Art Imitating Life, or Propaganda Selling a Flawed Iranian Nuke Deal?
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
When the CBS show “Madam Secretary” premiered last September, there was much speculation and hand-wringing about whether or not the title character, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord played by Tea Leoni, was inspired by Hillary Clinton, and if this show was meant as a long-running political ad humanizing Hillary Clinton. Such an effort might help make her ascension to the White House seem plausible, if not inevitable.
Despite the denials, it seems clear that “Madam Secretary” was just such an effort, and still is. But in the few episodes I’ve watched, I haven’t seen much of what we know of the real Hillary. “If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her,” commented her long-time critic Jerome Zeifman in 1998, reflecting upon Mrs. Clinton’s political maneuvers during the impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
Mrs. Clinton is a prima donna who travels like a rock star, and who puts herself above the law, presenting herself as a great fighter for women’s rights—yet in her own life she stood by her man, who has cheated on her for decades, and has been credibly accused of forcing himself on women who wanted nothing to do with him. In addition, Mrs. Clinton has, through her foundation, collected money from countries that deprive their women of their basic human rights. “But the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Brunei—all of which the State Department has faulted over their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues,” reported The New York Times this month. So besides the hypocrisy issue, her conflicts of interest are quite extraordinary.
Hollywood elites strive not only to shape American culture, but also to promote their left-wing agenda. While CBS is engaging in propaganda to support of Hillary Clinton, it is also attempting to not-so-subtly condition the American people to accept a badly-flawed Iranian nuclear deal crafted in Washington. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry hope to impose this nuclear deal on the world in the name of stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But based on what we know about the deal, and the concessions made to the Iranians, it is more likely that the opposite will occur.
The current storyline on the CBS show has the fictional Madam Secretary traveling to Iran to attempt to save the Iranian nuclear deal—just days before the actual deal is about to be foisted on the world. There she met with the “moderate” Iranian foreign minister, Zahed Javani. At the end of the show, she went on CBS’s Face the Nation, and who was the host? None other than Bob Schieffer—playing the role of Bob Schieffer.
And keep in mind, President Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser is Ben Rhodes, whose brother David Rhodes happens to be president of CBS News. But since “Madam Secretary” is produced by the entertainment division—not news—that couldn’t have been a factor. Could it?
Here was the closing dialogue from last Sunday night’s episode, with Leoni’s character appearing on Face the Nation to discuss what happened on her trip to Iran, and to explain why it was so necessary and so important to the American people:
Bob Schieffer (BS): Madame Secretary, you made an unprecedented trip to Iran to save the nuclear deal between the Iranians and the United States.
Madam Secretary (MS): Yes, I did.
BS: And while you were there, of course, a coup, that was eventually foiled, began. You were in the room when the foreign minister Javani was killed.
(MS): That’s right.
BS: Who else was there and what happened?
(MS): We were at minister Javani’s house when it happened. Several members of my security detail were wounded or killed. And their courage was awe-inspiring. And I deeply mourn their loss, as does the entire country. Minister Javani’s son witnessed his father’s death. As a mother I would have given anything to protect that child. Which is why I am determined as ever to see through the nuclear agreement that his father gave his life for. Because I think that’s our greatest responsibility in this life. To leave a safer and more peaceful world for our children.
BS: Madame Secretary, thank you.
(MS): Thank you Bob.
You can watch most of that scene in this video, in which Schieffer says that if most of the guests he has on his show were “as direct and as honest” as Madam Secretary was, they would be a lot better off. Schieffer is confusing fact with fiction.
Leoni wasn’t being “direct” and “honest” on camera. She was merely repeating a fictional dialogue that she was given to memorize as an actress. This was propaganda, in which Schieffer was an active participant in trying to convince the audience about the wonderful peace dividends we should expect from a successful deal with Iran.
“I may send this around to Capitol Hill and say if you want to be on Face the Nation, this is how you should act,” said Schieffer.
The fictional Foreign Minister Zahed Javani parallels Iran’s current foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who, apparently, wants a really good deal for all sides—while all those hard-liners are sitting in the background demanding more from the deal, such as an immediate end to sanctions. So, the narrative goes, America should align itself with the Iranians who just want peace like we do, the ones who have our interests at heart.
“Iran’s Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for ‘Death to America’ on Saturday, a day after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to seize a ‘historic opportunity’ for a nuclear deal and a better future, and as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed substantial progress toward an accord,” reports the Times of Israel. The Los Angeles Times ran news of this under the title, “As crowd chants ‘Death to America,’ Khamenei backs nuclear talks.”
The Iranians also blew up a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier last month, and their government regularly conducts cyber attacks against our country. Is this part of their charm offensive to get Americans to support the deal, or is it complete disdain for America and its leaders?
Of course “Madam Secretary” is just fiction, and any resemblance to the real life negotiations is purely coincidental. Who could possibly think otherwise?
Let’s be clear, almost everyone desires a world without Iran developing and threatening to use nuclear weapons on Israel, its regional neighbors, or other targets. But does the best strategy to achieve that goal include lifting sanctions on this rogue regime, while it is in the process of expanding its hegemonic reach across at least five countries in its region? Proponents of this deal—at least what we know of it—suggest that the options are making this deal or going to war. Yet President Obama says he is prepared to walk away if he doesn’t get the right deal. Does his Plan B include going to war?
As I reported earlier, according to Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi member Clare Lopez, the “November 2013 Joint Plan of Action gave Iran just about everything it wanted: the right to enrich, the right to keep uranium, centrifuge research and development, and continued intercontinental ballistic missile development.” And it added sanctions relief onto that long list of concessions.
Iran maintains that their nuclear energy is just for peaceful purposes. Yet they have a secret facility that we’ve recently learned about through a dissident group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors are also not allowed to visit another known site of unknown activity called Parchin.
Iranians are still sponsors of terror worldwide, and have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans. They simply can’t be trusted. But CBS, through “Madam Secretary,” would like America to think otherwise. And Mr. Schieffer has become complicit in such misinformation. Incredibly, as we approach the latest artificial deadline of March 31st for the Iranian nuclear deal, the Obama administration has removed Iran and Hezbollah from the terror threat list.
On top of that, we now we have our President vouching for the character of two of Iran’s top leaders: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has said that Iran would never develop a nuclear weapon,” said President Obama in a speech to the Iranian people, that was posted on the Whitehouse.gov website. Does anyone believe that these people are being honest and sincere?
In a just released New York Times article, a source close to Ayatollah Khamenei said that for now, the so-called hard-liners are finally keeping quiet. “Iran speaks with one voice,” he told the Times, and said that “the muzzle would remain in place as long as the negotiations seemed to be progressing.” He said that the “Fact of the matter is that we are seeing positive changes in the U.S. position in the nuclear talk…We are steadfast and the U.S. is compromising. We are not complaining.”
A deal with Iran would be just another “accomplishment” for the Obama legacy, and CNN acknowledged as much when it published “Iran nuclear deal: President Barack Obama’s legacy moment on Iran” two years ago. When the deal goes bad, he can always blame it on George Bush.
The Associated Press now reports that criticism of Obama’s desire for a legacy-building Iranian deal originates with “GOP hawks.” Yet as CNN is reporting, “A veto-proof, bipartisan majority of House lawmakers have signed an open letter to President Barack Obama warning him that any nuclear deal with Iran will effectively require congressional approval for implementation.” Among the signers of the March 20th letter are Democratic Congressmen Steny Hoyer (MD), Charlie Rangel (NY), Elijah Cummings (MD), John Lewis (GA), Alan Grayson (FL), Nita Lowey (NY), Joseph Kennedy III (MA) and Jan Schakowsky (IL), hardly a group of “GOP Hawks.”
The letter says that “In reviewing such an agreement, Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief.”
While the world is waiting to see how this potential Iranian deal might affect the balance of power in the Middle East, it is clear that President Obama is pushing ahead, using all the tools at his disposal to sell this deal. But what’s not so clear is whether his tactics, and those of the Iranian leaders, will prevail.