Asserting that Obama "wants to talk to" Iran, CBS' Greenfield did not mention that Gates also advocates talking to Iran

››› ››› MARK BOCHKIS

While discussing President Bush's speech to the Israeli Knesset, in which Bush stated that "some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals," Jeff Greenfield stated that "the number one fear in Israel and among some American Jews is Iran -- that's who Obama wants to talk to." However, Greenfield did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates reportedly stated that the United States should "sit down and talk with" Iran.

While discussing President Bush's May 15 speech to the Knesset, Israel's parliament, on that night's broadcast of the CBS Evening News, senior political correspondent Jeff Greenfield stated that "the president, in the Israeli parliament, made a statement that everyone knew, including the White House, had to be seen as a frontal attack on [Sen.] Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee. This is a key theme we're going to hear all fall that Barack is naive, inexperienced, doesn't understand the real danger that is out there in the world." He added: "Also, because the Republicans think they have a shot at the traditionally Democratic Jewish vote, the number one fear in Israel and among some American Jews is Iran -- that's who Obama wants to talk to -- and it's stirred up quite a hornet's nest." However, in asserting that Obama "wants to talk to" Iran, Greenfield did not note that Defense Secretary Robert Gates reportedly stated that the United States should "sit down and talk with" Iran.

According to a May 15 Washington Post article, Gates said of Iran, "We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage ... and then sit down and talk with them. ... If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us."

During his speech to the Knesset on the 60th anniversary of Israel's independence, Bush stated:

BUSH: Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

From the May 15 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

COURIC: OK, Chip Reid, thanks very much. Jeff Greenfield is our senior political correspondent. And Jeff, why do you think President Bush's comments are striking such a nerve?

GREENFIELD: Because the president, in the Israeli parliament, made a statement that everyone knew, including the White House, had to be seen as a frontal attack on Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee. This is a key theme we're going to hear all fall that Barack is naive, inexperienced, doesn't understand the real danger that is out there in the world. Also, because the Republicans think they have a shot at the traditionally Democratic Jewish vote, the number one fear in Israel and among some American Jews is Iran -- that's who Obama wants to talk to -- and it's stirred up quite a hornet's nest.

Posted In
Elections, National Security & Foreign Policy, International Conflicts
Network/Outlet
CBS
Person
Jeff Greenfield
Show/Publication
CBS Evening News
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.