Glenn Greenwald took on Dylan Ratigan fill-in Eliot Spitzer on MSNBC over Israel's raid on the flotilla and the Gaza blockade and frankly it was refreshing to see this sort of debate that is not all pro-Israel all the time on one of the cable news shows. Glenn has a bit more on this at Salon.
I was just on MSNBC talking about Israel, the Gaza blockade and the flotilla attack with Eliot Spitzer, who was guest-hosting for Dylan Ratigan. It was a rather contentious discussion, though quite illustrative of how Israel is (and is not) typically discussed on American television, so I'm posting the whole 8-minute segment below. Two points: (1) before I was on, Spitzer had on an Israel-defending law professor, followed by Netanyahu's former Chief of Staff, and both of them (along with Spitzer) were spewing pure Israeli propaganda in uninterrupted and unchallenged fashion; at the end of Spitzer's discussions with them, he asked them to "stick around just in case," and once I was left, he brought at least one of them back on to respond to what I said without challenge; (2) literally 90 seconds before my segment was about to begin, the new cam and sound system I just acquired stopped working, forcing me to unplug everything and use only my laptop cam and mic, which caused the technical aspects to be less than ideal (though still perfectly workable).
Most of the interviews I've seen with him are worse than this one with that awful web cam of his, so I hope he's got something better if he's going to keep coming on television. It's hard to make your points if the viewers can't hear what the hell you're saying, but anyway, back to the subject at hand.
sluggahjells at Daily KOS made a few points about the interview that I agree with.
What makes this interview so important to watch is that it features a perspective that isn't common place on Israel in American television.
The ugly nature of the Netanyahu's Administration preference to keep the Gaza blockade going on and claim that the blockade is "To make the people of Gaza go on a diet" is really disturbing. And you'll never here what Greenwald said in a regular discussion about Israel here on our sad cable television news stations. Instead, you'll get the usual cautious dribble of support that preceded no matter how heinous the crimes that transpired under Israel's watch are.
Because sometimes the truth, especially in regards to international news in the Middle East, can be too much for the networks to bare. And that was certainly the case with TV's potential next network man in Spitzer, when he had to deal with a completely honest broker like Greenwald is.
The other thing Glenn pointed out is that Israel and the United States do not have the rest of the world with us on this one. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is untenable and when you've got this coming out in reports the problem is not going away any time soon.
Israel is facing another potentially explosive confrontation at sea as pro-Palestinian activists sent two more boats to challenge its blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Turkey - one of Israel's closest Muslim allies until Monday's clash left several of citizens dead - was last night reported to be considering sending a naval escort for the boats.
This would arrive in the region at the end of the week, creating a potential flashpoint for a major clash between the nations.
Yesterday Turkish premier Tayyip Erdogan called for Israel to be punished for its attack on the flotilla on Monday and said 'nothing would ever be the same' in relations between the two allies.
'Israel's behaviour should definitely, definitely be punished. No one should try to test Turkey's patience,' he said. Read on...
As the media has reported -- President Obama treads lightly in Gaza crisis:
The Obama administration walked a fine line yesterday in response to Israel’s deadly raid on a flotilla trying to break the blockade of Gaza, urging Israeli leaders to let more aid into the beleaguered territory but refusing to criticize the U.S. ally.
President Obama telephoned Turkey’s prime minister to express his “deep condolences” for the deaths and injuries aboard a Turkish-flagged vessel and called for an impartial investigation. And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed support for a U.N. Security Council statement that condemned the “acts” that cost the lives of nine pro-Palestinian activists off the Gaza coast.
The raid put Obama in a difficult position, caught between pressing Israel to ease harsh conditions in the Gaza Strip while at the same time supporting efforts to stop the smuggling of arms into Gaza that could be used to attack Israel. Read on...
Not a huge surprise there but as Jason noted, Israel really stepped in it this time and made it extremely hard for the United States to continue being a friend to Israel.
Democracy Now devoted most of their hour long program to covering the rest of the world's reaction of the attack on the flotilla. You won't see much of this in our corporate media that takes most of their talking points from the pro-Israeli lobbyists in the United States either. John King's been allowing Amy Goodman to come on his new show on CNN once in a while. I would guess he'll never allow her to come on and comment about this situation.
To compare and contrast the "news" coverage out there, here's propagandist Sean Hannity with Get-Off-My-Lawn-You-Kids Grandpa McCain complaining that President Obama hasn't done quite enough to suit them to kiss Israel's ass yet since of course the Israelis are never, ever wrong and the people living in squalor, the ones they're keeping confined to a third world slum they can't escape and those attempting to help them and draw attention to it, are never, ever right.
Israel has a right to make sure weapons aren't going into Gaza. They should not a have a right to do what they're doing to the general population of that country.