Nota Bene: MSNBC Is All-in for Team Hamas

Plus, early ‘lids’ at the White House and the United Nations’ priorities during a dark weekend.

via YouTube
MSNBC via YouTube

The cable news voice of America’s left wing, MSNBC, stayed true to its roots this weekend, saturating its coverage with images of death and destruction at Gaza and teeing up pundits and analysts eager to blame Israel for the violence that engulfed the country. Its hosts and guests left viewers with the impression that Hamas’s attacks on the kibbutzim of southern Israel and elsewhere were the inevitable outcome of years of mistreatment of Gaza’s Palestinian residents.

Host Ali Velshi, on a segment featuring a Palestinian activist named Nour Odeh, was one of several to lament the ostensibly “inhumane treatment” of Palestinian Arabs at Israel as a root cause of the massacres over the weekend. Mr. Velshi and his guest suggested that the world should have expected terrorists to kidnap adolescents and elderly Holocaust survivors in retribution for this inhumane treatment.

“There’s been a lot of misinformation about this, about many of these Palestinians who are being, as Ayman said, systematically harassed and their homes demolished, harassed by settlers under the eye and guise, and with the support of Israeli defense forces,” Mr. Velshi said in one Saturday segment.

The Ayman to which Mr. Velshi was referring is another MSNBC talking head, Ayman Mohyeldin, who suggested in an earlier segment that the Israelis had it coming for seeking peace with its Arab neighbors instead of peace with the Palestinians at home.

“What we are seeing today is the deadly consequences of failed policies,” Mr. Mohyeldin said. “Failure on the American administration’s part to change course, to take a different course of action with how we deal with the Palestinians and the Israelis. Failure on Israel’s part. Failure on the region’s part to not be able to say this is an issue that matters.”

Another host, Mehdi Hassan, was all over the network and social media throughout the weekend, complaining about the proliferation of Islamophobia in the press and elsewhere since Saturday. His Twitter feed has been replete with descriptions of conditions in the “open-air prison” that is Gaza and the children suffering there because of the violence. The posts are liberally laced with sneers about Israeli “war crimes.”

It was all a bit much, even for the uber-liberal head of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt, who appeared on the network Monday morning to scold its anchors and reporters. “I love this network,” Mr. Greenblatt said. “But I’ve gotta ask. Who is writing the scripts? The people who did this — they are not fighters, Jonathan. They are not militants. And I’m looking right at the camera. They are terrorists.”

“This was a massacre that was pre-planned. This was not destined to happen,” he added. “Get the story right … please stop calling this a retaliation. This is a defensive measure against an organization that is committed to one thing — killing Jews. Not a peaceful resolution of a conflict, but murdering Jews.”

The White House ‘Lid’

Saturday morning eastern time, as the full extent of Hamas atrocities slowly trickled out of Israel, President Biden was AWOL.

Several of the world’s leaders were quick to respond, expressing disgust and dismay and promising to stand with Israel. The major GOP presidential candidates managed to get in front of cameras or, at the very least, put out statements in support of one of America’s best allies by mid-morning. It wasn’t until nearly noon Eastern, however, that we heard a peep from the president — a brief written statement saying he and the First Lady, Jill Biden, were “heartbroken” and “tracking the situation closely.” It was nearly 3 p.m. before he managed to get in front of a camera and address the world.

Sunday wasn’t much better. A little before noon, at 11:34 a.m., the pool reporter on duty at the White House, who is charged with keeping an eye on things for the entire press corps, said the administration called a “lid” on the day, meaning that no more public appearances or statements would be forthcoming from the president that day. A few hours later, when that same reporter, Time magazine’s Brian Bennett, asked White House staffers why he was hearing a band playing in the Rose Garden, he was told that the president and first lady were hosting a BBQ for White House personnel and their families.

Monday, we got more of the same. The “lid” landed at 11:46 a.m. Americans are being held hostage at Gaza, and Hamas is threatening to murder them on television. Israel is threatening to raze Damascus. Congress is paralyzed. The government faces another shutdown in a matter of weeks. And Mr. Biden is calling it a day before noon. It is Columbus Day, a federal holiday, after all.

Priorities at the United Nations

On the same day that rescuers were recovering the bodies of hundreds of young festival-goers from the desert near Gaza, the United Nations took to Twitter to celebrate International #Lesbian Day. October 8 has been designated by someone somewhere as a day “for women, families and friends to connect, celebrate and also raise awareness about the importance of community.” In a post on Twitter, the U.N. women account went a step further and reminded its 2.2 million followers that “Trans lesbians are lesbians too.” 

Also Noteworthy:

  • The EU’s plan to suspend all financial aid to the Palestinian Authority has been blocked by 4 member states — Spain, Denmark, Ireland, and Luxembourg.
  • The federal government spent more than a billion dollars a year during the pandemic buying furniture for people who were working from home.
  • Hackers have stolen a list of 1 million 23andMe users who traced their Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and are circulating it on the dark web.
  • Military vets who had booked hotel rooms to see the Army-Navy football game in Massachusetts had their reservations canceled to make room for migrants in the state.
  • State rental assistance funds intended for low-income Illinois residents are being diverted to pay for housing for newly arrived migrants there. 
  • The UNLV law school changed the name of a planned event from “picnic” to “Lunch by the Lake” because the former is apparently a racist term.
  • Switzerland is offering to pay Ukrainian refugees $4000 each to go home.

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