NBC Downplays Columbia Leader’s Anti-Semitism, CBS Still Ignores

On Friday morning, ABC, NBC, and CBS all ignored Columbia encampment student leader Khymani James’s January remarks that Zionists don’t deserve to live and they should be grateful he personally isn’t murdering them. Since then, the results have been mixed. Friday’s World News Tonight on ABC played the video and Saturday’s Today alluded to it, but did not play it, and the amount of specifics the viewer got was dependent on their NBC affiliate. Meanwhile, CBS Saturday Morning continued to ignore the video.

The best CBS could muster was a recorded segment on the latest developments around Columbia that included an interview with a pro-Israeli counter-protestor. “Nobody’s talking about the hostages,” a Columbia graduate student told correspondent Michael George.

George portrayed concerns about anti-Semitism as something this student was worried about, but he himself felt no need to elaborate on, “This Columbia grad student who took part in the rally argues those in the encampments are promoting anti-Semitism and ignoring the hostages still held by Hamas.”

The student added, “If you want peace to be achieved, as we do, and if you want a ceasefire, the hostages need to be released.”

Apart from teases and introductions, the only relatively substantive report viewers that have an NBC affiliate that only airs the first 60 minutes of the Saturday edition of Today would’ve got came from correspondent Liz Kreutz, “At Columbia, the university banning a student protester who made anti-Semitic remarks in a video that surfaced this week. Khymani James apologizing on Friday for the incendiary comments saying they ‘misspoke in the heat of the moment.’”

That is not a misprint. James is the kind of guy who calls for the mass murder of Jews while demanding you use he, she, and they pronouns. As for Kruetz, she did not provide any context as to what those remarks might be.

Those who get the 90-minute version would’ve gotten an extra report from fellow correspondent George Solis, who provided slightly more context, “Meanwhile, students here at Columbia have been camping out now for 11 days now, and still at issue, pro-Palestinian protesters calling on the university to divest any financial support to Israel. Now, Columbia has banned a student leader in the protests after videos surfaced of the individual calling for the death of Zionists, the student has since apologized for the remarks.”

The previous night on ABC, correspondent Stephanie Ramos had her own pre-recorded segment that featured a soundbite from Jewish student Noa Fay, “On this campus, people chant that Zionists are not welcome, calling on, quote, ‘death to the Jewish state.’”

Unlike CBS, ABC provided proof that Fay was not being hyperbolic, as Ramos immediately followed up with the clip of James ranting, “Be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists.”

Ramos wavered a bit when she added, “Back in January, Columbia student protester Khymani James live-streamed those comments after a disciplinary hearing with the school probing similar posts. Today, protest organizers distancing themselves from him.”

An unnamed camper provided the context that James was not a mere protestor, but a leader, “He apologized and he asked for space to reflect and learn and grow and that he will step away from being press spokesperson.”

It seems likely that James is simply sorry he got caught rather than truly remorseful for his actual remarks, as Ramos added, “Tonight, the university addressing that video posted by that student, calling it ‘extremely alarming,’ adding that calls for violence are unacceptable.”

If only NBC and CBS viewers could be made aware of such alarming threats.

Here are transcripts for the April 26 and 27 shows:

ABC World News Tonight

4/26/2024

6:40 PM ET

PRO-ISRAEL PROTESTORS: Bring them home! Bring them home!

STEPHANIE RAMOS: Outside Columbia University, pro-Israel counter-protesters calling for the release of hostages.

LEAT UNGER [Family member of Israeli hostage]: The release of hostages must come first and foremost to end the suffering on both sides.

RAMOS: Today, Jewish students called on Columbia to keep every student safe.

NOA FAY: On this campus, people chant that Zionists are not welcome, calling on, quote, “death to the Jewish state.”

KHYMANI JAMES: Be grateful that I’m not just going out and murdering Zionists.

RAMOS: Back in January, Columbia student protester Khymani James live-streamed those comments after a disciplinary hearing with the school probing similar posts. Today, protest organizers distancing themselves from him.

PRO-PALESTINIAN PROTESTOR: He apologized and he asked for space to reflect and learn and grow and that he will step away from being press spokesperson.

RAMOS: Tonight, the university addressing that video posted by that student, calling it “extremely alarming,” adding that calls for violence are unacceptable.

***

NBC Today

4/26/2024

7:07 AM ET

LIZ KREUTZ: At Columbia, the university banning a student protester who made anti-Semitic remarks in a video that surfaced this week. Khymani James apologizing on Friday for the incendiary comments saying they “misspoke in the heat of the moment.”

8:05 AM ET

GEORGE SOLIS: Tensions escalating this morning as a large police presence is unfolding in Boston, where authorities are dismantling a student encampment there at Northeastern and making arrests. Meanwhile, students here at Columbia have been camping out now for 11 days now, and still at issue, pro-Palestinian protesters calling on the university to divest any financial support to Israel. Now, Columbia has banned a student leader in the protests after videos surfaced of the individual calling for the death of Zionists, the student has since apologized for the remarks. 

***

MICHAEL GEORGE: At Columbia university as talks between school administrators and pro-Palestinian protesters continue—

PRO-ISRAEL PROTESTORS: Bring them home!

GEORGE: — pro-Israeli demonstrators, many non-students, made their voices heard outside the campus.

PRO-ISRAEL PROTESTOR: Nobody’s talking about the hostages.

GEORGE: This Columbia grad student who took part in the rally argues those in the encampments are promoting anti-Semitism and ignoring the hostages still held by Hamas.

PRO-ISRAEL PROTESTOR: If you want peace to be achieved, as we do, and if you want a ceasefire, the hostages need to be released.

***

NBC Today

4/26/2024

7:07 AM ET

LIZ KREUTZ: At Columbia, the university banning a student protester who made anti-Semitic remarks in a video that surfaced this week. Khymani James apologizing on Friday for the incendiary comments saying they “misspoke in the heat of the moment.”

8:05 AM ET

GEORGE SOLIS: Tensions escalating this morning as a large police presence is unfolding in Boston, where authorities are dismantling a student encampment there at Northeastern and making arrests. Meanwhile, students here at Columbia have been camping out now for 11 days now, and still at issue, pro-Palestinian protesters calling on the university to divest any financial support to Israel. Now, Columbia has banned a student leader in the protests after videos surfaced calling for the death of Zionists, the student has since apologized for the remarks. 

***

MICHAEL GEORGE: At Columbia university as talks between school administrators and pro-Palestinian protesters continue—

PRO-ISRAEL PROTESTORS: Bring them home!

GEORGE: — pro-Israeli demonstrators, many non-students, made their voices heard outside the campus.

PRO-ISRAEL PROTESTOR: Nobody’s talking about the hostages.

GEORGE: This Columbia grad student who took part in the rally argues those in the encampments are promoting anti-Semitism and ignoring the hostages still held by Hamas.

PRO-ISRAEL PROTESTOR: If you want peace to be achieved, as we do, and if you want a ceasefire, the hostages need to be released.

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