it "a war of opportunity." And you write, "The problem was that the U.S. invaded the wrong country, destroying an odious government that was not responsible for 9/11. I don't know how you recover from invading the wrong country, no matter how you spin it." As a journalist, did you worry that you were crossing a line when you said that?



Media Research Center Director of Research and NewsBusters Senior Editor Rich Noyes appeared on Fox News's "America's Election HQ" program shortly before 6 p.m. EDT today. The topic: The Bush White House's complaint about NBC's misleading editing of President Bush's interview with correspondent Richard Engel.

You can find an excerpt of the transcript below the page break, or the full segment by clicking the play button on the embed at the right. [audio available here]

For more of NB's archive on Engel's reporting, click here.



Ed Gillespie, counselor to President Bush, fired off a letter today to NBC News President Steve Capus complaining about misleading editing in Richard Engel's recent interview with the president.

See NB contributing editor Geoff Dickens's blog post on the May 19 "Today"-aired exclusive interview here.



During an exclusive interview with George W. Bush, on Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Richard Engel seemed to blame all of the Middle East's problems on the President's policies as he charged that, "Iran's position in the world is rising because of your actions in Iraq," and that the war on terrorism "has not made the world safer."

This exchange was typical of the tone of the entire interview where virtually all of Engels' questions to the President were from the left.

RICHARD ENGEL: If you look back over the last several years, the Middle East that you'll be handing over to the next president has, is deeply problematic. You have Hamas in power, Hezbollah empowered, taking to the streets, Iran empowered, Iraq still at war. What region are you handing over?

GEORGE W. BUSH: Richard, Richard those folks were always around. They were here. What we're handing over is a, is a Middle East that one recognizes the problems and the world recognizes them. There's, there's clarity as to what the problems are.

ENGEL: The war on terrorism has been the centerpiece of your presidency. Many people say that it has not made the world safer, that it has created more radicals, that, that there are more people in this part of the world who want to attack the United States.



NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams led Tuesday's newscast by listing the burden of the Iraq war in years, troops, deaths and cost before Jim Miklaszewski, unlike reporters on ABC and CBS, found it newsworthy to show a man, in the Senate hearing for General David Petraeus, shouting “bring them home!” In the next story, Andrea Mitchell decided to highlight, again unlike ABC or CBS, how John McCain “stumbled...by again describing al Qaeda as Shiite” and Williams turned to Richard Engel, NBC's Iraq reporter, who described Petraeus' decision to end troop withdrawals in July as “frustrating and disheartening in that the rules of the game have changed.” Williams opened:
The war's now five years old. That's longer than U.S. involvement in World War II. There are currently 162,000 U.S. troops serving in Iraq. Death toll is now over 4,000. And the price tag of this war for military operations alone: nearly half a trillion dollars so far.
Before and after audio of a man yelling “bring them home!”, Miklaszewski helpfully suggested: “A protestor voiced what some Americans are demanding for U.S. troops.” In a piece by Mitchell on how the three presidential candidates approached Petraeus, she pointed how that “the Republican Senator also stumbled, briefly, by again describing al Qaeda as Shiite.” She countered: “Al Qaeda is Sunni, not Shiite. McCain immediately corrected himself.” So, if he immediately corrected himself, why highlight it?


NewsBusters.org - Media Research CenterAre U.S. journalists missing the news right in front of their eyes? Even as the violence ebbs and Iraqi refugees are returning home by the thousands, a new survey of Iraq war correspondents finds most are still deeply pessimistic about conditions in Iraq, with one in six (15%) saying that they believe news coverage "makes the situation look better than it is," compared to just three percent who think news reports have been inordinately negative.

The poll of 111 U.S.-based journalists who are now covering the Iraq war or who have been posted there over the past four-and-a-half years was conducted over the past several weeks by the Pew-funded Project for Excellence in Journalism, which promises to release a content analysis of the media's Iraq war coverage later in the year. At the same time, polls show the public is having growing faith in the success of the war effort.