Yesterday morning first featured Michele Kelemen redelivering Secretary of State Clinton's talking points (Hamas is a terrorist organization, blah, blah, blah, Hamas has to renounce violence, blah, blah, blah, US is giving tons of money to Gaza, blah, blah, etc.). OK, so she's accompanying Clinton on the trip, what else can you expect from NPR?
After that four minute-plus State Department summary what does NPR offer? Who would you go to for expert analysis? How about someone who has "has advised six American Secretaries of State." Yep, NPR serves up the stale ideas of Aaron David Miller - again. Miller has a way with words that only a six Secretary of State big league hitter could have. Here he is explaining Netanyahu:
"He's an ideologue; there's no question - leaning and ensconced in the right. But he's also capable of tremendous pragmatism...the history of peacemaking in Israel has really been a history dominated by the right or the center right. It's really a question in Israel of doves talking the talk, and hawks walking the walk. The right in Israel has been capable of actually making agreements with the Arabs and actually delivering on them."Miller mentions Netanyahu's negotiations with Arafat at the Wye River and the Hebron withdrawal. Throughout the interview, Linda Wertheimer just nods along like a bobblehead. I think she forgot to see how the actual settlement policies went under Netanyahu back when he was Prime Minister. Nothing about what that great Hebron concession really meant for Palestinians. Nothing about Netanyahu's provocations that even an editor from the rightist WINEP takes note of. Nothing about Netanyahu's Jerusalem expansionist efforts.
It would be hard to do more pro-Likud, pro-Zionist coverage of the Palestine conflict. That someone on an NPR news report can claim in all seriousness - with no challenge from the the NPR host - that a person with such far-right and low ethical standards as Netanyahu is in fact the real pragmatist and the real peacemaker says far more about NPR's current orientation than it does about anything actually happening on the ground in Israel and Palestine.