No problemo: Â Egypts Muslim Brotherhood top dog Muhammad Morsi is ‘Obama’s man in Cairo’. Â Just making sure that “the future must not belong to those who slander the profit of Islam”, right? What could go wrong?
A must read fromÂ Richard Behar at ForbesÂ thanks to the Elder of Ziyon:
Last Friday, the sitting president of Egypt – the world’s 15th most populous nation â€” was exposed for calling Jews “apes and pigs.” And he did it in a TV interview (in Arabic) in 2010, less than two years before he took office.
Needless to say, this was HUGE NEWS for American mass media! Only it wasn’t. (Knock, knock, New York Times? Anybody home?) In fact, to be fair to the paper of record, not a single major outlet has covered it. Not AP or Reuters. Not CBS News or CNN. Not Time magazine or U.S. News & World Report. Not the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. Etcetera. And therein lies a story – a big story that this column can only begin to skin open here.
Mohamed Morsi’s bizarre Apes-and-Pigs rant hit the Jerusalem Post’s homepage that same day (again, last Friday), as its lead story. Specifically, a prestigious U.S. organization named the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) â€” chaired by Oliver “Buck” Revell, a former deputy head of the FBI in charge of counter-terrorism – released it widely to the global media and posted it on YouTube.
I studied the Pigs-and-Apes story’s journey and trajectory through America over the past week with Sue Radlauer, the Director of Research Services here at Forbes. We gave it seven days to see if any of the so-called “mainstream media” â€” a pejorative phrase that too-often obscures more than it reveals â€” bestowed the hate speech even a few sentences of back-page ink. Nothing.
Of course, the demonization of Jews is commonplace andÂ de rigueurÂ in the Arab media (although most Americans wouldn’t know that because they are not being made aware of it). But what makes this omission in Big Media especially egregious is that Morsi–sometimes spelled Morsy or Mursi– went even further than genetically pairing Jews with lower beasts. As you can see and hear for yourself in the Morsi Tapes, he called for an end to any and all negotiations for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians – droning on that all the land belongs to the latter. He called for a boycott of American goods because of its support for Israel. (Of course, he didn’t bother mentioning that American taxpayers have provided nearly $70 billion of aid to Egypt, since it made peace with Israel in 1979, and the spigot continues for now.) He even went so far as to label the Palestinian Authority an entity “created by the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people and its interests.”
Apes and pigs aside, Morsi also warned his TV listeners that Jews have never been nice people. “They have been fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout history,” he oozed. “They are hostile by nature.” (One can almost see comedian Jon Stewart’s frozen eyes right about now, before he says something like, “A holiday in Luxor, anyone?”)
If that’s not enough to make the Morsi Tapes even a little newsworthy, consider that Egypt’s economy is on the brink of collapse, with its government desperate for a $4.8 billion IMF loan. Meanwhile, plans have long been underway for the first official visit by the Egyptian president to Washington this March, where he’ll dine with President Obama. So far, the U.S. State Department hasn’t issued a peep of dismay about the tapes. And yet this is arguably the time to do so â€” before (not after) the huge checks are cut.
…Major, seasoned reporters need to hold Morsi’s feet to fire over such comments – if not by asking him directly about them, then at least by reporting that he uttered them. Surely, if the president of virtually any other country in the world had defamed an entire people in such a way â€” only a couple years before they got the top job, to boot â€” it would have at least gotten a few column-inches.Â Yet Morsi gets a free pass.
“In my view, it’s important to know just how extreme this important man really is, especially because [Leon] Panetta and [Hillary] Clinton after visits there made statements suggesting otherwise,” says MEMRI board director Elliott Abrams, who served in top policy positions under Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush. “You’re right that if such a tape by Putin or [Turkey’s] Erdogan or [Argentina’s] Kirchner, etc., etc., was discovered, it would be big news. If it isn’t, is the MSM saying, ‘Well, hell, we know all Muslims have a fanatical hatred of Jews, so no big deal?’”
On Sunday, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer spent an hour with Morsi in Cairo in what the network billed as an exclusive interview. …But Wolf could have tossed a few Ape-and-Pig hardballs in Morsi’s direction â€” given that his reporting staff surely must have been aware of the tapes from the Jerusalem Post piece, if from nowhere else. Why not ask the anthropologist-in-chief: “Do you still believe that Jews are pigs? Invoking Koranic scripture, you claimed that Zionists descend from pigs, but since Zionists weren’t around at the time of your prophet, does this mean all Jews come from pigs, or just certain ones? Do you still believe that America should be boycotted? And does that include American cash? Or should your whole diatribe be disregarded as merely the kooky, carefree views from one’s youth – uhhh…TWO YEARS AGO?”
The New York Times rarely touches this stuff. …Most would agree that â€” even in the internet age â€” the Times is still the leading agenda-setter for major media. It is, after all, the best paper around, a true wonder-of-the-world. But it does seem to avoid covering Islamist incitement against Jews (and Christians) like the plagues.
Is my own Jewishness clouding my own news judgment here? For a reality check, I turned to Gene Foreman, one of the most respected editors in the newspaper business over the past half-century.
“I think you are onto something here,” Foreman reassures me after reviewing the Jerusalem Post’s front-page story about the Morsi Tapes. “On the face of it, this is newsworthy. These were interviews that Morsi made a couple of years ago, but they reveal his thinking â€” the attitude of a key player in the Middle East. It’s legitimate to ask the reporters who are covering the Middle East beat whether they knew about this story in the Post â€” and if they did know about it, why have they not pursued it on their own?”
I’ve been trying. So far nobody wants to talk with me about it on the record. And the off-record things they tell me just don’t add up.
This is, of course, only one tiny example of how the daily incitement in Arabic media gets ignored by the mainstream media – the major newspapers, networks and wire services.
Here are a few of the anti-semitic articles and actions in the Arab and Iranian media I’ve reported onÂ in only the past month:
- Egyptians upset that constitution gives Jews rights
- Iraq News Agency spouting pure anti-semitism
- Whoops! PressTV forgot to replace “Jews” with “Zionists”
- Run of the mill anti-semitism in Saudi Arabia media
- MB member: Jews are thieves, Americans are cows
- Some anti-semitism from a “moderate” Palestinian “peace activist”
- Tunisian cleric calls Jews apes and prays for their genocide
- Houthi logo says “Damn the Jews”
- Egyptian sheikh says secularists are even worse than Jews
- Today’s anti-semitism on Iranian PressTV
Are we starting to see a pattern here? Â The people who claim that Arabs and Muslims are merely “anti-Zionist” are ignorant – or purposefully lying. Anti-semitism can be seenÂ every dayÂ in Arabic-language media.
Obviously, the Morsi story is bigger than these, but any of them rates more than a mention in a blog. And the more general issue of Arab anti-semitism is being disgracefully downplayed.