French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to visit Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, whom he called a liar off-mike, to clear up a “misunderstanding” while media remains mum on its original cover-up of his remarks.
Sarkozy spoke with President Barack Obama 10 days ago in a private room after a press conference with reporters, some of whom were wearing their headphones while the microphone still was open as the two leaders spoke in what was a private conversation.
Sarkozy told Obama that Prime Minister Netanyahu is a ”liar," to which Obama responded, “You may have to deal with him, but me, I have to deal with him every day.”
Ironically, Sarkozy told the World Jewish Congress last week that Israel has failed to win over the media. However, mainstream newspapers' built-in bias against Israel was revealed by its attempt to hide Obama and Sarkozy’s comments from the public.
Six journalists, including those from Reuters and the Associated Press, followed an unwritten French policy and agreed not to publish the comments, which Sarkozy and Obama made without knowing they were being overheard.
However, the gravity of their undiplomatic remarks was news by any definition.
What reporter in his right mind would sign anything that prevents him from reporting on a story made available, not by subterfuge or anything else resembling illegality, but by the carelessness of two world leaders? Since when did a legitimate 'gotcha' moment become off limits to the press?" wrote Arnold Ahlert in Jewish World Review.
If Israel has had a hard time winning over the anti-Israel media, Obama may even have a harder time trying to convince liberal Jewish voters he really has Israel’s interests at heart.
“This recent "live mic" revelation will clearly set back the Obama PR campaign to win over more Jewish voters,” wrote Roger Aronoff, editor of Accuracy in Media.