Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
While on Thursday’s edition of The Nightly Show on Comedy Central, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich expressed concern that the media has been covering the terrorist group ISIS too heavily and in turn has been causing the group’s ranks to swell. After being asked by host Larry Wilmore to explain why “all these westerners [are] joining ISIS,” Reich dismissed that premise by declaring that “there are not that many trying to join ISIS” considering: “Out of 600 million Europeans and Americans you’ve got, what, 400, 800 trying to join ISIS? This is not a big deal.”
Early Tuesday morning, the terrorist group ISIS entered a village in northeastern Syrian and kidnapped droves of Christians with estimates ranging from 70 to as many as 150 people. For viewers that tuned into English-language network NBC and Spanish-language networks Telemundo and Univision for their Tuesday evening newscasts, however, they were left completely in the dark on this story as it received not a single mention.
In covering President Obama’s refusal to refer to terrorism as Islamic extremism, CBS and NBC devoted portions of their reports on Thursday night to comments Rudy Giuliani made the day before with NBC reserving a majority of their airtime to attacking the former New York City Mayor for having “set off a war of words” and taking presidential criticism “to another level.” Andrea Mitchell declared he set off “a firestorm” over telling an audience that “I do not believe that the President loves America” and suggested that Giuliani went too far.
While NBC News was up to its usual business in praising and defending President Obama both before and after his State of the Union speech, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel emerged as a rare voice that instead took to the liberal network’s airwaves to condemn the President’s rhetoric on foreign policy as both unrealistic and, in many cases, simply not true.
After being asked by anchor Brian Williams for his thoughts, Engel began dissecting the President’s perceived world outlook: “Well, it sounded like the President was outlining a world that he wishes we were all living in but which is very different than the world that you just described with terror raids taking place across Europe, ISIS very much on the move.”
Graham pointed out that when the former Secretary of Defense gave his first interview to CBS’s 60 Minutes, neither one of the other two major broadcast networks (ABC or NBC) covered it and the result was the same with O’Reilly’s interview.
Speaking on how “especially upsetting again” it was that none of the networks joined O’Reilly in asking Panetta about the Obama administration’s response to the 2012 attack in Benghazi. On what Panetta said about Benghazi, Graham thought that “Panetta's answers on that were really weak.”
On Wednesday night, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley made no mention of the results from the latest CBS News poll that gave President Obama and Democrats poor marks ahead of the November 4 midterm elections on issues ranging from the economy to ISIS to terrorism to who voters are most likely to vote for.
Regarding the midterm elections, Republicans find themselves ahead of Democrats on both a generic ballot and specific issues. Republicans have a six point lead against Democrats overall (49 percent to 43 percent with those leaning left or right, 46 percent to 40 percent without) and a five point lead who voters would like most to see takeover the Senate (47 percent to 42 percent). Independents sided with the GOP by a full 30 points over Democrats (57 percent to 27 percent).
The family of Steven Sotloff, the second American journalist beheaded in the past two weeks by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria -- or ISIS -- is reportedly “outraged” at President Barack Obama and his staff for making “deliberate leaks,” which the relatives interpret as “an attempt to absolve the administration of inaction.”
While this might seem to be the basis of an extensive news article investigating that angle of the conflict between the terrorist group and America, the New York Times reported on it -- in the final three paragraphs of a lengthy article in its Tuesday edition.