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July 05, 2011

C-SPAN’s Call-Blocking Policy Fails to Block Chronic Anti-Israel Caller

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Washington Journal host Steve Scully confirmed the existence of a new call-control policy during the Journal broadcast of June 26, 2011 at 8:26 AM:

To your [a caller’s] point about unblocking, we try our very best to make sure that everyone gets through but to those who do so -- abide by our 30-day policy. We also want to make sure that some people who in the past have been able to get through with their own profanities or degradation -- I should say -- of some of the words they use -- we want to make sure they don't get through in the future because they really bring down what we think is the quality of the conversation that we want to have here on C-SPAN.

But caller James Morris, an habitual anti-Israel, "blame-the-Jews" C-SPAN caller cited by the Iranian propaganda outlet Press TV (see below) and frequent Washington Journal 30-day violator, was not only aired (July 2, 2011 – 9:17 AM) but also indulged by host Pedro Echevarria during a “U.S. strategy in Afghanistan” segment. Caller James Morris:

You can go to antiwar dot com and look up ‘Will Israel kill Americans again?’ by Ray McGovern [prominent left-wing, anti-Israel, anti-war activist] who is currently on the “Audacity of Hope” boat to Gaza…

Host Echevarria (interrupting):

Caller, we are on Afghanistan this morning... (indistinct)

Caller James Morris (interrupting):

Yes, I am. I’m going to transition to Afghanistan.

Host Echevarria:

Go ahead.

Caller James Morris:

The root cause of our terrorism problem, as General [David H.] Petraeus [previously commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan] told Congress last year, was U.S. support for Israel. That was not covered in our media. The bottom line is that you will never solve the root cause of our terrorism problem if you don’t take into consideration what General Petraeus told the Congress.

Handling a Mendacious Caller Unprofessionally:

Host Echevarria, omitting scrutiny, allows caller to promote a fringe Web site and article by a left-wing, anti-Israel, anti-war agitator. Likewise, caller’s misrepresentation, “The root cause of our terrorism problem [is]… U.S. support for Israel,” of Gen. Petraeus’ position goes unchallenged. In fact, the officer, addressing the distortions of his position purveyed by Israel-haters (like caller James Morris), explained that the quote that bloggers attributed to his Senate testimony was actually plucked out of context from a report that Central Command had sent the Armed Services committee:

”There’s a 56-page document that we submitted that has a statement in it that describes various factors that influence the strategic context in which we operate and among those we listed the Mideast peace process,” he said. “We noted in there that there was a perception at times that America sides with Israel and so forth. And I mean, that is a perception. It is there. I don’t think that’s disputable. But I think people inferred from what that said and then repeated it a couple of times and bloggers picked it up and spun it. And I think that has been unhelpful, frankly.” He also noted that there were plenty of other important factors that were mentioned in the report, including “a whole bunch of extremist organizations, some of which by the way deny Israel’s right to exist. There’s a country that has a nuclear program who denies that the Holocaust took place.” Petraeus continued, “So we have all the factors in there, but this is just one, and it was pulled out of this 56-page document, which was not what I read to the Senate at all.”

The Iranian government-funded propaganda Web site, referring to James Morris as a “Los Angeles-based political analyst,” provides propaganda video (posted May 23, 2011) of Morris including his photo.

James Morris’ recent Washington Journal calls include: May 25, 2011 – 8:51 AM (James from Los Angeles) and May 2, 2011 – 9:48 AM (James from Los Angeles).

Why stress the hospitality to anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish bigots provided by C-SPAN’s Washington Journal?

According to the network’s Web site, an estimated 28,500,000 viewers tune in each week – making it an information source of potential significance. Among its most popular programs is Washington Journal (broadcast daily from 7-10 AM). Contact C-SPAN at (202) 737-3220, journal@c-span.org, viewer@c-span.org. Note that host Scully's June 26 statement on blocking of repetitious, defamatory callers is important, but, as host Echevarria's dealing with James Morris' July 2 call indicates, remains to be implemented properly.

Posted by MK at July 5, 2011 04:06 PM

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