If you want to understand just how cowardly the supposedly liberal corporate media is in America, witness the firing of CNN pundit Marc Lamont Hill over comments he made about the state of Israel.
Speaking at a United Nations meeting on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Hill stated that "we must advocate and promote non-violence," but noted that "we cannot endorse a narrow politics of respectability that shames Palestinians for resisting, for refusing to do nothing in the face of state violence and ethnic cleansing."
Hill called for a "free Palestine from the river to the sea," a phrase many (wrongly) attribute to Hamas and interpret as support for the complete destruction of Israel.
CNN announced Thursday that it had "severed ties with contributor Marc Lamont Hill following controversial comments the liberal pundit made about Israel."
"Marc Lamont Hill is no longer under contract with CNN," a spokesperson for CNN also confirmed.
Pro-Israel militants have been busy smearing Hill for apparently advocating violence and wanting to end the state of Israel. Dan Shapiro, the former U.S. ambassador to Israel under President Obama for example, called Lamont Hill’s use of the phrase “disgusting.” He tweeted that, “Calling for the elimination of Israel is anti-Semitic and (being thankfully futile) does Palestinians no favors.”
There are several things worth noting here. Firstly, Hill's use of the phrase was most certainly not ideal, but as he has pointed out in the wake of the controversy, it pre-dates Hamas by decades:
Also, given the context of his speech, it is completely impossible to interpret it as an explicit call for the destruction of Israel. Hill advocates a single state solution where both Palestinians and Israelis have equal political rights, in Israel:
You don't have to agree with Hill when it comes to his stance on the Israel/Palestine conflict, but he didn't say anything particularly controversial, and was broadly calling for a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Arguing that Palestinians have the right to defend themselves in their own land should be about as contentious as saying women have the right to defend themselves from being sexually assaulted. But in the American corporate media, saying anything vaguely critical of the state of Israel is tantamount to advocating pedophilia. It is a truly bizarre spectacle watching educated people refuse to call Israel's occupation of Palestinian land a occupation -- even when you can watch Israeli tanks destroying Palestinian homes and building more illegal settlements on Palestinian land on live TV.
Hill was fired because he had the temerity to point out the obvious and speak the truth about what is happening to the Palestinian people. Hill's statement was well within mainstream debate in Israel -- as Glenn Greenwald points out, "Israel’s own former Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, has repeatedly warned that Israelis will be a full-fledged “apartheid” state if it continues to exercise dominion over Palestinians". In America however, mentioning the obvious is an egregious crime that must be punished severely.
There is no way of knowing whether Hill's race had anything to do with his firing, but it is worth pointing out that as a black liberal, he is entirely disposable to corporate giants like CNN. The network is however, quite happy to pay for the vicious bigotry of people like Rick Santorum in a quest to be fair to "both sides".
It is also worth pointing out that the network has yet to fire anyone who advocates Israeli violence towards Palestinians:
Episodes like this should put to rest the notion that CNN has a "liberal bias". It is a corporate news network that primarily serves the needs of the powerful. The Palestinian perspective on the Middle Eastern conflict is not heard in America because the Palestinians have little money or political power. Conversely, Israel has enormous financial and political influence in America, and their views are broadcasted to the exclusion of all others. CNN blindly participates in this insane warping of reality, firing Hill because he tried to use his position of influence to help restore some sense of balance to the debate. It is a disgrace, and CNN should be ashamed of itself.