PBS Ombudsman Calls Crank Gwen Ifill’s Twitter Outburst “Self-Inflicted Wound”
On Wednesday PBS reporter Gwen Ifill took to Twitter to mock Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Democrats came out in support of President Obama’s foolish nuclear deal with the Iranian regime.
Ifill wrote: “Take that, Bibi!”
PBS ombudsman Michael Getler commented on Ifill’s outburst last night calling the Obama cheerleading a “self-inflicted wound.”
I’m the ombudsman at PBS and I don’t want to be glib or dash off something on Twitter that I would quickly regret, or that could easily be misunderstood, or could be used to either discredit me and my work or PBS. I had the same policy about pre-social media venues when I was the ombudsman at The Washington Post.
So that brings me to the real self-inflicted wound, which was a tweet by PBS NewsHour co-anchor Gwen Ifill on Wednesday—after it became known that President Obama had secured the necessary number of Democratic backers in the Senate to ensure that the nuclear agreement with Iran could not be blocked by opponents—that said: “Take that, Bibi.”
That was a reference, of course, to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has strongly opposed the agreement and came to Washington at the invitation of Republican House Majority Leader John Boehner to argue against it in front of Congress.
Ifill added the comment when she retweeted an illustration from an Obama administration Twitter account that is designed to support the case for an agreement.
As they say in today’s world, her tweet instantly went viral, picked up by bloggers, websites and a large number of Twitter followers and it quickly produced a lot of angry emails in the ombudsman’s inbox.
I asked Ifill and the NewsHour for a response and explanation. She explained, in an email to me and in a tweet to many others, that she was “RT’ing a @TheIranDeal tweet,” and added that she “should have been clearer that it was their argument, not mine.”
One would have to lean way over backwards to give her the benefit of the doubt that she was simply shedding light on the administration’s view of portions of Netanyahu’s arguments.
But to personalize it by saying, “Take that, Bibi” is, in my book, inexcusable for an experienced journalist who is the co-anchor of a nightly news program watched by millions of people over the course of any week.
Ifill will face no disciplinary action.
Isn’t it about time taxpayers stopped funding this leftist outfit?