After world fury over Israel’s deadly strike on a U.N. school in the Palestinian territory, the “down-the-middle” Kelly File show tonight did its best to suggest that Israel did the right thing. Unfortunately for substitute host Shannon Bream, U.N. spokesman Chris Gunness was a very well-prepared guest who was not going to go quietly into that henhouse Fox wanted to referee from.
The other guest for this discussion was Brooke Goldstein. As I have previously noted, Goldstein’s only credential in Middle East politics or policy seems to be a virulent hatred for Arabs that trumps the truth. So when Bream made a point of showcasing her video that supposedly showed Palestinian children being “indoctrinated to wage jihad against Israel” in a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) school, I was a tad skeptical of its veracity.
Not Bream, however. I will say that I think she meant to give each side a chance and she seemed dubious of at least some of what Goldstein said. But clearly, Bream knew it was her job to showcase Goldstein’s point of view and challenge Gunness'.
In her introduction, Bream said Goldstein's video had been "uncovered last year." That means it has NOTHING to do with the propriety of Israel’s attack on a U.N. school this week – other than to suggest that the victims deserved it and that the U.N. is in bed with terrorists.
In fact, that’s pretty much what Goldstein said. She accused UNRWA of collaborating with Hamas and “literally hiring Hamas rocket engineers to serve as teachers to recruit innocent Palestinian children so they can operate as child soldiers and suicide bombers and attacked as human shields.”
Notice how Goldstein uses the phrase “innocent Palestinian children?” It’s a sly way of looking compassionate while arguing that their slaughter is justified. Goldstein did it again when she claimed the schools are used by Hamas “as military training camps for innocent Palestinian children where they’re taught how to kill and lynch Israeli soldiers, how to make Molotov cocktails. This is an egregious crime against Palestinian children, the very people that UNRWA is mandated to protect.”
Bream offered virtually no challenge to these accusations. Nor did she validate them. She concluded by saying, “OK, Brooke, obviously a lot of heated accusations there. So we’re gonna talk to the other side. We thank you for flagging this for us.”
Gunness unequivocally denied Goldstein’s charge and said that the video was made at non-UNRWA schools. He also said that the UNRWA curriculum Goldstein objected to “is the very same curriculum that is taught by Israel in the schools it administers in East Jerusalem.”
He also asked, “Why, if we are so anti-Israel, anti-Semitic, why is it that it was the Bush administration, it was under the Bush administration that we saw the largest increase in funding to UNRWA?”
Suddenly, Bream was all about fact checking. Or acting as if. She said, “Each host country essentially puts together its own curriculum. The U.N. helps to facilitate that, may provide some funding and some facilities, so I’m pretty sure that Israel is not teaching the exact same thing that they’re teaching to Palestinian children. We’ve seen evidence they are not the same thing.” In other words, she was makng little more than an educated guess. Meanwhile, Bream never seemed to even try to verify whether Goldstein’s video was or was not at a UNRWA school.
Gunness stuck to his guns and repeatedly demanded that Bream explain why the same curriculum is taught by the Israelis.
Bream’s answer? “We’re told that it is not.” By whom? Goldstein? We never found out.
By then, Bream had pretty much lost control of the interview. Best line: As Gunness reiterated his point about UNRWA’s funding increasing under the Bush administration, he said, “Come on, you’re Fox News. You’re in touch with the Bush administration. Tell us why!”
Bream couldn’t answer so she got snippy, saying that is the host “who ask the question, not the guest.”
Gunness didn’t take that for an answer. “No, it’s a debate, it’s an interchange,” he said. “Come on. Let’s be mature.”
Then, as Bream continued to defend Goldstein’s claim, Gunness laughed, “Look, forgive me. You really don’t sound at all convincing. You really don’t sound at all convincing. … You’ve not answered any of my questions. You’re putting the accusations, I’m answering them. You’ve come back with nothing.”
Bream, seeming exasperated, responded, “Putting facts on the table and I have a lot of them here.” She held up what looked like an email. “We give our viewers facts," she said. “They decide. …Not my job to."
No, it’s her job to promote Fox News bias by putting her thumb on the scale while feigning objectivity. In this case, she did it by bringing back Goldstein, thereby giving her the first and the last word and not allowing Gunness another chance to rebut.
Bream asked if Gunness was right about the curriculum. But, perhaps recognizing that it’s quite unlikely Goldstein would really know, Bream helpfully added, “our research shows no.” While Goldstein attacked Gunness for not denying that the curriculum is used, she also managed not to deny that the same curriculum is used by the Israelis in East Jerusalem.
Then, for extra spin, Goldstein said, “Chris Gunness has lied to the media repeatedly.” Goldstein went through her list of complaints and – funny, Bream didn’t have any research at hand to challenge it.
Watch the contrast in how Fox guests are treated below.
Fox News is quantifiably in several studies more “fair and balanced” than the other networks.
“Fox News is most balanced according to University study”
Tim Croseclose: Washington-based Reporters voted 93% for Obama:
Bimbette Bream is not the brightest light in the studio. Without her notes and teleprompter, she couldn’t answer a simple question.
For conservatives who read this post. See for yourself if you run into her.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again and again until I’m blue in the face — and mark my words folks, this proverb is one of the principal reasons why the U.S. has become ONE OF THE MOST HATED NATIONS IN THE WORLD:
AS LONG AS THERE’S A UNITED STATES, THERE WILL BE AN ISRAEL.