On Tuesday, CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour did an interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Ireland. (It also aired rerun-style later on the PBS show Amanpour & Co.) It drew some attention because Amanpour asked about anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party, and Pelosi insisted there was no “taint” of it. Perhaps it’s not a surprise that ABC, CBS, NBC, and the PBS NewsHour skipped over this interview all week.
Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has come under fierce criticism, including from within your own party, but certainly from the Republican Party. The president has tweeted against her, suggesting that, you know, there’s some sort of linkage with this video he’s tweeted about the towers and what she said about 9/11. Are you concerned for her well-being, first and foremost? You asked for more security around her.
PELOSI: Yes, but I — I don’t think that the congresswoman is anti- Semitic. I wouldn’t even put those in the same category. I think the president —
AMANPOUR: But she’s been accused of it.
PELOSI: Well, she’s being accused of it, but I’m — I criticized the president for using film of — video of 9/11 as a political tool. I think he was wrong to do that.
And so — so this is nothing new for us. So when we met the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, we said we have concerns about how the Labour Party is perceived in terms of anti-Semitism
AMANPOUR: For the Democratic Party, are you concerned that your opposition going towards the next election, or however they wish to use it, will use that to call, as the president has done, you know, the Democrats are not the party of friend to the Jews.
PELOSI: Well, no, no. No, I think the president is bankrupt of any ideas. I don’t want to talk about the president here because I’m overseas. But come see me in Washington, D.C., and I’ll tell you what I think about that, the president. But, no, I — because the — we are not. And we have no taint of that in the Democratic Party. And just because they want to accuse somebody of that doesn’t mean that we take that bait.
AMANPOUR: Do you think, as some in your own party have suggested, that you, yourself, weren’t swift enough to defend Ilhan Omar?
PELOSI: Well, that — I haven’t had a chance to speak with her. I’m traveling, she’s traveling, but we couldn’t catch up with her. Until I talk to somebody, I don’t even know what was said. But I do know what the president did was not right.
ABC barely mentioned Pelosi in the last week. CBS should have done more because Lesley Stahl failed to ask about anti-Semitism in her Pelosi puff piece for 60 Minutes. NBC should have done more because Meet the Press host Chuck Todd protested and interrupted when Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway started talking about “an anti-Semitic congresswoman.” And the networks leaped to defend Omar on Monday as personally endangered when Trump was attacking her on Twitter.
It didn’t make MSNBC, either. On Tuesday’s MTP Daily, Todd replayed the Conway exchange, and like Amanpour, wondered if Pelosi wasn’t supportive enough of Omar:
If Conway was trying to divide Democrats….then why was Todd so eager to shut her up?