A major media watchdog blasted C-SPAN on Friday for consistently broadcasting antisemitic and anti-Israel rants from callers without interruption or clarification on the network’s daily morning talk show, Washington Journal.
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) said the offending callers are generally allowed to speak at will, and, on the rare occasion that they are refuted, it is usually by a program guest rather than a C-SPAN host. Potentially millions of viewers hear the bigoted sentiments expressed on the three-hour talk show and no other religious or ethnic minority, or country receives such treatment on the program, according to the independent media watchdog.
“C-SPAN hosts regularly cut-off or disconnect callers who slur other groups, but hateful antisemitic and anti-Israel callers ramble on uninterrupted and are rarely refuted, and then only by a program guest rather than a C-SPAN host,” CAMERA said in a statement. “This is unacceptable for any organization, let alone one with privileges within the halls of Congress.”
CAMERA called for C-SPAN to end its “policy of peculiar hospitality to antisemitic callers” particularly on its flagship morning show. The group asked members of Congress to address C-SPAN’s “Jewish problem” and limit the network’s privileges, such as access to House and Senate chambers, until “Israel and Jews are treated fairly, as every other religious, ethnic or national group is.”
The watchdog said little has been accomplished thus far by complaints to the network and its parent cable company about the “chronic anti-Jewish and anti-Israel defamation” on its morning show. A letter was sent concerning the matter to C-SPAN’s chief counsel and eight other C-SPAN officials, but has so far gone unanswered. The officials and their patrons, the cable/satellite companies, have “repeatedly stonewalled public complaint,” the group said.
CAMERA said it has documented more than 1,000 antisemitic or anti-Israel phone calls aired on Washington Journal since in started monitoring the show in November 2008.
On June 5, 2015 the show aired comments from a caller claiming that Jews killed Jesus as a “historical fact.”
“Characteristically for Washington Journal, the lie, historically a staple of often murderous antisemitism, was not corrected by either C-SPAN’s host or guest for the segment,” the watchdog said.