Are Israeli Apartheid Laws Affecting US Media?

Given the recent statement made by Secretary Kerry about apartheid and Israel and the subsequent walk back, there was a great deal of discussion around the issue in the mainstream media in the last 48 hours.

You’d think the media might want to speak to some Palestinians, you know, those people suffering from the very system in question here, whatever you want to call it. It would be odd, for example, for network news shows to talk about racism without talking to people of color or talking about misogyny without talking to any women. Well, let me revise this, this would be odd in most places but Fox News, where we’ve come to expect such things.

But other mainstream media outlets probably wouldn’t do something like that with topics like racism in the U.S. or misogyny in corporate America. Certainly not without knowing justified outrage would follow. But when it comes to Palestine, Palestinians and discussing the system of Israeli apartheid that oppresses them, the U.S. mainstream is cooperating in the repression of their voices.

Which guests were brought on yesterday to talk about this issue? Well, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, himself a former AIPAC spokesperson, brought on Josh Rogin. Rogin was the reporter that first wrote about Kerry’s remarks. Rogin tells Blitzer that Kerry believes in the racist notion that Palestinians, by their very existence, are an existential threat to Israel. This is the kind of casual racism that rarely gets challenged when it comes to Palestinians and, sure enough, Blitzer did not challenge it either. As far as I can tell, that was it for CNN’s coverage of this topic with guests. We’ve looked into CNN’s abject biaswhen it comes to guest selection in the past so this certainly isn’t a new trend.

Well, what about MSNBC, the supposedly progressive mainstream network? Surely while we’ve come to expect that FOX is a lost cause when it comes to a fair presentation of this issue and CNN is probably too busy these days still looking for the missing Malaysian plane to contact any Palestinian guests, MSNBC must do better, right?

MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews and “All In” with Chris Hayes did cover a spectrum of views by bringing on different guests to talk about Israel and apartheid. Unfortunately that spectrum ranged from Zionist left to Zionist right. Palestinians need not apply.

On “Hardball,” viewers were treated to Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of the pro-Israel organization J Street and a supporter of imposed perpetual Jewish majoritarianism.

Viewers of “All In” with Chris Hayes got to hear from Josh Block, “former” AIPAC spokesperson and head of the right-wing pro-Israel group the Israel Project.

Thanks, MSNBC for covering a wide range of narrow views.

Why are Palestinians absent from the discussion in the U.S. mainstream on issues that impact them negatively and acutely? Lean in folks and get a good look, you might be left wondering whether Israeli apartheid laws are in effect in the U.S. mainstream media preventing access for Palestinians there too.