The State Department really has no luck with YouTube videos. Before you know it, they’ll be claiming that the video mocking Kerry retroactively caused the Benghazi attack.
I’m treating the subject lightheartedly, but the full content of the Psaki briefing with its emphasis on pushing the Israeli government to rein in insults toward Kerry is creepy.
If another country demanded that Saturday Night Live or Gawker stopped making fun of its leaders, it would be rightly put in its place. The Obama Inc. demands that Netanyahu stop Israelis from criticizing Kerry are equally inappropriate.
The question appears to be coming from the AP’s Matt Lee, “Are you satisfied with the attempts that have been made, apparently been made, by the prime minister and the justice minister, to rein – and the president of Israel also to try to rein in this – I don’t even know what you call it –
MS. PSAKI: Sure.
QUESTION: — rein in this clearly inflammatory rhetoric?
MS. PSAKI: Well, we’ll see what happens over the coming days and weeks, Matt. I think the challenge here is that it’s hard to evaluate until you have a circumstance. Obviously, the events of the last weekend, I think I’ve spoken pretty extensively to those and the Secretary’s view on that. But we have a long way to go in this process, and I think his view is that some of this is a sign that the heat is on and we’re getting down to the difficult issues. So it’s hard for me to evaluate whether we’re satisfied or not. I think the question is whether his record and his words will continue to be mischaracterized.
Then the topic turns to the “offensive” video.
MS. PSAKI: My suggestion is – you know we’re big proponents of freedom of speech, but for anybody who’s looking at what is accurate and what is – the details are, to take it with a grain of salt, given where we are in the process.
QUESTION: Did the Secretary watch the Israeli settlers council’s video ridiculing his Middle East peace efforts?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t believe he’s watched the video. We’re certainly aware of the video.
QUESTION: Have you watched it?
MS. PSAKI: I have not personally watched it, no.
QUESTION: Any reaction to it?
MS. PSAKI: I think it goes in with what I’ve already stated about attempts to mischaracterize his record, his position, his positions on issues, his statements, how that is not an attack on him; that’s an attack on the process. And of course that kind of rhetoric we find unacceptable.
There’s a basic problem with denouncing people in another country making a viral video that gently mocks a politician as “unacceptable” while failing to denounce open advocacy of terror by PLO government officials.