Soft-soaping the 'uncommitted' voters who back Hamas

Soft-soaping the 'uncommitted' voters who back Hamas

Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan)

Soft-soaping the 'uncommitted' voters who back Hamas

The left-wing TV networks go out of their way to avoid suggesting the Rashida Tlaib wing of the Democratic Party is hostile to democracy and supportive of political violence. That's saved for just one political party.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham

Tim Graham is executive editor of NewsBusters and director of media analysis for the Media Research Center. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, National Review and other publications.

Republicans could be pleased to see the left-wing media underlining how President Joe Biden was embarrassed in Michigan by a rebellious campaign to vote "uncommitted" in the Michigan primary, protesting Biden's support for Israel in its war against Hamas terrorists. But one can't be pleased with how these activists are classified.

You can tell a media outlet is on the Left by the way it's resistant to describing leftist allies -- even their radicals in their base -- with an ideological label. Sometimes, you'll know someone is a raving socialist when they are called "liberal" or "progressive," like Bernie Sanders. But these pro-Hamas activists are never presented as "far left," "hard left" or "radical left."

Instead, the verbiage is incredibly vague. Take CNN host Abby Phillip on Feb. 26: "There's a very public, very high-profile campaign to get Michigan Democrats to go ahead and vote uncommitted at that primary to send a message to President Biden."

Jillian Frankel at NBCNews.com reported a story on Feb. 6 with "Michigan activists" in the headline and a quote from "Layla Elabed, a Palestinian American activist who is the sister of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich." Tlaib voted "present" all by herself in refusing to condemn Hamas for brutally raping Israeli women. Who needs to single this family out as extremists?

The P-word was OK at NBC. "Elabed added that backing a cease-fire is a prerequisite for many progressive voters." But the idea of describing viciously antisemitic terrorists as "progressive" is a failure.

On the Feb. 23 "PBS NewsHour," reporter Laura Barron-Lopez also talked to Elabed and announced "that uncommitted movement is being led by Democratic activists and Democratic local electeds in the state of Michigan."

PBS talked about "uncommitted" campaigners on four shows in the last week of February, and they stuck to this "Democratic activists" line. On Feb. 26, PBS anchor Geoff Bennett warned: "With more than 200,000 Muslim and Arab American voters in Michigan, their message remains clear. Without them, there's no winning the state."

On Feb. 28, Bennett spoke of "voters casting uncommitted ballots in protest of the president's approach toward the Israel-Hamas war."

On that same show, Democrat strategist Faiz Shakir sympathized: "I see that there are people who, because of American democracy, were able to express their hurt and their pain about the Middle East war through the ballot box." The Democrat, not the journalist, used a label: Biden's "got some issues with young people, with Arab and Muslim Americans, with a progressive left that he can fix and cure and heal."

Our "prestige" media can't seem to locate vicious, radical and even genocidal rhetoric from the Tlaib corner of the pro-Hamas Left. A Nexis search of the last six months of the "PBS NewsHour" found zero examples of anyone using the term "pro-Hamas." Just four applied the term "anti-Israel."

It's fascinating that this alphabet of left-wing TV networks offer story after story exposing extreme ideas coming from the Oath Keepers or the Proud Boys on the Right. They hire people to cover "extremism," and focus almost all of it on the right-wingers. But how does the death toll of Jan. 6 compare to Oct. 7?

None of these journalists are going to throw hardballs at the Tlaib wing of the Democrats, suggesting their extremism is going to make the Democrats look bad with moderate voters. They won't suggest they're hostile to democracy and supportive of political violence. That's saved for just one political party.


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