Netanyahu’s Speech Overshadowed by Shutdown News

Israel's Netanyahu Speaks

By Becky Hogan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the international community Tuesday to be wary of Iran’s recent change of heart on nuclear weapons.  He warned that Israel would act alone, if necessary, to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.

In his address to the UN General Assembly, Netanyahu said Iran has pursued diplomacy in the past to disguise its nuclear ambitions.

His message comes in sharp contrast to last week when President Obama reached out to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over the phone.  The phone call was dubbed “historic” by the news media since it was the first time since 1979 that Iranian and US leaders have had a conversation.

In fact, early last week Israel saw an uptick in news coverage after Rouhani specifically called out Israel as the only country in the region that had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and requested that it do so “without delay” at the UN Highlevel Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament.

By comparison, Israel and Netanyahu received far more national media coverage last week when Rouhani spoke out against Israel at the meeting.  And peak coverage on Israel occurred last week after Israel’s delegation boycotted Rouhani’s speech by leaving the General Assembly.  

Netanyahu Overshadowed

There’s no question Netanyahu is competing with news coverage on the government shutdown and the Obamacare implementation which are dominating the news cycle this week.  According to our data, even coverage of the United Nations was lower than news coverage of the Affordable Care Act.

The 24-hour news cycle is fickle–last week all eyes were on Israel after Rouhani’s speech, this week Israel issued its rebuttal but the media has been slow to react.

Netanyahu sought to counter the positive vibes Rouhani got over his debut at the UN General Assembly meeting, but so far his message hasn’t received the same attention that Rouhani saw last week.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on how news coverage develops in the midst of the federal government’s shutdown.

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