Kerry Would Follow Powell: Once again the John Kerry presidential campaign has provided a disquieting glimpse into the kind of thinking that to Democrats equals strong support for Israel. Appearing over the weekend on CNN’s “Capital Gang,” senior Kerry campaign adviser Tad Devine stated that “the difference” between Kerry and President Bush regarding the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio “is understood very clearly. When Bush became president of the United States, he turned his back on the Middle East peace process….Until we have a president who is capable of exercising presiden tial leadership…the United States will not be a player in the peace process.”
Asked whether a President Kerry would have backed Colin Powell’s rebuke of Israeli actions in Gaza, Devine responded in a manner certain to reassure voters already wary of Kerry’s approach to the middle East: “I think if Colin Powell were secretary of state in a Kerry administration,” he said, “President Kerry would probably follow a lot of his advice, unlike President Bush.”
Acute Sontag-itis: The New York Times’s James Bennet continues his steady metamorphosis into a male version of Deborah Sontag, the paper’s former Jerusalem bureau chief whose dispatches raised moral equivalency between Palestinians and Israelis to an art form. Bennet’s May 21 “Letter from the Middle East,” on the Israeli military operation in the Rafah refugee camp, was a prime example of Bennet’s worsening case of Sontag-itis and caught the attention of TimesWatch.org.
TimesWatch’s Clay Waters writes: “Focusing on conflicting accounts of how many children died during the Rafah shooting, Bennet’s article, “Children Fill Ledger of Death, No Matter How,” suggests both sides (Israeli soldiers and Palestinian terrorists) are equally guilty of generating a “fog of war” though even calling the conflict a “war” risks dignifying terrorism by Palestinians against Israeli civilians.
“Bennet later pens a classic journalistic trope, the “on the other hand” paragraph that attempts to suggest truth is unknowable and both sides are to blame: “Some things here are what they seem, and some are not. Israeli soldiers have camouflaged themselves in Palestinian vehicles. Militants have hidden smuggling tunnels in the basements of houses. Each side plays on what it considers the other’s habit of deception to cast doubt on claims about the killing….Many of these differing accounts will never be balanced. Each side prefers its version of the facts. The violence continues, and the accounting can seem beside the point.” ”
Media Growing Even More Liberal: “Journalists at national media outlets,” notes the Media Research Center, “are more liberal and less conservative than nine years ago, and while in 1995 they were upset that the media were too critical of President Clinton, they are now disturbed that the media are going too easy on President Bush, a just-released survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found.
“Five times more national outlet journalists identify themselves as liberal, 34 percent, than conservative, a mere 7 percent….Pew compared this year’s poll of 547 journalists around the nation, 247 of them at national-level outlets, to the results of a similar survey conducted by the group, then known as the Times Mirror Center for the People and the Press, in 1995. This year they discovered 54% of national journalists described themselves as “moderates,” down from 64 percent in 1995, as “the percentage identifying themselves as liberal has increased from 1995: 34% of national journalists describe themselves as liberals, compared with 22% nine years ago….”
“A mere 8 percent of the national press believe the media are being “too critical” of President Bush, com pared to seven times as many, 55 percent, who think the media are “not critical enough.” Back in 1995…Times Mirror determined that just two percent thought the press had given “too much” coverage to Clinton administration’s achievements, compared to 48 percent to saw “too little” on Clinton’s achievements. The remaining 49 percent called coverage “about right.” “