All day long yesterday, CNN was relentlessly beating the drum and practically celebrating the forgone conclusion that sitting Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu was about to lose the elections. Every move Netanyahu made over the past few weeks that outraged Obama and his media allies was framed by CNN today as a blunder - from the speech he made before Congress to sounding the alarm today about Israeli Leftists busing Arabs to the polls.
CNN was quite obviously setting up a Narrative to explain and gloat over what polls said was almost certain to be a Netanyahu defeat.
A funny thing happened at 4 pm ET when the exit polls from Israel came in. Netanyahu was tied or slightly ahead. An hour later news reports suggested Netanyahu had already cobbled together enough allies from other parties to form a governing coalition. This means he will remain Prime Minister. This is why he took to Twitter to declare victory.
By 6pm, the biggest story in the world, and one of the biggest electoral upsets in recent memory, was no longer the biggest story on CNN. Despite all the domestic and international ramifications of Netanyahu’s almost certain victory, despite all the backfilling CNN had done all day to “explain” Netanyahu’s defeat, Netanyahu’s upset did not lead CNN’s 6 pm hour with Wolf Blitzer. Netanyahu giving his victory speech did not lead the 7 pm hour with Erin Burnett.
At 6 pm and 7pm, CNN decided that the story of the night was … a single Air Force veteran trying to join ISIS.
At around 7:10 pm, Burnett finally decided it was time to talk about the Israeli elections, and when she did she read a chyron that read, “Is Netanyahu About to Lose?” Not “Too Close to Call.” Not “Bibi Upset Victory?” Nope. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, CNN stuck to its “about to lose” narrative.-
Things got much worse.
An obviously rattled Burnett came back from commercial and then went on to prove she knows absolutely nothing about how the Israeli government works. For some ignorant reason she is under the impression that a tie or something close to it means Netanyahu is weakened and will - this is a direct quote - “have to share a significant amount of power with Isaac Herzog.”
Apparently you can become a primetime CNN anchor without knowing anything about Israel’s coalition government system.
Does anyone have any more questions about why Fox News is now the most trusted name in news?
CNN isn’t alone. But CNN was the news outlet that had gone further out on a limb than any other in gambling big on a Netanyahu loss.
As far as the rest of our unbiased, objective media, let me put it this way: All the planned and hotly anticipated “Did Bibi’s Speech to Congress Backfire?” narratives and thought pieces will not be replaced with “Did Obama’s Meddling In the Israeli Elections Backfire?” narratives and thought pieces.
The media likely lost this one, which can only mean one thing: the world will be a better and safer place.
read Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin:
Within moments of the announcement of the exit polls, some of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s critics were claiming his likely win in today’s Knesset election was the result of a crude, racist appeal to voters.
The justification for this charge was a speech made by Netanyahu and released only on social media because of restrictions on campaign appeals in the media, telling the country that left-wing groups funded by foreign money were busing Arab voters to the polls in order to elect a left-wing government led by his Zionist Union rival Isaac Herzog. Netanyahu’s opponents interpreted this as an appeal to racism. The statement was unfortunate because it made it seem as if the prime minister viewed Arab voters as somehow illegitimate. But the voters likely saw it in a different light. The prospect of a left-wing government that depended on the Joint Arab List was always unlikely. But a critical mass of voters viewed the prospect with alarm not because they’re racists but because a government that relied on the votes of anti-Zionists that favor Israel’s dissolution was something they considered a danger to the future of their country…Though Western journalists mocked Netanyahu’s comments about wanting to prevent a “Hamasistan” in the West Bank, the voters in Israel largely agreed. That doesn’t make them racist or extreme. It means they are, like most Americans, realists. They may not like Netanyahu but today’s results demonstrates that there is little support for a government that would make the sort of concessions to the Palestinians that President Obama would like. They rightly believe that even if Israel did make more concessions it would only lead to more violence, not peace. Israel’s foreign critics and friends need to understand that in the end, it was those convictions have, for all intents and purposes, re-elected Netanyahu.