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MRC’s Tim Graham Blasts Liberal Media’s INSANE Double Standard on Kerry Bombshell

mrc’s-tim-graham-blasts-liberal-media’s-insane-double-standard-on-kerry-bombshell

Appearing on Wednesday’s post-midnight Eastern edition of Fox News @ Night, NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham railed against the liberal media’s purposeful lack of interest in recordings purporting to show Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif bragging about former Secretary of State John Kerry having informed him of Israel intelligence operations against his country.

Graham told Fox News White House correspondent and fill-in host Kristin Fisher that “the networks aren’t interested” in this story with ABC, CBS, and NBC out to lunch (and, aside from one question on Monday, we would add the White House press briefing). And while the PBS NewsHour mentioned the Zarif recordings in a news brief, Graham noted that “they utterly left John Kerry out” as if he was irrelevant to the story.

After pointing out that public broadcasting partner NPR also ignored it by instead making “time for a story on poetry during the pandemic,” Graham went to the heart of the matter, which was that this would certainly be a story if it involved the Trump administration (and regardless of whether the networks had each confirmed its veracity):

Later, Fisher asked Graham about what “journalists should be asking about the story going forward” and he replied with the fact that “the timing of this matters” as to when Kerry spoke to Zarif, but more broadly, he said that there’s a bigger issue here in that liberal journalists are so biased that a member of the Iranian government would get a softer interview than Donald Trump could get (click “expand”):

GRAHAM: Well, obviously the timing of this matters. When he said this. The whole problem here is anything that they see as a Republicans pounce story tends to not be a new story of their eyes. And I think the sad thing about all this is that I could tell you if you looked at Lester Holt’s interview on NBC of Donald Trump when he was President and you look at Lester Holt’s interview with Zarif when he was in the Iranian foreign ministry, Lester Holt is nicer to the Iranian. I mean, and that’s part of the problem we have. 

FISHER: Well, it’s a story that I can tell you we are suddenly going to be following here on — on Fox. And I think a lot of other networks might pick up this one as well. But Kerry says he’s done nothing wrong but certainly that leaked audio says something there that the foreign minister saying that the former secretary of state told him that.

Former Trump administration official Fred Fleitz was also on hand and he told Fisher that the denials from the Biden camp are “laughable” as making such a claim about hundreds of Israeli intelligence operations wouldn’t be the kind of thing that’s common knowledge.

Fisher wondered why we should lend any credibility to a less-than-truthful country and Fleitz argued (click “expand”):

[B]ut why would this Iranian lie to an Iranian journalist? We know that they are lying to us but the rest — the rest of the report held up so why was this one particular point not true? I mean, it just doesn’t make sense if you think about what Blinken alleged.

(….)

There are Republicans on the Hill who are going to give Kerry the benefit of the doubt because this — this is hearsay. But it’s believable given the way Kerry has acted and I have to tell you, whether it’s proved or not, the Israelis are going to believe this is true and it’s going to further damage the relationship between the U.S. and Israel which President Biden is already making a real problem because of his — his desperation to get back in the nuclear deal.

FNC’s Fox News @ Night

April 28, 2021

12:35 a.m. Eastern

SENATOR MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN) [on FNC’s America’s Newsroom, 04/27/21]: If this is true, if he did this, he needs to resign immediately. Unbelievable. 

SECRETARY OF STATE TONY BLINKEN [on CNN’s The Lead, 04/27/21]: These things were so secret that they were all reported in the press at the time. So it is utter nonsense. And it’s really unfortunate people continue to try to play politics with this. 

KRISTIN FISHER: Republicans are calling for an investigation into former secretary of state John Kerry and his alleged leaking of Israeli military secrets to Iran. Well, Kerry and the current secretary of state insist that he did nothing wrong. So, let’s talk about the development of the story and the lack of widespread media coverage of it with former White House national security council chief of staff Fred Fleitz and media — media analysis director at the Media Research Center, Tim Graham. Alright, so, Fred, I’m going to start with you because, you know, yesterday the story broke. Today, we’re really starting to hear the administration’s defense of this thus far and you just heard the argument made by the current secretary of state who says that, you know, this was all out in the press and so therefore the former secretary of state, John Kerry, couldn’t be leaking closely guarded secrets. What do you make of it? 

FRED FLEITZ: I thought it was a laughable and obviously false defense. Kerry allegedly said over 200 covert actions took place in Syria. I don’t think anyone knew that the Israelis did that and to believe the current secretary of state, you have to assume that Foreign Minister Zarif was lying that Kerry told him this information and he was lying when he said he was astonished by it.

FISHER: It wouldn’t be the first time that the Iranians have lied, though. 

FLEITZ: Well, see, but why would this Iranian lie to an Iranian journalist? We know that they are lying to us but the rest — the rest of the report held up so why was this one particular point not true? I mean, it just doesn’t make sense if you think about what Blinken alleged. 

FISHER: So, let me just pop up something from The Washington Post because it kind of plays off what we were just talking about, Fred. It’s from Aaron Blake and he writes: “To believe Kerry did what he’s accused of is to take the word of an adversarial foreign leader over an American one.” So, you know, why — why should folks take the Iranian foreign minister at his word? 

FLEITZ: You know, that’s a good question. There are Republicans on the Hill who are going to give Kerry the benefit of the doubt because this — this is hearsay. But it’s believable given the way Kerry has acted and I have to tell you, whether it’s proved or not, the Israelis are going to believe this is true and it’s going to further damage the relationship between the U.S. and Israel which President Biden is already making a real problem because of his — his desperation to get back in the nuclear deal.

FISHER: Well, it’s certainly a story. But Tim, you say that, you know, a lot of the media hasn’t really paid a ton of attention to the story. What have you found and why not? 

TIM GRAHAM: Well, first of all, the networks aren’t interested. You know, you — you — you really look to these programs at night on ABC, CBS, and NBC, and the PBS NewsHour. And they’re just not doing it. Actually, the PBS NewsHour last night mentioned that Zarif had said these things on tape but they utterly left John Kerry out of their little 30-second report. You know, NPR had a time for a story on poetry during the pandemic. They didn’t have time for this. It’s simple and that is under the Trump administration they would always find these so-called bombshells and they didn’t wait to confirm them. They would say NBC News has yet to independently confirm it but we rushed it into the lead of the show anyway. Here, they’re going to use that whole, well, it’s under baked and we don’t have enough information yet. It shows you, I think, what we usually find, which is there’s a complete difference in the way that these networks cover Republicans versus Democrats. 

FISHER: Well, we had one Republican, former Trump administration official, the former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, he was on Fox News earlier today and he was asked a question about, you know, you’re a former secretary of state. How often is it for former secretaries of state to actually meet with their counterparts after they’ve left office and here’s what he said. 

FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO [on FNC’s The Story, 04/27/21]: You know, Secretary Kerry’s statement about talking to foreign leaders is true. Seniors from the past, they’ll still talk to foreign leaders. Dr. Kissinger does. Others do too. That’s perfectly appropriate but it’s not the case that private conversations about active and ongoing operations are ever appropriate to discuss. 

FISHER: Fred, you agree with that? Is he right? 

FLEITZ: That’s right and we don’t know what Kerry said, if he was secretary of state, he had access to the intelligence. I think this happened after he left, which makes one wonder where he got it. Well, he got it because he kept his security clearances. And remember — you may remember President Trump was taking clearances from Obama officials who he didn’t think could be trusted with classified information. This proves that if a Republican wins the presidency in 2024, all security clearances from Biden officials have to be stripped from them so they won’t use that information to undermine the foreign policy of another Republican president. 

FISHER: So, we should say John Kerry says that he’s done nothing wrong here. He says that this is completely untrue. But you’ve got tons of Republicans on Capitol Hill now saying he should resign. And Tim, for the media, I’m curious, what do you think is the big question journalists should be asking about the story going forward? 

GRAHAM: Well, obviously the timing of this matters. When he said this. The whole problem here is anything that they see as a Republicans pounce story tends to not be a new story of their eyes. And I think the sad thing about all this is that I could tell you if you looked at Lester Holt’s interview on NBC of Donald Trump when he was President and you look at Lester Holt’s interview with Zarif when he was in the Iranian foreign ministry, Lester Holt is nicer to the Iranian. I mean, and that’s part of the problem we have. 

FISHER: Well, it’s a story that I can tell you we are suddenly going to be following here on — on Fox. And I think a lot of other networks might pick up this one as well. But Kerry says he’s done nothing wrong but certainly that leaked audio says something there that the foreign minister saying that the former secretary of state told him that. Guys, thank you so much.

FLEITZ: Good to be here.

GRAHAM: You bet.

What do you think?

Written by Newsman

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