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The F Word: All The News That's Fit To Print?

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A top general appears in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee and what does he say? Well, it depends what you read, doesn't it?

Read the New York Times, the Hill and most of the U.S. press and the general came out (as it were) for the first time, for a review of the Pentagon's Don't Ask Don't Tell Policy. Significant, newsworthy? Absolutely. But just as newsworthy were comments the General made about U.S./Israel relations. Comments which didn't make it into those papers.

For the first time, Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, said, in effect, that Israel's total impunity is becoming a liability.

And I quote: "The conflict foments anti-American sentiment due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel." He continued: "Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of US partnerships... and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world..." Meanwhile, he continued, "Al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support."

Noteworthy? I'd say so. Especially given the timing in the middle of a U.S.- Israel spat. A wake-up call? Well, maybe, but only if you heard it.

The New York Times account by Elisabeth Bumiller led with what Petraeus had to say about Iran -- no nuclear weapon this year. And what he didn't say -- whether Don't Ask Don't Tell should actually be repealed. While he supports a review he didn't have the time, he said, to lay out his opinions.

So non-news led the news at the Times and they weren't alone. Makes you wonder about the Grey Lady's slogan: "All the News that's Fit To Print." Can anyone give me a definition?

The F Word is a regular commentary by Laura Flanders, the host of GRITtv which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV (Dish Network Ch. 9415 Free Speech TV) on cable, and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GRITlaura on Twitter.com.