Seriously, this is a journalist? This is someone who has moderated presidential debates, presumably will moderate more, and who hosts the PBS Newshour? This is not OK.
Look, Bibi Netanyahu isn’t my favorite guy in the world. I have serious issues with Israel and particularly with how Israel influences our foreign policy and with the never ending flow of American tax dollars which finds its way into the pockets of the powerful in Tev Aviv and Jerusalem. But this sort of thing from yet another news anchor just reflects how completely full of themselves the #oldmedia are.
To PBS’s credit they have addressed the issue and seem to understand the seriousness of Ms. Ifill’s statement. Really, they have. (To our shock.)
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.
It is not the first time that I have written about Ifill and tweets. Three years ago a tweet supporting a former colleague, who made an inflammatory remark apparently unaware that his microphone had not been turned off, also brought about lots of criticism.
Ifill is a highly experienced journalist, very quick, alert, knowledgeable, and with an engaging on-air personality. She also has a talented eye for the ironies and political turnabouts in the daily flow of news that contributes to her presence. But PBS and the NewsHour are bigger than any individual and tweeting does not appear to be a tool, in these cases, that is appropriate for maintaining credibility, which is the bedrock for news organizations.